Politics happens online as much as off these days, and the US presidential race is no different. So who’s winning?
SocialBakers, the social media analytics company, released a visual review of the Obama vs. Romney social media battle on Facebook this past May. Obama is clearly the heavyweight champ in this matchup: He was discussed 600,000 more times than Romney, reaches 45 million more Americans, and gained half a million more fans than Romney.
But does that mean that Obama will win the election? Or that Romney is a no-hope challenger? VentureBeat asked Jan Rezab, SocialBakers’ CEO for his opinion based on the social media sentiment analysis his firm has done. His comments are below, following the infographic:
So can election results be predicted by social media sentiment analysis? We asked SocialBaker CEO Jan Rezab:
“I don’t believe social media can be used to predict an outcome. It’s a great indicator. I think in 10 years we’ll be able to predict election wins via social media.”
Rezab concedes that Obama has a major advantage in the social media war. As sitting president, everything he does is news. “Obama has the power to get more instantaneous media cover. If he steps out of the house, 50 journalists will meet him on the lawn.”
The First Lady factor doesn’t hurt either: Michelle Obama is very socially savvy and recently made headlines by joining Pinterest. One of Obama’s most popular photos, Rezab told VentureBeat, was the first family photo.
One bright spot in a presidential election that seems destined to get nasty: posts and status updates that were positive were much more likely to be shared, commented on, and liked. The most shared and liked post came from neither of the contenders but from Ron Paul: a picture of him and his wife on their wedding day.
70,000 likes, 7,400 comments, and 4,000 shares: not bad for a 55-year-old wedding photo. Not good enough, however, to make Ron Paul a legitimate presidential candidate.
Obama, on the other hand, had 620,000 new likes in May alone.