In 2008, Barack Obama had an incredible social media strategy. Many analyst believed that social media was the catalyst that not only catapulted him over Hilary Clinton, but also over John McCain. Today, President Obama has over 28 million likes on Facebook and around 19 million twitter followers, although according to Mashable, ”70%, or approximately 13 million of them, are fake or “inactive,”. Nevertheless, Obama had a dominant presence on Facebook, a presence that helped him with younger voters–something few Republicans have had.
Today, a top Facebook blog (Inside Facebook) is now showing that Mitt Romney is making a huge surge on the social media front, including being on the cutting edge of new Facebook functionality of sponsored results. Sponsored results is similar to what you might is in paid search advertising where you type in keywords and get sponsored results. With this, Romney has sponsored the keyword “obama”, so when you type that into Facebook’s search bar, you get ads for Mitt Romney.
The Romney team has also been using sponsored stories on the Facebook ‘news feed’ to amplify his message across his follower’s friends!!
According to Inside Facebook:
Republican candidate Mitt Romney is leading President Barack Obama in Facebook engagement and new Likes, in part because of a strong social ad campaign that takes advantage of the latest opportunities on Facebook.
Obama might have the most Facebook fans of any politician — approaching 28 million — but the average number of interactions per day on his page has not been much higher than on Romney’s page, which passed 5 million Likes this weekend. There are likely several factors at play here. Larger pages routinely have a lower percentage of engaged users compared to pages with fewer Likes. New fans are more likely to see page posts than people who have Liked the page for a while, so Obama might not be reaching much of his audience as Romney currently is.
But beyond these inherent disadvantages, the Democratic campaign doesn’t seem to be taking the right steps to maximize its impact on Facebook. It’s posting less frequently and seems to be running fewer social ads.
As someone who works in the online advertising industry, I am very happy to see Republicans become more savvy and use social media to drive results for their campaigns in a smart and thoughtful way.