Who Has Klout in the Montgomery County Council?
An online tool gives first place to Councilmember Nancy Navarro, whose district will include Wheaton starting March 7.
Of all the members of the Montgomery County Council, Nancy Navarro has the most social media clout--or at least according to Klout, a popular online tool that analyzes data from social networks such as Twitter.
A Klout Score “measures influence based on your ability to drive action.” The Klout score considers three things: the number of people you influence, the degree of influence, and how much influence your network exerts.
Navarro, who is now vice president of the council, weighed in at 26, narrowly beating Councilmember (and now Council President) Roger Berliner, whose Klout Score is 25. Councilmember Hans Riemer is close behind, with a Klout Score of 24.
Adam Fogel, Navarro's chief of staff, said that open communication with constituents through social media is a big priority. Navarro has 400 followers on Twitter.
Fogel said that when he joined the staff four months ago, Navarro switched her Facebook account from a personal profile to a fan page, so that it could be linked with her Twitter account. This recent change, he said, explains why Navarro only has 70 "likes" on Facebook.
Fogel is confident that the more Navarro continues to post, the wider reach she will have. So what exactly is she posting? Links to news stories, blog posts and photos.
"We think it's important not just for constituents to see news stories, but also to see the actual photos of her out in the community," Fogel said.
And every time Navarro sends out a newsletter by email, she encourages recipients to "like" her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.
See how other councilmembers lined up:
George Leventhal - 20
Valerie Ervin - 12
Craig Rice - 11
Councilmember Leventhal has over 600 followers on Twitter - 50 percent more than Navarro. But higher numbers do not necessarily translate to a higher Klout Score, which factors in how often the person tweets and whether other people pay attention to those tweets.
Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Marc Elrich have not tweeted for more than a year, making a Klout Score impossible to compute for them.
And where is Councilmember Phil Andrews? Is he even on Twitter?
What do you think? How important is social network activity for local politicians? Tell us in the comments.