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Why @CoryBooker Dominates Twitter

by Micah Smith on September 18, 2012

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) is one of my favorite people to follow on twitter, and if you follow him, too, you can probably relate. His strategy is a gigantic distinction and competitive advantage over pretty much everyone else in his space.

Love him or hate him, we can all learn some important social media lessons here. And in that spirit, I would like to present the top five things you can learn from Cory Booker’s twitter feed.

Be in control of your own voice.

Cory Booker’s twitter feed features one voice: his own. Admittedly, I’m not totally sure how this is possible, considering how as a busy politician he tweets more than some companies with entire social media teams, but what I do know is he’s repeatedly taken full credit for his tweets and they’re undeniably consistent.

In a recent interview with BuzzFeed, Mayor Booker acknowledged that there was only one tweet he regretted sending. It ended up being deleted by a staff member, who was swiftly reprimanded. According to BuzzFeed, Booker says his philosophy is “never ever delete a tweet,” even if it is a “butt tweet.”

No one is unimportant.

Mayor Booker’s feed is a mashup of topics. From retweeting positive press, sharing inspirational quotes, and voicing his support of President Obama, to all the way to addressing abandoned dogs, downed power lines and people who lost their quarters in a vending machine. With his twitter feed, he shows that he’s not just concerned with stroking his own ego. He’s concerned with the people he serves.

No one would blame him for ignoring minor issues from people with 59 followers, but he responds anyway. Not all the time and not to everyone, but enough to show he cares.

Transparency rules.

One of the most unique things Mayor Booker does on Twitter is respond to criticism. But it’s not just that he does it (which is impressive enough), it’s how he does it. Publically. He doesn’t just @reply or DM critics, he responds in a way that makes their criticism and his response viewable by all 1.2 million of his followers.

It takes a lot of confidence to broadcast negative comments. And you know what? If I’m electing someone to represent me in the government, I want someone who’s confident. So basically, his response to disapproval makes me trust him more, rather than less. That strategy is brilliant.

Pay attention to the conversation.

Mayor Booker is inevitably on the receiving end of hundreds of tweets and DMs each day, but he’s constantly on the front lines of discussion about Newark, even if it isn’t directed at him. As a result, he knows what’s going on in the day-to-day lives of his citizens and is able to make change a very organic level, which is much more than most politicians can say.

Do something with your platform.

Pulling a quote from his BuzzFeed interview, Booker says, “I now have much more control over my media than I did before, because I’ve got traditional media that’s following my tweets. I can break news on my Twitter account. I can shape news on my Twitter account. Just by having that level of having over one-whatever million people following me is a bigger audience than many traditional media outlets.”

And that’s just what he’s done with #waywire. I’ll let you explore that one on your own.

(Photo credit)


2 Responses

  1. ceceilia says:

    Great work! I was just writing in an email to a candidate for NY Senator that it might be a good idea to use social media in Cory Booker style :)

    • Micah Smith says:

      Absolutely! As Mayor Booker has demonstrated so excellently, if done well social media only helps build a positive relationship with your audience. It can certainly break down a lot of barriers.

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