In the course of the 2008 U.S. election cycle, which resulted in the election of Senator Barack Obama last night, we regularly reported about how the candidates used the web and social media tools to connectto their followers and organize their campaigns. Today, we received some data from Trendrr, an online statistics mashup tool, that clearly shows Obama’s lead in using technology to connect to his audience, as well as his overall lead in mindshare in the blogosphere as a whole.
While overall blog mentions of Obama and McCain varied greatly during the last year (and we can’t say if those were positive or negative posts), close to 500 million blog postings mentioned him since the beginning of the conventions at the end of August. During the same time period, only about 150 million blog posts mentioned McCain (though it would also be interesting to see similar statistics for Governor Palin as well).
Twitter and MySpace
On social networks, Obama also held a clear lead, with 844,927 MySpace friends compared to McCain‘s 219,404. Just between November 3rd and November 4th (election day), Obama gained over 10,000 new friends, while McCain only gained about 964. On Twitter, Obama gained 2865 new followers between the 3rd and 4th (for a total of 118,107), while John McCain’s Twitter account only has a paltry 4942 followers in total.
There are, of course, a lot of reasons for why Barack Obama’s campaign gained a lot more traction on social networks and blogs than the McCain campaign. The demographics of social media users tend to fall in line more closely with those of today’s Democratic voters, for example. However, looking forward to the next campaign cycle, it seems clear that all political campaigns, especially at this level, will start ignoring social media trends at their own peril.
See also: Obama’s Social Media Advantage, Act II