I wrote about the politicos and their successful (or not-so-successful) use of Facebook in: Smolitics: Politicians on Facebook. It’s time to take a look at some Twitter stats and see who is more popular on Twitter!
Smolitics: a person or idea’s popularity/performance/ or general acceptance on social media.
Twitter Smolitics for the Three Most Popular Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates of 2012 Note: There is a 16 day lapse between the first and second dates collected because I collected these stats at 4:30pm EST on both dates.
There is almost an 18 ½ day time lapse between the second and third day collected because I collect the data just before 7:30 AM EST on Tuesday Oct. 23.
The following bar graph shows the increase in the number of followers for each candidate on the dates specified.
(Some browsers and smaller screens tend to make this image hazy. For a clearer view, try clicking on the image to view it separately.)
Obama’s large stats make this graph incredibly difficult to depict completely accurately with a small bar graph. Here is a closer look at the other candidates and how they compare to each other.
So, you have to ask: “Why does Judge Jim Gray only have 258 followers on twitter?”
– The first and obvious reason is that the last tweet he sent was July 31st, and before that was May. He seemed to get into the Twitter thing on March 4th! But his zeal for it apparently waned and he decided against hiring a Social Media expert to utilize this for him.
A social media expert can make or break your social media marketing strategy. For instance, what if he hired a very ambitious person to run his twitter campaign and they tweeted something for him like:
“I support the legalization of #marijuana.” While making it absolutely clear on his twitter profile that he is a Vice Presidential candidate for the #election2012.
I have to smile at that idea, because it could possibly help his popularity or just as easily hurt his campaign. Can you hear the right wing screaming tweets then? “He only wants to lead our country to drugs and and immorality!!” – add in a misspelled word or two.
– Yes, his campaign would have to be handled in a very serious manner.
QUESTION: Will social media popularity predict our elected officials?
– Even though many would probably say yes to this, the answer is still: probably not. However, it is important to know the three big reasons why it’s not a good assumption to say that the one who has more Twitter followers will win… (at least, not yet):
Not everyone who will be voting (e.g. many senior citizens), has a Twitter account.
Lots of people too young to vote can (and do) follow candidates on Twitter.
And finally: All social media is GLOBAL. People all over the world are following Twitter, Facebook and YouTube campaigns of the future leaders of other countries.
IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
More people of all ages are installing Twitter apps all the time and those young, passionate citizens are turning 18 – the first 2 gaps are closing.
Which candidate is aggressively using Twitter and “Promoted tweets” the most right now?
It looks like @GovGaryJohnson:
A search on the hash tag #President and produced this promoted tweet by @GovGaryJohnson. (Click for larger view.)
A search on the hash tag #election2012 and produced this promoted tweet by @GovGaryJohnson. (Click for larger view.)
Facebook and its influence on business, children, and even our health has been studied and written about to excess. And yet, I find very little from anyone really digging into its influence on politics. (Please leave a comment with links to articles if you know of any good one’s!) To make this article easier (and OK, more fun for me) to write I made up a new word for the use of social media to a political advantage.
Smolitics: defined as a person, place, or thing’s popularity,performance, or general acceptance on social media.
With the presidential elections coming up, questioning the correlation between a candidate’s popularity on Facebook and Twitter vs. his (and sometimes her) chances of being elected is more interesting than ever!
QUESTION: Will social media popularity predict our elected officials?
– Even though 62% of my friends said yes to this, the answer is still: probably not. However, it is important to know the three big reasons why it’s not a good assumption to say the one who has more social media support will win… yet:
Not everyone who will be voting (e.g. many senior citizens), is a member of Facebook.
Lots of people too young to vote can (and do) “like” a candidate.
And finally: Social media is GLOBAL. People all over the world are following Twitter, Facebook and YouTube campaigns of the future leaders of other countries.
IT IS ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE:
More seniors are getting on Facebook and those young, passionate citizens are turning 18 – the first 2 gaps are closing.
