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?
…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?
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.