Effect and cause: social campaign strategy and election victories

Facebook pointed out yesterday that House candidates with more popular Facebook pages won 74% of the time, while Senate candidates with more likes winning at an 81% clip.  This is quite a trend, but the metric goes a bit deeper than clicking a like button on a politicians Facebook page.  It means very little to have thousands of Facebook fans, given how inexpensive Facebook advertising is.

It’s just a hunch, but I bet an evaluation of other online metrics would indicate the same thing.  The winning candidates probably had more Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, and email list members, too.  People joining these lists involve self-identifying as a supporter of a candidate.  It doesn’t lead directly to victory, but it’s a good indication that a campaign is doing the right things that will lead to victory, such as reaching out to people and getting them involved.

Having a horde of Facebook fans is the symptom – not a goal – of a well-run campaign.

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