Former Texas Governor Rick Perry points to a supporter after announcing that he will run for president in 2016 June 4, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.
Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty

Rick Perry’s 2016 song is a big hit on Twitter

When former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced his second bid for the Republican presidential nomination Thursday in Addison, Texas, people on Twitter seemed to have more to say about the politician’s intro music than his speech. 
 
The former governor played a cover of a well-known song – Colt Ford’s “Answer to No One” – to mark his entrance on stage. According to data from Social Mention, there was a new tweet about the country-rap song every 23 seconds on average.
 
Some commented about the song’s Second Amendment-friendly lyrics.

Others called for replacing the GOP debate with a rap battle. 

Most people. however, were just thrilled that a country-rap songabout Rick Perry existed:
Conversation around Perry on Facebook has been less enthusiastic, even though the Perry intro song has been a top trending topic on that platform, too. Earlier Thursday after the Rick Perry for President 2016 website and banner ads with the message, “Gov. Perry Will Secure the Border” launched, conversation about “Rick Perry” began to spike on Facebook.  
 
There were 1 million mentions in total about Perry’s announcement, with 422,000 people on the social network participating in the conversation, according to data from Perry’s official campaign pageThe buzz on Facebook for Perry’s announcement has already outpaced that of Republican candidates Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham and Democratic candidate Martin O’Malley – all of whom have launched presidential campaigns within the past two weeks. Here is the number of people talking about each candidate in the 24 hours following the candidate’s respective announcement, as reported by Facebook Insights:
  1. Rick Perry: 422,000
  2. Rick Santorum: 169,000
  3. Lindsey Graham: 84,000
  4. Martin O’Malley: 84,000 
  5. George Pataki: 59,000
Perry’s social success can be attributed to his large Facebook fan base – his official page has more than 1.1 million likes. And Perry has had the help of fellow Texan Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, who holds the top spot among the 2016 GOP field for total unique mentions following a presidential launch: 2.1 million. Cruz helped boost the fellow Texan’s Facebook performance by posting a welcome note to Perry Thursday that garnered more than 7,000 Likes and almost 500 shares in four hours. 
 
Millennials and Baby Boomers: A Generational Divide in Sources Relied on for Political News
The size of Perry’s Facebook following is important in light of new data from Pew Research that shows millennials – people who were born after 1980 – are increasingly relying on Facebook as a source of political news. The study found that as many as 1 in 6 millennials report using Facebook as their primary news outlet, which means Perry’s team has an edge over some other 2016 candidates with smaller followings to capture the attention and support of that young demographic on the social platform when they are in the mindset to receive political information.
 
The Perry announcement video on YouTube, however, had a slow start, accumulating about 15 views on average per hour in the four hours following his announcement. The first announcement video posted by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who is also running for president, had hundreds of views in the first minutes it was available online, before YouTube’s “Content ID” scanner pulled it from the network because of copyright infringement. According to the latest data from YouTube from June 5, Perry’s video now has more than 10,000 views. The updated announcement video Rand Paul released, by comparison, had more than 100,000 views the day after the launch of his presidential campaign.

Although Perry has a large fan base on Facebook – which is valuable for many reasons, including online fundraising – his digital team has a long way to go to build an audience on apps like Instagram and Snapchat, which will play a more important role during this campaign cycle. Perry has started to embrace Snapchat – team Perry announced his campaign moments before the candidate took the stage Thursday. 
 
Perry isn’t the only 2016 presidential contender who has joined Snapchat. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) recently joined the app, and Paul joined in January 2014.



 
 

Rick Perry, Social Media and Texas

Rick Perry's 2016 song is a big hit on Twitter