Archive for September 25, 2012

Obama vs. Romney: A Social Media Showdown By The Numbers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2008 was a watershed year for social media in politics. Four years later, Facebook and Twitter have become essential tools for activating young people, mobilizing grassroots volunteers, building a wide fundraising base, connecting with voters and rallying supporters. Track Social’s real time data-tracking has been following the ups and downs of the 2012 campaign on social media in an effort to project winners for three Track Social Pillars- Audience, Engagement and Buzz. Here’s what the data reveals about how well Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are using Facebook and Twitter to connect with voters.

Audience – Winner Barack Obama

Audience is a measurement of the number of Fans/Followers of a candidate or brand.

When it comes to overall footprint, Barack Obama maintains a healthy lead over Mitt Romney. With a combined Facebook and Twitter audience of nearly 50 million to Romney’s 8.5 million, the President dominates.

Engagement – Winner Mitt Romney

Engagement measures the depth of conversation between a brand and Fans/Followers through metrics including Likes and Comments on posts.

Though the Obama campaign is far ahead in shear audience numbers, when it comes to generating Engagement, Romney’s campaign has consistently outpaced his opponent. Over the last month, Facebook users have posted about 18,820 Comments and 398,458 Likes on the Republican Nominee’s Facebook posts per day, compared to 15,692 Comments and 294,927 Likes on the President’s posts.

To add some contextual color on the strength of both campaigns, the campaigns are each far ahead of the global averages of 31.2 Comments and 541 Likes per day. Both candidates have been accruing as many as 40,000 Comments and 1 million+ Likes per day in response to campaign-initiated posts.

Buzz – Too Close to Call

Buzz is the measurement of the amount of conversation across social media about a candidate or brand.

When it comes to Buzz on Facebook, the candidates are neck-and-neck, regularly swapping the lead on key metrics. If we isolate Twitter Buzz, the Romney campaign is ahead slightly for mentions and Twitter lists. Obama pulls ahead for ReTweets.

The much discussed convention bump doesn’t just apply to favorability ratings – it also meant a boost in Twitter Buzz. Buzz about the President skyrocketed over the course of the three-day convention peaking September 6th more than 400% above pre-convention numbers. Romney’s RNC bump wasn’t far behind peaking during the convention at 385% above the month prior.

Final Predictions – Leaning Obama, But Still Too Close to Call

The President has always been a social media trendsetter, racking up huge Audience over the last four years. However, the surprise of this political season is Governor Romney’s impressive performance driving Engagement. With Buzz still a horse race, the overall winner for social media can’t be called until the final numbers are in November 6th. In a tight election, quality may well out weigh quantity and Romney’s Engagement edge could push him over the top in key battleground states like Ohio and Florida. However, no matter how avid Romney supporters are, they may simply be drowned out the massive megaphone the Obama campaign has built through an audience 50 million strong. Be sure to follow the election ups and downs by registering at Track Social.

To learn more about Track Social’s Social Media Pillars as well as 10 Keys to Optimizing Facebook Engagement, download the latest whitepaper here.

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The 10 Most Successful Brands on Facebook

Being a social leader is about more than just racking up millions of page Likes. Many companies have procured huge audiences through savvy advertising and promotions, but fail to leverage all that attention by creating meaningful conversations with their Fans. Engagement – Likes, Comments and other forms of Fan interaction –  is just as important as audience size. And then there is Buzz.  Who is talking about your brand? Who are your evangelicals? The true measurement of success can’t be boiled down to a single metric.

Enter Track Social, the leading social media analytics consultancy. Track Social follows more than 10,000 brands across hundreds of metrics. Our near-real time Overall Facebook Performance Leaderboard generates a composite score for each brand using dozens of metrics, categorized by the Pillars of Social Media: Presence, Audience, Engagement & Buzz.

Here’s a look at the top ten brands on Facebook and how they got there:

Whatever its stock price, Facebook is still the uncontested king of social networking sites. So it’s no surprise that Facebook’s presence on its own site outpaces everyone else. Sporting a huge audience (over 72 million Fans) and strong Buzz scores—how much users are talking about the brand in their own posts or re-posts—Facebook takes the top spot.

With a Facebook audience of over 38 million, the house that Walt built has spun its old-media cultural cred into social media gold. While the average number of Likes for brand-initiated Facebook posts is 571, Disney’s nostalgic postings average a stunning 115,792 Likes.

YouTube scores big in two essential categories: Audience and Buzz. With over 62 million Fans, YouTube’s footprint is second only to Facebook. What’s more, YouTube uses Facebook to spotlight its most popular new videos, generating big Buzz numbers as users share and re-post their favorites.

While Coca-Cola’s Engagement scores aren’t as high as some other brands, that’s partly because of its own success in building such an enormous Facebook following. (The larger your audience, the more Likes and Comments you need to keep your Engagement scores high.) Their 52 million Fans have a lot to say. Out of the more than 10,000 companies followed by Track Social, Coca-Cola has the 5th highest Buzz score.

With high marks in all four categories, MTV remains a cultural force to be reckoned with, especially online. With a steady stream of teen-pop posts, celeb gossip and programming promos, MTV’s highly “sharable” posts help boost both its Engagement and Buzz scores.

The world’s largest retailer may not have the world’s largest Facebook following but 20 million+ Fans is nothing to sneeze at. More than most retailers, Walmart has wisely recognized that a Facebook profile can become a free-for-all forum for consumer grievances, and has set up an easy-to-use “Feedback” Facebook app designed specifically to facilitate consumer concerns. It’s a proactive step that recognizes the power of social media to amplify consumer perceptions.

Converse’s identification with alternative youth culture – and indie music scene – has successfully reinvigorated a venerable brand and helped build a large Facebook following. Facebook apps like “Rubber Tracks” – which gives users a chance to sample bands from Converse’s free recording studio in Brooklyn – are just one way grandpa’s sneakers have found a fresh voice on Facebook.


If Red Bull “gives you wings,” its Facebook pages gives you lots of pictures of people flying. On bikes, in parachutes, over water, over cities – its Facebook timeline is a parade of extreme sports action shots which regularly rack Likes in the five digits. And having just reached 30 million Fans, Red Bull’s still on its way up.

Usually posting about once a day, Starbucks gets lots of bang for its Engagement buck. Its creative, feel-good posts garner an average nearly 15,000 Likes per day – which is three times the global average. Comments per day are even more impressive with 567 for Starbucks versus a global average of 34.


Oreo’s daily Facebook posts are whimsical visual riffs on current events with imaginative uses of “the world’s favorite cookie” (an Oreo starship Enterprise on Star Trek Day, for example.) It’s easy to see why Oreo – currently celebrating its 100th anniversary – enjoys almost 28 million Fans.

Track Social, a leading social media analytics platform and consultancy, offers enterprise clients the ability to analyze and optimize their social media presence across all major social platforms. For more information, and to apply for an assessment of your brand’s social performance, go here.

To download the latest Track Social Best Practices White Paper, based on the largest study ever, analyzing 8,000+ posts by 100 major brands and including 10 Keys to Optimizing Facebook Engagement, go here.

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