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Using Your Follower List to Use Facebook to Build Your Email List

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, August 11 2011

So @OrrinHatch sent me this in the middle of the night last night:

The senior senator for the great state of Utah started following me recently, and I, of course, followed back. Other lawmakers' Twitter account maintainers occasionally use automated direct messages — an account for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) sent me an automated thank-you when I followed him back, for example — but advertising a list-building push via DM is a new one on me.

The link goes to Sen. Orrin Hatch's Facebook page, where he's collecting names and email addresses of people who support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution requiring a balanced budget.

Seamus Kraft, director of digital strategy for Issa's House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, tells me direct-message advocacy is an idea that's been kicked around in various offices but hasn't yet taken root.

"We have sent them before but it isn't something we (or other offices to the best of my knowledge) do on a regular basis," he wrote in an email. "I'd put it in the 'August recess trying out stuff there hasn't been time to try' category."

@OrrinHatch didn't return a reply DM seeking comment. (Hey — it was worth a shot.)