There’s a fantastic article about the influence of social media on elections on Under Strict Embargo. In it, he disputes Weber Shandwick’s (leading PR agency) assertion that social media will have minimal impact at the next general election.
Weber Shandwick hold this opinion on account of a consumer survey which found that only 5% of voters would be influenced by things they have seen on social media sites, whilst 59% site national /regional print and broadcast media.
As Daljit rightly points out, traditional media doesn’t sit in a silo from social media. Social media can and does have a profound impact on the news agenda. Recent examples of social media campaigns that have picked up significant coverage in the mainstream media include the ‘We love the NHS’ campaign, the Damian McBride affair and the Cambourne / Jedward advert.
I’d be willing to bet that in the run-up to pollling day there will be many more bits of content, seeded on social media, that will end up having a significant impact on the narrative of this election.