Starting tomorrow morning, we will begin tracking our 64 Senators for the first round of the Senate Sweeps Social Media Challenge. We didn’t expect to launch in the middle of a government shutdown, but we’re interested in seeing how it’s going to shake up the competition. Will Senate Democrats dominate social media along with House Republicans, or will Republican Senators like Ted Cruz and John McCain take the stage as the shutdown progresses?
The first round will be our “all social media” category. It breaks down like this:
Facebook: Facebook is, for most politicians, by far the most used social media network. Our main metrics include shares, comments, and likes. Because sharing and commenting requires more engagement, they are weighed more heavily than likes.
Twitter: Twitter occupies a unique space for politicians. Although it has become a large part of online political engagement since 2008, not every politician makes it a high priority – most Senators do not have a huge following like John McCain or Bernie Sanders. Our main metrics are new followers, retweets, and mentions.
YouTube: YouTube is an underrepresented part of most Senator’s social media strategy compared to Facebook and Twitter. This is partly because, since posts and tweets require less commitment than videos, its user base isn’t engaged in the same way as Facebook and Twitter. However, YouTube is a great way for Senators to amplify the effect of traditional media coverage. We’re measuring views, likes, and subscribers.
Stay tuned for updates and results throughout the week – and good luck on your brackets!