Tuesday’s election in the U.S. was a huge event online, and now Facebook is taking a look at the results of some of its efforts and politicians’ use of the social networking site in their campaigns.
For starters, Facebook says that more than 12 million people clicked the “I Voted” button that sat atop the news feed Tuesday — that’s more than double the number that did the same during the 2008 election. Of course, Facebook is several orders of magnitude bigger now than it was then, so that number’s not especially surprising.
More interesting, however, is that Facebook says that Page popularity was a good predictor of election night victory. Writing on the U.S. Politics on Facebook Page, the company says: “The Facebook political team’s initial snapshot of 98 House races shows that 74% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests. In the Senate, our initial snapshot of 19 races shows that 81% of candidates with the most Facebook fans won their contests.”
To be sure, there’s likely a strong correlation between candidates’ overall campaign strategy and likability and the number of Facebook fans they’re able to accumulate leading up to the election. Nonetheless, there’s also much to be said about the ability to communicate and interact with those fans during a campaign — not to mention the “endorsements” from friends that come by way of “likes” — a trend we think will only continue to gain importance in future elections.