Republicans Take the Social Media Reigns

A recent study ranked the “Digital IQ” of all 100 U.S. Senators based on their presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and the results may surprise you.

The study scores each Senator‘s online competence including his or her presence on websites, social media following and sentiment, digital marketing aptitude and search engine optimization skills. The IQ is measured by the presence on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, rating senators according to their number of followers, number of “likes,” velocity of Tweets or number of uploads.

socialmediapoliThe result? Based on this scoring system, GOP Senators have taken the lead on social media, leaving their Democrat counterparts in the dust. Though Senators up for re-election typically (and understandably) lead on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, it’s the Republicans who scored on average 5.5 points higher and have proven their social media savvy. IQ’s range from John McCain (R-AZ) who leads with the highest at 156, down to Thad Cochran (R-MI), who’s score of 52 places him last.

For example, according to the study, Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate in Nevada challenging incumbent Harry Reid, has 18,035 more Facebook followers (for a total of 29,322) and 46,515 more YouTube channel views (for a total of 196,576).

Senators scoring the highest were more aggressive users on their social network accounts- twittering more updates, uploading more YouTube videos, and actively commenting and updating their Facebook accounts and fan pages. Senators that received lower scores were noted as being sporadic social networkers- infrequently updating their accounts and pushing a lot of news at once, then going silent for a long period of time.

This social media IQ analysis relates directly to how successful PR campaigns incorporate social networking. Here at Mobility PR, we emphasize the importance of a consistent social network presence, which includes frequent attention to outlets like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others. If you’re going to use social networks, make them WORK. Updating your followers with relevant information habitually and building a strong online presence are paramount to social networking success.

And when it comes down to the debate between what political party has better social media savvy, Dean Guthrie explains that it isn’t about that anymore.

“This study underscores the reality that social media is not a toy, and that digital literacy and agility are powerful tools in today’s business and political arenas,” said Dean Guthrie. “It appears that U.S. senators are making their comprehension of the social media realm a priority and are using it as a way to engage prospective voters and mobilize grassroots efforts.”

Translation: social media isn’t just for frivolity. Both Democrats and Republicans are proving the importance (and reach) of social media.

Want to know how you can improve your social media skills? Check out these sites that map out useful tools and tips for ramping up your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube accounts: