The Presidential Candidates and Their Social Media Popularity

When it comes to Facebook fans, President Obama has more of a following than all the Republican candidates combined.

Posted: 01/03/2012 05:54 PM EST

(Photo: Courtesy of SocialBakers.com)

If social media interaction were to serve as an indication of the prospects of politicians in the 2012 election, President Barack Obama would have nothing to worry about.


The president has dramatically more Facebook fans — 24 million — than any of the politicians running for the presidency, according to Socialbakers, a social media analytics firm. The company tracked Facebook page interactions of the president and seven Republican candidates for the presidency in the month of December.


By comparison, the candidate in second place was Mitt Romney with 1.2 million fans. Ron Paul came in third with 670,000 Facebook fans, Michele Bachmann was fourth with 460,000 and Newt Gingrich was fifth with 223,000. Bringing up the rear were Rick Perry with 179,000 Facebook fans, Rick Santorum with 40,000 and Jon Huntsman with 30,000, in sixth, seven and eighth place, respectively.


Socialbakers said that the president’s collection of Facebook fans were assembled largely during the 2008 election period and his fan growth did not increase appreciably in December. Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania, achieved the most percentage growth, increasing his fan base by 23 percent in December.


Other than Obama, Paul, a Texas congressman, registered the highest viral reach, the company said. Viral reach represents to the number of Facebook users who “like” and comment on a page, multiplied by the number of Facebook friends to whom those users are connected.


Bachmann, a congresswoman from Minnesota, led in person-to-person interactions, which refers to how many people interacted with other Facebook fans’ posts and comments.


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