Mark Malseed and Alex Salta at OhMyGov! want to know, "Can anyone or anything stop the social media juggernaut that is Sarah Palin?"
An analysis by OhMyGov of social media activity during the early stages of the 2012 campaign reveals that Palin can do no wrong when it comes to Facebook and Twitter. Palin's social media fan growth so far in 2011 outshines that of any other GOP contender, declared or rumored, in many cases by a factor of 10. And she doesn't need to be part of the day's big story to experience continued rapid growth.Gov. Palin's social media presence is remarkably strong, the authors note, pointing out that the 150,000 Facebook fans Gov. Palin picked up during just the weeks of the State of the Union and her India trip are more than most politicians, government agencies and many in the GOP presidential field can claim in total fans.
The former Alaska governor has gained momentum in a number of unexpected situations. Palin attracted more news coverage than both Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty in the days following their announcements of presidential exploratory committees, as OhMyGov reported yesterday, even as her own presidential intentions remain unclear. Palin also drew more new social media followers than Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in the aftermath of the assassination attempt in Tucson that left Giffords critically wounded. And Palin saw her biggest spike in new Facebook fans --- or "Likes" of her page --- around the time of President Obama's State of the Union speech, which she provocatively criticized as being full of "WTF moments."
Anytime Palin becomes part of a news story, whether deliberately or unwittingly, our analysis shows, she benefits handsomely on social media. With a commanding advantage in Facebook fans over all her potential GOP primary opponents --- and a strong showing on Twitter as well --- Palin wields a lot of influence in the campaign whether she enters the race or not.
After keeping a respectful silence in the first days following the Tucson attacks, Palin made her first public statement via a video message released on January 12, resulting in a slew of traditional media coverage and social media activity.
In the 24 hours after accusing the mainstream media of "blood libel" in her video statement, Palin picked up another 3,021 Twitter followers and a staggering 15,068 new Facebook fans. Within a week of her remarks Palin netted roughly 9,000 new Twitter followers, proving once again that in politics there is no such thing as bad publicity.