After doing a quick tally of Facebook stats for the top Congressional leaders, I have two things to say: #1) someone at Congressman Boehner’s office is doing something right (although keep reading… there is room for improvement) and #2) WTF? Is this really the best Congress can do?
While the Facebook pages of political superstars like Obama and Palin have larger followings than most major newspapers in this country, the other household names within the political universe barely register on the scale. The lone wolf is Rep. John Boehner, the Republican Leader, who is way ahead of the pack with over 100,000 followers compared to Pelosi’s 20,000. Reid, Hoyer and McConnell are left in the dust.
Facebook Counts for Congressional Leaders
Scratching a little further, the numbers change things around. While there is nothing wrong with a lot of followers, another key metric – engagement – tells a slightly different story.
Reid has posted 54 updates to his page this month. McConnell has posted 24 updates. Boehner has posted five. Hoyer has posted three. The Speaker has only posted one! So, Reid is updating his followers about 3 times a day on average while Pelosi is updating her followers once every two weeks. Everyone else is somewhere in between.
Ha! But, Reid is being sneaky… he has hired someone who knows what an RSS feed is and is actually just having blog posts from his campaign site reposted on his Facebook page. “Cheater!” you say. Not so fast. By using technology to distribute his posts beyond his campaign website, he is being smart. He is simply using one of his networks to get his message out. He is sharing. He is being social.
But guess what? Boehner has a blog. Pelosi has a blog. Hoyer has a blog. Why aren’t they republishing their blog posts on Facebook? (And, yes… I did check and those blogs are official blogs, not campaign blogs.) Somebody get on the phone and give them a call!
And, what about McConnell? It looks like he had an active blog for the 2008 election, but hasn’t updated it since. That’s OK. He’s on YouTube and posts his videos to his Facebook page. In fact, he has posted something to his Facebook page 24 times so far this month. And, these are not RSS generated re-posts of content. These are real status updates and comments. So, of all of them, McConnell’s Facebook page is probably the most genuine.
In my opinion, Boehner and Reid are performing the best out of the bunch even though there is room for improvement. But, with a little effort, Pelosi, Hoyer and McConnell could easily jump to the front of the line. I will check back in a month and let everyone know. But, in the meantime, I will start looking at the Twitter accounts.
For more on this, see also “Capitol Hill Democrats and Social Media: The Sky is Not Falling,” on epolitics.com
[Note: Steny Hoyer has a personal page, a politician page and a “government official” page. I used the government official page (which has the lowest number of followers) because it seems to be the most active (his politician page hasn’t been updated since February).]