The race for Governor of Virginia in 2009 was one of the two highest profile races of the year.
Similarly to John Kasich, the McDonnell campaign utilized youtube and social media as a new and effective way to communicate their message to voters and activists online.
Well, with still a bit over 3 months to go ’til election day, Kasich has already surpassed McDonnell’s total number of hits on youtube.
While Ohio’s gubernatorial race is high profile, it isn’t getting the same attention one of the only two big races of 2009 received, for no other reason than there are 30-some other gubernatorial races, plus congressional races. And yet, Kasich’s youtube presence still outperforms McDonnell. Impressive.
And what about Strickland, you ask? Kasich has more than five times the number of youtube hits as the incumbent Governor.
Additionally, each campaign has released one television ad. In two weeks, Kasich’s ad has 24.9% more views than Strickland’s ad has obtained in nearly three months.
Does it matter? Absolutely. Just ask Nielsen.
According to new data from The Nielsen Company, airing an ad both on TV and online greatly increases its effectiveness. In a Nielsen study of direct-to-consumer drug advertising, exposure on TV and online was more than twice as likely to prompt patients to ask their physician about the drug than on TV or internet alone. Compared to consumers who had only seen a TV ad for a specific drug, consumers who had seen both a TV and online ad were 100% more likely to ask their doctor about it.
So where does the rest of our social media measurables stand?
On facebook, Kasich has 22,444 fans. Strickland has nearly 6,000 less, coming in at 16,465.
On twitter, Kasich has 11,769 followers. Strickland has just 3,791.
It can be argued whether the stark differences in online success is due more to voter enthusiasm or more effective new media strategies, or a mixture of both, but the results are the same.
Kasich is able to directly connect with far more activists than his rival. That translates to better online fundraising, better volunteer support, and better GOTV opportunities.
Imagine if just 1,000 of Kasich’s surplus of fans on facebook spend just one evening making only 20 phone calls each. That’s 20,000 voters that Strickland isn’t reaching.
And that kind of thing adds up.
No matter how you cut it, winning the online war matters.