Facebook Smolitics: At a Glance:
To see who is doing better according to Facebook all I had to do was observe, collect some numbers, and then figure out some “trends” to find out who was the most popular and whose popularity is rising.
The following table shows the number of “likes” I collected from the fan pages for the three main candidates for presidency. The numbers were collected for four weeks on the dates posted in the top row.
Dates Collected ->
My bar graph below shows the number of likes each candidate had on the first day (labeled Week 1). I began collecting numbers on 9/18/2012 and then collected the increases of each candidate once a week. The dates these numbers were collected for the week are specified.
If all we had to do is look at and compare the number of “Likes” for each candidate’s Facebook page, we could quickly conclude that Barack Obama is the more popular of any candidate and he will be re-elected as the next president of the US. But there’s so much more too it. Let’s look closer first at the dramatic increases these numbers each week.
It was predictable that the number of “likes” would climb as we are getting closer to voting time. The following numbers show that this prediction is accurate.
Average Increase PER DAY:
1 & 2
2 & 3
3 & 4
(These numbers were calculated by taking the number of increase in “likes” divided by the number of days between the dates specified on the graph to your left. There are 9 days between the dates of weeks 1 and 2, 7 days between weeks 2 and 3, and 6 days between weeks 3 and 4.)
QUESTION: Do the politico’s care about their own smolitics
YES! And Facebook is a great example. Look at those numbers increasing!
The fact that Tuesday, November 6, 2012 (voting day) is rapidly approaching isn’t the only reason that these numbers are rapidly rising. You can bet that the candidates have many highly paid smolitical experts blazing the parallel, electronic versions of their campaign trail.
Prime Example: Mitt Romney’s team has purchased multiple keywords for searches in Facebook. To see what I mean, just type in “obama” or even “presi” (the beginning of the word president).
Try it yourself! (FYI: Sponsored ads rotate, so you may not see this every time.)
I took screenshots of mine. Click the thumbnails pics to view a larger image of the sponsored ads my search showed me below:
What popped up underneath when I typed "obama" into the Facebook search box.
What popped up underneath when I started to type in "president" into the Facebook search box.
Numbers We Don’t Know:
It’s already been said that not everyone who votes is a member of Facebook, and that many of those “likes” could come from those too young to vote.
So how does an e-campaign trail blazer know that their campaign is successfully reaching voters?
<- Look to the left and click to enlarge this example of a vital tool utilized for a politician's smolitical campaign.
We (the non-admins of any fan pages) aren't privy to these numbers. But in the insights of these Facebook pages those social media experts are viewing this info daily. It filters people who "like" the page by age (and of course you must be 18 to vote in the U.S.) and by country (the importance of this sort of goes without saying).
I hope you knew about these insights already because all companies executing successful social media marketing collect and utilize this data. Having these numbers for a politician's fan page would definitely help argue the importance of smolitics wouldn't it?
QUESTION: (For citizens of voting age) Is “liking” a politico’s fan page as good as voting for them?
– Of course not, you are allowed to be fans of either page, neither page, or both.
Why would someone not “like” either? – Because of the old social rule: Avoid topics of conversation that include religion or politics. – People have a kind of bravery to speak their mind on outlets like Facebook. If they think you disagree with your “liking” a certain candidate, you can bet it’s going to be made known on Facebook in clear view of all your other Facebook friends. (Don’t you hate that?) So some just avoid the confrontation altogether… This is the type of person who would not wear his/her team’s jersey in another state.
Why would someone choose both? – Either they are still trying to decide on who to vote for or they are like the previous person who chose to vote for neither and are trying to agree with everyone.
QUESTION: Because of all the numbers we don’t know, does it matter which presidential candidate has more fans on Facebook?
– YES! The more likes you have the more support you seem to have. Isn’t that what political campaigns are about…getting support?
It’s the same for anyone who has a Facebook Fan page, they want as many validating “likes” as they can get.
My Facebook Friends’ Opinions
Who cares? / Maybe
David· Answered Yes. It definitely could!
