Social media gives millions of people the opportunity to know and see things all across the world that in the past, they wouldn’t have been able to. Information is practically at your fingertips and because of it, you never know who exactly is seeing or reading what you are posting. Due to the popularity of social media, many people in higher positions have started using it to connect with their supporters and to be able to see what their competitors are doing. They are able to communicate in ways that they weren’t before and without it, may not have the reach their competitors do.
Lobbying is basically a form of influencing decisions. Professional and political campaigners are known to hire people to lobby for them, in order to attempt to get into office, through votes from the public. These hired people help create campaigns and events based on the professional/political person they work for, aimed at showing why this person is the right fit for the job. In the past, lobbying was done through television commercials, billboards, newspapers, etc. Now, we have the power of social media, where the reach puts local advertising to shame. Not to say local advertising doesn’t help but social media has a gigantic reach. When lobbying online it takes a lot of the harder, physical work out of a campaign. Lobbyists are able to work straight from a computer or handheld device and are able to crusade 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Social media doesn’t sleep. Not matter the time of day, social media is always buzzing with new content. Being a part of that and lobbying for someone you support means whatever you post, whenever the time, it will always be seen by someone.
Sharing is another key factor in social media lobbying. When posts are made by campaigners or their lobbyists, the option to share it is always available. This also helps more people see posts about the campaigner and what they stand for. When one person hits their share button, it goes to their followers and if one of their followers shares as well, the process continues. This is a free way to get more publicity for the campaign and to reach more people who may not have been aware of the campaigner.
Reporters and journalists also benefit heavily from social media. They are able to get information in real time for their articles/reports and don’t have to do as much work in the field, chasing a story. Once a lead is found online, they can search for more information while they are still online before even having to physical do anything. This also applies to them doing reports on campaigners. They are able to find new/current information online, as it’s being posted, and can try to be the first person to report on it.
Tons of information is available online with the simple use of a search engine or scrolling through a social media feed. Voices can be heard that weren’t able to heard before and people can follow the people they support, closely. It creates a more personal relationship between professional and political campaigners and their supporters by giving the supporters a way to voice their thoughts and opinions, in real time. Supporters have the option to comment on posts or videos related to who they support or do not support and can create posts themselves. In the end, social media can help influence the public as to who would be the best fit for the position available and the public, in turn, feels like they had more of a say, in the matter.