Michigan Governor, @OneToughNerd, Details His Proactive Social Media Approach at RNC Briefing

By Jennifer Moire 

Social media savvy Michigan Governor Rick Snyder ( R) hopes to expand his use of digital media to include more Google + hangouts, crowdsourcing and incorporating emerging tools into his communications arsenal.

Gov. Snyder shared his social media recipe for success at the National Journal’s daily briefing at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla., with moderators Major Garrett and Norah O’Donnell, of CBS News.

Gov. Snyder described how he uses each platform to both talk to supporters and expand his reach to new voters, and shared a few details about what Michiganders can expect from him in the future.

A political neophyte before winning the top elected office in Michigan, Gov. Snyder and his team are devotees of the Google + hangout, where he’s always surprised by the number of citizens who participate as well as members of the media that actually write about the hangouts through a livestream.

Gov. Snyder is also a fan of Twitter, where his handle is @onetoughnerd. While the governor admits he’s not at all satisfied with the approximately 10,000 followers he has, the platform, overall, “works well,” and is most valuable for sharing updates about exciting and important stories.

And in case you’re wondering, Snyder balances sending his own tweets with relying on his staff to tweet on his behalf.

Used infrequently, Snyder’s blog is reserved to explain breaking news or adding more context to a story. As for Facebook, the governor said the social network is ideal for telling a story or filling in the gaps from his background.

Snyder emphasized throughout the discussion that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to posting and sharing on social media channels. The journalists questioned whether social media expands an official’s reach, or whether a candidate or governor is simply speaking to an echo chamber of existing supporters. The governor believes it’s a mix of both.

As for what his team has in store, the governor said he is most excited about doing more Google + hangouts and plans to add crowdsharing to his social media toolkit. He hopes to start by taking suggestions from state employees through a virtual “suggestions box” before expanding crowdsourced events to everyone in the state.

The governor’s team are also fans of a Detroit start-up called UpTo, whose scheduling technology alerts users to future events that they can then talk about on Facebook and Twitter as they happen. The Romney campaign is also using the platform.

Snyder might only be surpassed in his enthusiasm for social media by Newark Mayor Corey Booker, who is an avid Twitter user and engages routinely in one-on-one conversations with constituents who ask him about everything from broken gas lines to potholes.

Jennifer Moire is a contributing blogger to AllFacebook.com, a public relations and media consultant, and a long-time politics junkie.