My first post of May 2018…I thought it would be fun to look at how the Howard County Board of Education candidates were doing with Facebook outreach to followers and potential voters. I do not have any data for Timothy Hodgson Hamilton or Christopher Michael Hilfiger…many people are beginning to wonder if they are even real. I don’t know anything about them except that they must have filed but have done nothing since that date (not attended any forums and did not even file financial disclosures). So as far as I am concerned they are not really running (it is to bad they remain on the ballot because they will take away votes from deserving candidates in June).
Here is data from the active HoCoBOE candidate accounts over the past week:

I am going to breakdown my comments into sections…Followers, Posts and Engagements.
Followers:

  • Rehman has by far the most followers of the candidates…I wonder how many of them are real or live in Howard County. I don’t have that data but if they are real, it is an impressive number.
  • Mallo has shown significant growth over the past week – growing the account followers by 13.7%. Other notable accounts are Cutroneo with growth of 6.3% and Mackey with growth of 6.1% over the past week.
  • Miller was the only candidate account to show a net loss in followers (-0.2%). Two candidates (Pandey and Chao) stayed right where they were last week in terms of total followers.

Posts:

  • By far the most active account is from Cutroneo with 25 posts over the past week. I have to say that I love active accounts but this might be on the excessive side…3, 4 or 5 posts a day may be a bit much for some Facebook followers….the general rule is 1 or 2 posts per day spread out over time (example: a 10:00am post and a 3:00pm post for multiple posts in one day). There are always exceptions to the rule…but you don’t want to scare off followers by posting to much information.
  • Mallo (with 13 posts) and Mackey (with 10 posts) were the next two most active accounts over the past week.
  • Only one account did not post any updates – Robinson. It is a good idea to update your followers…or they may go follow someone else.
  • Accounts that should be more active going forward include: Rehman (2 posts), Miller (3 posts), Pandey (1 post), Wu (2 posts) and Robinson (as noted above)…you should be posting no less than 4 updates per week…and optimally at least 7 (1 per day) in my opinion…this is some guidelines from other sources:
    • “Buffer says you can post to Facebook twice a day before likes and comments drop off. Constant Contact says to post on Facebook a minimum of three times per week while keeping your maximum posting frequency to 10 times per week. DowSocial says two Facebook posts per day as a minimum works well for increasing your reach.” – obviously many sources have slightly different suggestions…but they are all similar and worth considering while managing your accounts.

Engagement:

  • The key to followers and posts is engagement…this is one of the most important metrics of any Facebook account. Engagement includes likes, shares and comments on your posts. This is a telling factor in how real your followers are and how good your posts are doing with your followers. Boosting posts can also significantly make a difference in reaching new potential voters (if targeted correctly) and increasing your post engagements.
  • The highest engagement goes to Cutroneo with 420 likes, shares and comments of posts. She is followed by Glascock (299 engagements) and Mallo (132 engagements).
  • Given the wide range of followers and posts by candidates, I thought I would break this down in other ways:
  • Engagement vs posts vs followers:

  • Glascock has the highest score on this metric (0.15) followed by Pena (0.09), Cutroneo (0.07), Mallo (0.05) and Taj (0.04).

Overall:
I am not going to pick a social media “winner” in this post…but the numbers are telling about who is using the tool for outreach, who is using it well and those that need to pick it up if this is part of their campaign strategy between now and June 26th.
You can access all of the candidate online outreach accounts (website, Facebook and Twitter) here:  https://scotteblog.com/2018-howard-county-board-of-education-reference-card/
Scott E

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