Friday, December 31, 2010

Social Media and Politics: A Look at the reach of 'Social Media Mayor' @corybooker

Recently, I was catching up on the news, when I spotted an article on Newark, NJ Mayor Cory Booker by @SuzanneVara, that praised his use of social media to keep residents informed about the cleanup effort after the snow that blanketed and buried much of the North East.

The article made mention of his (as of March 8, 2010) 1.1 million Twitter “followers”, plus nearly 20,000 Facebook “fans”.

Intrigued, looked him up on twitter and WOW. The man *gets it*.

That made me think about my own local Mayor and how Greensboro, NC city government uses (or doesn't) social media.

Greensboro City (no one on City Council or the Mayor has a twitter account) Twitter account was mainly a one way street until yesterday (see for yourself). No engagement and not following local residents who follow them. They don't *get it is my first reaction.

How can a Mayor with over a million twitter followers and Nearly 35, 000 facebook 'likers' manage to handle social media with ease while Greensboro City gimps along telling us who wish to speak with them "Because of the volume of mail received by the Mayor and Council, please do not expect a personal reply but be assured that the Mayor and/or Council member will read your message." Really Greensboro? Really?

It started with one RT, then another . . . soon many social media users in our #triad community were joining in a very robust discussion in 140 or less about how they all wished our community leaders took the time that Mayor @CoryBooker did, to show that they cared about what we thought, support us in what we were doing to build a stronger community on our own and to be more than just another account vomiting information.

Soon Donnie Turlington chimed in to assure us that changes were coming for Greensboro. Slowly, but they were on the way for @greensborocity in 2011.

(Thanks @vkearns @KristenDaukas @SHDickson @brandonburke @scheumanncpa @brandonpierce @doggdaze @PaulJones3 @Donnie_T for participating in this discussion about how we want change from @greensborocity & @CityofWS)

Lesson :

Mayor Cory Booker did more than use twitter to help clean up the streets of Newark, NJ, he helped residents in another state expect more from our local government online.

Thank you Mayor Booker for being the spark to a great discussion in the Triad and across the country!

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For more US Government using Social Media here is a great resource!

How does your local government/city officals use social media?

Who is doing it right?

What kind of engagement do you expect from politicians using social media?