“What we did in the city was get on Spanish radio,” she said. “I did an ad talking about termites in schools and we did live shows, taking calls from listeners.”
In the Miami mayoral campaign, both Suarez and Tomás Regalado recognize the importance of traditional campaigning through radio and TV ads, sending mailers and visiting voters at home.
Regalado said he uses his Facebook and Twitter accounts to share information with residents about the city, and not as a campaign tool. “Residents send me personal messages and questions. It’s an opportunity to talk to them,” he said.
Regalado had just under 1,040 Twitter followers on Saturday afternoon, while close to 11,000 people “liked” his Facebook page. This year, the mayor has sent about 40 Twitter messages, both in English and Spanish, on issues ranging from gun violence to Cuban dissidents.
Meanwhile, Suarez has less than half as many “likes” on his Facebook page than the mayor. But this week, his Twitter account surpassed Regalado’s in popularity, with more than 1,100 followers.
His Twitter page uses a modern design in the blue-and-red color scheme that appears in other campaign material. His tweets frequently include the hashtag #OurTimeIsNow, his campaign slogan.
Both Suarez and The brpr Group send out the tweets from his account, primarily in English and focused on his campaign, with occasional mentions of Heat games and local news.
Close to a quarter of his tweets so far this year have been direct messages to other Twitter users. Suarez said this kind of interaction is part of the reason he likes social networks.
“When you do a TV or radio ad, there isn’t a way for the voter to interact directly with you,” he said. “Social media gives you this neat advantage. It allows not only for a lot of people to see it, but to interact and give feedback.”