The rise of social media during the 2008 US presidential election created an entirely new type of campaign, where both candidates reached the masses through never-before-seen tactics that utilized an unprecedented level of social networking. This new kind of campaign strategy is as scrappy as it is experimental, relying on emerging technology and trends to reach the younger generations where they interact most.

Now that 2008 has come and gone, many are wondering what is next for social media campaigning? According to research by MDG Advertising, things are just starting to heat up. In fact, we’re already witness to an unheard-of level of interaction. Take, for example, the current US President Barack Obama’s Hangout on Google+.

From MDG Advertising:

With the 2012 presidential election mere months away, MDG Advertising created an informative infographic that compares social media usage from the 2008 presidential election with its projected influence on the upcoming 2012 election.

The MDG’s study found that the percentage of Internet users using social media more than doubled since 2008. This makes complete sense looking at the numbers, especially considering the fact that Facebook has grown by approximately 99 million users in the past 4 years.

Digging deeper, the study also finds that 62% of voters are expecting candidates to have a social media presence this year. Out of all the nextworks being utilized, Facebook appears to be the most important network to candidates, as it comprises a commanding majority of cash from political ad buyers. Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin follow behind the behemoth’s footsteps.

What do you think about social media’s growing dominance as a campaigning tool? Check more details via the infographic below, and see it in its full-size glory with this link:

➤  The Social Campaign Infographic

socialmediainfographic Social media matters more than ever in this US presidential election