The Social Media Swing State: MA's Special Election

2008 was a year for Democrats. Led by President Obama, Obama for America utilized social networks, text messages and online organization to get a record number of people out to vote. But today, it looks like the Republicans are about the pull out the social media win. The real question is: will the Senate seat come with it too? Contestants in today’s special election race for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy’s seat, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Martha Coakley, are about to find out.

CNN’s Audience Interaction Producer, Eric Kuhn, wrote a post Monday morning “GOP Candidate Dominates Social Networking in Massachusetts,” and pulled numbers of Brown’s Facebook and Twitter accounts to make the GOP case. Kuhn was right, and today Brown’s numbers continued to grow. (Below are the most up to-date stats).

At this moment, more than 110,078 people on Facebook have taken sides and more than 15,338 people on Twitter are tuned in. Brown leads Facebook with 92,964 fans compared to Coakley’s 17,114. He also has a clear lead on Twitter with over 7,000 more followers and listed nearly 600 times. Brown’s approach to social media is also more effective, especially in his use of Facebook. His campaign staff uses the page to funnels news, information, and behind-the-scenes campaign photos. Coakley’s Facebook Page reads more like a resume.

I left a comparison of YouTube out, but I should make one quick point. Brown is burying Coakley. Search for “Martha Coakley,” and you are likely to find, top fold, clips that Brown’s campaign have uploaded about her. Fatal flaw for Coakley’s campaign – to not play offense on one of the most searched web sites in the world.

The gamble is just as dire for the Democrats, who have 60 votes and health care reform at stake with today’s election.

Side-By-Side (As of 2:10AM Tuesday)

Scott Brown (Republican)
Facebook: 92,964 Fans
Twitter: 11,472 Followers

Martha Coakley (Democrat)
Facebook: 17,114 Fans
Twitter: 3,866 Followers
ActBlue (Fundraising): Raised $1,276,289 from 14,668 supporters

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