Friday, December 17, 2010

How Facebook Savvy Are Canadian Politicians?

As politicians using social media to connect, engage and communicate with citizens and voters, Robert Ghiz (PEI Premier) has 4,906 friends on Facebook, while Olive Crane (leader of the opposition) only has 832.  Comparatively speaking, Stephen Harper has 37,964 Facebook friends, while Michael Ignatieff has 32,835 and Jack Layton has 31,341.

As of today's date, according to Facebook geo-targeting metrics, there are approximately 16,017,840 Canadians that have a personal Facebook profile, while there are 62,680 Islanders with a personal profile.  It seems Canadian and Island politicians are under utilizing and overlooking this untapped community.

Meanwhile, the topic of politics is very popular on Facebook.  Already, there are private citizens setting up business pages and groups in preparation of the 2011 elections.

Given Social Media will play a strong role in the 2011 elections, the political parties, official campaign accounts, private political supporters and the politicians themselves that learn to master Facebook as a political communication channel will likely see the greatest campaign results.  Take a look at Barak Obama, who has been minted the king of on-line campaigning.  During the most recent presidential election, Barak Obama had 2.2 million people 'friend' him, while John McCain had just over half a million.

As 2011 approaches, and political parties start strategically planning their political campaigns, it will be interesting to see which party and politicians will best utilize social media channels, and become the Political King or Queen of Facebook.

Authored by Nancy Beth Guptill, founder of Sweet Spot Marketing

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