As many tuned in to the Democratic debate Oct 13, it’s likely safe to assume that a majority also opened up our Twitter feeds. Both during and after debates, viewers take to Twitter for the latest updates on the debate, direct quotes from the candidates and the occasional humorous GIF.
Some people use Twitter to share their own opinions, others use it to follow thought leaders or news organizations. No matter which political party with which we align, there is a 100 percent chance that we saw at least one tweet pertaining to Tuesday’s debate.
2015 is no longer a time in which the public has to wait until the next morning to read a news coverage about an event. If people cannot get in front of a television in time for the debate, they can stream it on their mobile devices. Or, as I did, they can look to Twitter for a quick summary of the debate’s key points. In 140 characters, people and news organizations alike can share opinions about a candidate, read direct quotes, see photos, and even read articles about the debate that were published seconds before.
Millennials make up just over 25 percent of the American population and, according to AdWeek, 59 percent of Millennials have Twitter accounts, more than both Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. By moving political discussions to the social platform, candidates may be reaching more of that valuable audience.
Candidates for office can utilize Twitter to reach the Millennial audience to promote involvement in the political process. In the 2012 presidential election, only about 40 percent of registered voters were between 18 and 24 actually voted, compared to 70 percent of voters 65 and over. If more politicians learned how to effectively target Twitter-savvy, Millennial audiences, they may finally discover a messaging formula that causes Millennials to actually vote, not just favorite a tweet.
Have you used Twitter to participate in discussions about politics? Do you think that taking more political conversation to Twitter could increase Millennials’ willingness to vote?