Social media has become an integral component in the political campaigns, as evidenced by Barack Obama’s extraordinary path to the White House in 2008. It seems now that it is vital to have a large social media community. Mitt Romney and his campaign staff recognized this, and, despite their huge disadvantage against Obama’s 30-plus million on Facebook, Romney managed to build his likes up to nearly 13 million. Unfortunately for Romney, since he lost the election he has also begun to lose those likes, quickly.
Slate recently reports that shortly after the election Romney was losing around 593 to 847 likes per hour. Romney is on pace to soon drop below 12 million, and I encourage you to visit his page, wait 10 seconds, reload the page and see how many likes he loses. It’s fun. Interestingly, Obama, Green Party candidate Jill Stein, and Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson have all increased their likes since the election. So that raises the questions: why is Mitt loses fans and why so quickly?
I wish I could answer these questions with authority, however I can’t. But I can offer a few possibilities that could be further explored. First, publicly liking a politician is a taste statement, so it is possible his former fans no longer want Mitt Romney to be an element of their taste statements. Second, it is possible that the likes were not authentic in the first place. There were reports that the Romney campaign bought likes, so maybe the alleged phony fan profiles are being deleted now. Authenticity also comes into question when considering if those likes were genuine, or if they were just gestures of being anti-Obama. Finally, it is not unreasonable to think that there are several people that would rather not be associated with a “loser.” There is a cultural stigma associated with loss, so it is possible some may not want to be reminded of or associated with Mitt Romney because of that stigma.