On Facebook, Obama Has The Most Fans, Ron Paul The Highest “Viral Reach”

Social media analytics firm Socialbakers has tracked more than 10 million Facebook Pages and Places plus billions of individual user interactions in order to determine who the most popular, engaging and influential presidential candidates are on Facebook. Not surprisingly, incumbent Obama has the most Facebook fans, which is one way to measure “popularity.” That’s not necessarily the fairest way in this case, given that many of those supporters arrived during Obama’s previous campaign efforts.

To determine its findings, Socialbakers tracked interactions between December 1st and 31st to measure engagement and changes in online candidate popularity for all eight Democratic and Republican presidential political candidates on Facebook. The company plans to do the same for January’s New Hampshire primary, upcoming debates and other newsworthy events.

Below, are the firm’s key discoveries.

TL;DR: Obama has the most fans, Ron Paul currently has the highest viral reach, Michelle Bachmann leads in person-to-person interactions, but Obama leads with 50% of total interactions. 

Viral Reach (The total reach for each candidate when people “like” and comment, multiplied by the average number of friends per Facebook user to provide a comparable number)

  • Ron Paul has the highest overall viral reach, followed by Mitt Romney and Rick Perry
  • Ron Paul leads with 59,554 “people talking about” him this past week (second to Obama)
  • Rick Perry has the most engaging single-post amongst all candidates, followed by Jon Huntsman and Newt Gingrich
  • Obama’s most engaging post was a family portrait, yet had the lowest overall engagement rate* when compared to the other candidates
  • Ron Paul increased engagement rate by 69 percent, followed by a near tie between Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich, with a 58-percent increase and 57-percent increase respectively
  • Rick Santorum decreased engagement rate by -7 percent

Peer-to-Peer Interaction (all debates, comments, conversations to each other’s posts on candidate’s page)

  • Michelle Bachmann leads in person-to-person interactions among Facebook users, followed by Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman
  • Obama leads with 50 percent of the total interactions. Ron Paul leads the Republican Party with 19 percent, which is 2x and 3x higher than Mitt Romney and Rick Perry.

Candidate’s Facebook Fans:

  • Obama is leading with the most number of fans at 24 million, followed by Mitt Romney at 1.3 million, Ron Paul with 672,483 and Michelle Bachmann with 460,336.
  • Rick Santorum has the fastest-growing fan base throughout the last 30 days (23-percent growth) surpassing Jon Huntsman’s growth (18-percent growth).

More details on each candidate are available on Socialbaker’s new microsite for the elections, which includes details on each candidate.