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November 15, 2012

#PresidentialElection2012 – Who was the social media GIANT in the race for The White House?

President Obama, I think it has a certain ring to it, and I personally congratulated him on winning presidency for another four more years via my own Twitter account, not that he would have noticed.  Barack Obama’s account has almost 23 million followers compared to Mitt Romney’s 1.7 million, and on the day of election I’m sure that in the middle of Twitter traffic, my little tweet wouldn’t have been noticed. I’m even guessing that my 327 followers wouldn’t have taken a glance. More to the point, I wanted to see how Social Media on a whole, affected the 2012 Election and how it reacted pre and post results.

Online social media analysts Sysomos on the day of election posted information it had found of ‘online chatter’ dating back to October to see if the results of the election were predictable from online sources such as Twitter and Facebook.  It found the ‘Share of voice’, which is how much is being said about a person, subject or organisation, was leaning towards Obama and the Democrats, but not by much. At “51% and 32.7 million online mentions,” Obama was the man that the majority of people were typing about. Mitt Romney however, came a very close second at “49% share of voice and had a total of 30.9 million mentions online”.

Obama was just edging out Romney before the elections.

The same analsyis interestingly stated that whilst Obama was ahead in the online chatter stakes, “they had slightly more negative talk surrounding them than Romney and the Republicans.” Obama’s favourability came in at 72% overall, that was 1% behind Romney.  So this was all pre-election, the buzz was notably high and so, too, were the stakes. Papers around the globe were saying how close the campaign was and it was so evident on social media that the two main candidates were virtually neck and neck.

But we all know who won, and if you don’t, where have you been living these past few weeks? Obama reigns again, he has taken The White House for another four years, creating yet more history. So, post election, what was the online buzz? Was it really predictable? If I’m honest, I thought Obama was destined not see another four years as president, general hype surrounding my Twitter and Facebook suggested that America was ready for yet another change and Romney was the one they were backing.

Evidently I was wrong and the vast majority of America along with some pretty passionate celebrities, Eva Longoria and Beyonce Knowles to name just two, put their faith back into Obama. The next day on its blog Sysomos posted that Obama’s share of voice had gone up to 68%, way ahead of Romney’s 32%, although 20% of Obama’s share of voice was negative, 38% neutral and 42% positive.

Obama’s share of voice had increased whilst Romney was receiving more negative comments.

Post Presidential Election, the winner was bound to be the most talked about all over the globe, in every type of publication, so it was no surprise to see that the share of voice had risen for the returning President. PR Web blogged about how social media potentially predicted the results of the 2012 election. Social media became a great tool for the candidates and became of way of ‘connecting’ with voters, “Social media is a valuable tool for a campaign, as it gives people who are interested in a candidate a way to become engaged and contribute.” The blog stated how that the volume of support identified on twitter represented the voters who would support the candidates during the vote, “candidates who win the social media volume battle will win the election, and the social media volume battle was overwhelmingly won by Obama.” However, demographics must be taken into account as, “Tweeters are overwhelmingly likely to be younger, which can bias results.”

Despite whether or not social media can predict the way a result will turn out, it has become a valuable tool in any crucial campaign. But above all, above being re-elected for another four years and having the honour of being the first ever black president, Obama did something bigger and greater, he set a new world record for the most amount of re-tweets, surpassing that of Justin Bieber!!! This happened after his twitter account posted a photo of him and wife Michelle Obama in an embrace with the caption, “Four more years.”

Barack and Michelle Obama celebrate a hard-fought victory.

Undoubtedly, social media played some part in the Presidential campaign, no matter how big or small. It will continue to be an evident part of such elections in the future and I’m sure from the results of the 2012 election, candidates alike will be utilizing it to gain more votes, trust and hopefully the best result possible, a win.

Congratulations Barack Obama.

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Comments

  1. Thanks so much for sharing some of our Sysomos research with your reders!

    Cheers,
    Sheldon, community manager for Sysomos & Marketwire

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