Social Media & Elections

It’s 2019 and I think it’s safe to say social media can win elections – the Obama campaign was the first in history to leverage social to reach the electorate. Fake news spread on social media to help Trump get elected and the same for Brexit.

So when we decided to pull together the social media data of all the European Elections Candidates (from UK) for a comparison post I was shocked at how many candidates did not have their act together on social media – many of them not having a Twitter account, Facebook Page or profile.

  • We we were going to do Facebook as well as Twitter but so many candidates only had a personal Facebook profile and not a page that there was not enough data to do a full analysis so we stuck with Twitter.

Even on Twitter many candidates did not have profiles. I spoke to political communication specialist Simon MacDowall who said that MPs are increasingly using social media differently:

“Posting stuff on your own site is not likely to attract the audience you need. After all who follows MEP’s? Basically supporters, enemies and political hacks.”

“If you wish to use social media more effectively you need to seek out where your target audience goes to. Who and what influences them? Then get stuff posted there. This is what Obama did and what Trump did. If you are US President or campaigning to be so, probably you will have a larger following.”

“The effort required to create a large following for an MEP candidate is huge, followers most likely to be supporters. They do not need convincing although they probably need reassurance.

Closed campaign FB sites work well for this. To reach potential voters and get them to vote for you, you need to go to where they get their information and post there, including targeted ads. Click To Tweet

“Trolls are also a major problem,” he added.

Parliament Elections Report

Check this link with live data focusing on both political parties and candidates in UK. You can see all the Twitter (for the MEPs that had an account) compassion data and the overall party political data from both Facebook and Twitter.

“Political candidates are products, and political advertising is advertising.”

Elissa Moses, chief analytics officer for EmSense.