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Insight & Opinion

The DDC Advocacy Blog

Charles Ellison: Campaigns to Social Media: Do I have enough time for you?

Posted on: May 18th, 2012

Are public officials and candidates reaching the point of social media exhaustion?

Take Kellen Giula’s comparison of the average tweets per day between GOP nominee spouse Ann Romney and First Lady Michelle Obama. He chides both for not really rising to the task, with Romney averaging just 0.6 tweets/day and Obama 1.4 tweets/day.

Giula’s beef: “[T]o maximize Twitter’s potential of reaching the optimal amount of people, users should tweet 10 to 30 times a day.

While Twitter is as essential to the modern campaign-scape as, well, television ads, the problem is the assumption that public officials, candidates, institutions and government agencies actually have the time and resources to commit. That question applies to the entire social media landscape.

Elected officials already spend three-quarters of their time raising money for re-election; committing staff to develop, calibrate, revise and then finally approve dozens of tweets every day is a significant challenge for resource-strapped campaigns.

Still, social media is here to stay – candidates and organizations just have to scale accordingly.  But, according to Forrester CEO George Colony, we may be reaching a saturation point in which “social is running out of hours.”

Colony argues that we may be in the “post-social media world.” Does that explain Romney and Obama’s low averages on Twitter?  There’s just not enough time in their day?  It doesn’t matter – the effective campaign must strengthen messaging while creating true efficiency and value for every tweet and share.