[HTML1]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)
- Allen Alley on Twitter (@allen_alley): 681 followers
- Allen Alley fan page on Facebook: 3,314 likes
- Allen Alley profile on LinkedIn: 458 connections
Bill Bradbury (D)
- Bill Bradbury on Twitter (@Bradbury2010): 612 followers
- Bill Bradbury fan page on Facebook: 4,103 likes
- Bill Bradbury profile on LinkedIn: 130 connections
Chris Dudley (R)
- Chris Dudley on Twitter (@dudley2010): 583 followers
- Chris Dudley fan page on Facebook: 8,469 likes
- Chris Dudley profile on LinkedIn: 33 connections
John Kitzhaber (D)
- John Kitzhaber on Twitter (@kitz2010): 1,160 followers
- John Kitzhaber fan page on Facebook: 11,012 likes
- John Kitzhaber LinkedIn Group: 43 followers
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.)