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How can a strong social media presence make a difference to an election campaign?

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Does involvement on Twitter and Facebook help a candidate’s chances of being elected?

For older voters, it may not make a big difference. But for younger voters, the greater engagement that social media provides could be decisive.

BCIT social media instructor Rebecca Coleman says it’s all about how candidates use it.

“It may just win one person over, but that one person could be the difference — all the difference in the world,” explains Coleman. “That one person’s vote could be the difference between you winning and not winning.”

She says the medium allows potential voters to interact with candidates in a way rarely seen before.

“Social media in general — and Twitter, specifically — is a really great tool for people who are running for office,” explains Coleman. “It allows them to just really talk to and have the sort of one-on-one conversations with people that could potentially be voting for them.”

The majority of mayoral candidates in Saturday’s civic election have a social media presence, although there is a wide range in terms of how active and engaged they are.