After the vote to leave the EU in the UK and the stunning election of Donald Trump in the USA, media analysts are taking a serious look at the rise in social media campaigns. To explain this new emphasis on targeting social media users in politics, analysts have invented the term “robopolitics.”
Robopolitics refers to the process of sending out campaign messages on social media sites that are not influenced by journalistic critiques. Many people working in traditional journalism fear that the rise of robopolitics might totally destroy the fact-checking function of the mainstream media.
Social media campaigns are undoubtedly the way of the future. A new statistic shows that most UK ad revenue is now made via Google and Facebook. Indeed, more ad revenue was made through these two platforms last year than through all the UK newspapers combined.
Both the Trump campaign and the pro-Brexit campaigners were active in their adoption of robopolitics. The strategy media analysts find with all of these robopolitic adverts is that they begin with their intended outcome and work backwards from there. These ads are not concerned at all with persuading the mainstream, instead they are tailored to increase enthusiasm with those already committed to the cause.
Analysts are also finding that political campaigns no longer need to worry about media spin nowadays, mainly because very few people have faith in the media as a fact-checker. Since political parties no longer need to worry about viewers taking media critiques seriously, campaigns can directly tailor their messages to their constituency.
Analysts believe that robopolitics on social media will only increase in the coming years. The use of databases and sophisticated targeting software to send the right messages to the right people will become even more crucial for political campaigns of the future.