Ted Cruz wins social media victory

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Cruz was particularly good at leveraging social media in his campaign, likely due in part to his strong Tea Party support. The Tea Party movement has been noted for its use of social media tools since 2010, when grassroots activism helped Republicans sweep the House majority by electing a huge freshman class. Cruz likely got a major social media boost from supporters such as former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a star on Facebook since notes on her page are one of her favorite ways to communicate with supporters.

Cruz has more than 80,000 Facebook supporters and 27,147 followers on Twitter, huge numbers for someone not yet in national office. Cruz has been on both Facebook and Twitter since 2009.

His social media campaign far out-paced that of his competitor, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R). In comparison, Dewhurst has half the Facebook supporters, 4,364 followers on his personal Twitter feed and 6,330 on his official campaign feed, and has shared far less content and has been less consistent than Cruz on all platforms.

In particular, Cruz's campaign did a good job meeting Facebook's engagement tips when it comes to consistency, interaction, multimedia and targeted ads. Facebook content can be particularly effective when friends share with other friends, so offering supporters a selection of "I voted for Ted Cruz" badges to use is an effective technique.

He also used Facebook's Timeline feature to share many endorsements as they rolled in. 

Cruz even invited his Facebook fans to virtually join the celebration when he won on Tuesday night, live streaming his election night party on his website and sending out an invite on his Facebook page.

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