Although a recent Pew report stated that incumbent President Barack Obama has edged out his competition on social media channels because the Obama camp tweets and posts online almost four times more than Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, social engagement with fans is still the best predictor of success online, said Zac Moffatt, digital director for Mitt Romney for President, to Mashable.com.
At a panel on social media and the 2012 election at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., Moffatt termed digital success into two categories: mostly useless “vanity” metrics and “actionable” metrics. He said that although the Obama camp has 19 million Twitter followers and 25 million Facebook fans versus Romney’s approximately one million Twitter and about five million Facebook supporters respectively, it is engagement that really counts and cites the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Health Care Act as an example of why interactivity rules the day.
“When the ruling came, we saw 27% engagement with our audience while they (Obama) only got 1.5 percent,” added Moffatt. He did add, however, that he would be concerned with this quality over quantity strategy if the Obama campaign had more engaged followers online.
For now, Moffatt’s digital campaign strategy may be working, said Adam Sharp, head of Twitter’s Government, News and Social Innovation Team, at the same panel. Sharp noted that while there has been a four to one mention of Obama online, that lead is shrinking and will in several weeks be virtually equal.