"Pointless Babble" and "Self Promotion" in VA-Gov Race '09

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I don't agree with everything in this study, but I think it's interesting nonetheless (if nothing else, that someone actually did a study on candidates' tweeting habits!). This quote is priceless:
For most Twitter accounts, Self-Promotion accounted for the majority of tweets. The exception was @CreighDeeds, where Pointless Babble constituted a plurality (44.32%) of tweets. In fact, Deeds devoted more tweets to his musical tastes (39 tweets) than his transportation plan...
Brilliant, huh? No, didn't think so, unless of course you had a deeper interest in Creigh Deeds' music favorites than in why you should support him for governor.

This is interesting as well:
Multiple accounts led to message dilution. Campaigns that maintained more than one account found that their messages did not reach a wide audience. For example, although the Deeds campaign official Twitter feed had more than 3700 followers, only 3% of these also followed any of the Deeds staff who were tweeting unique information about the campaign.
That's even more problematic if the staff are the ones putting out "news" and other factual information, while the candidate is tweeting about whether he listened to Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty that morning.

And then there's this:
Across multiple Deeds campaign Twitter feeds, tweets about Bob McDonnell's thesis exceeded tweets about transportation policy by a ratio of 3-to-1.
Ugh, the Deeds' campaign in a microcosm right there.

Finally, I find it fascinating that the "[s]hare of Twitter feed devoted to conversations with followers" was just 0.35% for Bob McDonnell and 5.68% for Creigh Deeds, compared to 18.1% for Scott Brown in his recent victory in Massachusetts. That's something candidates really need to pay attention to, in my opinion, that the nature of social networking is interactive, not one-directional. At this point, as far as I can tell, very few seem to truly understand that.