I am a guy who loves stats.
I’ve loved them since I could get my hands on them.
My music background trained me to be analytical. You would think music is mostly about the emotion. But it’s not. It’s about trying to figure out how to play the notes right.
That’s what marketing is to me. Trying to figure out how to play the notes right.
The only way you can figure that out is through analysis.
The other thing I’ve learned about stats is that I am in the minority. Most people don’t like them. They just want the results.
So in this blog post I’m going to try to marry those two masters. My love of stats and your desire to know what they mean.
First, let me tell you what I have done.
I went to the Summit County Republican and Democrat websites that showed the list of 2012 candidates:
All of my research is based on these two pages. I did not do any other investigative analysis to see if these pages were missing any data. My thought was that if the party websites were not up to date that said something in itself. So I’m taking them at their face value.
If either party wants me to include candidate data that is not here I will gladly do it. Just let me know.
The first thing I did was look at the candidates websites, Facebook presences and Twitter accounts.
Here are the total numbers of these by race:
- For 15 races, Democrats have 14 websites. Republicans have 3 websites.
- For 15 races, Democrats have 12 Facebook presences. Republicans have 1 presence.
- For 15 races, Democrats have 3 Twitter accounts. Republicans have 1 Twitter account.
Here’s the breakdown by race:
If you are seriously running for office in 2012 I don’t know how can legitimately rationalize that not having a website, Facebook and Twitter account is somehow acceptable. It costs you nothing to set up. You can learn how to use them in minutes.
Just because you don’t use these things doesn’t mean that you somehow represent the rest of your community. You don’t.
I can understand if you don’t have enough money to put a sign on every corner in Summit County. Or fill every billboard with your picture. Or buy endless TV spots. I can understand that. I can’t understand why you can’t get a website or Facebook presence or Twitter account.
Ron Antal is the only Summit County Republican who has bothered to set up a Facebook page and Twitter account.
Let me ask you something, Republicans: do you honestly think a person who works anywhere in the information space, that wasn’t a party line Republican, would vote for you? How am I supposed to learn about you? How am I supposed to talk to you? I am 40 years old and I want to meet you online.
But now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let me focus on the positive: Ron Antal.
Ron, I love what you have started on your Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Antal2012
The picture of you at the Summit County Fair with the chickens is hilarious. And the picture with you and your kids at the Festa Italiana in Cuyahoga Falls is sweet. Please keep doing more of that. You look like a down to earth, real guy. I don’t know anything about your politics but you have done a nice job of connecting with me.
I want you to start buying sponsored stories in Facebook for your Facebook page. You need more fans. I am a registered Democrat. But if you can get over that I will gladly consult with you for free. You can call me at 330-379-9000 ext. 5010
I’m very proud of you for taking the efforts that you have.
The offer that I make to Ron I also make to any Summit County Democratic candidate. I am willing to help you with your Web marketing for free. Just ask. I’ll stand by this offer until August 31, 2012.
Let’s keep going down the analysis path.
Here are the Summit County candidates who have Facebook pages organized by total number of Likes:
Party Candidate | Likes | Talking About This | % of Fans who are Talking
Democrats Frank C. Comunale | Friends totals are hidden
Democrats Kristen Scalise | 612 | 101 | 16.50%
Democrats Russ Iona | 397 | 0.00%
Democrats Steve Barry | 361 | 35 | 9.70%
Democrats Tim S Crawford | 333 | 0.00%
Democrats Sandra Kurt | 288 | 14 | 4.86%
Democrats Paula Prentice | 218 | 0.00%
Democrats Russ Pry | 199 | 29 | 14.57%
Democrats Daniel Horrigan | 181 | 0.00%
Democrats Tamela Lee | 105 | 1 | 0.95%
Democrats Sherri Bevan Walsh | 93 | 22 | 23.66%
Republicans Ron Antal | 15 | 1 | 6.67%
I have also included the “Talking About This” numbers for people who are using Facebook pages and not profiles. I have then taken those two numbers and come up with a percentage of number of fans that are talking about the page
“Talking About This” lets you quickly see how engaged the fans are of a particular page. Social media is all about engagement.
For example, Sherri Bevan Walsh has the least amount of fans for the Democrats. But she has a nice amount of engagement. You don’t need a lot of people. You just need to connect with the people that are interested in you.
Kristen Scalise has the most amount of fans. But she is also doing a lot with them. Her percentage of fans talking about her page is 16.5%.
Every Summit County candidate should check out her page:
Look at what she’s doing. Look at how people are talking with her. She is a social media natural.
Look at all the pictures she has put up:
That said, the person with the least amount of likes in the Democratic column, Sherri Bevan Walsh, has the highest engagement at 23.66%. She is getting a lot of engagement rate now with her story, “Prosecutor Walsh endorsed by the City of Green Democrats Club!” 19 people have liked that story.
Keep the excitement coming, Sherri! You are on a roll.
Here are the stats for the four candidates in Summit County that have Twitter accounts:
Twitter | Tweets | Following | Followers
https://twitter.com/kristenscalise | 207 | 30 | 34
https://twitter.com/leeforcouncil | 184 | 75 | 48
https://twitter.com/danielmhorrigan | 99 | 65 | 49
https://twitter.com/ronantal | 79 | 1059 | 240
I find Twitter to be a harder nut to crack, in general.
There are definitely people on Twitter and they are using Twitter. but you really have to engage with them to get a significant following.
I’ve used a tool called followerwonk to analyze three of the four of these Twitter accounts. It shows some interesting data like how long a person has been on Twitter, how many total tweets they’ve had and the average number of tweets per week.
You can see the complete report here:
But here is a quick snapshot:
Ron Antal, the Republican, looks to be very successful on Twitter. His approach seems to be to start following a lot of people and it appears to be working.
Based on what I’m seeing here Twitter looks to be a struggle. If I was going to give some overarching recommendations for all the Summit County candidates it would probably be to mostly put Twitter on autopilot. When you post to Facebook have it also go to Twitter. I wouldn’t recommend making it completely duplicated from Facebook. You’ll occasionally want to put specific things on Twitter. As you go along, you will probably get a feel for how those two audiences are different. You can then tailor the messaging for them.
Every presidential election year I like to look at the strategies of political candidates. I’ve been doing it fairly intensely since 2004.
Each year I do it I see the Republicans lagging behind the Democrats. And each year I think that maybe they will catch up in the next election cycle.
That never seems to be the case. In fact the Democrats seem to be continually pushing these tools farther and farther. And the Republicans appear to use them reluctantly. Do the Republicans not like social media? Do they not want to talk to their constituents?
How can you ever expect me to vote for you if you don’t have a social media strategy? It instantly negates you from my list. You are also alienating virtually everyone younger than me. Social media is how people communicate today.