April 26th, 2010

Governor of social media: What Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn say about the Oregon 2010 gubernatorial candidates

Governor of social media: What Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn say about the Oregon 2010 gubernatorial candidates

Now, there are any number of folks who will tell you that number of followers or fans on social networks—like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, for example—does not to equate to much of anything. And for the most part, I would agree.

But when you’re one of the leading gubernatorial candidates for the 2010 Oregon election, your number of followers could be an interesting indicator of your understanding of the power of social media—and your connection with the demographic that uses those tools.

You might remember, that we took a look at the candidates way early in the Oregon governor’s race. But how have things changed since then? Well, let’s  take a look at how the front runners are faring especially in regards to social media (in alphabetical order):

Allen Alley (R)

Bill Bradbury (D)

Chris Dudley (R)

John Kitzhaber (D)

What have we learned here?

While it’s difficult to make any significant assumptions or assessments, there are some interesting tidbits that fall out of this.

First, Facebook is obviously where the primary battle will be waged. And where the big numbers of voters will be corralled. But while liking a fan page is incredibly easy, it will be interesting to see how the candidates keep the Facebook users engaged.

Second, Twitter seems nascent, currently. But it could be an important tool for one or more of the candidates. If, and only if, they really engage and use the power of those connections to the greatest effect.

Third, the biggest shock of this whole thing? How little of a role LinkedIn is playing in this whole thing. You would think—given that every candidate is focusing on “jobs for Oregon”—that LinkedIn would be teeming with political social media intrigue. The actual case, however? Barely a whimper.

This will be interesting to watch. And we’re just getting started.

(Image courtesy functoruser. Used under Creative Commons.)

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5 Responses to “Governor of social media: What Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn say about the Oregon 2010 gubernatorial candidates”

  1. I’m interested in hearing more about your thoughts on how you might use LinkedIn during a political campaign.

  2. Rick Turoczy says:


    Kitzhaber’s camp asked the same thing.

    My response was:

    “I would think that the candidate with the best [LinkedIn] job board on their [LinkedIn] group would probably be the candidate most concerned about jobs.”

    And yes, I used really poor grammar. For proof see:


  3. Christian says:

    I, also, would like to hear why you think it’s shocking that LinkedIn isn’t really being used and how you might use it for a political campaign. Doesn’t really seem like a fit to me…

  4. Jeff Katz says:

    It’s about quality, not quantity – at least in terms of who is most effective on Twitter


  5. Croisan says:

    All candidates using Social Media would do well to review how Obama combined online fundraising with social networking to encourage and create self-organizing fund raising. Obama didn’t have the party fundraising support, Clinton did. Yet the my.obama.com/social networking/online support for self-organizing teams resulted in the largest political fundraising effort ever, unseating the party’s selected candidate in the primary.


    Once in office, he has driven the federal government to provide transparency and engage citizens using the low cost social networking online – overcoming a ton of inertia. They are still innovating and providing their agencies as much incentive as possible to engage the public using online technology. Which candidate will master this approach and follow it’s successful approach?

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