Get On Twitter and Facebook or Get Out of the Race

New Digitas Study Finds Six in Ten Social Media Users Expect Candidates to Have a Social Media Presence

Oct 31, 2011, 14:37 ET from Digitas

NEW YORK, Oct. 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital media will play a pivotal role in shaping voters' opinions of candidates in the 2012 Presidential Elections, with six out of 10 (61%) social media users saying they expect candidates to have a social media presence and almost four in 10 (38%) social media users indicating that information found on social media will help determine their voting choices as much as traditional media sources like TV or newspapers. Those are the key findings of a new survey conducted on behalf of Digitas, the top global integrated brand agency, online by Harris Interactive from September 21-23, 2011, among 2,361 adults aged 18 and over.




"In at least the last two election cycles, digital media has taken a profound a role in determining our next president as TV did in earlier generations," says Jordan Bitterman, SVP and Social Marketing Practice Director, Digitas. "But the results of this new research show that the extraordinary power of social networks to connect us and build relationships may have even greater impact on who wins in 2012. JFK is considered the first television President. Next year's victor may well be determined by the impact of Facebook and Twitter."

Other key findings from the survey reveal tips 2012 Presidential Election candidates should consider, including:

--Connect with Younger Voters and Households with Incomes of Less than $35,000 via Social Media:

  • Social media users aged 18-34 will turn to social media for information on who to vote for. They were more likely to say that social networks will impact their choice as much as traditional media (51%) than all other age groups (38% of those aged 35-44, 29% of those aged 45-54, and 23% of those aged 55+).
  • 47% of social media users with household incomes of less than $35,000 indicated this compared with those with household incomes of $50,000-$74,999 (34%) and $75,000+ (31%).
  • Social media users with a child under 18 in the household were more likely to indicate this than those without a child under 18 in the household, by 44% to 34%, respectively.


--Mobilize Social Media Users and Registered Voters:

  • More than 8 in 10 (86%) social media users own mobile phones. Of these, 24% aged 18 to 34 feel it's important for them to receive information about presidential candidates on their mobile phones.
  • The study also found that 88% of social media users who are registered voters have mobile phones.


--Share Platforms via Social Media:

  • The study also revealed that 82% of U.S. adults are social media users—and 88% of U.S. adults who are social media users are registered voters.  
  • Over half (51%) of social media users indicated they will use social media such as Twitter and Facebook to learn more about the presidential candidates for the upcoming 2012 election.
    • And Don't Rule Out Voters Aged 55+:
      • By age, 62% of social media users aged 18-34, 49% of those aged 35-44, 46% of those aged 45-54, and 40% of those aged 55+ will turn to social networks to learn more about the candidates.


The findings announced today represent the first wave of "Digitas' Data Digests" quarterly survey-based studies on timely topics related to digital media and advertising.

Methodology: The survey was conducted online with the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Digitas from September 21 – 23, 2011 among 2,361 U.S. adults aged 18 years and older, 1,701 of whom are registered voters. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact

About Digitas

Digitas, the top global integrated brand agency, builds active brands for some of the foremost companies in the world.  With a deep understanding of their client's customer's passions and behaviors, the agency combines media creativity, technology, creativity, analytics to ignite emotional bonds between people and brands. Digitas counts Agency of the Year honors from the Festival of Media, OMMA Magazine, Promo Magazine, BtoB Magazine, and Les Agences de l'Annee, France, and has been named to the Advertising Age Digital A-List among its many awards.

Digitas also operates the brand content platform, The Third Act:, producers of first and most well renowned event on digital content, The NewFront; the healthcare marketing brand, Digitas Health; and, Prodigious Worldwide, the world's only standalone, global digital productions company.

With sister agencies Starcom MediaVest, ZenithOptimedia, Denuo and Razorfish, Digitas is a member of Publicis Groupe's VivaKi—a global digital knowledge and resource center that leverages the combined scale of the autonomous operations of its members to develop new services, new tools, and new partnerships.

Publicis Groupe [listed on the Euronext Paris Exchange - FR0000130577 - and part of the CAC 40 index] is the world's third largest communications group. With activities spanning 104 countries on five continents, Publicis Groupe offers local and international clients a complete range of advertising services. Web site: | Twitter: @Digitas | Facebook: Digitas Fan Page | Blog: Digitas Distillery

SOURCE Digitas