Local Politics: Bring on the Social Media

I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a social media junkie.  I enjoy my fix of online interaction.  The social media explosion intrigues me.

For me, first it was Facebook.  Then a little LinkedIn.  Now it’s Twitter.  Oh yeah, and blogging.  Can’t forget about that.

You might also have noticed that I’ve got a passing interest in politics. Yeah, I know.  Surprising.

So when I read a recent blog post by Albany’s premier political blogger, Albany Citizen One, I knew I should mention it here.  (And yes… I might be a bit favorably biased ’cause she’s got “Citizen” in her blog title, too.)

In a post titled “Politicians: Let’s Be Friends,” ACO wrote about an interesting phenomenon.  She compared the number of Facebook friends of the winners and losers in a number of 2010 races.  In the cases that she wrote about, she found a fascinating similarity between the number of friends and the number of votes.  Check it out.

Now, it’s not a scientific study… but it is compelling.

Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t believe that elections will be won or lost solely on social media.  But, I am convinced that candidates can ill-afford to ignore its value and impact.  Even at the local level, I believe that it will be increasingly important for candidates to interact with constituents using social media tools.  The tough part will be finding the right mixture of tools.

With 2011 being an election cycle focused more on local races, it will be exciting to see just how much return politicians get on their social media investment.

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