Disclaimer: this is a non-political post.
Over the last year, since leaving her office as the governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has crisscrossed the country, attended a few tea party events, spoken at a couple dozen gatherings, became a normal presence on Fox channel and done a book tour. What did she get out of all this? Well a hell lot of media attention and a strong base of mavens. Palin has now developed a strong base of early supporters who think she is their leader and are ready to spread the word for her.
The early support is also appearing on social media. Palin is emerging as a social media phenom. She has got 2 million “friends” on Facebook and more than 200,000 following her on Twitter. This small (1-5%) online support base is what is common between Palin and Obama. This base was critical in making Obama a contender in primaries and putting him in the Oval Office. My.BarackObama.com raised $500 million and recruited 13 million supported in 2008 Presidential race. Here are some staggering social media stats for the Obama campaign in 2007-08: 400,000 blog entries, 200,000 campaign events and 1.2 billion minutes of YouTube video view time. Today the President continues to have a strong social media presence on all platforms.
With Americans spending 23% of their online time on social media properties, Facebook reaching 500 million users and Twitter growing at a whopping 1000% year over year, the impact of social media by 2012 will be more significant than ever before. To run a successful campaign online obviously requires a great campaign management strategy, but most important thing is getting enough pot stirrers to stimulate the discussion, generate energy and maintain authenticity. Both Obama and Palin clearly got enough passionate supporters to carry them forward on the social media front making the 2012 presidency race a vibrant and real-time experience.