Hawaii News Now election 2012 results

Hawaii News Now published full election results at 3:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. Jon Yoshimura, running for Honolulu Council Dist. 6 received 16% of the vote and was running against 15 other candidates. Carol Fukunaga won the Dist. 6 seat with 28% of the vote, beating Sam Aiona with Yoshimura coming in third.

Yoshimura gives social media a try

By Caitlin Stagg

A 2012 election race cannot simply consist of speeches and signs. Our technologies have changed and therefore, so have our candidates and their campaigns. Some of the biggest changes in recent years to our media world are social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter. These sites are both used by thousands of people around the world for multiple reasons including getting their opinions and information out. Candidates can use these sites as a tool for gathering followers, letting people know about events, and getting their platform out to people who already support them and to people who don’t so that they now have the information they can use to form an opinion.

Jon Yoshimura, running for Honolulu City Council District 6, uses both Twitter and Facebook. Yoshimura has 189 ‘likes’ on Facebook and since the beginning of September, has started updating almost daily. He posts links to articles, pictures of his appearances, and status updates on how the election campaign is going so far. There are usually one or two comments or at least multiple ‘likes’ on each of Yoshimura’s actions on Facebook so that shows that people in Hawaii really are following him on his social media sites and shows that it is definitely worth it to reach out to people through online sites such as Facebook. You can also see on Facebook when someone else has shared something. This means that they reposted something from someone else onto their own page for their own friends to see. I saw that multiple posts by Yoshimura have been shared once or twice. This shows that people are helping him to get his information out. It is common that someone will hear about an event, a public figure, or even a news article by seeing a friend of his or hers repost it from a site. This will definitely help Yoshimura’s campaign and getting his name out in social media as well.

Yoshimura has a Twitter but it seems that he doesn’t use it often. He only has 13 followers and has only posted 89 tweets. I’m sure he is trying to use it for his supporters who may use Twitter a lot, but what I thought was strange is that his Twitter account is private, which means that if you want to follow him you have to make a request and he has to accept your request. I think that is odd for a public figure especially when he is advertising on his webpage that people should follow him on Facebook and Twitter but his Twitter is not completely accessible. You can however see whom he follows without following him and I saw that he follows many news outlets or personalities such as CNN, Larry King, NPR News, The White House, and The New York Times. I think that this reflects positively on him in showing that he keeps up with national news not only through watching TV or reading the papers but also through the latest media outlets such as Twitter.

Yoshimura and his supporters also do a lot of sign waving. He posts pictures on his website and his Facebook from sign waving. It seems to me like sign waving must be a productive way of getting his face and name out into the public and of getting supporters because he does it often as well as many other candidates here in Hawaii. Sign waving is something I had never seen before I came to Hawaii. Back home no candidates used that as a campaign strategy. I think that here in Hawaii it works to show a friendly and accessible side to the candidate and people here like that a lot. Yoshimura has posted pictures on his Facebook and many of the pictures show him standing on the side of the road talking to people who have come up to him. This shows that sign waving will not only get his name out there but also that he takes the time to talk to people who are walking by and may be interested in what he has to say about issues, his platform, or maybe just want to stop and chat with him. This is very positive for his personality image and may make people want to get to know him more or stop to talk to him if they ever see him out sign waving on the street corners.

Election candidates like Yoshimura have learned that if they want to have a chance in getting elected, they need to step up their strategies and integrate social media into their communication approach. If they don’t, they will lose valuable followers and supporters and also they will not get their name out to as many people as they could if they used sites like Facebook and Twitter. Yoshimura is doing a good job with these sites, but could definitely make improvements such as more frequent posting and more use of Twitter.