Interesting slice of research here from media agency MindShare that claims despite his reputation as a pioneer of social media campaigning, which we covered extensively last week, President Barack Obama could be influencing fewer voters through social networks than his Republican rival Mitt Romney.
On back of a tough week for Romney when he slipped in the polls following Hurricane Sandy, the results of the survey could provide some good news for the Presidential hopeful despite more reports saying Obama is likely to narrowly win.
The Mindshare study says that while President Obama clearly has many more followers on Twitter and Facebook, Republican voters are more active on social media.
This says Mindshare global head of digital, Scott Sorokin, means that they’re more likely to be engaging with undecided voters via social media channels and that could be vital on election day.
The research eats away at the numbers game of followers and fans that social media has become for many. When it isn’t size of your following that could really count in the final analysis, but how active your followers are. In politics and presidential races where it comes down to getting the vote out that could be crucial.
“President Obama is seen as a trailblazer when it comes to reaching voters via new channels. Mindshare’s research, however, paints a more complex picture of the new media campaign landscape,” says Sorokin.
Whilst newspapers remain an important source of information and analysis, slightly more Americans are following the presidential election and Hurricane Sandy via video coverage on their computer than by reading the national newspapers, showing an appetite for up-to-the-minute news as opposed to daily updates at this important time.
This says Mindshare’s research underlines the fact that email’s from candidates and newspaper ads have minimal impact on influencing voters.
Sorokin added: “Digital campaigning is here to stay and with the lines between television and social media becoming ever more blurred, using insights and data to target your audiences becomes an increasingly valuable tool in order to spend marketing budgets efficiently.
“It’s about more than just sending out greater numbers of tweets or targeted adverts than your rivals or opponents. Mindshare delivers competitive advantages through agility, innovation and scale.”