THE BLOG
11/08/2012 01:27 pm ET | Updated Jan 08, 2013

Election 2012: Obama Smoked Romney in Social Networks

I've written previously on the tracking of the various social network feeds of the two presidential candidates (See: "Less than 30 days to Election 2012" -- as they related to utilizing the xPatterns big data analytic platform to reveal the appropriate social media items from the candidate's or their party's social network feeds. What I did not reveal was the velocity, variety and volume of information being generated by each camp.

The breakdown -

Twitter: President Barack Obama and his Democratic Party social media machine smoked the Republican Party and Mitt Romney's efforts on Twitter. The raw numbers showed the three accounts used by the Obama campaign to have accounted for ~66% of the tweets, while the Romney campaign generated ~34% of the tweets.

Slide 1: Twitter:
 Obama 2012 - 3704 tweets (18% of the corpus)
 Barack Obama - 5078 tweets (25% of the corpus)
 The Democrats - 4788 tweets (23% of the corpus)
 Mitt Romney - 1342 tweets (7% of the corpus)
 GOP - 5483 tweets (27% of the corpus)

Facebook: The numbers within Facebook fell differently, with little variance between the two camps, with the GOP squeaking out a ~51% to The Democrats ~49%.

Slide 2: Facebook:
 GOP - 486 postings (23% of the corpus)
 Mitt Romney - 614 (28% of the corpus)
 The Democrats - 500 (23% of the corpus)
 Barack Obama - 551 (26% of the corpus)

RSS feeds:
RSS feeds drawn from the candidate and the party's websites, showed a marked difference with The Democrats again evolving more content at greater velocity than the GOP. The Democrats produced almost twice the content, ~66%, as compared to the GOP, ~34%.

Slide 3: RSS Feeds:
 The Democrats and Barack Obama - 1382 (66% of the corpus)
 The GOP and Mitt Romney - 651 (34% of the corpus)
The demographics showed that Barack Obama carried the voters in the 18-34 age range, the reason may lay within the strategy employed utilizing social networks. President Obama, as he did in 2008, brought the message to where the electorate was having the conversations -- Twitter and RSS feeds. The GOP was plagued with RSS feed problems in July, with days passing and no content being generated; their volume being dwarfed in both the RSS and Twitter categories.

In sum, the Democratic Party machine showed their adroitness and leveraged social networks in 2012 as they did in 2008. In my opinion, both candidates and parties mirrored one and other within the Facebook terrain. They had many tools available to them within Facebook which they chose not to use, such as personal messaging those who had "liked" their pages; enlisting their legions to do the same. That is not to say that there wasn't an over-abundance of original campaign pictures, diagrams, and infographics being created and disseminated. If your stream was anything like mine on Facebook, it was a battle-royal, worthy of 500 BC when opposing parties used surrogates to evolve their messages in no-holds-barred mayhem. While over on Twitter, the Obama camp fired up their machine the last week of the campaign, when they began generating DM's (Direct Messages) to Twitter followers imploring the follower to get the vote out, don't forget to vote and sharing 'celebrity' commentaries. Both sides use the broadcast tweet with hopes that their legions would RT (Re-Tweet) the messages; the GOP didn't seem to know about the more surgical DM. And finally, content generation -- the DNC showed their ability to generate content and ensure it was enabled for the RSS syndication capability; the RNC lagged and as previously mentioned had a blackout period. While both entities generated topical content, the DNC outpaced the RNC by a significant margin.

Slideshow showing the differentiation:

Obama smoked Romney in Social Networks