Study: Multiple Twitter accounts dilutes campaign message

A study released Wednesday found that political campaigns that release Twitter messages on multiple accounts hurt themselves by diluting their message.

The study, released by Qorvis Strategies, surveyed the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial elections and the Massachusetts special Senate election in January.

During the Virginia and New Jersey races, then-candidate Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) and then-Gov. Jon Corzine (D-N.J.) used one single Twitter account whereas Democratic candidate Creigh Deeds (Va.) and Republican challenger Chris Christie (N.J.) used multiple accounts.

The study showed that having one account allowed campaigns to attract more followers  and was better for issing a unified message.

McConnell's single account had over 7,000 followers but the top three Deeds accounts (out of 6 listed), only amounted to just over 4,700 followers. Three Deeds accounts belonged to campaign staff.

Corzine had just over 4,400 followers but Christie had more at over 5,000 between his three accounts. But Wyeth Ruthven, a former Democratic congressional staffer who conducted the study, said that Deeds' and Christie's multiple accounts had few mutual followers.

It's worth mentioning that Christie and McDonnell both won their respective races despite their different Twitter strategies.

The study was not without it's amusing results. "Pointless babble" made up the plurality of the tweets studied at 40.55 percent.

Ruthven also noted that Deeds, a noted music fan, tweeted more about what was playing on his stereo than his transportation plan:

In fact, Deeds devoted more tweets to his musical tastes (39 tweets) than to his transportation plan (1).

For Virginia and New Jersey, the survey compiled all campaign tweets between Aug. 1 and Nov. 3, 2009 For Massachusetts Senate race, it gathered all campaign tweets from the Nov. 3 candidate filing deadline until the Jan. 19 election.

This post was updated at 4:05 p.m.

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