February 8, 2016

Presidential debate and its shadow debate

The first presidential debate brings President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney together while millions of professional and amateur pundits will be giving their commentary on Twitter and Facebook.

Steve Noll is Madison College social media instructor. “That’s one of the really really interesting things about this debate is it’s not so much watching the debate itself, but it’s gonna be watching the reaction of the people on the various social media platforms, especially Twitter because it’s such a fast instant feedback medium.”

Noll says while the debate itself might be “bland,” social media provides an insight to what voters are thinking — the “pulse of the people.” Noll says, much like the “six degrees from Kevin Bacon” phenomenon, citizens are now separated from the politicians by just one degree, or less.

“You know we call that micro marketing. The idea that you can niche right down to a candidate and you follow a candidate, not just for their general platform, but a specific reason. Using social media, now you can go out and touch that one person with a very specific message tailored really to what they want and that’s the stuff that resonates with people and creates that connection.”

And, he says, twitterers are more motivated to retweet to their own followers; social media, he says, isn’t going away any time soon, so it can’t be ignored.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 1:30

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