An interesting thing occurred on November the 6th, our President was reelected despite all the odds against him, and he had quite a few. No matter who you voted for Romney or Obama or maybe not at all the events that took place on November 6th 2012 will be remembered for generations to come. Lets look at some of the odds against the president. The odds of a president winning a second term based on all presidents who have won second terms in the past was only 35.7% a mere 15 out of 42 have won the presidency again, President Obama has increased that grade to 37.2%. To further complicate matters the economy had still not recovered to where many people would have liked to see it. So how did Obama win a second term? My belief is that Obama won a second term due to social media and the fact that the Obama campaign ran a much better one than the Romney campaign. Some people may say that Obama’s opponent was like the John Kerry of 2012 and they may have a point but in comparing the two sides social media campaigns Obama clearly had the edge. As of August 15th, the Obama campaign had been posting four times the amount of content as the Romney camp and were on twice as many social media platforms. The biggest gap between the two campaigns was on Twitter, where the Obama campaign was out tweeting Romney 29 to 1. We delve more into some of the numbers when we speak specifically to some of the social media platforms used during the Obama campaign.
Obama on Facebook
As I sit here waiting for the Obama page to load posts from 2012 I come to realize there are a lot of posts by the Obama campaign, in fact the act of doing so crashed my browser. After getting the page back up as we go through the posts before the election we can see a clear and positive message being demonstrated to the people of the United States. During this election many issues came to the table, some may argue none bigger than the economy, while its true more posts were made by both parties more often about the economy, the Obama campaign did something that Romney’s didn’t. The Obama campaign was more inclusive to more specialized groups, women, minorities, LGBT, veterans, young Americans and so on. In fact the Obama campaign offered 18 different constituency groups between June 4-17, 2012, while the Romney campaign offered zero. Many more voters of this election voted on special interest and the Obama campaign knew that this would be the difference in winning and losing.
Obama on Twitter
On Twitter more of the same from the Obama campaign, as it is stated above they out tweeted the Romney campaign 29 to 1. An interesting statistic that carries over from Facebook, when the Obama campaign talked about economy on either Facebook or Twitter the shares or retweets averaged around 361, however when talking about social issues like immigration, that number more than quadrupled. Again the Obama campaign understood the importance of all social groups in America.
Obama on YouTube
The Obama camp was on YouTube sharing videos of speeches and rallies held during the 2012 campaign to show the presidents platform and maybe inspire people to vote. As Barrack Obama is one of the greatest public speakers of our time, this was very important for the Obama campaign to have a presence in an AV medium. Comparing the two campaigns YouTube pages paints the picture of what happened here, the Romney page has just over 33 million views while the Obama page has over 286 million, that’s over 8.5 times more views than Romney’s page. If you’re not sure that Social Media helped to win this election, look at the numbers and you’ll know that it did.
Obama on Obama
The last social media platform I’ll look at is BarackObama.com, this was the Obama campaign’s hub for all things social media. The page shares campaign moments, video moments, feedback from Obama supporters and much more. Most importantly it links all of the social media together through: Facebook, Instagram, RSS, Storify, Twitter, Flickr, mobile app for both iOS and Android, SMS updates, Tumblr and YouTube. Obama was also on Pinterest but wasn’t linked to his home page. Looking at the Romney home page, which looks almost shutdown at this point, we only see links to Twitter and Facebook. Social media may have played a bigger, if not the biggest part in the presidential election results.
To recap what we’ve seen here, Obama has social media down to an art form. On Facebook Obama takes the lead with 33,458,461 likes, while Romney has 11,991,813 likes. On Twitter Obama has 23,505,027 followers, while Romney only has 1,759,848 followers. On YouTube Obama wins again with 286,096,995 views to Romneys 33,530,999 views. These are what I call “The Big Three” of social media and Obama won all of them in the raw numbers but Obama didn’t stop there, 18 separate constituency groups for the Obama campaign compared to only 9 offered by Romney and not added until late in the fight, more than twice the amount of social media platforms than the Romney campaign. Things have changed, if the republican party wants to be competitive in this environment they need to take a page from Obama playbook here, its evident that social media made the difference in this election.