Social Media Battle Between #DNC2012 and #GOP2012 Heats Up

September 10, 2012
With millions of eyes scanning social media platforms every minute, it is no wonder that politics, for all its seriousness and rhetoric, has agreed to cut messages to under 140 characters just to tap this vast mobile market. The 2012 US presidential race is no exception. Adopting the hashtags #GOP2012 and #DNC2012, both key parties' national conventions and campaign strategies generated hordes of support via Twitter, with tweets posted garnering hundreds of retweets every minute. How effective tweet-blasting actually is to sway favor toward a political win remains unquantified, however. Still, the fact that Twitter records 500 million users is a fact that cannot be ignored. The Republican Party, led by presidential candidate Mitt Romney, invested $120,000 on securing and promoting the hashtag #RomneyRyan2012. The Romney team is the first ever election campaign that spent money on its social media presence. And that's not all. The #RomneyRyan2012 hashtag is just one of the several promoted trends on Twitter under the Republican National Committee, which also includes #AreYouBetterOff. That's another $120,000 investment. On the Democratic front, no purchase of a promoted hashtag has been reported to date, although it is notable that media observers had attributed a good chunk of Barack Obama's popularity to Twitter users during his first presidential bid in 2004 against John McCain. Nevertheless, it's nice to know how the #GOP2012 hashtag fares against the #DNC2012 on Twitter. We've run both hashtags independently on the the Hashtags.org analytics, which measures the exposure of a specific hashtag over time, and this is what we got.

#GOP2012 vs #DNC2012

Here's a graph of the #DNC2012 hashtag during the Democratic National Convention (September 4-6, 2012). Note that while it appears on the graph that its rival hashtag, #GOP2012, has zero activity, this is simply a visual effect of the scale as the actual GOP count is in the hundreds.   Meanwhile, here's a graph that reflects how the #GOP2012 hashtag fared when the Republican National Convention took place in August 27-30, 2012. After all this hashtag buying and massive social media promotion, the situation begs the question: Does getting an election campaign into social media affect how voters think? Is it powerful enough to sway a vote? What are your thoughts on this matter? Let us know in the comments!

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