A few months ago I wrote a post about how Presidential candidates were taking to Twitter in an effort to stay on top of the social media trend. Well, it seems that internet marketing efforts like social media and SEO do, in fact, have an effect on campaign results at least they appear to. The Iowa caucus was yesterday and it was a close race with the two front runners being Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney won by a mere 8 votes leaving some to wonder, who could have known?
Well according to some people at Mashable Twitter could have told you. After all, according to an NBC/Marist poll Santorum was behind Romney a great deal according to a NBC News Poll but he was the most active candidate on Twitter. It seems that Santorum’s far lower poll scores were counteracted by the fact that his social media marketing strategies were so on point. As I talked about in my first blog post on the subject Romney was the first of the candidates to start using social media for this campaign. Maybe his win goes to show that early adopters often beat out even the most enthusiastic of new comers.
The most recent Mashable article only focuses on Twitter as an indicator of political success but there are many other strategies being used in this campaign to garner public favor. Google pointed out that even though Ron Paul finished third in the Iowa Caucus he was one of the most popular news searches for the month of December (they made a point of saying that he was a more popular search term than Christmas). It seems like search might also be an important metric when it comes to predicting elections (Mitt Romney and Rick Perry also scored high for News searches).
Let’s take a look at Facebook (just for fun). Here too we see some interesting numbers. Mitt Romney’s page has 1,278,263 likes and 102,808 people are talking about it (not surprising considering his recent win). Rick Santorum’s page has 54,704 likes and 12,789 people are talking about it, not quite the neck-and-neck numbers that we saw in the election but still telling. Also surprising is the fact that 690,199 people like Ron Paul’s page and 58,012 people are talking about it.
Due to these results it seems that Twitter might be a better gauge of favor overall but it really only makes a good predictor when paired with other internet marketing channels.