LOS ANGELES, August 29, 2012 ― Millions of followers waited and watched twitter during last night’s session of the Republican National Convention. One Twitter site they watched was Ann Romney @AnnDRomney. 80,488 people are following her.
What you may not know is @AnnDRomney only has two African Americans out of the 80,488 people who are following her. Who are these people? Mia Love @MiaBLove and Latoya @toyagurl25.
@AnnDRomney is following 410 other people. Those she follows are mostly politicos. Amongst her followers, fewer than five are Hispanic, including @Alejandro Martinez, @ademshame, and Jennifer Hernandez @MrsMoneyA.
The result is that @AnnDRomney fails to capitalize on Twitter as a way to connect with the multi-cultured people in the urban Twitter community. It is important to convey to all the American people that the Romney team has a clear understanding of America’s diverse culture.
How better to do this than through the most prominent social networking tool on the web?
Is this an oversight from the Romney camp? Could including urban communities in their social networks just not be a priority with them? Or do they just not get that Twitter, as all social networks, requires that they both send and receive?
A year ago Katie Stanton—Twitter’s VP of International Strategy—told the Guardian Activate summit that the site has 200 million registered accounts. That number is now closer to 360 million.
According to Twitter, there are around 460,000 signups per day. Each signup represents a voter who could be another hub in a network that would help put Mitt Romney in the White House. So why do Ann Romney and the Mitt Romney Team discount Twitter’s value?
These Americans have a voice that is not being heard in the Romney campaign. Techcrunch.com states, “Young adults use Twitter at twice the rate of those between 30 and 49 (26% vs. 14%) and urban and suburban residents are more likely to use Twitter than Internet users in rural areas”.
Urban communities are growing due to ever-changing American lifestyles, and Ann Romney should seek to connect to these communities. Her twitter account clearly shows she is not doing so, and she may be unaware of how disconnected she is being portrayed as on Twitter.
Teachcrunch.com tell us, “The Twitter usage among young adults is one of the few areas where there have been significant changes lately. Since May 2011, daily usage of Twitter among those 18 to 24 increased from 9% to 20%, a trend the Pew report attributes to the increasing popularity of smartphones among this group. Smartphone users, after all, are far more likely to use Twitter daily than those with feature phones (13% vs. 3%)”.
So how smart are the Romney sons? The Twitter account of Tagg Romney, @tromney, Twitter account has 406 tweets, 75 people that he is following, and 12,287 people following him. Tagg is following NO people of any color ― not one black person ― few Hispanics, and no Asians. Does Tagg Romney live in the real world? Or are people of different cultures not important to him, either?
Josh Romney @JoshRomney and Matt Romney @Matt_Romney both reflect the disconnection to people of color.
This presidential race will come down to urban community voters, and the Romney-Ryan camp should take every opportunity there is to connect to them
The Romney team is losing valuable on-line opportunities as they travel across the country connecting with urban churches, hang out at block party events, court local inner city Republicans and GOP clubs, and address urban town hall meetings with diverse people of culture one can clearly see in front of the camera.
What better thing to do while sitting on that bus than to retweet @Alejandro Martinez message of support or message @toyagurl25 and ask her what’s important to her?
The Romney/Ryan campaign needs to know that now is the time to invest in these networks, and for their families to invest the time to reach out to small, local, inner-city newspapers, to fill urban radio airtime with ads, and do call-ins on local morning black radio stations to promote themselves.
And don’t forget Twitter. It is a simple way to connect, to reach out. It’s not just posting 140 characters, but interacting with the people. And giving them a reason to vote for @TeamRomney.