Friends & Followers – The Morning After

After the umpteenth Republican debate last night in South Carolina and just 24 hours before everyone goes to the polls there was a lot of fireworks amongst the last four standing. All of this makes great television; a sort of new reality show shared by the major networks; each getting their chance to host an episode and earn the commensurate advertising dollars that attracts such an audience.  All of it has a feel of the now dated soap opera business/advertising model; mystery, intrigue, scandal, inferred impropriety . Unfortunately for all of us; what is at stake is the leadership of the greatest democracy in the free world.

It seems quite wacky and slightly deceptive on the part of the various networks that they seem to focus a great deal on having debate viewers send their questions to the candidates in real time  via Facebook and Twitter. NONE of them have yet to provide the data that we are tracking here. NONE of the various anchors has asked the 800lb question of the candidates; namely..Are you worried that Barack Obama has nearly 15 times more facebook friends and over 8 times more Twitter followers ? Is the fact that this question hasn’t been asked evidence that candidates, commentators and networks don’t think that Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers don’t make campaign contributions and/or VOTE.  As ANY marketer of a product today…what value they are placing on the connection between brand and social media. The majority of those who are breathing oxygen would tell you that an effective social media strategy is mission critical  to the success of their product.

Post Debate Stats

Facebook Friends

Ron Paul – UP 15,204
Mitt Romney – UP 11,135
Newt Gingrich – UP 4354
Rick Santorum – UP 2986
President Barack Obama – UP 41,402

Twitter Followers

Ron Paul – UP 10,042
Newt Gingrich – UP 9628
Mitt Romney – UP 8127
Rick Santorum – UP 2703
President Barack Obama – UP 42,286

The overnight data is pretty clear regarding the candidates that are having the most trouble breaking thru in terms of social media growth. Rick Santorum despite sincere debate performances doesn’t have the machine behind him to build a base that will move the needle within the interactive arena.  Ron Paul continues to demonstrate that his overall strategy is building a solid base in both Facebook and Twitter. Former Speaker Gingrich is doing an ok job of building followers but his Facebook like performance isn’t nearly competitive. Mitt Romney needs to pump up the volume on followers in the weeks ahead for certain. Barack Obama was in NYC yesterday making the rounds at a bunch of campaign fundraisers adding by some estimates $3,000,000 to his campaign war chest . President Obama wasn’t on the podium and he generated over 40,000 new friends and followers in just one night.

The picture is pretty clear. All anyone needs to do right now…is take a close look at the numbers. There is no debate on the findings.

Al D

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