Why social media is so important in politics right now

2020 Election

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — As Election Day 2020 nears, politicians are utilizing all they can in order to win over voters, especially when it comes to getting their messages out on social media.

Social platforms from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to TikTok, are a significant source of information for many people. But how does that align with which social media messages users want to see in their content feeds? Pew Research Center, a think tank that provides information on issues and attitudes shaping the world, said 55% of adult social media users are ‘worn out’ out by political conversations.

Christina Dick, owner of local marketing agency Tiramisu for Breakfast, manages social media accounts for businesses of all industries on a daily basis. She said social media is a hard job for anyone because there will always be a difference in opinion between consumers.

“I think it’s hard, like so many things, to find that balance between, ‘I want to stand up for what’s important to me,'” said Dick. “But I also need to figure out the right words to say it.”

Dick said social media is the go-to way of getting a quick message out to the public.

She said although the feedback on political conversations is not always positive coming from social media users, you won’t see politicians stop using the platforms anytime soon.

“Social media is working to their advantage, whether that’s reaching you or the next person,” said Dick.

Pew Research Center said Americans using social media today would more likely today describe political discussions on social media platforms in negative terms compared to 2016. According to Pew, seven-in-ten Americans say they find it “stressful and frustrating” to talk about politics on social media with people they disagree with, up from 59% in 2016. 

Dick explained that the personal feelings social media users have towards politicians’ posts, and the conversations revolving around them, means their intent to spread their message has been fulfilled.

“Although it’s frustrating for viewers to constantly see conversations about politics on their feeds, social media has become free advertisement for politicians from their supporters,” said Dick.

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