The Obama campaign recently saw a huge spike in "Likes" one day this week after the President's team invested in "Sponsored Stories" to appear in Facebook news feeds.
According to media reports, the "Likes" on President Obama's Facebook page spiked on Oct. 9. Buzzfeed reported the surge was "more than 10 times his usual daily growth rate."
BBC News attributed this gain to the Obama team paying for "Sponsored Stories" to appear in some users' News Feeds. Seemingly, this effort was not unlike other "sponsored" ads on social media that give the user no way to filter or block ads.
Before this latest campaign push on social media, specifically Facebook, Obama's page reportedly was receiving 30,000 "Likes" a day, on Oct. 9 it received a whopping 1 million.
Inside Facebook has posted graphs which contrasts Obama and Romney's Facebook numbers.
While it seems this campaign effort was successful from a numbers perspective, not everyone was happy to see election ads stream through their Facebook feeds. BBC reports:
"Why is Barack Obama on my Facebook newsfeed?" wrote a young female user from Illinois.
"I'm getting really sick of those Obama ads sponsored on my Facebook page," another said.
One user, in a message directed at President Obama's Twitter account, demanded: "Quit trying to promote yourself on my Facebook and Twitter feeds. I never 'liked' or 'followed' you."
Reportedly, Romney's team has also stepped up efforts in social media in order to reach a larger pool of voters.
BBC pointed to research conducted by the University of Pennsylvania which found of 1,503 adults that use the Internet, 86 percent of those surveyed said they did not want to receive individually tailored political advertisements.
Of these, 70 percent said viewing ads from a candidate they would vote for would decrease that support. The university study [PDF] also noted 50 percent said support would "decrease a lot", 22 percent said "decrease somewhat" if campaigns used Facebook information to send ads to the friends of people who had "Liked" a candidate's page.
The study also noted, "85 percent agree (including 47 percent who agree strongly) that “If I found out that Facebook was sending me ads for political candidates based on my profile information that I had set to private, I would be angry.” (the study also said Facebook does do this)
In the 2008 election, Obama had successfully used social media as an outreach method. As polls continue to show both Obama and Romney in a close race, can the President successfully use social media to gain a needed last minute push, or will this year's trends of paying for ads potentially have a negative impact?