Facebook and Twitter are important tools for candidates. It surprises me that a couple of the candidates for governor are not utilizing the medium well, or at all. Statewide campaigns end up being big machines, and the social networking sites are a great tool to either provide information or plan meetings. The social network sites can even create mini-campaign machines for individuals to bundle information from the candidates they support to distribute to their friends.
While Facebook and Twitter seem to be a great tools for candidate’s information, I contend that the personal notes that can be posted have an effect in making a candidate more human, and less politician.
If everything is campaign, campaign, campaign, people tune out. But throw in a little personal note that normal people can relate to, and the candidate has made a connection. Make a few connections and you have a chance to lasso a committed delegate. That’s the current goal right now right, to have delegates going into the local conventions, making the pitch and working the walking caucus.
Connections and friendship are what get people to work for a candidate, and feel that sense of required attendance at the caucus and conventions. Facebook is such an easy way to do it. Mark Dayton has made comments about his sons, grandfather and a family that adopted a few Russian kids recently. Yes, it is all campaigning, but it isn’t pure propaganda, it’s personal. And just think how impressed some people would be if a candidate commented on their post.
Of course I realize some candidates have people posting for them, I didn’t say we still need to trust them, I’m just saying it creates connection. So what would connect us today? Something interesting has happened over the last couple of days. There have been many posts on Facebook about the Twins, the Vikings and Brett Favre, and to a lesser extent the Wild and Gophers. Sorry Timberwolves fans, zero. Anyway, people I don’t recall posting about sports have posted about those subjects, and it is the amount of sports related posts that made me think about the candidates and social networking.
I was curious which candidates were posting about these events of unimportance that seem to be important to so many of us. I knew Mark Dayton and R.T. Rybak had posted sports related post what about the rest of the candidates?
I looked at the post from the beginning of the month until just after the Twins win tonight.
Margaret Anderson Kelliher
“is pretty impressed with the stretch of Minnesota sports going on right now . . . Gophers, Twin, Vikings, Wild, and the TC Marathon. Rock on, MN.”
TC Marathon comment on Twitter
“Celebrating now! VIKINGS 30- Packers 23. 4th Quarter a little “too close for comfort.” Sidney Rice is an all-pro on-sides kick catcher!” Twitter
“VIKINGS 14-Packers 7, 2nd Q. Too early to celebrate, but #4 can still throw the ball!!!” Twitter
“CONGRATULATIONS, Twins, for your sweep of KC, & GOOD LUCK in Tuesday’s game against Detroit. Baseball at the Dome lives! AND GO VIKINGS!” Twitter
I don’t think he Tweets, and I am not friends on Facebook yet.
“…enjoyed watching the Vikings win last night.” Facebook (by the way, that is so vanilla)
“Brett Favre continues to show how much better he is for MN than T-Paw! Go Vikes!!” Twitter
“Next up from the sports capitol of the world: Thunderdome, Part II. Go Twins!” Twitter
“Why do otherwise high-functioning people turn into Cheeseheads during Packer week? Clearly, a breach of border security.” Twitter
“Great Donkey Chili in Pine County – listening to Twins win and Metrodome memories on the way up & back to boot.” Twitter
Nothing really big, no earth shattering news or enlightenment, I’m just pointing out an example of a missed opportunity to connect.