Was Social Media Prowess Key to Sen. Brown’s Bay State Victory?

By now you know the story. Scott Brown handily defeated the early favorite Martha Coakley in the race for the late Sen. Kennedy’s Senate seat. But a Wall Street Journal blog posts some interesting findings as to how, pointing to Brown’s use of social media as being an effective means of reaching the voting public:

A study conducted by the Emerging Media Research Council out today found that Brown had a more effective strategy of using social networking tools including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to promote his campaign and connect with supporters.

Here’s a look at the numbers:

Facebook Posts since Jan. 1: Brown (128), Coakley (58)

Facebook Fans: Brown (70,800), Coakley (13,529)

Tweets since Jan. 1: Brown (142), Coakley (144)

Twitter Followers: Brown (9,679), Coakley (3,385)

YouTube Videos: Brown (57), Coakley (52)

YouTube Video Views: Brown (578,271), Coakley (51,173)

The study concludes that Brown’s use of social media helped in several ways, including boosting his name recognition both in and out of Massachusetts. They note that just 51% of Massachusetts voters had heard of Brown in a Nov. 12 poll, by Jan. 14 his name recognition was at 95%.

The study also found that Brown more openly embraced social media sites on his campaign Web site, where he “prominently” features social networking channels including a Twitter feed while Coakley “gives social networks less prominent real estate.