Walter Schwabe from “fusedlogic” recently asked via Twitter ‘if a candidate’s use of social media would affect your support for them?’. We don’t have access to the answers that Walter received from the Twitter community but we will offer our own here.
There is a lot more to a candidates platform than whether or not they use social media in their campaign. The real community issues and how that person proposes to deal with them if elected is what matters. Their use of social media is a secondary element. However, since social media is an important and effective communications tool a candidates use of things such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube or a website with interactive dialogue can be a benefit for them and the folks in the community who live online.
With the increase of social media as a key and sometimes only source of news and information for many people, not using the web can be detrimental for a candidate in communicating their ideas and plans for the future. If a candidate doesn’t use social media in their campaign, they run the risk of missing out on opportunities to connect and promote their vision for the community to a segment of voters who use social media in place of traditional media such as newspaper and radio.
And then there is the future use of social media from city hall. If a candidate makes use of social media and is elected then there is a possibility that they will make use of online communities and communication while in office. This can be a good thing in bringing communities, large or small, into the new age of online communications.
If your candidate of choice isn’t using social media but you do, encourage them to take part in online activities even if it means that you set things up and maintain it for them. Although ghost-blogging and ghost-tweets are typically frowned upon by online communities, something is better than nothing and who knows, maybe your candidate might take an active part once they see the value of social media.