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.
Quote: “I am committed to maintaining open avenues of communication with my constituents in Maine in order to best serve their interests. To that end, social media is an invaluable tool in connecting me with people from across the state – hearing their concerns and opinions – and improving overall correspondence. I hope Mainers across the state will take advantage of social media to converse with me and my staff.”
This week we recognize US Senator Angus King for our social spotlight. Sen. Angus Stanley King, Jr., former two year Governor of Maine, began his avid involvement in social media in 2012 to promote his policies and political independence in his successful campaign for Maine's available Senate seat.
At the culmination of his tenure as governor in 2003, King was widely favorable. When King decided to re-enter the political landscape as a Senator, social media allowed him to efficiently reassert his political appeal to the people of Maine. King's application of Facebook during his 2012 campaign allowed voters to reconnect with him personally and gain insight to his aspirations as Senator.
On his Facebook page, King reflectively posted photos from early on in his career as governor to remind voters of his achievements. He currently uses it to voice his opinion about legislation and local issues, allowing him to remain proactive on issues important to his constituents
Additionally, King continues to share photographs of himself interacting with locals at campaign rallies, town hall meetings, and festivals, adding a personal touch to his social engagement.
Although he only recently joined Twitter, King's genuine use of his profile has rewarded him with a diverse collection of followers amounting to an online fan-base of over 3,000. On Twitter, King highlights his public appearances by reminding constituents to watch interviews, as well as tweeting and re-tweeting pictures and articles relevant to his followers.
The Senator typically tweets at various politicians and organizations when discussing particular events or when simply commenting on political issues.
Moreover, King is also involved in social media site, You Tube, where he posts "Weekly Recaps" of his week, speeches, and campaign ads. King supplements his social media sites with his personal website and blog.
Here are a few more things we like about Senator Angus King:
- He is politically independent: King's push for bipartisan cooperation among legislators has made him a favorite in the state of Maine, which has a tendency to elect independent-minded leaders. In his opening address on his website, King proclaims, "our state has a strong tradition of independence – something I strive to reflect in my day to day activities."
- He Started Early: Senator Angus King grew up with a love for politics, and as a young boy worked in the Senate building as a Junior United States Senator for the state of Maine.
- Improving access to technology: Senator King's education agenda includes making the internet more accessible to students by providing better technology to schools.
- Innovator: While King is new to social media, his innovation and engagement online was a contributing factor in his successful campaign for Senator. We at IVN are excited to see what innovative ways he will use it next to accomplish his goals!