Facebook and the Texas Governor’s Race
October 5, 2010




So all this time you thought Facebook was just another way for you to waste time by posting pictures or leaving comments on your friend’s embarrassing status updates?

According to a new report,  Facebook has also become an effective campaign tool  in the race for Governor of  Texas. 

The report, compiled by GNI Strategies, reveals  that democratic candidate Bill White is winning the social media race: He has more fans than Rick Perry and those fans are contributing to the campaign:

What do you think?

Will Facebook make a difference on election day?

(News Release on the report) 

(AUSTIN) – A new report shows that Democratic candidate Bill White has built a considerable advantage over incumbent Governor Rick Perry on Facebook. The report, titled “Facebook and the Texas Governor’s Race: How Bill White is Winning the Social Media Race” shows that White has over 92,000 more Facebook fans than his opponent, Perry. White’s fans are also more engaged than Perry’s fans, with more than twice as many interactions on the popular social networking site.

“Numbers don’t have an agenda or ideology. Looking at the numbers, Bill White wins every metric. He has more fans, comments and likes,” said Matt Glazer, a principal at the Austin-based company GNI Strategies. “The numbers show Bill White is outperforming Rick Perry, and numbers don’t lie.” 

The report provides an analysis of the importance of Facebook in the Texas Governor’s race. Three Texas cities – Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio – rank in the top ten for Facebook use in the country. At least 60% of Texans living in those cities are on Facebook. The report also shows how Facebook has considerable more impact in social media than Twitter, with people spending ten times the amount of time on Facebook than Twitter.

 “With the ability to raise money, organize field efforts, and deliver a message to over 135,000 people with nothing more than a status update, Bill White is winning Texas’ social media race,” said Phillip Martin, joint-author of the report and Communications Specialist for the Texas Democratic Trust. “Facebook is the mall of the new millennium, and it is important for candidates and campaigns to recognize its importance if they want to be successful.”

 Facebook is the #1 social networking site in the country, and a new movie about the site, “The Social Network,” debuted at #1 at the box office this weekend. Following the September 14, 2010 primary elections, CNN ran a headline proclaiming “Candidates with more Facebook fans win big on Tuesday.”

Gov. Perry Announces Facebook to Create 200 Jobs in Austin
February 25, 2010

AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today announced on the Governor’s Office Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TexasGovernor) that the state will invest $1.4 million through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) for Facebook to create a sales and operations office in Austin. This investment will create 200 jobs and more than $3.1 million in capital investment. The TEF funding is conditioned upon the finalization of a local incentive agreement with the City of Austin.

“The TEF continues to be a critical, deal closing tool for Texas, helping to attract jobs and businesses and grow our state’s diverse economy,” Gov. Perry said. “Facebook’s expansion in Austin will enhance the area’s robust technology industry, create 200 jobs for Texans, and strengthen the economy in Central Texas.”

Facebook is a social networking service that enables 400 million people around the world to communicate more efficiently with friends, family and coworkers in a trusted environment. This office represents the first major U.S. expansion outside of Palo Alto, Calif., where the company is headquartered.

“We’ve been exploring various options around the U.S. to establish an additional online sales and operations office and we’re grateful to the assistance we’ve received from the Governor’s office and the state’s leadership in discussing the possibilities in Austin,” Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said. “Facebook continues to grow and Austin, with its deep talent pool, would allow us to hire the high-caliber employees we need to properly serve the people, advertisers and developers that rely on our service.”

At Gov. Perry’s request, the legislature created the TEF in 2003 and re-appropriated funding in 2005, 2007 and 2009 to help ensure the growth of Texas businesses and create more jobs throughout the state. TEF projects must be approved by the governor, lieutenant governor and speaker of the House. The fund has since become one of the state’s most competitive tools to recruit and bolster business. To date, the TEF has invested more than $388.6 million and closed the deal on projects generating nearly 52,000 new jobs and more than $14.3 billion in capital investment in the state.

For more information about the TEF, please visit http://www.texaswideopenforbusiness.com/financial-resources/texas-enterprise-fund.html or www.governor.state.tx.us.