mark shurtleff – Stay N Alive

Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff Has 8,000 Twitter Followers. And?

Screen shot 2009-09-25 at 12.12.16 PMToday Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff, our favorite Twitter political celebrity and Senate candidate who DM Failed his Senate campaign announcement, made another announcement on Twitter (at the same time calling all of us “Twitophiles”) I just had to share with you – yes, (gasp!) he has more than 8,000 Twitter followers.  That’s right my friends – the candidate set to take on Senator Bob Bennett for his Senate seat is “Taking Back America” one Twitter follower at a time until he’s taken them all and he owns Utah on Twitter.  Or is he?

Let’s look at his follower numbers – there’s something fishy here.  While he has 8,063 followers, he’s following 8,743.  From my experience of running an auto-follow service (which he’s not using – buy Utah!), generally when the numbers of people you are following is higher than those that are following you, it generally means a) you are running an auto-follow tool, and b) probably about half of those followers are spam bots, porn accounts, and not even real people.  And sure enough, going through his list of followers I’m seeing names like “PronDb”, “InstantBizHelp”, “QuitYourJob2Day”, and “PokerSSpace”.  Let’s just assume those are real people with real interest in him though.

Assuming all those followers are real, how many are actually listening to him?  How many of them are using “search for followers” services like Twollo and just followed him because they have it set to automatically follow anybody that says “Utah”?  Here’s my point: Twitter follower numbers mean nothing and I certainly hope someone doesn’t win a political campaign because they have more Twitter followers than their other opponents.  As I’ve said before, having a large following on Twitter only means you have to shout louder for everyone to hear.

Rather than focusing on followers, Mr. Shurtleff should instead be focusing on engaging each of his followers – building relationships with them.  Twitter’s a very difficult place to do that.  He could be setting up forums on Facebook where he actively participates and engages his audience in discussion.  He could be blogging, and interacting with his readers in the comments.  He could be responding, in short form on Twitter, while not as effective, to those responding to him on Twitter.  He could be over here, engaging with us in the comments of this blog and other Utah-based blogs.  Looking over his Tweet stream I see a lot of “talking at me”.  Instead he should be “talking with me” – this is a 2-way conversation Mr. Shurtleff, and the fact that you’re bragging about your Twitter followers as a political crutch against your opponents shows to me that you, possibly more than them, still don’t understand these tools.

Based on the way he’s using these tools, I would find it very hard to believe that even a majority of his audience is actually listening to Mark Shurtleff.  Post a link in your Twitter profile through – I think you’d be very surprised how many people of those 8,000 actually click on that link.  Now go over to your blog and post that same link.  I think you’ll see a much greater response.  Twitter has its purpose, but I’m afraid Mark Shurtleff seems clueless when it comes to Social Media.  Of course, it should be noted that his opponent only has 7 Tweets referencing himself in the third person with only 101 followers.  Maybe Utah politicians are just clueless – I’ll vote for that.

Editor’s Note: I neither endorse, nor am I against Mark Shurtleff. Heck, I may even vote for him – I post this only hoping to educate Utah politicians and others in whatever manner possible – this is embarrassing!

Utah Republican DM Fails His Candidacy Announcement

Mark ShurtleffToday (about 2 hours ago), Utah Attorney General, and rumored Senate Candidate Mark Shurtleff, in an apparent “DM Fail” with what would appear to be Political Consultant Ben Cannatti, accidentally announced his candidacy for Senate. Attorney General Shurtleff has been rumored to be running against the current seated Senator Bob Bennett in the upcoming election, making this no surprise, but a solid confirmation it would seem.

Shurtleff recently appeared in a recent Fox 13 News segment on Facebook boasting his use of Social Media and its potential advantage it could give him in the pending run for Senate. Shurtleff ironically stated on Twitter his realization in what he thought was an SMS to Cannatti, “…I just realized that I was responding to a text from u. I’m going to pull it off immediately”. Other interesting Tweets, “…it will also be against Bennett and I’ll pick up his delegates when he drops off the first ballot. I’m announcing I’m running at 12”. He also shared he “would have no trouble raising up to $2 million”. The original Tweets have been removed but you can read the 140 character version of them (which is cut off) via Twitter search still.

It also comes on the heels of other mishaps by other Republicans. Just recently, Virginia State Senator Jeff Frederick posted on Twitter, “Big News coming out of Senate: Apparently one Dem is either switching or leaving the Dem caucus. Negotiations for power sharing underway.” The Virginia Senate Democrats saw the post and were able to secure their majority by closing the session early and convincing the State Senator Ralph Northam not to switch sides. The Republican party is no stranger to such mishaps.

In response to today’s Twitter DM failure by Shurtleff, he humorously responded, stating in a Tweet, “Thinking of “texting while drowsy” law after private 1AM tweet went public. Formal announcement on 5/20 about senate race and tweeting plans”. It will certainly be a lesson learned for him as he tries to obtain Bennet’s Senate seat through use of Social Media. Mark Shurtleff, contact me if you ever need help!

You can see the full conversation via Twitter search below:

Mark Shurtleff DM Fail