Social media is not all beer and skittles for Auckland Mayoral candidates. It can bring abuse or, in the case of Vic Crone, a marriage proposal.

For Chloe Swarbrick, who is building a strong following through social media, it is being reported as "very 22" - a reference to her age and ability to do the job.

Four mayoral candidates - Crone, Swarbrick, Phil Goff and Mark Thomas - pulled up a barstool at a Social Media Club Auckland event this evening to discuss the use of social media during the campaign and how council could better use "social".

Mayoral candidates Chloe Swarbrick and Phil Goff. Photo / Nick Reed
Mayoral candidates Chloe Swarbrick and Phil Goff. Photo / Nick Reed

Joining the politicians was Stasi Turnbull, communications manager at the Electoral Commission.

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Goff, who has taken flak as a politician for more than 30 years, revealed social media was far more personally abusive and said he deleted and blocked other people's rubbish.

Crone, coming from a tech background, welcomed social media with open arms, but admitted to receiving a marriage proposal on Facebook and being told she was wearing the wrong jacket and the wrong shoes.

"Sometimes the comments say more about the person than they do about me...you just have to be thick skinned," Crone said.

"We are shit at voting at local body elections," the evening's organiser, Vaughan Davis said, reminding the young(ish) audience it was not a debate but meeting interesting people and having free drinks and pizza.

Swarbrick said a reason for the low voter turnout at local body elections came down to people not being informed and information being put to them in an accessible way.

She later said social media would be everywhere at next year's general election, but these elections were at a tipping point of engaging apathetic voters and access to information about what the council does.

Swarbrick said she had used "social" to try and educate people and make information accessible and interesting.

"Social media has allowed people to see things in different ways. As candidates we can produce our own media. Vic (Crone) as well is using Medium, a publishing forum," she said.

Swarbrick said that initially her campaign, costing a meagre $5000, was 90 per cent social media but as she got involved in more debates are other media it was now more like 60 per cent.

Turnbull talked about a social media issue known as the "echo chamber".

This is where people really believe what is in their social media sphere and unfriend and block people who don't agree with them, she said.

When it comes to council, Thomas said it needed to focus more on Cloud-based applications for things like real-time feedback and the new mayor needed to move on a lot of the communications staff at council.