NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- John McCain's disastrous digital campaign in 2008 was best captured in his confession that he didn't use email. Four years later, it doesn't appear Mitt Romney has circumvented those pitfalls either.
The Romney campaign Tuesday blasted out a Facebook (FB) post that asked users to help the presumptive Republican nominee reach 4 million "likes" on the social networking site, but that would still trail President Barack Obama's "likes" by a 7 to 1 ratio.
Obama has had the advantage of four years as president and an extended 2008 campaign to build up his presence on social media, but that may not be enough of an excuse for Romney.
"Here we are four years later and basically what they're [Obama] doing is executing the same strategy again, and it seems as though everything I've seen from the GOP and Mitt Romney is that these guys are stuck in a direct-mail time warp," said Al DiGuido, a digital marketing consultant.DiGuido said he thinks the Romney campaign is relying on network television ads, yard signs and direct mail blitzes to win voters this election, but he pointed out that these were tactics that worked for political strategists like Karl Rove in the 1990s and early 2000s. A person familiar with Romney's campaign said the former Massachusetts governor's Facebook "likes" would reach the 4 million threshold by the weekend, thanks partly to a boost after the candidate launched a smartphone app to announce his vice presidential pick. Romney's Facebook page has gained an average of 15,946 "likes" per day since the app launched on July 31. Romney has seen "likes" jump 2.4 million since Feb. 2, as the president has edged out his opponent with a 2.8 million gain since the same day. Obama has also devoured Romney on Twitter as the president has racked up 18.3 million followers against Romney's 792,467. Romney supporters may point to the Republican's fundraising numbers in the last three months as proof that his social media disadvantage hasn't derailed his opportunity to defeat Obama. Romney outraised Obama in July, June and May. In a tight race, social media could tip the election to one candidate or the other, said DiGuido. The Obama campaign, with its stronger online presence, could utilize its metrics to reach out to more independents or undecided voters. Advertisements, calls and mailers work, but if Obama can target the right people in the final weeks he would seemingly have the advantage as Romney uses time and resources to pitch his message to masses of voters who may have already made up their minds. -- Written by Joe Deaux in New York. >Contact by Email. Follow @JoeDeaux
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