Infographic: How Obama, Romney (and Friends) Are Using Social Media

Domestic Issues Dominate; Both Sides Use Social as Broadcast Tools

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According to the polls, President Barack Obama is in a tight race with challenger Mitt Romney. But he can take a little solace in the fact that he's trouncing his Republican opponent in social media. (Then again, we assume the President of the United States isn't the sort who'd actually mistake social-media success for real-world success.)

Then again, it's not a surprise that Mr. Obama is in the lead. He has the benefit of being the leader of the free world and having that much-vaunted digital team from 2008. Mr. Romney, on the other hand, spent the better part of the last year in a contentious primary with Republican rivals -- and convincing reluctant Republican voters that he was conservative enough for their nomination.

What might be surprising -- and infuriating to social-media gurus everywhere -- is how little candidates and their teams are using social media for engagement. As we noted last week, Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism study found that both campaigns are treating social as a broadcast medium more than anything else.

The social media habits of the Obama and Romney campaigns do reflect reality, however. Domestic and economic issues dominate the conversation.

Trump hourly chart
Infographic by Thomas Pardee
Source: Ad Age data and the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
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