Seeing as how the younger generation has affected the results of the past few presidential elections, whether they voted (Obama) or didn’t vote (Bush over Gore), and them using Facebook and Twitter as frequently as they do, it definitely could play a major role in getting information to them from candidates. they usually won’t follow/like someone/something that they dislike/disagree with; and if they follow/like a candidate, they’re probably registered to vote. having said that, I know a lot of people who are registered to vote and don’t do anything with political candidates on social networking sites, but I don’t know of any who aren’t registered to vote and like/follow any of these people. so, if they like/follow someone, they probably will vote for them, and in turn whoever has the most likes/followers has a better chance at winning the younger generation’s vote. which we’ve heard many times over recent years, “Get the younger generations vote, and you’re likely to win.” · November 8, 2011
Sherra· Answered Choose this if you are afraid to commit to a yes or no. Who cares? / Maybe
Social Media can get the message out and get great feedback for political candidates, but it’s the voice of the voters who TURN OUT and VOTE on election day who matter…· November 8, 2011
Paul Jr. · Answered Yes. It definitely could!
It’s worth noting that an incumbent candidate has an advantage here as they’ve presumably had a longer period of time to engage the public socially and attract followers. · November 8, 2011
Exactly – it’ll be the ones who at least have the appearance of being “accessible” and willing to face feedback (good or bad) head on. November 8, 2011 at 1:50pm
Paul Jr.’s Reply
We’ll see how Facebook “friends” translate into likely voters. Seniors were traditionally the best investment for voter turnout, but make up a smaller proportion of social media users (although their numbers are starting to grow). The differences thus far are staggering: Herman Cain has ~25,000 likes compared to Barack Obama’s 23 MILLION. That said, perhaps one senior who isn’t on Facebook and will actually VOTE is worth 1,000 hipsters who “like” Barack and won’t. November 8, 2011 at 2:19pm
Mary· Answered Yes. It definitely could!
Interesting theory…it will be fun to check it out in 2012 · November 8, 2011
Amber’s Reply: I know! in 2012 – can you imagine the influence that Facebook will have? Seeing who your friends and people you sincerely respect are voting for… it can’t be denied that this will definitely be interesting to see what happens. · November 8, 2011 at 1:53pm
As an Admin on so many pages…this is awesome as well with the new Facebook upgrade –> Get notifications(email or instant) when fans interact with your page or posts!
With the new upgrade on Facebook Pages. You can now make comments as your page on other pages.
I was so excited to checkout what Facebook was calling An Upgrade for Pages, but I didn’t have enough time to look into it until I just took the time today. I had to write about how EASY it is to do these things and more!
Click on any instructional image to enlarge it.
1. Use Facebook as Your Business Page
Click on “Account”.
Then click on the “Use Facebook as Page” option in the drop-down.
2. Your Facebook Page Profile Will Look Like Your Personal Profile
See how many new people “Like” your business. This # shows up like your profile shows how many friend requests & suggestions you have.
See how many interactions your page has had since you were there the last time!
3. Still Want to Communicate on Facebook as Yourself?
Don’t it look odd when you want to comment or like something on any page you are an admin on? It looks like you are “liking” your own stuff right? Well, Facebook fixed that too. (If it was fixed prior to this update, I didn’t realize it or I would’ve posted about it.)
There are some peeps who go and mass follow a bunch of people on twitter and then, mass unfollow after they get the poor unsuspecting peeps who followback. This is SO CHEATING! Find out if people unfollowed you (then unfollow those twits!)
Top Twitter Followers – You used to be able to go to this page and follow all of these people on twitter, and they’d follow you back! Now, you are probably going to have better luck following the latest peeps who have commented on this post and they will follow you back.
Twitter Search – search for anything peeps are tweeting. Are they tweeting
Automate a Few Tweets Here and There
Hey, you aren’t going to be on twitter all at the same times that some of your followers are on, it’s ok to send an automated tweet now and then when you’ve got an important message.
Twuffer – Queue up your tweets with Twuffer, but you cannot queue up tweets that are identical to your current status with this tool.
