Pew Research has released its latest study on US presidential candidates’ use of the web and social media.

Looking at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and campaign websites, Pew finds the Obama campaign generating more content by nearly four to one.

And the Obama folks are doing more targeted communications, allowing respondents  to join one of eighteen constituency groups — Latinos, veterans/military familes, women etc — in which case they receive more specialized communications.

Pew faults both campaigns for continuing to use social media — which are supposed to be more interactive — to essential ‘push’ messages as they would through conventional media.

Says Pew: “Rarely did either candidate reply to, comment on, or ‘retweet’ something from a citizen-or anyone else outside the campaign. On Twitter, 3% of the 404 Obama campaign tweets studied during the June period were retweets of citizen posts. Romney’s campaign produced just a single retweet during these two weeks-repeating something from his son Josh.”

Call me a cynic, but anyone who thinks a national campaign uses online media for anything more than stroking, persuading and fundraising is, well, nuts. The campaign wants to be your ‘friend’ … engage in a dialogue? Right!

In local campaigns, an entirely different level of connectivity and relationship building is possible if social media is used to its full potential.

But back to presidential campaigns …

Have you taken Pew’s latest political quiz? Only 13% of Americans get all 11 questions correct. Try it … it’s Friday.

Tom

P.S. And for you advocacy groups, check out the latest Google AdWords tool that — for the first time — permits targeting by congressional district (as opposed to zip code or city).

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