AR-02: Social Media Usage and Analysis

    31

    While we looked at the candidates’ social-media presence fairly often during the primary, we haven’t done much with it since. To that end, I am going to review the online presence of each candidate (not counting independents or write-ins) in all four congressional races, AR-Sen, and AR-Gov. We might hit some of the other down-ballot stuff as well if we have time. We’ll look at what kind of use each candidate is making of the more common outlets (Facebook, webpage, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr) and note if they are using any of the less known outlets (e.g. Foursquare, GoWalla, etc.)

    Though I didn’t mention it yesterday, I should add that I am not suggesting that any mistake or oversight that I mention in these reviews is terrible on its own, nor is any one of them likely to be fatal to a campaign. Rather, I am pointing out what I see as missed opportunities to more efficiently and effectively reach voters.

    We tackled AR-01 yesterday. Batting second, AR-02. /mixed sports metaphors

    Joyce Elliott
    Webpage: http://www.elliottforcongress.com/
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joyce-Elliott-for-Congress/277414242013
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/Joyce4Congress
    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/ElliottforCongress
    Flickr: None
    Other: None

    Timmy! Griffin
    Webpage: http://www.timgriffinforcongress.com/
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/TimGriffinforCongress
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/GriffinCongress
    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/griffincongress
    Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/timgriffinforcongress/
    Other: Blog on website (http://www.timgriffinforcongress.com/blog.php)

    Analysis

    Integration: Assuming you are looking at the pages on a regular desktop/laptop rather than a smart phone, visitors to Joyce Elliott’s webpage can access her Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts without ever having to scroll (though just barely, so this might not be true on a smaller monitor). Visitors can also “Like” Elliott’s Facebook page without scrolling and without going to the actual Facebook page.

    Griffin has links to his Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts at the very top of his webpage, meaning that a visitor’s monitor size is not an issue as far as locating those links goes. Griffin has the “Like” box for his Facebook account on the main page, but visitors have to scroll to locate it, as they also have to do to read his Twitter feed applet. (Though, on the plus side, at least he has a Twitter feed applet). Like both AR-01 candidates, I note that Griffin does not link to his Flickr account from his webpage.

    GRIFFIN SCREEN SHOT

    Consistency: One of the most overlooked aspects of building one’s social-media brand is consistency in the account-name portions of the URLs whenever possible. Elliott leaves a lot to be desired here, using “elliottforcongress” for her webpage and YouTube account, “Joyce4Congress” for her Twitter feed, and the cumbersome “/pages/Joyce-Elliott-for-Congress/277414242013″ for her Facebook account. (Thus far, Elliott is the only candidate I have seen whose Facebook account is not in the form of “facebook.com/candidateaccountname”.) She also manages to use three different versions of her name in the accounts — “Elliott,” “Joyce,” and “JoyceElliott.”

    Griffin is more consistent with his account names, using either “griffinforcongress” or “timgriffinforcongress,” though he does use two different forms of his name. With the exception of Flickr, he also manages to have all of his social media accounts in the form of “website.com/account.”

    Activity: Elliott’s webpage was last updated … umm … actually, your guess is as good as mine. Aside from the Twitter feed, there’s really nothing on the main page that updates. The News page does have an undated YouTube slideshow from the Faulkner County parade, so I assume that was put up in the last day or so. Elliott’s Twitter feed was last updated about three hours ago with a link to the aforementioned slide show, and her Facebook page was updated two hours ago with the same. (Bonus points to Elliott for nailing the YouTube/Twitter/Facebook synergy!) Finally, her YouTube account was also updated today with that slideshow.

    Griffin last updated his webpage today with an editorial from today’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; his blog was last updated today with that same editorial; his Twitter account was last updated four hours ago with a link to an article touting his military record; his YouTube channel was last updated May 18 with a brief clip of his talking to the press after voting in the primary; and his Flickr account was last updated on September 19.

    Donating: The “Donate” button on Elliott’s webpage is just below the fold (i.e. requires scrolling), but is large and prominent. Elliott does not seem to use her Twitter feed or Facebook account to solicit donations at all.

    Griffin has two separate links for donations on his webpage, one of which is visible with no scrolling and the other, larger of which is prominent above his “Endorsements” box. His Twitter feed is almost entirely messages that tout what another donor has given and ask readers to click a link (provided) to donate. His Facebook page does not seem to be used to solicit donations.

    Miscellaneous: Elliott is the only one of the two to have a commercial so far, so I would have expected it to be a little more visible (or at least more accessible) through her various social-media outlets. It was on her website, but under the “Media” tab; with as plan as her index page is, I would have preferred embedding it there below the fold.

    Both Elliott and Griffin use their Facebook pages as a recruitment tool for volunteers for canvassing, phonebanking, and other campaign activities.Crawford uses his Facebook page as a recruitment tool to find people willing to phonebank for him.

    As in AR-01, neither AR-02 candidate has forayed into the world of Foursquare or GoWalla as a way to let people know where they are and where they are going to be. (I note that, given the write-up regarding Patrick Kennedy’s use of Foursquare, Griffin and Elliott’s failure to implement the technology seems odd.)

    Conclusion: I don’t know Griffin as a person, but as a public figure I loathe him. That said, not only does he have the edge on Elliott in terms of social-media presence, but he has arguably the best social-media profile of any candidate in any Arkansas race. Elliott, though improving, was late to utilize many of the social-media tools available to her.