10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians


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Elections have long-reaching consequences, and Election 2012 is no exception. Social media makes it almost inevitable that any given candidate’s online buzz will influence the result. At minimum, it will certainly influence the conversation both online and off as the election season heats up. That’s why we decided to look at politics through a social media lens this week—with the goal of finding those politicians best tapping into the “power of the people” online.

10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians

  1. Elections 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged PoliticiansElections have long-reaching consequences, and Election 2012 is no exception.Social media makes it almost inevitable that any given candidate’s online buzz willinfluence the result. At minimum, it will certainly influence the conversation bothonline and off as the election season heats up. That’s why we decided to look atpolitics through a social media lens this week—with the goal of finding thosepoliticians best tapping into the “power of the people” online.We started our research with the slate of known contenders for U.S. President,governorships, and more. Then we expanded our scope to include those politicianswho were grabbing their fair share of the social media dialog, even if they weren’t inthe running for office anymore. From there, we researched their social media activityusing FanPageList.com and our own Sysomos MAP listening tool, and found thestandouts. We felt like we had to mention the obvious candidates, but we alsowanted to share some surprises with considerable international social media fanfare,as well. We know that the citizens will ultimately be the ones to decide in the votingbooth, but for us, these political picks certainly are in the running as the most socialmedia savvy politicos.
  2. 1. Barack Obama Tweeter in Chief The President of the United States is not social media averse and his numbers show it. He has 25M+ Facebook fans, 12M+ Twitter followers, 52K Foursquare followers, and a 90.4 Klout score. The online buzz and social media conversation will always be high around any sitting president, but it’s spiking now as election drama intensifies. Particularly resonant are the ways his social media is being handled. For example, Obama’s live stream includes everything from his singing “Let’s Stay Together” to event appearances, providing a mix of advocacy, education, and even entertainment that drives a personal connection for followers. For that, we say, hail to the chief! Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  3. 2. Sarah PalinIn the Running Without Being in the Race Palin is a force of nature. Love her or hate her, her charisma cannot be denied. She has toured the U.S. in a bus on a family vacation to locations that just happened to be political epicenters at the times she visited. Her 2008 run as McCain’s vice-presidential candidate caused a buzz that she is still leveraging. She has become a moose-hunting, jet ski riding reality TV star and more. Of course, she’s not just an active voice in the offline world. Her social media numbers have impact, too: 3M+ Facebook fans, 730k+ Twitter followers, and a 72.2 Klout score. For popular, buzz-worthy and biting commentary, we had to give this Grizzly Mama her props. Elections 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  4. 3. George W. Bush Building a Legacy Bush, or “Dubyah” to his friends, is another surprise choice not actively participating in the current election cycle. As a former two-term U.S. president, he can’t be in the running, but what we see and like about his social puts him in the must-notice category. Bush uses a multi-profile rather than a strong multi-channel approach to his social conversation. His Facebook page, host to 1.6M+ fans, integrates not only his current travels worldwide, but also the postings of former First Lady Laura W. Bush and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, as well as several websites. His Twitter presence is not yet robust, but for multi- profile integration, we tip our hat to him. Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  5. 4. Queen Rania Al Abdullah Social Media Royalty Rania Al Abdullah is the current Queen Consort of Jordan as the wife of King Abdullah II of Jordan. She came in with high social media numbers and is our international exotic choice for this politically themed Pulse. Her Majesty hosts 900K+ Facebook fans, 1.9M Twitter followers, and participates in nearly a dozen websites. She impressed us with her online discussions related to being a mother, a philanthropist, a woman, and an entrepreneur. She radiates warmth and kindness with her verbiage. In an international political environment that can be hostile and divisive, the Queen has a high 93% favorable sentiment rating. For that, we honor her commitment to authenticity and humanity. Elections 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  6. 5. Newt GingrichA Master of the Call-to-Action Newt Gingrich has been coming out swinging this primary season, both in traditional and social media. Leading with his Twitter following at 1.4M+, Gingrich also hosts a Facebook fan base of 277K+ and comes in with a high Klout score of 83.9. What we notice is his consistent call-to-action on all of his online platforms. Nearly every one of Gingrich’s tweets features a strong call-to-action, e.g., “watch this now,” “meet this volunteer,” “join us today,” “support us here,” and so on. We’d prefer to see a bit more engagement with the fans in the form of @ replies, but we had to admire the G- team’s commitment to action, so we’re calling him out. Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  7. 6. Gavin NewsomRabble Rouser Ready for His Close Up Gavin Newsom, elected in 2010 as Lt. Governor of California, is not afraid of causing trouble. He championed the legalization of same-sex marriage in California. As the youngest San Francisco mayor in 100 years, he backed a “Care not Cash” program to move the homeless into city-assisted care. He’s tackled municipal rail issues, restricting tobacco advertising, landlord penalties and more. Newsom’s social numbers are strong, too: 100K+ on Facebook and 1.M on Twitter. Newsom is also a prolific video interviewee. His use of multimedia in both the offline and online worlds is worth noting. He’s handsome, engaging, and was voted in 2010 as “The Most Social Mayor in America” by Samepoint. We couldn’t agree more!
  8. 7. Corey BookerJersey’s Social Media Mayor Cory Booker is mayor of Newark, New Jersey. He is also featured on Samepoint’s list of most social mayors, and with good cause. His numbers look good. Booker’s Twitter account comes in 1.1M+, but his Facebook hosts quite a bit fewer at 56K. Booker’s YouTube channel has seen almost a million views and the videos are a mix of people-on-the-street interactions, legislative appearances, and presentations. They really demonstrate his engaged, personable style on social. He uses inspirational quotes, tons of videos and pictures, and features the community often. He doesn’t lead with hard-core policy declarations, but instead prefers a subtler role model approach. His fans quote him often and we understand why! Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  9. 8. Kevin RuddAussie with Serious SEO Chops Kevin Michael Rudd is currently the Minister for Foreign Affairs in Australia. He’s also rocking the social media space, so we picked him as another international entry. Rudd’s Twitter account comes in with 1M+ followers. His Facebook comes in with 60K fans. He is a master at using effective keywords in his social stream, in that his status updates typically use the keywords others would use to search for him online. He’s not shy to call out other politicians or even nations by name to drive dialog and search pickup. He regularly posts using keywords tied to specific policy actions and more. This sophisticated use of keywords to maximize search pickup is not typically exhibited by many politicians. Rudd is breaking ground. Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  10. 9. Al GoreInfluence Beyond the Oval Office We all remember former Vice-President Al Gore for his Inconvenient Truth book and movement. His 2.4M+ Twitter fans and 74K+ Facebook fans are helping to keep his environmental advocacy and climate change message buzzing. The conversation on his Facebook page includes numerous likes and comments on every single post, and Gore’s social is basically open. Negative comments are given free rein, including comments like “Al, please SHUT UP. Do something with your life that is based on fact and not some lie you are spreading in order to make you $$$.” Not many brands would have the courage to let the conversation happen at this level, but Gore does. We admire that. Elections 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  11. 10. Mitt RomneyThe Contender Enters the Ring Romney, one of the current contenders for the GOP nomination in this year’s upcoming U.S. Presidential election, is an enigma. He is considered the leading nominee contender, but there is intense polarization about him in the Republican Party, as well as in the general public. His favorability sentiment comes in around 77%, which is relatively low compared to the others featured here. Romney’s got the social numbers. His Facebook page hosts 1.4M+ fans. His Twitter account comes in with just 300K, but he’s got nearly 5M views on his YouTube channel. We have to admit that he’s a social media contender, no matter how you look at it. Elections 2.0:10 Leading Socially Engaged Politicians
  12. Elections 2.0: 10 Leading Socially Engaged PoliticiansPower of the People…You may have noticed than many of the politicians doing the best social are those whohave moved to the next stage of their lives after public service. In many ways, that’seasy to understand. In-office politicians and their communications staffs are busy, andthose facing elections largely leverage their social platforms as one-way promotionalchannels—and less as vehicles for true online dialog with constituents. On the otherhand, former politicians are often building new foundations and focusing on cause-drivenwork, which usually requires more sustainable, two-way social media engagement.To us, this list really highlights the way that public figures and all of us, in fact, canleverage our time in the spotlight to continue our missions in life. Tapping into the “powerof the people” comes from finding our fan base, having a consistent message, andencouraging community conversation. That is what those featured here do well andthat’s the takeaway this week. Let your vote be heard and tell us your favorites in thecomments below!To read all the Pulses and other Slideshare.net presentations, click here.
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