Social Media Face-Off: Mitt Romney vs. Rick Santorum

There’s been talk about social media extending the life of the GOP presidential race. Whether it’s social media, super PACs or the candidates themselves, we know that social media is a variable. Using social media analytics tools, Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum faced-off in a social media battle. To evaluate each candidate, klout.com, socialmention.com and viewings of their Facebook and Twitter accounts were used. Who will win?

1. Network Impact: Are the users following you influential? When you have influential followers your network impact score will be high. Measured by klout.com.

Romney 61, Santorum 60. Romney’s network impact score just edges out Santorum in this category. According to klout.com, Romney’s top influencers are Rick Santorum and Barack Obama (he should thank them).  While Santorum’s highest influencers are CNN, Fox News and other media outlets.

2. Social Media Reach: How many people is your content coming in contact with? This was measured by klout.com.

Romney 527,000 people, Santorum 354,000 people. I would imagine reach is a category both candidates would want high numbers. The more people that hear your message the more people are aware. Both candidates’ reach number is larger than you or I would probably ever see. Romney reaches 527,000 people and Santorum respectively falls behind with 354,000 followers.

3. Passion: Are your followers likely to be talking about you repeatedly on social media? Measured by socialmention.com.

Romney 44 percent, Santorum 42 percent. Political candidates strive to increase dialogue with supporters and voters. This is a category that should be really important to candidates, because it means the same people are talking about the respective candidate over and over. Romney again edges out Santorum for another victory.

4. Variety and self-less content: Here I looked at if there was a wide variety of content posted or if all content revolved around a singular topic. Was the content posted in the same form (photos, videos, text)? Also, is there content on topics not directly about the candidate?

There is no tool to examine this, so I used my judgment while looking at both candidates’ Twitter and Facebook accounts. Sadly, the majority of content on both platforms were unoriginal campaign updates. Twitter content was similar in both the Romney and Santorum camps. Nothing creative or engaging popped out at me. Facebook content was a little bit better, especially for Romney. He talked about his family, the campaign, sent out voting reminders, etc. Romney’s content varied between, videos, pictures, article links and solely text. Santorum strictly posted about his campaign.  The variety in types of content is no better; there are a few picture updates but mostly paragraph long posts about his campaign. I would say that Romney is victorious in this category but only because his Facebook page.

In this social media face-off Romney clearly defeats Santorum (am I foreseeing the future?).  Romney’s reach, network, passion and content were more powerful than Santorum’s.  Next up, Romney verse President Obama. Would Romney even stand a chance? President Obama’s campaign communications director did win PRSA’s Public Relations Professional of the Year award, for his innovative work on the Obama campaign.

 

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