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Statewide Candidates and Social Media: Weekly Update

Voting_booth 

By Roy J. Wells, President, Triad Strategies

As I was tossing my junk “snail” mail into the garbage, it reminded me that we will all start receiving plenty of mail from candidates running for statewide office.  My wife and I put aside the pieces from the candidates that we like and toss the pieces of those we are unlikely to vote for.  Some of you might read every piece, while others may simply throw it all into the waste basket.  Everybody handles unsolicited mail differently.  I am always amazed at how much candidates pay for these pieces, both the printing and the postage.  Depending upon the piece, you could be looking at as little as fifty cents to as much as one dollar.  It seems like a lot of money to spend in the hope that someone will read the candidates name before they throw it away, let alone read the message.

Since candidates have been doing this for as long as I have been alive, it must be successful or they would no longer be doing it.  Maybe that explains why campaigns have been slow to embrace the use of bulk e-mail in their strategies.  Since you can reach 20% of your voter base with email, at a cost of pennies to the print dollar, you would think that more campaigns would be embracing this technology to reach their likely voters.   Though I believe it is easier to measure the Return on Investment (ROI) of bulk e-mail than direct mail, e-mail is just catching on.

All of the traditional ways that campaigns reach out to their likely voters, including e-mail, are intrusive.  In an age of caller ID, Tivo/DVR, spam filters, and satellite radio, the public has found ways to tune out commercials and political messages.  Consequently, the cost of trying to reach those voters has increased considerably.  

Social media differs from traditional media because it is not intrusive to the audience.  Voters choose to become your fan on Facebook or follow you on Twitter because they are already interested in the content that you will be offering them.  In essence, you have a captive audience that wants to be captured.  Social media lets you take your message directly to the voter instead of hoping that they will come to you.  When you post a message as an update on Facebook you are not only providing your “fans” with it, but they can interact with you thereby sharing that message with their friends.  By tweeting your message, your followers can re-tweet it to their followers significantly multiplying the number of people who can read, hear, or view it.

Statewide candidates have little choice than to use traditional tactics to reach the public.  But given the rapid technological changes that are occurring, they should be looking for where there voters are hanging out.  Facebook has over 400 million users, with half of them logging in each day and spending over 55 minutes surfing the site.  Twitter has 75 million users who generated 1.2 billion tweets in January of this year.  A lot of potential voters are spending a lot of time interacting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Flickr.

Finally, just this past weekend, GOP gubernatorial candidate state Rep. Sam Rohrer implored his followers to take advantage of social media as a way to spread his message.

Here is the latest update on how the gubernatorial and senatorial candidates are doing on Facebook and Twitter.  Click here to see how this compares to one week ago.

In the race for Pennsylvania Governor the Republicans continued to outpace the Democrats on the Social Media front.  Attorney General Corbett added 160 new fans this week compared to Representative Rohrer’s 110 new fans, though Rep. Rohrer still maintains a lead in the total number of fans.  We have yet to hear a “tweet” from the Attorney General since we started tracking his social media presence, while  Representative Rohrer is averaging just two a day. There was little Facebook activity on the Democratic side with all of the candidates combined adding just 72 fans.  Commissioner Hoeffel still leads with 1,413 fans and continues to out tweet his opponents with 132 tweets this past week.

There was barely a tweet out of our senatorial candidates this week with some slight increases in the number of Facebook fans.  We have also started to track Peg Luksik’s social media presence. 

 

 

 

2/14/2010

GOVERNOR

 

 

 

 

 

REPUBLICANS

 

Corbett

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

2,011

 

Twitter

 

@Tom_Corbett

 

 

 

Followers

234

 

 

Following

56

 

 

Tweets

1

 

 

Listed

23

@Corbett2010

 

 

 

Followers

73

 

 

Following

0

 

 

Tweets

0

 

 

Listed

13

 

 

 

 

Roher

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

2,522

 

Twitter

 

@samrohrer

 

 

 

Followers

270

 

 

Following

8

 

 

Tweets

167

 

 

Listed

40

 

 

 

 

DEMOCRATS

 

Doherty

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

28

 

Twitter

 

@DohertyPA

 

 

 

Followers

219

 

 

Following

18

 

 

Tweets

18

 

 

Listed

30

@ChrisDoherty

 

 

 

Followers

41

 

 

Following

2

 

 

Tweets

1

 

 

Listed

0

 

 

 

 

Onorato

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

955

 

Twitter

 

@dan_onorato

 

 

 

Followers

457

 

 

Following

0

 

 

Tweets

32

 

 

Listed

54

@DanOnorato2010

 

 

 

Followers

83

 

 

Following

0

 

 

Tweets

0

 

 

Listed

4

@voteonorato

 

 

 

Followers

30

 

 

Following

0

 

 

Tweets

0

 

 

Listed

2

 

 

 

 

Hoeffel

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

1,413

 

Twitter

 

@joehoeffel

 

 

 

Followers

290

 

 

Following

348

 

 

Tweets

66

 

 

Listed

31

@Hoeffel4PAGov

 

 

 

Followers

114

 

 

Following

7

 

 

Tweets

1,915

 

 

Listed

10

 

 

 

 

Wagner

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

202

@WagnerGov2010

 

 

Twitter

 

 

 

Followers

209

 

 

Following

85

 

 

Tweets

99

 

 

Listed

29

 

 

 

 

Williams

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Personal

874

 

 

Fan Page

 

 

Twitter

 

@SenTonyWilliams

 

 

 

Followers

215

 

 

Following

70

 

 

Tweets

17

 

 

Listed

26

 

 

 

 

US SENATE

 

 

 

 

 

DEMOCRATS

 

Specter

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

5,411

 

Twitter

 

@SenArlenSpecter

 

 

 

Followers

7,786

 

 

Following

293

 

 

Tweets

379

 

 

Listed

710

Sestak

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

4,797

 

Twitter

 

@JoeSestak

 

 

 

Followers

2,835

 

 

Following

16

 

 

Tweets

336

 

 

Listed

263

@Sestak2010

 

 

 

Followers

2,427

 

 

Following

1,942

 

 

Tweets

526

 

 

Listed

209

 

 

 

 

REPUBLICANS

 

Toomey

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

8,386

@ToomeyForSenate

 

 

Twitter

 

 

 

Followers

4,084

 

 

Following

4,103

 

 

Tweets

501

 

 

Listed

268

 

 

 

 

Luksik

 

 

Facebook

 

 

 

Fan Page

131

 

 

Group

415

 

Twitter

 

@pegluksik

 

 

 

Followers

202

 

 

Following

202

 

 

Tweets

92

 

 

Listed

22

 

 

 

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