Earlier this week, Facebook and CNN expanded their new election data partnership with the launch of a real-time Election Insights tracker, which monitors the current buzz surrounding the four candidates in the 2012 election (Obama, Romney, Biden, and Ryan). The Election Insights page features various conversation charts, which allows users to sort the social buzz geographically and demoraphically.
And it looks like the Republican National Convention is doing its job (one of its jobs, at least): It's making people talk about Mitt Romney.
Day-over-day, Facebook discussions of Mitt Romney have increased by 137%. This includes comments, posts, likes, and various other Romney-related mentions on the site. Romney's running mate Paul Ryan has also seen a surge, at +102% since yesterday's true launch of the convention.
Of course, the Election Insights have their limitations. They don't differentiate between negative and positive mentions, meaning that a "Go Mitt Romney" post and and "Mitt Romney is a tool" post both factor into total buzz. But it does serve one purpose: it shows just how much a party convention can affect the national dialogue. By comparison, Obama and Biden only show a buzz increase of 13% and 20%, respectively.
When the Democratic National Convention kicks off in September, we're likely to see a similar buzz increase for the incumbent.
Campaigns must utilize Facebook to not only rally the troops and provide updates to potential voters, but to generate revenue as well. Barack Obama already has an online store app tied to his Facebook account, and Mitt Romney's page just launched its own.
With the online store app (situated right next to the Donate app on his Timeline), Romney can pitch his growing fanbase a variety of campaign products like hats, mugs, stickers, and magnets. Although users are directed to the offical Romney campaign site to complete any purchases, there is one important reason to tie it all into Facebook:
With every link to Mitt Romney's Facebook page via a tag in a post, the campaign has a chance to grab donations and sales. With the huge upswing in mentions across the site generated by the convention, the Romney/Ryan ticket has the opportunity to expose voters to their message.