U.S. House GOP Battle Over Facebook Friends

Find out the winners and losers of the U.S. House Republican Conference's New Media Challenge, round two.

We told you about the New Media Challenge that Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives launched to increase member participation on social media platforms, including Facebook. Well, round two just wrapped up and we’ve got the winners and losers hot off the press. The envelope please…

The House GOP conference says the challenge spawned 11,000 new Facebook likes for participants.

  • Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (WV), simply asked (er, pleaded) outright for more friends in a video post on Facebook. The straightforward approach shouldn’t be surprising, since politicians have to ask for things all the time, right? Unfortunately, this time it didn’t work as her competitor, Rep. Allen West (FL), moves on to the next round.
  • Or, there’s the “all for one and one for all approach,” as these Texas Congressmen shared on their respective pages (neither made it past Round 2.)
  • Congressman Steve Womack (AR) posted a photo from his recent trip to Arlington National Cemetery, along with storm and tornado tips for his constituents in Arkansas.

Worth noting are the number of freshman GOP members who have taken to the challenge, since they have only been in office since January. More than half of the remaining players are new to Congress. The challenge started with 106 players and after today that’s been cut down to 24.

So, what’s the secret to increasing engagement? There may not be a tried and true formula, but here are a few highlights the Republicans learned about it during the week.

Leanne Goodman, who handles social media for California Congressman Howard McKeon’s office, said, “The strategy is straightforward- engaging our constituents on Facebook through relevant, consistent content that integrates different new media platforms. The Congressman is fully engaged in the process, regularly recommending articles and opening his doors to ‘behind the scenes’ views for constituents back in California.”