Mo. Congressional Campaign Hinges On Facebook

By Jennifer Moire 

We recently profiled the race of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ted Cruz in Texas, whose Facebook strategy helped earn him a win in that state’s primary last month. We thought we’d take a look at another grassroots campaign leveraging the social network, this one in Missouri’s large seventh congressional district, featuring political neophyte and Democratic challenger Jim Evans pitted against incumbent GOP Rep. Billy Long.

Lacking extensive party support, combined with the challenge of trying to unseat an incumbent, Jim Evans for Congress decided to make social media a big part of its low-budget race, according to campaign manager Fred Doss, who added that the campaign needed a platform to reach the district’s approximate 730,000-person population in southwestern Missouri, and said:

We believe people can create change, including unseating an incumbent congressman, through united behavior online. We encourage our supporters to like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We suggest “knocking” on the Internet doors of their friends by suggesting our page, messaging them, or sharing our posts.

These are some of the raw numbers from the Jim Evans for Congress Facebook page that the campaign provided:

  • Recently surpassed 1,011 likes on Facebook. Long’s political page on Facebook has 1,017 as of this writing.
  • Estimated Facebook reach per week is 70,000 people, with 1,200 users currently talking about Evans.
  • Raised $1,000 online in one day during the last fundraising quarter.

Little money is devoted to advertising Facebook posts, Doss added. However, the campaign pays for ads that promote the Jim Evans for Congress Facebook page. In fact, the campaign raised a total of  $6,265 online by directing people to its ActBlue page.

One of the more popular posts on the Evans for Congress Facebook page was this one, which generated more than 70 likes.

We’ll know in less than eight weeks if the campaign’s Facebook strategy puts Evans over the top.

Readers: Have you responded to a Facebook post by a campaign during this election year?