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Social Media’s Race to the White House

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Published: August 28, 2012

November 2008, the Presidential election, an election like never before. Not only did we see a greater female presence on the campaign scene with women such as Hillary Clinton (former first lady, then senator and proud owner of pantsuits in every shade imaginable) who emerged as a front-runner for the democratic presidential nominee and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin (master of both the pageant walk and wave) but we also saw a non-traditional multi-media campaign driven by winner of the coveted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW address, Barack Obama. It is the latter of which the Digital EYE Media team is most interested in and with an election right around the corner we decided to investigate the role social media networks in the Presidential campaigns of Obama and Romney.

Social networks are ruling industries with their ability to produce quick, updated news and an interactive medium in which the public is given a direct voice. The 2012 election is more dependent on social media than ever before. Trending topics on Twitter, “likes” on Facebook and the increase in use of mobile apps (Romney had one, “Mitt’s VP,” to introduce Paul Ryan faster to the public than other news outlets) shows just how imperative social media is to not only addressing the American public’s concerns, wants and needs- but also securing a vote.

To date Obama has over 27 million likes on Facebook and nearly 19 million followers on Twitter. Romney has hopped on the social bandwagon and now has 5 million likes on Facebook and just hit 1 million followers on Twitter. PewResearchCenter just released a report which found that Obama averaged 29 tweets a day as opposed to Romney tweeting on average once a day. While Obama is more popular in the Twitter and Facebook media sphere, Romney is leading in the Facebook forum by being “talked about” more than the current president. So is it what you say or what is being said about you that matters? We at DigitalEYE think it’s both. While it is beneficial to push quality content, engagement with that content is what you are ultimately looking for.