I'm your biggest facebook fan (page).

I was considering another item for a “stolen from facebook” post, and as I noticed the unusual number of people that “liked” that particular fan page it prompted me to go look at the fan pages for various South Dakota politicians and organizations.

Now, for the uninitiated, a fan page isn’t a personal page. A personal page is for a person. A fan page is a public profile on Facebook for use by businesses, celebrities, etc. that allows your customers to follow you, and interact with you.  In other words, it’s how an organization would promote their brand.

When someone “likes” a fan page, this provides the ability for content from the originating fan page to be posted on your facebook wall where your friends see, and hopefully catches their eye as well, further propagating the message. (It’s a lot like multi-level marketing or the flu.)

Why do I bring this up? Why should you give a darn? Well, because like it or not, Facebook is where the people are.  As of July 2010, about 306,560 South Dakotans use facebook. That’s approximately 36.7%

When I just checked a moment ago, the number has risen to 404,740 – so, 48.5% of all South Dakotans are on facebook.

I’m really doubtful you have that kind of market penetration with ANY other media – So, yes, for politicos, it’s important. Really, really important.

How have South Dakota politicians utilized fan pages?

John Thune is the undisputed champion, with almost 76,000 “likes” on his fan page, and that’s not a big surprise. His national stature helps with that, just as it does…..

…Kristi Noem. Kristi is very active and effective with social media, and it also shows in her “fan base.”

South Dakota’s lone Democrat officeholder, Senator Tim Johnson comes in at 1769 “likes” on his fan page….

…and Governor Dennis Daugaard has 732.    However, something to consider is at the last time these gentlemen ran for office, the facebook fan page didn’t really exist in it’s current format, and you would have typically “friended” their profle instead. You can expect that these numbers will ramp up as the campaign kicks off.

Both the SDGOP and the SDDP are active in their Social Media promotion, and it’s reflected in their numbers, as they use facebook postings to drive traffic.

How about prospective candidates?


Mike Rounds for Senate is already off with a healthy number, especially in comparison to Tim Johnson.

And finally, there’s this interesting one….

Former Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has ACTIVELY maintained her facebook fan page. She drops things on it from time to time.

But consider what’s going on here. This politician who hasn’t set foot on the political stage in the past 2 years is actively maintaining a commercial fan page. It’s not a personal facebook page to share pictures with her friends. It’s an active commercial promotional tool which has quietly run under the radar.

Why would she do that? You don’t typically see other politicians who’ve lost a race maintaining the social media presence from a campaign which they lost.

I think we can all take it as a very strong, and very public indication that despite any denials, former Congresswoman Herseth Sandlin is running for office in the next election.

6 thoughts on “I'm your biggest facebook fan (page).

  1. Anonymous

    Rounds needs to get his “likes” up. I would have thought they would blow by Johnson in a couple days but that page has stalled out at about 1200.

    They need to start suggesting it to us or show us how to encourage people to like it.

  2. anonymous

    Lot of grasping going on at the War College. Didn’t know you could be “under the radar” with a facebook page that’s open to everyone. And Stephanie last posted on it in October 2012. Oh my! It’s a sure sign. It’s just got be a sure sign … of something?

  3. G-Man

    PP, come on now?!? Really? LOL! I’ve maintained since 2008 that Representative Stephanie Herseth Sandlin would eventually run for the US Senate and you are just beginning to realize this? You make me laugh and that’s great because I need a laugh from time to time to enjoy over morning coffee.

  4. Anonymous

    Herseth for Senate and Brendan for congress is the dems strongest chance of winning anything.

    I do think Herseth could give Rounds a run but think she would come up slightly short in the end but if Brendan ran for congress I think enough people would cross over to give him the win against Noem. Split ticket in ’14.

    However if Rounds gets a free pass and Brendan has to carry all the water in ’14 for congress he isn’t winning anything.

  5. Anonymous

    Why is it so hard for people to think Brendan will follow in his fathers footsteps and run for House first? Tim was there for 10 years and survived the ’94 wave.

    Besides I think Brendan wants to be a Governor rather than a senator. The House is the perfect place to sit and wait for ’18.