Maine Governor at Bottom of Social Media List
Stateline, a nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States, has done a comprehensive survey of how governors across the country are using social media in an official way to connect with and inform their constituents.
Specifically, they looked at how each of the nation's fifty governors are using four popular socal media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.
The vast majority of governors use at least three of these services to share personal and official information and provide videos, photos, and links to residents of the states they represent.
Only three governors, Wyoming's Matthew Mead, New Hampshire's John Lynch, and Maine's Paul LePage use only a single social media service in an official capacity. Lynch uses Facebook, Mead has a YouTube account and LePage is on Twitter.
Even LePage's single official foray into social media is underwhelming. The governor's account has only 411 followers, a relatively small number that seems more appropriate for a state legislator (Democratic State Representative Seth Berry, for instance, has 409) than for the state's chief executive.
In addition, most of LePage's Twitter updates are simply automated repostings of press releases from his Web site. To find something written by a human, one has to go back more than three months to when LePage or, more likely, one of his communications staff made a small smattering of updates on the budget process and praising then-Maine Heritage Policy Center head Tarren Bragdon.
LePage being tied for last place on the gubernatorial social media front is surprising given his campaign's use of online tools, especially Facebook, to rally his base in 2010.
Things may be changing, however. Despite a longstanding prohibition on changing Facebook page titles and URLs once they've been created, LePage has apparently been allowed to change his campaign page's name from "Paul LePage Maine's Next Governor" to "Paul Lepage, Maine's Governor," while maintaining his almost 10,000 Facebook fans.
It's not clear if the new page is being run by the governor's office, by outside volunteers, or by the interest group founded by LePage partisans that remains closely linked to the governor's agenda.