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Republican Presidential Candidate’s Fan Growth Slows Down

Peter Claridge

It’s been 30 days since our last update on the social media efforts of the Republican Presidential Candidates and a lot has happened in that time. Super Tuesday saw Santorum establish himself as firm 2nd favorite while Newt slipped in to third and Ron Paul’s campaign looks more futile than ever. But enough with the politics, we’re more interested in the social media impact over the last month, so here it is, fresh analysis hot off the press from Unmetric’s social media benchmarking platform.

Growth Slowing Down

In the last thirty days the candidates have been campaigning hard all across America with public appearances, mass media advertising and helping arrange local rallies. Interestingly, all this effort seems to be simply maintaining momentum rather than increasing it as the graphs below indicate. There are no “different from normal” growth spikes which suggests that no one has done something particular better than anyone else so far although Newt Gingrich’s growth does seem to be wobbling a bit.

candidate facebook fans growth rate

Infact, when we increase the timescale to the 1st January when the Presidential Candidates race really got underway, we can see that candidates experienced highest growth in January and by February had lost a lot of their momentum. Rick Santorum looks to have at least maintained his momentum, matching the surge in popularity in the polls.

facebook fans growth rate since january

Ron Paul To Hit 1 Million Fans On 24th May

We’re going to make a bit of a risky statement here but we reckon that given Ron Paul’s current fan growth rate of 5.6% (which has tailed off in the last month), his Facebook page will reach 1 million fans by the 24th May. It’s a bold prediction but fan growth has not been as high as it was in January – if it was then Ron Paul would have 1 million fans by the middle of April.

The Conservative Vote Has Bite

It’s one thing to boast about the number of fans but it’s another to have them actively engaging with you. Both Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich are pushing their “Ronald Reagan” conservative credentials and it certainly seems to be striking a chord with voters with engagement levels more than three times the other candidates. Even though Mitt Romney has far more fans, it appears that he is having trouble getting them to engage on his thoughts and policies like Gingrich and Santorum.

engagement scores for candidates

One way Gingrich is getting astronomical engagement scores is that his social media team are actively asking people to like, comment and share every post they make. Maybe that’s something to take on board because as you’ll see in a minute, Gingrich has one of the lowest post counts but by asking people to take action he’s getting his message out better.

gingrich asking for shares

Santorum Still Prolific

It would be wrong to attribute the success of Santorum’s campaign to the social media efforts alone but it is interesting to note that both the front runner candidates are prolific when it comes to posting updates on their Facebook wall. Santorum is averaging over 4 posts per day while Ron Paul, for all his hype, averages just 1.2 posts a day and could do with more fans liking, commenting and sharing his posts to bring his engagement scores up.

facebook admin posts

Some fairly interesting information coming out of the social media campaigns for these candidates. Gingrich’s strategy is being laid bare, asking people to share the posts and driving up engagement, Santorum’s constant posting day after day helping him to maintain momentum and Romney’s social media campaign trundling along nicely. If one of the candidates drops out now it will certainly be interesting to see where the fans go to.

All data has been compiled and analyzed from the Unmetric application which tracks dozens of metrics to enable brands to benchmark themselves against competitors and their industry sector. Gain access to all this data by claiming a 10 day free trial.