Candidates campaign using social media

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Candidates are still following many of the traditional means to attract voters like knocking on doors, shaking hands and kissing babies, but they are also using the new available technology of social media to gather supporters.

According to political analysts, more voters are turning to the internet to learn about those running for office. Sites like Facebook and Twitter could be key in deciding the winner.

Aside from forums and hitting the pavement, there are voting signs at nearly every intersection. Now, the candidates are putting their campaign at your fingertips.

"Does not cost anything and get your point out to the people," said Ricky Goff, a candidate for the Livingston Parish Council.

He is one of dozens who have turned to social media sites to reach the voters.

"How fast can you get information out? How many people can you touch now? And, that's really where politics is going," said Clay Young, a political analyst.

Young said technology will play a tremendous role in gathering election support.

Right now, candidates are building sites with hundreds of followers. Voters are requesting signs to show their candidates support. Others are asking candidates questions about what they consider important issues.

The candidates are posting information about where to find them and in some cases, pointing out the difference between themselves and the competition.

That, Young added, is one of the downsides to this new way to reach voters. There's no controlling what is said or how it's perceived.

"We've seen them send out information via Twitter that backfired on them, such as the New York congressman saw his career shattered over a matter of days," Young explained, making reference to the pictures former US Rep. Anthony Weiner sent out.

The other thing to remember is the web is full of opinions. And, during campaign season, they are sprinkled everywhere.

"Facebook can sometimes be like a live mic. Once you say it, it's hard to take it back," Young said.

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