Social media’s impact on Iveson victory

Edmonton – Although door-knocking still has an important role in elections, it’s no longer the only way for candidates to communicate with voters.

Social media now provides candidates with a platform to engage many potential voters quickly and fairly easily.

“Especially for a city-wide race, where you can’t possibly meet people face-to-face, online communication I think is even more important,” says new Edmonton Mayor-Elect Don Iveson.

Iveson and his team embraced social media throughout Edmonton’s 2013 municipal election campaign. He was active on his blog, Twitter, Facebook, hosted an “Ask Me Anything” event on Reddit, and posted videos on Youtube, identifying his vision for Edmonton.

“Social media is still is an emerging thing and no doubt it played a role in connecting certainly with users who are heavily online, and to be able to do rapid response there was really handy,” explains Iveson.

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Iveson saw a massive growth in his Twitter followers throughout the campaign and after he was elected. At 8 p.m. on election night, he had around 10,000 followers. The following morning his followers had grown to nearly 15,000. Candidates Karen Leibovici and Kerry Diotte had about 3,600 and 5,300 Twitter followers respectfully by the night of the election. Iveson’s dramatic increase in Twitter followers speaks to his ability to connect with social media users.

“I had some very very thoughtful and astute people leading the social media work. Obviously, I played a role in it as the provider of the content for a lot of it,” explains Iveson. “We had a sense of how we wanted to use Facebook and Twitter and Youtube.”

The 34-year-old mayor-elect says his most important social media strategy during the campaign was to be interact with users.

“The opportunity to be interactive with people who wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to interact with a candidate makes it a really important tool.”

It appears the new mayor-elect won’t stop engaging Edmontonians through social media. The day after his victory, Iveson was on Twitter interacting with users.



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