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.”

Locke Hosts Live Social Media Summit
August 29, 2009

locke summit 002I

In a sign of  how much political campaigns have learned to embrace  the on-line social network of  blogs, twitter, facebook and you tube, Houston Mayoral candidate Gene Locke hosted a live-streamed Social Media Summit  on Saturday.

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While he was chatting on-line and in person with the group,  Locke also unveiled his business plan for the city of Houston, which focuses on ethics, accountability, job growth and entrepreneurship.

The interactive discussion was moderated by Matt Nathan, with Houston Technology Center, and lasted about forty-five minutes to an hour.

Locke appeared to be at ease while he sat at at a table , in front of a camera, and fielded questions from people in the room and over the Internet. 

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Each time Locke answered a question or  talked about his vision for Houston, the bloggers were able to update their followers instantly, via facebook, twitter and other methods of instant messaging.  

This is another tool that campaigns are using to effectively get their message directly to the voters, without always having to rely on the mainstream media.

During the discussion, Locke stressed that social media now gives candidates like him an opportunity to, ” talk directly to the public in ways that were not dreamed of  before.”

His campaign has hired a social media strategist, and if elected, Locke promised to utilize social media at city  hall. He also vowed that his  administration would be transparent and accessible. 

Certainly Locke isn’t the only Houston mayoral candidate to recognize the power of new media.

Mayoral candidates Annise Parker and Peter Brown have both hired social media managers. 

Their campaign information is constantly being updated on-line  to make it easier for supporters and volunteers to stay informed.

Annise Parker Campaign and Social Media
August 13, 2009

It’s impossible to run for political office these days without having some kind of   online social media presence,  like Facebook, Twitter and You Tube.

Today, Houston Mayoral Candidate Annise Parker announced plans to beef  up her online and social media strategies.


The changes are putting Parker’s campaign on the social media map, and could help her reach more voters leading up to the November election.

The changes include:

* Live-Streaming social media feeds using the latest technology from Facebook and Twitter, which will be featured on the  www.AnniseParker.com campaign website.

* Custom FBML Facebook Tabs, which will help users join the campaign’s email list and make a contribution all from within the Parker Facebook page.

* Joint Twitter Broadcasting: Parker’s campaign claims to have more Twitter followers than all of the Mayoral candidates combined.  Under the changes, all tweets coming directly from Annise will end with an “-A” signature to make clear who is responsible for the tweet.

*Social Media Coordinator:  Justin Concepcion will manage and expand the campaign’s social media presence on a full-time basis.