Meet the U.S. Presidential Candidates on Facebook

Socialbakers, a social media analytics company, says that it has launched a campaign to identify the most (and least) influential, engaging and popular presidential candidates on Facebook, including President Obama, via public information on the world’s largest social network. It was announced Monday, Jan. 2.

Socialbakers’ social media analytics tracked more than 10 million Facebook Pages and Places and billions of individual user interactions, says the company. All findings are available through a new political infographic and microsite about each candidate on Facebook.

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With the upcoming Iowa caucus, this research reveals what drives engagement, influence and conversations for all eight Democratic and Republican presidential political candidates on Facebook.

Socialbakers tracked interactions between Dec.1-31, 2011 to measure engagement and changes in online candidate popularity. It will also track the same information for January’s New Hampshire primary and upcoming debates and other newsworthy events.

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According to a recent Pew study, Facebook users are more politically engaged and are more than twice as likely to participate in political meetings or rallies. Socialbakers new infographic outlines which candidates are leading, and which are lagging.

“Politicians and brands have a tremendous opportunity to go beyond counting the number of ‘fans’ or ‘likes’ – they must pay attention to why people are talking about them and what they care about,” said Jan Rezab, Socialbakers CEO.

“Fan and community engagement is the key to success. Politicians today can measure public information about Facebook user engagement to make more intelligent decisions about what to post, when to post and how to best stimulate conversation.”

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Key Finding: User Engagement, Viral Reach and Popularity:

Viral Reach (The total reach for each candidate when people “like” and comment, multiplied by the average number of friends per Facebook user to provide a comparable number)

  • Ron Paul has the highest overall viral reach, followed by Mitt Romney and Rick Perry
  • Ron Paul leads with 59,554 “people talking about” him this past week (second to Obama)
  • Rick Perry has the most engaging single-post amongst all candidates, followed by Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich
  • Obama’s most engaging post was a family portrait, yet had the lowest overall engagement rate when compared to the other candidates
  • Ron Paul increased engagement rate by 69 percent, followed by a near tie between Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, with a 58-percent increase and 57-percent increase respectively
  • Rick Santorum decreased engagement rate by -7 percent 

Peer-to-Peer Interaction (all debates, comments, conversations to each other’s posts on candidate’s page)

  • Michelle Bachmann leads in person-to-person interactions among Facebook users, followed by Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman
  • Obama leads with 50 percent of the total interactions. Ron Paul leads the Republican Party with 19 percent, which is 2x and 3x higher than Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

Candidate’s Facebook Fans:

  • Obama is leading with the most number of fans at 24 million, followed by Mitt Romney at 1.3 million, Ron Paul with 672,483 and Michelle Bachmann with 460,336.
  • Rick Santorum has the fastest-growing fan base throughout the last 30 days (23-percent growth) surpassing Jon Huntsman’s growth (18-percent growth).

Socialbakers defines the engagement rate as the number of “likes” and comments per post divided by a candidate’s number of fans.

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