A Twitter user was attempting to tweet out a link to a cover image of the upcoming November 11, 2013 edition of The New Yorker magazine and I was intrigued when a warning popped up after I attempted to click the link. The offense? It appears that the cover story dared to be critical of the Obama Administration’s botched rollout of Healthcare.gov and the Affordable Care Act.
Although traditional methods public affairs components are still valuable, social media channels have experienced a meteoric rise in their ability to shape and influence policy worldwide over the past year. Specifically, policymakers have shown a dramatic increase in their use of Twitter, Facebook and mobile technology which underscores the importance of social media and the Internet in educating policymakers and galvanizing them to support a policy issue.
I decided to take a look at how some of the top presidential contenders were using various social media platforms. Specifically, I set out to aggregate data to include the number Facebook likes, Twitter followers, YouTube views, Foursquare fans, Flickr photos, LinkedIn friends and Google+ circles. Of course, when measuring ultimate campaign success, it’s not just about numbers but I do think that they can be an indication as to whether a candidate is building support or if specific messages are resonating.
Over the past couple weeks, the White House has been all about Twitter. The most recent activity of note is that the president himself is beginning to tweet. Last week the White House announced plans to host an inaugural Twitter Townhall on July 6, 2011 moderated by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey.
My, what a difference a month makes. That’s right, this past Friday marked exactly one month since Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC) yelled those two “spontaneous” words during a Joint Session of Congress in response to President Obama’s claim that his healthcare plan wouldn’t cover illegal immigrants. President Obama has come a long way from “You Lie!” to being named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize recipient!