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10/1/2012
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Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter

Stats like growth in Twitter followers and average number of retweets on posts favor Mitt Romney's campaign, but President Obama's social media machine remains bigger overall.

Social Studies: Obama vs. Romney
Social Studies: Obama vs. Romney
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
If Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would like some good news, there's some to be found (if you look hard enough) in a SocialBakers analysis of the public's response to Romney versus President Barack Obama on Facebook and Twitter.

In the infographic reproduced below, you can see that Romney's fan and follower counts are growing faster than Obama's and his tweets are actually retweeted more broadly. However, for the most part these positive signs are statistical illusions, as Mike Gisondi of SocialBakers explains in a blog post on the analysis. "Barack Obama dominates both social media channels, due to the fact that he's been involved with them much longer than his contender, having successfully pioneered social media in the previous election cycle and continuing to take full advantage during his current term. Romney, on the other hand, has much higher growth rates, as he has a lot of catching up to do," Gisondi explained.

In other words, Romney's percentage growth in social media fans reflects the fact that he is starting with a much smaller base.

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Romney "does get more retweet activity, because he actually tweets less," Gisondi said. "The average amount his tweets are retweeted is actually slightly higher, but Obama tweets about 10 times more."

One other thing that stands out in the graphic is a word cloud analysis showing that the thing Romney seems to be talking the most about is Barack Obama. This plays into the Democratic narrative that Romney is more against Obama than he is for any particular alternative. "Very much so," Gisondi said, pointing out that the reference in the Twitter stream is actually an @mention of "@barackobama."

"He's actually sending this to Obama's Twitter feed, trying to leverage that audience," Gisondi said.


An excerpt from the SocialBakers analysis (complete infographic, next page).

His blog post also points out that only President Obama "has mentioned Iraq and Afghanistan through Twitter (three times each), but neither candidate has mentioned Libya, Syria, or Iran since May. Romney tweeted about Israel once, criticizing Obama for not having visited there yet this term."

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pkohler01
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pkohler01,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/1/2012 | 6:43:21 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
I'm looking forward to the time when we can assess these metrics between two fresh post-primary candidates as opposed to where we are now, with one being the Presidential incumbent - that's certainly layering some degree of distortion on the perception of social reach and growth on a level that typical analysis hasn't scaled to include yet.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/1/2012 | 10:06:09 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
Right, although if Hillary is the Democratic standard bearer in 2016, she would presumably still come in with a big social following from her previous campaign plus subsequent years as Secretary of State. You'd have to have 2 really fresh faces starting at about the same point to have an even comparison.
techno_polyglot
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techno_polyglot,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/2/2012 | 6:23:26 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
It will be interesting to see how far sentiment analysis will come before 2016. It would add a lot of insight to views like the CheerMeeter SocialBakers provides.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2012 | 7:46:30 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
I didn't mean to call Romney a "fresh face" - I was talking about future elections, in the context of making more of an even comparison.

Romney was a candidate 4 years ago, so he should have accumulated somewhat of a social media following then, but on the other hand he didn't make it to the general election on that go-round.
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2012 | 7:48:28 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
An email correspondent points out we shouldn't take Twitter follower counts too seriously, given that millions of Obama's followers may be fake accounts or bots. Ditto for Romney. See this NYTimes article from a few months ago http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08...
David F. Carr
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David F. Carr,
User Rank: Author
10/2/2012 | 9:31:33 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
This popped up on my Twitter feed. Apparently, LinkedIn is having the two campaigns set up profiles that start at zero followers after posting competing messages about what they would do to increase job opportunities. So maybe that's the closest we'll get to a level playing field in social media for this cycle.

Obama and Romney take their fight over the economy to @LinkedIn -- what they wrote: http://yhoo.it/QGEe0l
Marcus Danisavich
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Marcus Danisavich,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/3/2012 | 12:17:06 AM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
It is pretty messed up that Cory Booker has 1.2 million followers which currently ties Mitt Romney.

Amit Sheth
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Amit Sheth,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/3/2012 | 1:49:53 PM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
For a rather extensive social media data of 2012 election, see: http://twitris.knoesis.org ("About us" has articles that explain some aspects in more detail).
Odedere ayo
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Odedere ayo,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/25/2012 | 2:25:28 AM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
wat about d analysis of their facebk
Odedere ayo
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Odedere ayo,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/25/2012 | 2:26:04 AM
re: Obama Vs. Romney On Facebook Vs. Twitter
wat abt d analysis of their facebk
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