On Election Eve, it is Gov. Mitt Romney that seems to have the upper hand in generating momentum within the social web. Tonight???s data shows a dramatic shift in those stepping up for the Romney-Ryan ticket, while it appears that President Barack Obama — who still holds a commanding lead in Facebook ???Likes??? — has lost momentum in terms of growth and more importantly, his engagement with his base online. Tomorrow, we will all find out whether Obama???s lack of attention and focus within the online arena has cost him the election. It???s incredible that a candidate whose rise to power was so centered on motivating the interactive and social media audience seems to have taken online support for granted in recent months.
It is also quite incredible that the Romney team has found religion within the email marketing component of their campaign. My inbox has been pounded in the last week with messages from Mitt and all of his affiliates pushing one agenda or another. Sadly, the team is using the same boring email template to make a wide variety of important points focused on just how important it is to elect the Romney-Ryan ticket. One day soon, after all the votes are counted, someone within the campaign team will need to explain to me why they didn???t hire the best email marketing minds to develop an ???effective??? and exciting email strategy. It could have been much more of a powerhouse component in their overall strategy.
While many have already voted in advance of election day, tonight???s Facebook numbers clearly show one candidate moving aggressively ahead in popularity.
Election Eve Data from Facebook (since 10/29)
- Mitt Romney is UP over 986,296 Likes
- Barack Obama is UP just 376,721 Likes
- Paul Ryan is UP over 123,200 Likes
- Joe Biden is up just 14,214 Likes
Mitt Romney has gained nearly three times more ???Likes??? than the president in the last five days. So much for the ???bump??? that the president could have gained from his handling of the Hurricane Sandy Disaster. It appears that there are more folks online who don???t buy into that rhetoric, and, in fact, Romney???s support has accelerated since the Hurricane. Paul Ryan continues to provide cover for the front of the ticket as he has gained nearly 10 times more ???Likes??? than Vice President Joe Biden in recent days. Biden continues to be the Achilles heel within the Democratic ticket. He???s truly not providing any online juice for the president. Conversely, Ryan???s continuing efforts online and on the stump are bolstering the explosive growth of the Romney-Ryan ticket within the social media arena.
The final meaning of online engagement metrics will be measured by the votes that cast Tuesday. Monday night, within Barack Obama???s base, just 8 percent of his ???Likes??? are fully engaged and talking about him online. In contrast, over 22 percent of Mitt Romney???s supporters are engaged in his stream of communication within Facebook. Romney engaged supporters best Obama engaged by some 175,00 followers. Paul Ryan has over five times the number of engaged supporters online as does Biden. The cumulative total of engaged supporters puts the Romney-Ryan ticket 862,452 members ahead of the Obama-Biden ticket, despite the fact that Obama and Biden have nearly three times the number of ???Likes???: 31million to 12 million.
We have been tracking these facts and figures for months, attempting to provide a context for the role that social media will play in the election Tuesday. After months of monitoring and reporting online numbers, the question now is just how many of those who are engaged and enthusiastic about their candidate will go out and vote. My bet is that Mitt Romney has peaked at the right time and that his ground game online has provided him the lift needed to carry this online swing state. The Romney-Ryan ticket has found the Internet tool kit late in the game and in many ways not used it as well as it could have been. My sense though is that it just may be enough to win.
As for me, I will be hunkered down tracking the results on multiple screens: my TV and my iPad, monitoring activity levels during the day online. I have always believed that success in this election was to be determined by the team that did the best job marketing their candidate. Frankly, I don???t think that either side has done a superb job understanding media consumption patterns of the electorate in 2012. Each side has spent boatloads of cash, the majority of which may have been wasted.
That is a story for yet another day. The winner Tuesday may likely be the candidate who was rising at the finish. Mitt Romney.