Social media played an important role in helping to secure the re-election of President Barack Obama in 2012. President Obama’s utilization of social media also played a key role in his defeat of Senator Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and then Senator John McCain in the general election in 2008. In 2012, President Obama essentially took up where he left off in the last Presidential election and developed a decisive advantage in the area of social media over Mitt Romney. The Obama-Biden campaign’s utilization of social media for get out the vote efforts and its analysis of social data for the prediction of voter behavior, targeting of messages and media buying was truly remarkable.
But who are the other success stories in social media amongst politicians besides President Obama? Through the analysis of Klout Scores, Facebook Likes and Twitter followers amongst politicans across the country, Arc 3 has compiled the top ten most social media savvy politicans. In order to qualify for the list you must either have held elected office or been a candidate for elected office within the last year.
1. Barack Obama (Klout Score 99): President Obama maintained a substantial lead in both Facebook likes and Twitter followers over Mitt Romney. By the end of the campaign, Obama had 22.7 million followers and 32.2 million likes, compared to Romney’s 1.8 million followers and 12.1 million likes. The Obama-Biden campaign’s posting of an image of Barack and Michelle Obama in an embrace, accompanied by the message, “Four more years” set two social media records, receiving more Twitter retweets (755,000) and Facebook likes (3.5 million) than any other post in history.
2. John McCain (Klout Score 92): The U.S. Senator from Arizona and former Republican Presidential candidate in 2008 shows considerable strength in social media, outscoring both Vice President Joe Biden and Mitt Romney. Senator McCain has 880,594 Facebook likes and 1.7 million Twitter followers. His independent streak and reputation for bluntness are highly suitable for the medium of social media.
3. Joe Biden (Klout Score 90): Vice President Biden’s social media presence benefited from being a part of a very gifted Obama-Biden campaign digital team. Vice President Biden had 555,571 Facebook likes and 116,900 Twitter followers. Biden is known to be prone to verbal gaffes in the real world, but his digital world is very disciplined and tame in comparison.
4. Mitt Romney (Klout Score 89): Throughout the Presidential campaign, Romney’s number of followers on Facebook and Twitter were greatly outpaced by President Obama. At the end of the campaign, Romney had 1.8 million followers on Twitter and 12.1 million Facebook likes. The President had 12 times more followers on Twitter and 2 times more followers on Facebook than Romney. It was not all bad news for Romney’s social efforts, as Romney’s Facebook strategies did at times have him leading President Obama in Facebook engagement with his “People Talking About This” numbers being higher.
5. Nancy Pelosi (Klout Score 89): The current Democratic leader in the House has a solid social media presence consistent with her wired constituents in her San Francisco Congressional District. Pelosi has 285, 926 Twitter followers and 67,776 Facebook likes.
6. Newt Gingrich (Klout Score 88): The former Republican House Speaker and Presidential candidate had one of the strongest presences on social media out of the Republican candidates for President in 2012. Winner of the first Republican Presidential primary in the South, South Carolina, Speaker Gingrich has 292,262 Facebook likes and 1.4 million followers on Twitter.
7. Jerry Brown (Klout Score 88): The current Governor of California, home of Silicon Valley, logically has a solid social media presence. He is very strong on Twitter with some 1.05 million followers and has 136,190 Facebook likes. Governor Brown’s followers prefer Twitter almost seven times more than Facebook. A former Presidential candidate who earned the nickname “Moonbeam”, there is no shortage of content on his Twitter stream.
8. John Boehner (Klout Score 87): The current Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives has strongly promoted social media over years amongst his GOP caucus members. Once issuing a press release entitled “PWNED: House GOP Dominates Twitter, YouTube, Social Media in Congress”, he has taken the lead and shown his members how to be social media savvy. (Note: PWNED is trash talk that means you “owned” your opponent). Boehner has 320,479 Facebook likes and 220,763 Twitter followers for his campaign accounts.
9. Ron Paul (Klout Score 86): The former Congressman from Texas and Republican Presidential Candidate in 2012 has a considerable social media following reflective of the passion his candidacy generated among tech savvy millenials and libertarians. Paul has over 1.1 million Facebook likes and over 200,300 Twitter followers.
10. Cory Booker (Klout Score 85): The Mayor of Newark, New Jersey utilizes Twitter as a way to hear constituent concerns. The Mayor’s twitter account has become a civic reporting system that has been a better platform for consituent’s voices to be heard than the actual telephone at City Hall. Mayor Booker has over 1.3 million Twitter followers and 128,137 Facebook likes. Many constituents in Newark say if you want a pothole fixed you need to tweet to him about it.
At the start of 2013, these are the top ten most social media savvy U.S. politicians. Will they maintain their status or will new leaders emerge and enter into the top ten? Arc 3 will be following closely to see who comes out on top at the end of what is certain to be a year of innovation and enterprise in social media and politics.