Romney, Not Obama, Is Winning The Social Media Race
A Pew Research Center study released this week spurred a round of inaccurate news stories claiming that the Obama campaign is dominating the Romney campaign online. Pew has a stellar reputation both in the academic and media communities, one that it has built up with a fantastic assortment of research and information relevant to many fields. This specific study though has a flawed data set, one that could hardly have been better designed to tell a positive story for the Obama campaign.
The headline from Pew’s website reads, “Obama Outpaces Romney in Social Media, Web Campaign,” and the findings of the study are summed up in one of the opening sentences of the report: “The Obama campaign is posting almost four times as much content and is active on nearly twice as many platforms.” According to Pew the Obama campaign is “outpacing” Romney online because he is posting more content on Twitter/Facebook and because his campaign has more accounts on different social media sites. The study’s results have been featured over the last 48 hours in CBS News, Politico, The Hill, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and more.
There’s no doubt that Facebook is the 800-pound gorilla this election cycle. Every study shows that Facebook dominates where Internet users spend their time and my own campaign experience has proved it can be used as an effective fundraising tool. As of August 16th Barack Obama has a whopping 27 million fans of his Facebook page compared to only 4.3 million for Mitt Romney. Many in the press would use these raw numbers to crown Obama king of Facebook — but in reality this should just be where the analysis begins.
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