The Tweets Have It

In the wake of the recent election, Americans learned just how polarized the country was in terms of its ability to deem a person worthy of their vote. Now that this phase is over, it’s time to get the new set of politicians on the hill whipped into shape. Here is my advice to elected […]

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2016 Presidential Candidates: What Platforms Should They Use?

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People are inundated with information from various media all day long. Between Facebook, TV ads, and real life interactions, it can be difficult to grab someone’s attention. With the upcoming election, how can political candidates grab the attention of voters? The solution is through social media platforms that voters are using, but which ones should candidates use to engage with voters?

Media Richness Theory

In 1980, Daft and Lengel created a theory of media richness. In essence, their theory states that different types of media have different levels of richness. Face-to-face interactions are the richest because individuals can receive direct feedback and read not just verbal cues, but the visual cues from a speaker’s body language (Daft and Lengel 1980). Studies show that only 7% of information in face-to-face interactions comes from what someone is saying: the bulk of information is delivered via verbal cues (i.e. intonation) and body language (Daft and Lengel 1980). 

My Recommendations

Candidates are already aware the power face-to-face interactions have, but can not engage with every single voter that way. There are several social media platforms available that mimic face-to-face interactions and make it easier for candidates to communicate with voters. Here are my recommendations for social media platforms that candidates can use:

  • SnapChat- One of the best aspects of SnapChat is that it’s great for younger voter demographics. Millenials love SnapChat and its short video/photo format. It is also incredibly easy to provide live updates from events.

  • Facebook- Using Facebook has several benefits. The new livestream video feature makes it possible for voters to watch candidates’ events live. In addition, Facebook Messenger for Pages makes it so voters can message candidates’ social media teams and interact with them directly.
  • Periscope  This app is now linked with Twitter so candidates can post live videos. It also makes it easier for news organizations from across the globe to access candidates’ content.

Clearly, face-to-face interactions are the best way to engage voters, but the social media platforms above can increase candidates’ reach in a similar manner. What other platforms or techniques would you recommend to the 2016 Presidential candidates?


Daft, Richard and Robert Lengel. Information Richness. A New Approach to Managerial Behavior and Organizational Design. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University College of Business Administration, 1980.

Raedle, Joe. Image from Getty Images News.

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