Social media is gradually becoming an important platform for disseminating information to several groups and individuals, as well as an effective tool in political communication. Hendricks and Denton (2010) argue that President Barack Obama‟s 2008 campaign was the first presidential campaign in which the new media was effectively utilised in a political campaign to reach out to the electorates and the main reason why Barack Obama was successfully elected into the highest office of the land (White House, 2008).Social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook have provided a convenient and affordable means of disseminating information in the political arena. In modern democracies, political parties have used these social media platforms to spread their political ideology, raise funds for campaigns and sometimes for activism (Shen, 2013).
After the 2008 US elections, political social media profiles have become an essential component in the communication strategies of many political candidates worldwide (Sheldon, 2008). The functional theory of political campaign discourse has widely been used in analyzing the contents of political campaigns in many regions (Mosier, 2013; Trammell, 2006). This study examined how the presidential candidates of the two main political parties
(NDC and NPP) nina‟Gs ha 2012 general elections, namely John Dramani Mahama and Nana
Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo used Facebook through the perspective of the functional theory.
Social media, a subset of the new media, can shape our understanding of issues and events due to its viral and interactive nature. Social media platforms provide a new form of mediated communication that gives the audience access to on demand content and the privilege to
share and engage in discussion with others (Levy, 2008). With these attributes of social media, information travels faster on social media than the traditional media. Over the past few decades, computer-mediated communication has largely been an important part of the integrated communication plans of campaigns worldwide and has moved from being a surplus requirement to a necessity (Walther, 2010). Bentivegna (2002) argues than SNS were earmarked a promising phenomenon in political elections in the build-up to the 2000 U.S. Presidential campaign
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