There’s been a lot of discussion about how President Barack Obama and presidential hopeful Mitt Romney are using digital media to support their election campaigns, and a new study has revealed that while Obama leads Romney by some distance in the social space, neither candidate is engaging much with voters.
Now in its fourth year, the Project for Excellence in Journalism analyses digital campaign communications, and, for the first time, included Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in its 2012 examination, tracking 782 total posts from both campaigns for fourteen days from June 4 to June 17, 2012.
The study found that Obama leads Romney in both digital activity and social media response.
Obama’s team sent 614 posts during the tracked period compared to just 168 for Romney. This gap was widest on Twitter, where Obama’s campaign averaged 29 tweets per day, spread across the @barackobama and @Obama2012 profiles, compared to just one tweet per day from Romney.
Obama also posted twice as many blog posts and twice as many YouTube videos.
However, neither candidate showed a strong grasp of the social part of social media. Just three per cent of Obama’s Twitter posts during the analysed period were retweets or replies, and Romney managed just one retweet in total over that time – and that was of a message sent by his son.
Of course, it’s still unclear whether this social media push from either candidate will make any difference to the end result, but best practices should still apply. After all, if you’re going to do something, might as well do it properly, eh chaps?