Sara Paxton, Managing Partner, CTO Evans Media Group

Battle for A Senate Seat Determined by a GOP Tweet

In advertising, Automotive, Business, collision repair, Economy, Entertainment, facebook, Headline News, LinkedIn, marketing, News, social media, Technology, tv on January 19, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Scott Brown, a little-known Republican state senator, pulled off an amazing upset utilizing Google, SEO, and social media avenues to leverage his campaign.  In an impressive margin, Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley, the state’s Democratic attorney general, who was clearly favored to win in early polls and even up until a month ago.  Coakley easily won the Democratic primary. But with 84 percent of the vote in, Brown had 52 percent of the vote with only 47 percent going to Martha Coakley.  Tuesday night’s upset was achieved by filling a void among independent voters in the primarily Democratic state of Massachusetts, the Senate seat that was long held by Edward M. Kennedy.

Edward Kennedy

Martha Coakley called to concede to Scott Brown around 9:20 p.m. and this left Democrats scrambling to salvage the health care bill to overhaul the nation’s health care system, which the late Edward Kennedy called, “the cause of my life.”  Scott Brown has already come out strong against the bill, and due to his opposition,  the Democrats will lose their filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Scott Brown was able to appeal to independent voters who were concerned about the economy and the direction that many Democrats had taken, with their control of all branches of government.  Scott campaigned and rallied voters by claiming that he wasn’t campaigning for Edward Kennedy’s seat but for the “people’s seat.”

Coakley’s defeat comes after Obama won the state in 2008 with over 60 percent of the vote. This defeat has lead to a lot of blame-shifting on the part of many Democrats.

The nation has been transfixed by the recent set of events and this candidate who rode a pickup truck and a growing sense of unease to an unlikely victory.  The consequences of the election drew nationwide attention and millions of outside dollars.  This seemingly low-turn out election in January exploded into a trending topic on twitter, fodder for many national newspapers, and a reason to tune into CNN on a Tuesday night.  Additionally, there were reports of traffic jams and requests for extra ballots at polling stations.

The late surge in popularity on Scott Brown’s part resulted in a last ditch effort from the Democrats to have an appearance by President Obama with Coakley on Sunday afternoon.  Obama’s used ominous words of warning and attempted to invoke Mr. Kennedy’s legacy.  “It’s whether we’re going forwards or backwards,” claimed Obama, in a futile attempt to motivate voters to support Coakley, the health care bill, and his agenda.

It is seemingly unclear as to the focus of this race for the local voters in Massachusetts, who stand with little to gain with the health care bill hanging in the balance. That is because Massachusetts has near-universal health care coverage, thanks to a law passed when another Republican was elected in the state,  governor, Mitt Romney.

Based on a study revealed by Emerging Media Research, this extraordinary victory is no surprise. Scott Brown had already won the race on many fronts, one that is becoming increasingly important for brands, businesses, television shows, movies, and now it seems, politics.  An effective strategy of utilizing social media catapulted Scott Brown to the forefront of voters minds and developed a rapport and relationship as only social media can.

As most early adopters of social media can attest, social media can drive name recognition and brand development, which are key in any campaign, from a marketing or political perspective. The use of social media drove name recognition from 51% in November to 95% by January 14. An excellent social media and branding campaign, coupled with prominent display of chosen social media networks on his website, and in all traditional advertising, significantly improving Brown’s overall marketability.

Check out the statistics behind Scott Brown’s campaign:

Facebook Posts since Jan. 1: Brown (128), Coakley (58)

Facebook Fans: Brown (70,800), Coakley (13,529)

Tweets since Jan. 1: Brown (142), Coakley (144)

Twitter Followers: Brown (9,679), Coakley (3,385)

YouTube Videos: Brown (57), Coakley (52)

YouTube Video Views: Brown (578,271), Coakley (51,173)

In a report released last week, early indicators show that Republican lawmakers are taking advantage of the Twittersphere in exponentially larger proportion than their Democratic counterparts. In the House, GOP lawmakers send out 529% more tweets than Democrats.

The U.S. Twongress: A report on lawmakers’ use of Twitter is out today and the results may surprise. “Twongress: The Power of Twitter in Congress” by Mark Senak, a Democrat, finds that as of this month, Republican House members have sent out 529% more tweets than their Democratic counterparts. Notable tweeters include Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, who has the most followers of any senator, and House Minority Leader John Boehner, who has the most followers compared to his GOP colleagues. Missouri Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill tweets the most, while South Carolina Republican Sen. Jim DeMint has more “clout and influence” than any other senator based on a formula that measures in part the number of followers against the number of tweets and the number of times the lawmaker is re-tweeted by others. Senak theorizes the GOP is more aggressively courting social media networks as they refocus their message as the minority party, while Democrats are paying less attention to the resources that were so crucial to President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Still think social media is a fad?

Written by: Sara Paxton, managing partner, CTO, and Social Media Officer of Evans Media Group, Kansas City’s Social Media Agency, a boutique agency located in Overland Park, KS that specializes in traditional marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, and public relations.

Related Links:

The Battle For A Senate Seat

Information sourced from the Wall Street Journal and the WSJ Blogs.

Written by: Sara Paxton, managing partner, CTO, and Social Media Officer of Evans Media Group, Kansas City’s Social Media Agency, a boutique agency located in Overland Park, KS that specializes in traditional marketing, social media marketing, online marketing, and public relations.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mark Van Baale, Evans Media Group. Evans Media Group said: Battle for A Senate Seat Determined by a GOP Tweet http://ow.ly/Ys80 […]

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by evansmediagroup: Battle for A Senate Seat Determined by a GOP Tweet: http://wp.me/psBD7-4K

  3. Great stats to show a head to head comparison of how each candidate used key social media tools by the numbers. A trend to watch will be how these tools continue to play a larger role in engaging people and getting out the vote in elected politics!

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