By Javier Manjarres
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) under the leadership of the late Chairman Dave Bitner, and current Chairman Lenny Curry, have delved into the social media arena headfirst. There is no doubt that social media will play an enormous roll in the 2012 general election-an election that many feel will be the breaking point for the economy of the United States. RPOF vice Chairman Blaise Ingoglia has spearheaded the state party’s social media efforts since the very beginning, and has completed, or in process of completing 23 social media accounts for REC’s across the state.
Escambia County Republicans started their new page from scratch and they now have 1,443 fans. Clay County went from 200 to 800 fans and had 10 new people show up to their last REC meeting, and Hernando County is up to 1800 fans. Now, these number will undoubtbly increase over the next several months and a really not much to brag about, for now. There are several other REC’s around the state that will tout much larger numbers on their social media platforms, but these REC’s have marketed themselves statewide, as opposed to targeting county specific Republicans. Either way, the REC’s are starting to reach out in some way or from.
The Democrat party has the edge on the GOP, but the RPOF’s efforts are a breathe of fresh air and give a sense of hope to many who had doubts about how the party was going to counter the Democrats next year. But will these efforts be hastened by petty selfish ego trips by a few trying to move up in the ranks of the RPOF?
Here are some testimonials to the effectiveness of the RPOF’s social media efforts :
I would just like to express my complete amazement with our new Facebook Fan Page. The Republican Party of Clay County has had a fan page for over two years and it constantly has sit for two years with 258 fans or less. Less than two weeks ago Blaise Ingoglia spoke to me about improving our fan page with purchase advertising and enhancing our fan page with software which he donates. On a Saturday morning he and I spoke to “push the start” button. We agreed to spend $500 in advertising with the goal of reaching more Republicans in the county. Once Blaise and I hung up, the Secretary of my REC and I sat in amazement as 2, 4 and 5 people would join the Clay County Republican Page as we sat and watched. The Fans are now interacting with the posts, we are able to track what posts they like and don’t like, leading to better communications and topics to post. Our monthly REC meeting was Monday night and we had 10 new people show up specifically from our Facebook Fan page. On Monday night I announced in less than 2 weeks we have gone from 258 fans to over 750 fans that interact with the page.
This is a golden opportunity for our county to capitalize on a wonderful communications tool. Thank you Blaise for your donation and help with this Facebook Fan page.
I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for all that you have done with helping Escambia County’s REC with social media. Words cannot adequately express how impressed I am with our rapid progress and how indebted to you I am for helping us promote our Republican message to so many folks in my county.
By way of background, I had originally started my REC a Facebook page about a year and a half ago. Over that year and a half, I had managed to get approximately 167 “fans” of the page but I honestly had no idea how to market for more fans. Then, about a week after my October REC meeting, you started Escambia’s REC a new Facebook page and in the following three weeks, we started seeing our fan base increase at a rapid rate. By the time of my November REC meeting, we had approximately 990 fans! In the last week since that meeting, we approaching close to 1,200 fans of our page. I am beyond impressed and I cannot tell you how cost-effective this has been for us.
After the Executive Board of my REC approved the initial investment, which was quite inexpensive, we have since approved another investment in order to grow our fan base even more with the political tools you have given us in the last month. I would highly recommend Facebook marketing to any other REC, whether for a small county or a large county, as the results are amazing.
I look forward to continuing to work with you and our social media efforts here in Escambia County.
All the best,
Susan Moore, Chairman-Escambia County