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How Political Campaigns Can Turn Social Media Support Into Votes

By Alex Fitzpatrick on November 18, 2011

Zachary Green is CEO of 140Elect, which builds Twitter campaigns for the 2012 election. Green believes location-based organizing is the key to turning online followers into volunteers. He breaks this step down into two parts.
First, organizing by location.
“To turn Twitter followers into active volunteers offline, location must remain the unit of action to enable local work,” says Green. “Organizing Twitter followers by location is essential to building teams for action offline.”
But that’s problematic. According to Green, less than 1% of tweets mentioning a candidate running in 2012 have been sent with geo-location enabled. So how can campaigns sort their digital supporters by location? Green’s solution is content.

Twitter Can Predict Who’s Winning the GOP Presidential Race [STUDY]

By Zoe Fox on November 14, 2011

Twitter Follower Spikes Predict Election PollsPolitical candidates do better in the polls when they gain more Twitter followers, new research reveals. National polls happen all the time but it’s possible to predict when certain candidates will climb in the rankings based the rate they are followed.

Zach Green, CEO of Twitter election researcher 140elect, wrote in a blog post Friday that he anticipated this trend, but now has the stats to prove it.

Obama Loses 36,000+ Twitter Followers in #Compromise Campaign [STATS]

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President Obama created a barrage of activity on Twitter on Friday afternoon when he began urging his more than 9 million followers to tweet at their Republican Congressmen to “ask them to support a bipartisan solution to the deficit crisis.” The @BarackObama account then proceeded to tweet out the Twitter handles of Republican Congressmen state-by-state. The account has also been making use of the hashtag #compromise in an effort to drive home the message of bipartisanship.

Certain states seemed more supportive of the President’s campaign than others. According to data from 140 Elect LLC, Twitter users in California, Georgia and Alabama retweeted the President’s call to action the most — more than 300 times in each state — while voters in South Carolina, Mississippi and North Dakota showed the least engagement with less than 100 retweets of their state-specific message.

What the Republican Town Hall Taught Us About Twitter as a Debate Platform

Six U.S. Republican presidential candidates took part in a Twitter town hall last Wednesday, in what was largely being labeled history’s first presidential Twitter debate

“From a technical side, it went very well,” says Green, the founder and CEO of 140 Dev, LLC, a consulting company that specializes in the Twitter API. “The only time we had some problems was when Rusty Humphries first started talking about it on his radio program and told everyone to go to the site. And so we got a flood of visitors — we got about 8,000 visitors in the time of about 15 seconds… and that slowed it down for about a minute or two. But after that, it came right back and technically it behaved quite well. We didn’t lose any tweets that I’m aware of.”

While Green is mostly happy with the way the event went, he does admit that things didn’t always run so smoothly on the communications side as this was the first trial run of using this medium. He says while it was not the first time most of the candidates had used Twitter, it was a completely new situation: It was the first time the candidates had to tweet responses to questions being thrown at them, while their opponents were also tweeting about the same topic.

“I think they need to try to speak without using soundbites,” he adds. “The natural tendency is — when you’re forced into 140 characters — to fall back on the soundbites that you’re familiar with.” He thinks one of the ways the candidates could learn to be more natural on Twitter is by watching the stream on 140TownHall.com that showed the public’s tweets, keying into what others are saying about a specific question and trying to respond to their ideas and sentiments as well. He also thinks it would have been fun if the candidates had commented on each other’s tweets as well, which he describes as more “Twitter-like” behavior.

“My general perception is that the candidates were saying what to tweet and some of them, at least, were tweeting,” Green says. “But I can’t guarantee that all six of them were literally typing. I don’t know that.” Green adds that the small-scale town halls could involve smaller numbers of candidates or policy experts, and could also involve bringing on two or three people from the audience.

Republican Presidential Candidates To Participate in Twitter Debate

Adam Green, founder and CEO of 140 Dev, LLC — a consulting company that specializes in the Twitter API, helped create the debate platform, which will appear on 140TownHall.com. (The site is currently only in demo mode.)

“We basically have an online tool that tracks all tweets for a specific account name and hashtag,” Green says. “It takes all those tweets, aggregates them into a database, separates the ones who are the lead speakers and puts them in one stream, and then puts the others in a separate stream.”

Green says the candidates themselves will be participating in the debate, unlike the 2008 presidential elections when representatives for Barack Obama and John McCain tweeted the candidates’ stances on technology policy and government reform. For this year’s Republican debate, a backend system was created, so candidates can work out debate strategies in advance.

“We realize that debating on Twitter is something that no candidate, no politician has ever done,” Green says. “It seems they’d want to practice that.”

Mitt Romney Sees Sudden Unexplained Spike in Twitter Followers

By Alex Fitzpatrick on July 23, 2012

The spikes were first noticed by Zach Green of 140elect.com, a blog which monitors Twitter trends relating to the 2012 presidential election. According to Green’s data, Romney “was gaining around 3000-4000 new followers per day for the past month,” then his account suddenly got 23,926 new followers on Friday, 93,054 on Saturday and 25,432 on Sunday.

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