It is generally thought that it was social media that originally got Obama into the Whitehouse. I expect because none of his competitors really understood the impact of Social Media.
We all know that our current crop of British politicians are pretty out of touch with the real world. Interestingly illustrated by their lack of engagement with the world of the internet. I spend my working day on the world wide web and I have seen very little evidence of any of our parties doing much at all. For which I should be grateful I expect.
It is a little sad that so many of us live and work on the internet and, especially, social media. So where is better to promote yourself, put your message in front of peoples eyes than the internet? Not only that you can get an amazing amount of data right away about who is looking at your ad, message, tweet, posting. You can even see the demographic they are probably from. How long they looked at it for and often who they were. Now try acheiving that from a poster on the side of the road. Your tweet or posting will get attention, it is attention you can respond to or 'engage'. Then lots of folk will see how you engaged. If they liked it then others will see it too, it may not go viral, but a lot of people will see what you're about very quickly.
Ok, lets forget politicians, tough at the moment I know. But even if they don't seem to get it, it doesn't mean you have to follow. The internet is the way to be seen and quite frankly the most cost effective and manageable. You're reading this aren't you? Did you know I can check how you got to this page? I'll also know what device you used to view it. What resolution your screen was, I might even know who you are and where you were when you read this. It is possible for me to display all this to you on this page.... but I won't.
You might find this a little worrying but the point is a website or social media presence gives you what no poster, direct mailing, magazine advertisement can ever... engagement.