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CORRECTED: From the Bloomberg Campaign, Some Social Media Stats

BY Nick Judd | Monday, February 8 2010

Bloomberg 2009 online strategist Jonah Seiger spoke at an event last week that we co-sponsored with ClickZ, the website that covers online advertising, at which Andrew Rasiej and ClickZ reporter — and former Personal Democracy Forum staffer — Kate Kaye shared moderating duties.

We've just uploaded the video to YouTube, which is embedded above.

Mike Bloomberg's 2009 mayoral campaign was a bit of a unique case in that he had nearly unlimited resources and no desire to use new media to raise money. That presented a challenge because small donations also nearly guarantee the donor's vote, Seiger said — because the donor has just invested in the candidate — but, obviously, the availability of resources from day one couldn't have hurt. For Seiger, it wasn't the first time facing this situation: he and his firm, Connections Media, also worked on Bloomberg's 2005 re-election campaign.

That said, Seiger's presentation — on how Bloomberg made use of online tools — yielded some interesting stats. During the talk, Seiger broke down how the Bloomberg campaign tried to figure out the universe of voters they could reach on social media. The end result, somehow, is that the campaign reached about 37,000 voters through social media — probably. NYConvergence's Amy Berryhill filed a report on the event that points out Seiger used "a lot of assumptions, but pretty straightforward math."

Here's a little more detail — statistics from the talk:

Total Bloomberg Facebook supporters and Twitter followers, combined: 40,000
Unique visitors to from inside New York City: 500,000
Followers of @mikebloomberg's followers on Twitter: 31 million
Those accounts with New York City listed as a profile location: 3.5 million
The number of actual people in the New York City social media sphere, based on analysis of Facebook and Twitter: +/- 3 million
Total online ad impressions bought by the campaign: 1.1 billion

This universe only includes people who are, age-wise, eligible to vote, Seiger said. Seiger figures the campaign reached 10 percent of that universe — about 300,000 people — on election day. Multiply that by the voter turnout level — about 56 24 percent, Seiger says — then again by the percentage of voters who voted for Bloomberg — 51 percent — and the campaign figures it reached 36,720 voters.

The Bloomberg campaign made use of hashtags to get tweets into relevant conversations, and tried to make use of that 31-million-large potential social network in a "tweet out the vote" campaign.

There was a lot of detail in the talk on how the Bloomberg campaign used geotargeting and social media best practices (talking with followers, for example — especially influential ones) to build communities of Bloomberg supporters around locations and interests. Check out the video for the entire thing.

CORRECTED: This post has been updated to note that Seiger estimates the Bloomberg campaign reached 36,720 voters online on election day based on the following computation: A reach of about 10 percent of New York City's total social media audience (300,000) x the level of voter turnout (.24) x the proportion of voters who voted for Bloomberg (about .51). The original post misstated Seiger's math.