3:04 pm Oct. 1, 2012
Last week, after Staten Island Borough President called Lady Gaga a "slut" for smoking what he referred to as a "reefer" on stage, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer leapt to Gaga's defense.
“Lady Gaga’s work is a symbol of individuality and artistic expression," Stringer, who's friends with Gaga's family, told Politicker. "In addition to her artistic pursuits, she is a social justice activist and a real leader for marriage equality in this country. And no matter which continent Gaga happens to be in today, she remains an Upper West Sider at heart.”
A couple days later, Gaga thanked Stringer on Twitter.
"To @scottmstringer of Manhattan, thanku for your support of my activism as a new yorker. You show political integrity + a modern vernacular," she said.
Lady Gaga has nearly 30 million followers, and the impact of the Gaga episode on Stringer's social media status was swiftly felt.
Stringer's Twitter account typically gains about 50 new followers a week. But in the past four and a half days, he's gotten 250 new followers, boosting his total to 5,397.
Stringer's considering a run for mayor next year, and though the election has barely just begun, the race to win the greatest social media following is well underway.
Not so long ago, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio's office was touting the impact that his embrace of the boroughs has had on his social media standing.
The Gaga episode helped him eclipse de Blasio, who's also considering a mayoral run, on Twitter. As of this writing, the public advocate has 5,203 followers.
Christine Quinn, the Council speaker considered the early favorite in next year's election, is also the Twitter-follower front-runner, with 11,711.
The Gaga effect was felt elsewhere, too.
In the last four days, Stringer's Facebook fan page acquired 180 new "likes," putting his total number at 6,216, which Stringer's office contends is more than any city elected official but Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Unlike regular Facebook profiles, which require users to "accept" new friends, fan pages function more like Twitter feeds in that anyone can "like" them.
Finally, according to Facebook Insights, the social media website's analytics tool, in the past week, more than 2.5 million people have viewed content originating on Stringer's web page, compared to a pre-Gaga weekly average of about 4,000.
“Borough President Stringer believes social media is a valuable tool to hear from constituents and maximize democratic participation," said Stringer spokeswoman Audrey Gelman, in a statement. "Scott has taken a forward-looking approach to engaging New Yorkers through digital means, as the first New York City elected official to join both Instagram and Tumblr. As New York emerges as a hub for tech innovation, the Borough President believes it is essential for government to stay on the cutting edge.”
Here's the graphic from Facebook Insights: