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Controlling the MessageNew Media in American Political Campaigns$
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Victoria A. "Farrar-Myers and Justin S. Vaughn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479886357

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479886357.001.0001

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Congressional Campaigns’ Motivations for Social Media Adoption

Congressional Campaigns’ Motivations for Social Media Adoption

(p.32) 2 Congressional Campaigns’ Motivations for Social Media Adoption
Controlling the Message

Girish J. Gulati

Christine B. Williams

NYU Press

This chapter examines the underlying motivations for the adoption of social media in congressional election campaigns. Using statistical models supplemented with more than ninety interviews of candidates and staff from the 2012 campaigns, the chapter considers which political candidates were more likely and less likely to use Facebook during their campaigns and how they tried to use Facebook as a campaign communication tool. It first provides an overview of the diffusion of innovation and social media adoption in political campaigns before discussing Facebook usage by all the Democratic and Republican nominees for every election for the U.S. Congress in 2012. It then analyzes why candidates choose to adopt social media and the ways they use it. It shows that the factors influencing early adopters differ from those influencing those who adopt at later stages.

Keywords:   social media, election campaigns, political candidates, Facebook, political campaigns, U.S. Congress, congressional election

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