The 2008 presidential election was a big deal for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and the like. Candidates flocked to social media to attract voters, and news outlets reported Twitter followers like they were poll results.

If that sounds familiar, fast-forward to 2012. This year’s presidential election will be even bigger and better on the social plane than four years ago – and the fine folks at MGD Advertising put together a comparison of how social media was used in the election four years ago and how it’s grown today.

Over 50 percent of voters between the ages 35 to over 55 expect to find news and information related to the presidential campaigns. And it looks like they won’t be disappointed.

Social media has grown in leaps and bounds over the past four years. Facebook penetration went from 44.3 million users to 143.3 million in that time, Twitter grew from 3.4 million to 24.1 million, and online video viewers went from 121.4 million to 178.8 million.

And the number of people who use social media to engage with political campaigns has increased as well. In 2008, roughly 1 in 4 American adults consumed some election news online; now, 82 percent of all adults receive most of their election news online.

The infographic below tells the rest of the social story when it comes to the two presidential elections four years apart, so check it out (click to enlarge):

(Top image: Lisa S. via Shutterstock)