Tweeting and Facebooking to the Governor's Mansion

In the digital age, a campaign Web site just doesn't cut it anymore

In the digital age, a campaign Web site just doesn't cut it anymore.

Candidates have to Facebook and tweet their way to victory -- and those vying for Texas governor know it. Many are creating Twitter, Facebook and even YouTube channels.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison set up a Facebook page for her supporters, as did Gov. Rick Perry. Debra Medina, a GOP candidate running a grassroots campaign, has also set up a Facebook page. Democrat Tom Schieffer has a Facebook page, but it's not linked to his campaign Web site.

Erica Snyder, a social media expert with the Richards Group, said smart candidates use the sites to talk to their political base.

"People that sign up to follow you or friend you on Facebook or become a fan of your page are there because they are genuinely interested in what you have to say," she said.

Perry's campaign even came out with a "how to" blurb, telling social media newbies how to sign up on the sites.

Twitter is also a way for the candidates to let followers know what they are doing, link back to stories and update people with pictures.

Perry, a known Twitter fan, has more than 11,000 followers on the service. His GOP foe, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has less than 1,000 followers.

But Snyder said the numbers of followers don't always mean number of voters.

"You can have this mass quantity of followers, but if you can't mobilize them outside of the online forum, you haven't really accomplished anything," she said.

Many of the gubernatorial candidates are texting, Tweeting and updating their Facebook status, asking supporters for money.

The state's finance filing deadline is midnight Tuesday. The exact dollar amount that was raised won't be known until next week. 

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