When President Obama first ran for office in 2008, he became the first presidential candidate to successfully utilize social media in his campaign. His campaign focused on winning the votes of young and minority voters, and his use of social media was instrumental in doing so. He was an early adopter of social media use for political campaigning, and it clearly paid off. With the prominence of various social media platforms today, every candidate appears to be utilizing a similar strategy to bring in millennial votes. Over 500 million dollars is expected to be spent on social media by 2016 presidential campaigns.
Reaching the millennial demographic is a huge struggle among presidential candidates, and most, if not all, of them are establishing active social media presences to do so. Millennials focus more attention on social media than any other group, and studies have shown that social media can easily influence the opinions and actions of users. It is also beneficial because social media enables politicians to establish a relationship with their followers unlike other traditional forms of campaigning. For more on how social media is changing the landscape of the presidential race, and for information on specific social media studies, check out this article from the Huffington Post.