Election 2014: Who is winning Facebook?

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Unless you are living under a rock, you know that the 2014 elections are coming up.  In many states, voting has already started, and it is now standard operating procedure for any campaign to use social media to energize volunteers, solicit donations and get out the vote.

Here’s my question today: How are the various campaigns using social media?  I’m going to do a few entries on this in the upcoming days and wanted to start with the 800 pound social media gorilla: Facebook.

So, to that end, let’s take a look at how the top six Senate toss-up elections are using Facebook.  One quick note thought: this is just a snapshot in time about how the campaigns are using Facebook as I write this entry (which is on October 27, 2014).  That being said, it’s an instructive date: there is still some persuasion going on, as well as donor solicitation, but with barely a week to go before the election, just about every campaign has moved into “get out the vote” mode.

To the Facebook pages!

Alaska

  • Senator Mark Begich (D)
    • Likes: 20,400
    • Cover Photo: Cover page showing the faces of voters, but with a prominent graphic about Early Voting.
    • Past five pieces of content: A picture to change your profile to an “I voted early for Mark Begich” link, a volunteering plea, a picture of a campaign event and two newspaper endorsements.”
    • Frequency of updates: All within the past sixteen hours.
  • Dan Sullivan (R)
    • Likes: 13,106
    • Cover Photo: A Hashtag (#StandWithDan) and a link with information on voting.
    • Past five pieces of content: A request for volunteers, information on voting early, a link to the campaign YouTube channel and two pictures of family at an events.
    • Frequency of updates: All within the past three days.

Arkansas

  • Senator Mark Pryor (D)
    • Likes: 19,304
    • Cover Photo: Pryor at a campaign rally, surrounded by Pryor signs.
    • Past five pieces of content: Video message from Pryor after he voted early, picture of Pryor at an event, YouTube link to an ad, Bible quote and picture from an event.
    • Frequency of updates: All within the past three days.
  • Representative Tom Cotton (R)
    • Likes: 240,457 (WOW)
    • Cover Photo: Cotton at a campaign rally.
    • Past five pieces of content: Advertisement for an event, YouTube link to an ad, pictures from en event, link to a campaign ad and campaign picture/graphic.
    • Frequency of updates: All within past four days.

Colorado

  • Senator Mark Udall (D)
    • Likes: 14,021
    • Cover Photo: Udall speaking at an event.
    • Past five pieces of content: Encouragement for people to mail in their ballot, Event pictures, “Inside look” video at campaign event, picture from campaign event and encouragement for people to mail in their ballot.
    • Frequency of updates: All within past three days.
  • Representative Cory Gardner (R)
    • Likes: 23,246
    • Cover photo: Scenery.
    • Past five pieces of content: Link encouraging people to vote, link encouraging people to vote, ad, picture that people can use showing that they voted, cover photo that people can use showing that they support Gardner.
    • Frequency of updates: All within past 11 days.

Kansas

  • Senator Pat Roberts (R)
    • Likes: 15,075
    • Cover Photo: Scenery.
    • Past five pieces of content: Event advertisement, attack on opponent (abortion), newspaper endorsement, newspaper endorsement and event photo.
    • Frequency of updates: Past three days.
  • Greg Orman (I)
    • Likes: 23,102
    • Cover Photo: Orman with scenery in the background.
    • Past five pieces of content: Attack on Roberts (poor attendance/”release your calendar”), newspaper endorsement, newspaper endorsement, ad, attack ad.
    • Frequency of updates: All within past three days.

Louisiana

  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D)
    • Likes: 8,968
    • Cover Photo: Pink Ribbon with the text “I’m with Mary” and an image of Louisiana.
    • Past five pieces of content: Event pictures, event pictures, news story, event pictures and an “I voted for Mary” logo that can be used as a profile picture.
    • Frequency of updates: Within past three days.
  • Congressman Bill Cassidy (R)
    • Likes: 20,423
    • Cover Photo: Image encouraging people to vote early.
    • Past five pieces of content: Early voting status update with picture, early voting image, event picture, event picture, picture of volunteers.
    • Frequency of updates: Within past three days.

Iowa

  • Congressman Bruce Braley (D)
    • Likes: 36,646
    • Cover Photo: Braley speaking at a rally.
    • Past five pieces of content: Attack ad, attack picture, event advertisement, event picture, newspaper endorsement.
    • Frequency of updates: Within one day.
  • Joni Ernst (R)
    • Likes: 16,904
    • Cover Photo: Scenery with logo superimposed.
    • Past five pieces of content: Ad (which was pinned to the top – only candidate I’ve seen use this), event pictures, event pictures, event pictures, event pictures.
    • Frequency of updates: Within one day.

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