Justin Trudeau and the Facebook follies.

With more than 50,000 ‘friended’ readers on Facebook and more than 150,000 followers on Twitter, MP Justin Trudeau will be counting heavily on this group of Canadians in his upcoming run for the leadership of the Liberal Party. The best advice we can give him on this is to count on one in ten or less to come through in the party vote and to turn his twits and Facebook entries over to a professional. This is not where he has to concentrate his efforts for the next seven months.

So far, Trudeau has been able to keep one foot in the social media world but his efforts in Facebook are banal at best and he really does not understand the strengths of Twitter. The only thing you can say for now is that he is better then most.

But the strength of the Trudeau name and his novelty as a candidate are in danger of wearing thin before this campaign has celebrated the New Year. Most of his opponents can also hire experts in the use of social media and Justin has to realize that his readers want to hear more from him than generalities. If you are going to communicate with the computer savvy of this country, you had better realize that they are ahead of you in some of the concerns that had not seen the light of day in Pierre Trudeau’s time.

Someone in Trudeau’s campaign group needs to be analyzing the feed they get from their followers on social media. They might not be as radical as the “take back our cities” demonstrators, but they are going to send in their wants and likes. The campaign has to encourage that feed. And it has to respond.

Start with Twitter. It has always been amusing to us that an old-fashioned newspaper headline writer can say a great deal in 140 characters. Twitter is not as limiting as some people think. It is an excellent way to put basic ideas in front of a target audience and to send them to further depth as needed.

Facebook, in turn enables a bit more depth and visuals to putting across ideas. Just remember here that the average attention span in this group is not long. Our advice to people preparing material for Facebook is to write tight!

This opportunity to layer material at different levels is ideally suited to political campaigns. Campaign web sites can have hundreds of thousands of words but the only people who might read it all are your competitors.

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Copyright 2012 © Peter Lowry

Complaints, comments, criticisms and compliments can be sent to  peter@lowry.me

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