Raffael Heiss - Social Media & Political Campaigning: What Drives User Engagement? (Babel Camp 2016)

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Summary: Social media have evolved as a key territory for modern political campaigning. Political actors (candidates and parties) operating in this territory have to adjust their communication strategies to a new logic, allowing citizen to directly engage with and respond to political actors’ messages. Research in political campaigning has identified different context and content factors which drive or dampen user responses (likes, shares, comments). I will discuss key findings of these studies and present an example study conducted in Austria.

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Raffael Heiss - Social Media & Political Campaigning: What Drives User Engagement? (Babel Camp 2016)

  1. 1. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Social  Media  &  Poli-cal  Campaigning:     What  Drives  User  Engagement?         Raffael  Heiss   University  of  Vienna  
  2. 2. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Social  Media  Use   Every  day  ac0vi0es  on  social  media   ARD/ZDF  Online  Study,  2013   0   5   10   15   20   25   30   35   40   Seeking  news   Pos0ng  Links   Videos   Commen0ng   Looking  at  Pictures   Checking  out  other  people's  ac0vi0es   Personal  messages  
  3. 3. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Social  Media  Use   General  news  use  on  social  media   Pew  Research  Center,  2015   40   45   50   55   60   65   2013   2015   %  of  Users  Ge:ng  News  on  Twi>er/Facebook   TwiRer   Facebook  
  4. 4. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Social  Media  Use   US  Presiden0al  campaign   Pew  Research  Center,  2016   Social  media  are  the  most  important  informa0on  source  for  young  people  between  18  and  30  years   0   10   20   30   40   50   60   70   Network  nightly  news   Local  TV   Cable  TV   News  Websites   Social  Media   18-­‐29   30-­‐49   50-­‐64  
  5. 5. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Social  Media  Use   Some  cri0cal  research  findings…   Social  media  users  feel  well-­‐informed  –  but  they  are  actually  not!  (Müller,  2015)   SNS  ac0vi0es  are  slack0vist,  do  not  increase  knowledge  (Baumgartner  et  al.,  2010)   Low  quality  of  online  news  (de  Vreese  et  al.,  2016)  and  disinforma0on  (Gundecha et al., 2013)  
  6. 6. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Poli0cians  on  SM   Who  benefits?    around  10  million  Followers  
  7. 7. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Poli0cians  on  SM   Who  benefits?    around  390.000  Followers  
  8. 8. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Poli0cians  on  SM   Example  Study   Populists  work  with  simple  messages,  nega?vity   and  nega?ve  emo?ons     What  other  elements  can  drive  user  engagement,   and  hence  successful  campaigning  on  Facebook?  
  9. 9. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study:  User  Engagement   What  drives  users’  reac0ons  in  poli0cians’  Facebook  posts   6  Par0es   84  Poli0cians   1949  Posts   Analysis  of  Poli8cal  Actors‘  Facebook  Profiles  and  Posts   Time:  6  months   Comments,  Likes,  Shares?  
  10. 10. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at  
  11. 11. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Differences  between  profile  types   Differences  between  par0es   Effect  of  pos0ng  ac0vity   Nega0vity,  Emo0ons,  Humor   Delibera0ve  elements   Issues,  Mobiliza0on   Study:  User  Engagement   What  drives  users’  reac0ons  in  poli0cians’  Facebook  Posts   Post  Level  Profile  Level  
  12. 12. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Profile  Level      
  13. 13. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Profile  level:  Profile  types  &  par0es   Comments   Likes   Shares   Organiza0on  (vs.  Fan  profile)   Private  profile  (vs.  Fan  profile)   ✔   ➖   ✖   ➖   ✖   ✖   No  effect  of  party   No  effect  of  profile  ac0vity  
  14. 14. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Post  Level      
  15. 15. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Tonality  &  Emo0ons   Nega0ve  Tonality   ✔   ✔   Nega0ve  emo0ons   ✔   ✔   ✖   Posi0ve  emo0ons   ✔   ✔   ✔   Posi0ve  Tonality   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   Comments   Likes   Shares  
  16. 16. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Delibera0ve  elements   Reasoning   ✔  ✖   ✔   Comments   Likes   Shares  
  17. 17. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   What  drives  users’  reac0ons  in  poli0cians’  Facebook  Posts   Reasoning   Non-­‐Reasoning  
  18. 18. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Delibera0ve  elements   Reasoning   ✔   Other  party  actors   ✔   ✖   Post  length   ✔   ✔   References:   Own  party   ➖   ✖   ✖   ✔   ✖   ✔   ➖   Comments   Likes   Shares  
  19. 19. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Issues  &  Humor   Private  issues  (vs.  Policy)   ✖   ✔   Campaign  issues  (vs.  Policy)     ✔   ✔   ➖   ✖   Comments   Likes   Shares   Humor   ✔   ✖  ✔  
  20. 20. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Mobilizing  posts   Online  mobiliza0on   ✖  ✖   ✔   Offline  mobiliza0on   ➖   ➖   ➖   Comments   Likes   Shares  
  21. 21. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Study  Example   Structural  elements   Pictures   Media  content   ✔   Videos   ✔   Shared  content   ➖   ➖   ✔  ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   ✖   ➖   Comments   Likes   Shares  
  22. 22. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Summary  &  Learnings      
  23. 23. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Sum  it  up   Nega0vity  s0ll  works…  
  24. 24. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Sum  it  up   …but  posi0ve  emo0ons  may  work  even  beRer  
  25. 25. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Sum  it  up   Delibera0ve  elements:  Rarely  considered,  but  there  is  poten0al!  
  26. 26. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   Learnings   On  a  more  general  level….   Social  media  and  poli0cal  sophis0ca0on  not  per  se  contradictory   Great  responsibility  of  those  who  use  the  channels  for  campaigning   How  can  we  advance  content  management  to  counter  populist  tendencies?  
  27. 27. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   THANK  YOU!      
  28. 28. raffael.heiss@univie.ac.at   References   Baumgartner,  J.  C.,  &  Morris,  J.  S.  (2009).  MyFaceTube  poli0cs:  Social  networking  web  sites  and  poli0cal  engagement  of  young  adults.   Social  Science  Computer  Review.     Busemann,  K.  (2013).  Wer  nutzt  was  im  Social  Web.  Media  Perspek?ven,  44(7/8),  391-­‐399.     De  Vreese,  C.H.,  Esser,  F.  &  Hopmann  D.N.  (eds),  Comparing  Poli?cal  Journalism.  London:  Routledge.       Gundecha,  P.,  Feng,  Z.,  &  Liu,  H.  (2013,  October).  Seeking  provenance  of  informa0on  using  social  media.  In  Proceedings  of  the  22nd   ACM  interna?onal  conference  on  Informa?on  &  Knowledge  Management  (pp.  1691-­‐1696).  ACM.     Müller,  P.  (2015):  Just  feeling  being  informed?  Social  Network  Sites  und  tatsächliches  und  wahrgenommenes  poli0sches  Wissen.   Presenta0on  at  the  DGPUK  2015.     Pew  Research  Center.  (2015,  July  14).  The  evolving  role  of  news  on  TwiQer  and  Facebook.       Pew  Research  Center.  (2016,  February  4).  The  2016  presiden?al  campaign:  A  news  event  that’s  hard  to  miss.    

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