TwitterFeed – Feed your blog posts to twitter automatically with this awesome little app.
Twitter Profile Make It Yours
TwitBacks – Get a Twitter Background because there is only so much the profile allows you to share about your business, but for personal use remember not to ever share too much info about yourself!!!
Twilk.com has a more fun idea for your twitter background. They will put your twitter followers pics on your background! How fun is that?
The Unspoken Rules
**BTW, try to keep your ratio of followers and following kinda even. If people see that you follow like 500 people, and you only have 50 following you, then there must be something wrong with you and they shouldn’t follow you. **
Don’t buy into thinking you have to stoop to some kind of tacky twitter tactic to get sales! People who do this just make the marketing tools like twitter less valuable.
TweetLater.com – Send your new followers a “Thanx 4 the Follow” msg – I totally change my mind on this one. After getting hundreds of hey! thanks for the follow! Check out my website www.blahblah.com! Guess what? Everyone does it and because everyone does it, everyone ignores it… so just be classy and don’t.
I wrote the post Twitter Tools in June 8, 2009. And we all know that any post about twitter that old is pretty much useless! I have written updates on the twitter topic, like when we all started using Twitter Lists posted Oct. 31, 2009, and my fun little post on how so many peeps are still twitterpated and how twitter is still definitely working for them posted April 19, 2010. And yet, I still never got around to posting an updated version of my favorite twitter tools list. These tools will still help you reach & keep followers on twitter!
The advice I am sharing here is geared toward personal and startup blogs. Anyone with a professional or ecommerce blog: Hire a professional developer or purchase a theme geared for professional use.
I had to get a new theme.
I started this website using the old “default” theme that was based on the Kubrick WordPress theme. It was about as basic as I could get it while I was working on my PHP and CSS development skills.
This is my screenshot for step 2:
This still needs QUITE a bit of work, but the menus, and some of the errors I left until “later” have been cleaned up a bit. The layout is improving from step 1.
Why it’s good to go with a theme that is close to what you want:
The trouble with basic though, is that I am constantly having to sort of “re-invent the wheel” just to add special features to my site. This definitely helped me learn a LOT, but because I ran out of time to do all of the coding, as you can see my site got neglected!
I really like Mystique because it has the menus with drop-downs and some really decent social media integration. (Some integration that you would have to massively dissect current widgets to reproduce. Believe me, I’ve had clients who have seen options like ones on other Mystique blogs that were only available because they were hardwired into this theme. – I had to reinvent the wheel again for those)
Why it’s bad for professional websites to go with a theme that is free and used on other websites:
As of this morning, Mystique has been downloaded more than 7,000 times! (That is from wordpress.org alone, it isn’t counting all of those that have been downloaded at Digital Nature’s Website – the author of Mystique!)
That means there are thousands of copycat websites out there that look exactly like this ->
Don’t let yours be one of them!
Now comes the fun part.
Remember this if this is the first time you’ve heard it:
Changing your WP site layout is NOT just as easy as changing your theme!
WordPress is tricky, something that sounds so easy can turn out to be untangling a web of code to find the code that you need to be moved with you when you move to a new theme! If you aren’t sure about what you are doing…
BACK UP EVERY SINGLE FILE IN YOUR ORIGINAL THEME FOLDER!!!
Do NOT attempt to change your website template unless you know how to make sure you will still have the custom code to watch your traffic, update your rss feed if you use a service like feedburner, or even just keep track of your branding items like: favicons and logos. Next week I plan to edit my layout colors and add my logo back in.
Fixes, Adds, and Re-Adds:
☑ My favicon
☑ Google Analytics code
☑ Nav menus: I love navigation menus… They aren’t the easiest thing to write from scratch, so that’s one of the main reasons I was pleased with Mystique for my personal blog.
☑ New (more generalized) categories: I added some better “parent categories” including: “Business, Entertainment, and Technology” I left “Life in General” as a main category for my nav menu.
There is still MUCH to do, but I am finished for tonight. See you next week!