Campaigning with Social Media

I’ve been watching the Mayoral campaign in Toronto with a lot interest this year, mainly because I wanted to see how the candidates used Social Media. In the Obama campaign in 2008 Social Media is often credited with having a great impact.  With my own limited involvement watching the campaign from Canada I was impressed with how much the campaign engaged everyone.  I registered for the Obama campaign, it recognized I was Canadian and asked me if I could contact American’s that I knew that were on the fence.  Brillant…

Now in Toronto I really haven’t seen anything that engaging.  I’m not going to try to compare campaign platforms or policies, I haven’t decided who I’m going vote for myself.  All of the candidates have the Social Media basics, they all have Websites, E-Mail lists, Twitter and Facebook accounts.  These alone are not that value, its really the content of these campaigns and I think right now the best messaging seems to be coming from Rob Ford campaign.  In my opinion he’s doing the best job of engaging citizens, mainly because he’s not marketing to them. He’s just talking to them.

I joined his mailing list ( I joined all candidates lists and Facebook Pages ) and its very simple and engaging updates. The first email I got contained a survey to collect my opinion on the a variety of issues.  He’s the only candidate who I’ve received a survey from.  Yesterday it was the advanced polls are now open and I could avoid the rush by voting now. Very simple and concise, there has been no cheezy spin, or over the top creative like about mobsters, or crazy promises. I got invited to a Town Hall Call and he was genuinely answering questions from a large group of people.

In all the debates I’ve seen of him he’s pitching the same message, always on topic.  Most of the other candidates either don’t present a plan or seem to change the plan to each group they’re talking too.  I haven’t seen anyone who’s connecting well with Citizens.

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