How the Presidential Campaigns are Using Facebook: A Side-by-Side Overview

November 18th, 2011

Guest article! This comes in from Kimling Lam, Marketing & Communications Director at Meltwater Group. Meltwater is following the presidential candidates on social media this cycle and produced the analysis below, which also appeared on their blog earlier today. Look for more analyses like this one from Meltwater soon.

Election 2012 Candidate Social Profile Analysis: Facebook

By Kimling Lam

Where do you get your news online? For many of us, it’s through the Facebook newsfeed. As US election 2012 buzz heats up with scandals and gaffes, we took a look at how candidates are using social media to connect with their supporters.

From a social media marketing perspective, here’s how they stack up:

 

Candidate

Custom Pages

Fan-gate*

Donation Form

Mailing List

Links

Interesting Facebook Find

Barack Obama

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Website

IMDb

Spotify

Rdio

Deezer

Favorite Quote:  “The Arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” (MLK)

Mitt Romney

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Website

Twitter

IMDb
Spotify

Favorite movies include:  Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Henry V

Michele Bachmann

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Website

Recently polled Facebook users: Which topic are you most interested in hearing about at tonight’s Republican Presidential debate?

Herman Cain

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Website

Twitter

Hosts a radio talk show, “The Herman Cain Show,” on Atlanta’s WSB 750 AM/ 95.5 FM.

Rick Perry

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Website

Former rancher and Air Force Pilot

Newt Gingrich

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Website

Personal Interests include: reading, writing, visiting zoos in different cities, going for walks, paleontology, science, politics, football, history

Ron Paul

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Website

Encourages Facebook users to show your support by changing your profile picture to a Ron Paul image.

Rick Santorum

No

No

No

No

Website

Twitter

YouTube

Spotify

Deezer

IMDb

Penned New York Times Best Seller, “It Takes a Family” in 2005.

*Fan-gate Facebook pages require users to “like” the brand page to reveal content.

Almost all presidential candidates are using custom pages, which include a donation form and mailing list form. Herman Cain, Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich are using “fan-gated” landing pages that require Facebook users to “like” their page to reveal content. Mitt Romney also uses a “fan-gated” page. However it is not the landing page on his Facebook, which could hurt the effectiveness of his tab.

A few of the candidates have customized Facebook pages that stand out as effective social media marketing, and here are the highlights:

Barack Obama — Are You In?

The “Are You In?” page prompts Facebook users to pledge their vote to Barack Obama’s campaign. Since this page uses a custom app, users can invite friends to join, see how many friends they’ve inspired and which friends are already in. It’s a unique page that captures the essence of Facebook: friends.

Barack Obama Facebook

Mitt Romney — Stand with Mitt

The Facebook page “Stand With Mitt” encourages Facebook users to download a PDF, fill out your name, then share a picture with a sign that says you “Stand With Mitt.” This custom page showcases the people, rather than Mitt Romney, and gives his supporters a “face.” Sharing photos is one of the most popular features on Facebook and Mitt Romney’s team made a smart choice to play into the photo sharing trend.

Mitt Romney Facebook

 

Newt Gingrich — Team 10

The Facebook page “Team 10” is a crowd-sourced effort to develop ideas for enforcing the 10th amendment, which is part of Newt Gingrich’s platform. Facebook users can post their ideas and then vote, comment and “like” other ideas. “Team 10″ creates an open discussion for supporters and showcases to others why they support Newt Gingrich.Newt Gingrich Facebook

Newt Gingrich Team 10

Thanks, Kimling! Looking forward to more from y’all. — cpd

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daniel Bassill  |  November 22nd, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Do you know of any web sites using maps of political districts to map issues and map actions of incumbents that draw resources to different places in the district?

    A sample of what I’m asking about is the interactive map we’ve built to show poverty zones in Chicago, location of poorly performing schools and locations of non-school tutor/mentor programs. You can search this by Congressional and Legislative districts to understand depth of the program in each district and see the availability of tutor/mentor programs. Voters could look at such maps to decide if the incumbent has/has not done enough to make more of these programs available in the district. http://www.tutormentorprogramlocator.net/GovernmentMap.aspx?map=Congressional

    If maps like mine were more interactive incumbents could be mapping actions during their term of office and showing places where these actions had an impact. A good distribution and volume of actions might indicate effective service to the district.

    Have you found examples of maps being used to evaluate impact of elected officials?

  • 2. cpd  |  November 22nd, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Hi Daniel, great question! Have you looked over at the Sunlight Foundation’s website? They specialize in taking Congressional data and putting into digestible form.

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