Social Spotlight: Mayor Cory Booker

As part of our effort to report on social media trends, tools, and technology, we will be periodically recognizing politicians, candidates, and political organizations who are utilizing social media in effective and creative ways. Mayor Cory Booker uses a wide array of social media covering the essentials like Facebook and Twitter in a big way, but widens his outreach by using other sites such as Quora, Flickr, Instagram and Youtube. 

Facebook: 97,125

Twitter: 1.1 Million

“Social media is a powerfully democratizing force that’s given rise from everything from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street,”. On youth the the future, “Youth can use the platform to talk about issues that are directly affecting them, like a lack of police presence in their neighborhood or a lack of access to college,”. He goes on to illustrate this, “Using their social streams and creativity, they can begin to shape a larger conversation, which right now is dominated by an oliarchy.” 

 

A solution? “What we need to start doing is finding ways to give more people the tools necessary to influence world around them, not let them be drowned out, glossed over or ignored. When you let their voices be heard, it becomes less ideological, you’re opening arteries and dialogue, it becomes infinitely more pragmatic about getting things done and making a difference.”

First elected as the mayor of Newark, NJ in 2006, incumbent Cory Booker and his “Booker Team” should be considered a model social media mind.

Cory Booker uses a wide array of social media covering the essentials like Facebook and Twitter in a big way, but widens his outreach by using other sites such as Quora, Flickr, Instagram and Youtube. On the less common side of social media for politicians, Booker has a well used Instagram account, which is an up and coming tool for politicians, with its ability to humanize and give off a sense of transparency with visuals of their everyday activities. In just about a day, he got 655 likes on one of his Instagram photos. The Newark mayor has even dived into the world of reddit, answering AMA questions.

Not only does he utilize various kinds of social media, but he actively engages in them. So much so that people are taking notes. His posts for his followers include the use of humor, positivity, listening and responding. And responded he did, when Booker took the term “community involvement” to a new level by heeding a woman’s tweet of distress and personally helping to dig her out of knee-deep snow. On a less heroic note, here are a just a couple tweets that the mayor replied to yesterday.

Another notable tactic Booker uses on Twitter is that he makes an effort to follow people too. Of the 1.1 million twitter followers he has, he follows almost 70,000. On Facebook, his method for responses and “likes” are his daily statuses with words of wisdom. Of all his posts, they seems to be the most popular, some receiving upwards of 1,250 likes. His variation of posts is a key factor in his social media popularity, as he posts videos, photo albums, quotes, and article references.

Cory Booker has not only embraced the wonders of social media to campaign and reach out to his constituents but he has taken it a step further by co-founding a media site for the millennial generation that promotes community activism primarily through video. The site called #waywire, which claims to be “a social artery for news, inspiration and leading voices,” has reportedly raised over 1.75 million and is scheduled to debut soon. The implications of this site are impactful.

The site could become an outlet and platform for youth to stimulate non-partisan discussions, reiterating Booker’s statement that, “When you let their voices be heard, it becomes less ideological, you’re opening arteries and dialogue, it becomes infinitely more pragmatic about getting things done and making a difference.”

With all this being said, Mayor Cory Booker deservingly earns a spot in our “Social Spotlight”, with his widespread use of social media and engagement, personal connection, and transparency that has his online popularity souring.