Facebook friends abandon Mitt Romney

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

It's been said that at times of adversity, you learn who your real friends are.

Well, Mitt Romney doesn't have as many 'real' friends as he might have thought.

On Saturday, the Daily Dot reported that GOP presidential candidate was losing Facebook friends at an incredible pace. Since he lost on election night, 86,337 people have 'un-liked' Romney's Facebook page — that's an 'un-like' rate of almost 800 an hour.

For what it's worth now, Romney and the Republicans were never really engaged when it came to social media; Barack Obama dominated his counterpart in both Facebook likes and Twitter followers:

Election night social media statistics:

Obama Romney
Twitter followers 22,112,160 1,760,338
Facebook likes 32,313,965 12,135,972

(Source: San Francisco Chronicle)

Vancouver-based online communications consultant Dave Teixeira says social media was a valuable tool for the Obama team in recruiting, engaging and activating volunteers, supporters and voters.

He also believes it's a good way of predicting future elections.

"Those folks who are leading in social media also seem to have some pretty positive results in the real world and I think we're going to continue to see that line happen," he told CKNW Radio on Saturday.

"I don't necessarily mean that if you have one more follower than the other guy you're guaranteed to win, but what you are going to see is that the engagement process is incredibly high."

On his blog, Teixeira says that the number of Twitter followers correctly "predicted" the first, second and third place finishers in both the Alberta and Quebec elections.

How are Canada's politicos doing in the social media realm?

According to Politwitter.ca, there are now approximately 243 — of the 308 — members of Parliament on Twitter and 228 have public Facebook pages.

The impressive website, which 'broadcasts' MPs' Twitter feeds, Facebook posts and YouTube videos, also includes detailed statistics about the way Canadian politicians engage the public on social media.

Here are some of their top-line statistics:

Most Twitter followers (cumulative):

MPs on Twitter Total followers
Conservative MPs 124 475,848
Liberal MPs 28 349,663
NDP MPs 89 236,289
Green MPs 1 48,572
Bloc MPs 1 1,493

Most Twitter followers (by MP):

Stephen Harper 253,848
Justin Trudeau 165,679
Denis Coderre 86,614
Elizabeth May 48,572
Bob Rae 31,846

Most Facebook fans (by party):

Conservative Party 113,315
Liberal Party 106,462
NDP 102,428
Green Party 29,511
Bloc Quebecois 1,958