Winning the Pinterest popularity contest might not mean much when it comes to the election, but the role of the spouses likely matters more on the female-centric site. The majority of Pinterest users are women, and the site reaches a user base that rivals other popular social networks such as Instagram and Tumblr.
"This represents the first year that Pinterest, now the 3rd largest social media network, has been around during a presidential election cycle," noted Apu Gupta, the CEO and co-founder of Curalate. "Pinterest provides us an opportunity to see how people engage with candidates and their spouses in a more emotional and visual way. This really is about humanizing the candidates and the spouses and finding content that enables people to form a more emotional connection to the candidates and their spouses."
More people view, comment on and like Ann Romney's content than they do Michelle Obama's. That could be because Ann Romney often shares and comments on her own images. Her most popular images, according to Curalate, are recipes.
According to the Romney campaign, many women in the Romney family use Pinterest personally. The Obama campaign manages the Pinterest pages of both the first lady and the president.
Pinterest allows users to "pin" and "re-pin" images organized in themed collections as image "boards." Re-pinning increases the number of users who see pins originally shared by someone they don't follow, so Ann Romney's interaction rate also increases how many eyeballs — measured here as "impressions" — see her content. Romney has nearly a million more impressions overall compared to the first lady, Curalate found.
Although recipes, tutorials and wish-list images tend to be the most popular items on Pinterest, most of the president's and Mitt Romney's most popular pins don't involve any of those things. Obama's top pins do include the "Obama family chili recipe," which is not an image of the dish but a recipe card.
One of Romney's most-viewed images is the book cover to Enders Game, a very popular novel by Orson Scott Card that is included on the GOP nominee's "Books" collection, which includes other interesting choices such as L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000.
Follower counts for all four have increased by a few hundred each since the study closed Oct. 24. Michelle Obama's follower count has grown the most, in keeping with the growth trend noted by Curalate. Gupta also noted that Ann Romney started her account five months before Michelle Obama, meaning the first lady caught up quick in terms of followers.
Infographic provided by Curalate.