How do you use social media for political campaigns?

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How do you use social media for political campaigns?
A presentation at the "Hash # Tags and Politics" conference at the European Parliament in Brussels on 2 April 2014 #EP2014smc

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  • It'selection time and Twitter is a big part of it. For the mid-termelections Twitter has set up a specialwebsite. For the presidentialelectionsyoucouldfollow Twitter sentimeny in real time for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
  • For the presidential elections in 2012 you could follow Twindex capturing daily voter sentiment via Twitter for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. But nothing of this sort is planned for the European Elections.
  • Politicians generally discover Social Media and especially Facebook and Twitter before elections as an easy way to reach new audiences.Brazil’s President DilmaRoussef became a social media sensation during her campaign in 2010. Once elected the account went dormant for 2.5 years. It was only reactivated last fall, a year ahead of the next presidential elections in Brazil.
  • French President François Hollandeabandonedhis 400.000 Twitter followers.The account was particularlyactiveduringtheelectioncampaign, live tweetinghisspeechesatmeetings.On Friday 18 May François Hollandesigned off elegantlysending a follow Fridaytweetfor all newsaboutthepresidency follow the Elysee Palace.There has been a timid attempt to revive the account on 1 January 2014 but it was thwarted by the revelations about his personal life.
  • In the UK the Conservatives set up a campaign account for David Cameron in September 2012 with a promise that there won't be too many tweets in reference to his earlier statement that “too many tweets make a twat.”
  • The European Parliament is very much in the news these days and is very active on Twitter. They have produced a nifty subway map with over 100 official Twitter accounts tweeting in 23 languages. This map does not include the 400 MEPs on Twitter.
  • According to the Burson-Marsteller @EuropeDecides blog 1212 MEP candidates have personal Twitter accounts. 40 of these have activated their accounts over the past three months including: Jean-Claude Juncker and Commissioner Olli Rehn.
  • … including Jean-Claude Juncker and...
  • … Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Euro who had previously shunned the micro-blogging service.
  • Some even have their parody accounts. The @JC_Junker account was suspended but has resurfaced as @Juncker_JC.
  • All the leading candidates now have a personal Twitter profile, but few tweet themselves. The accounts are generally run by their campaign staff but only @MartinSchulz actually identifies the community managers’ names on his profile. Not surprisingly none of the leading candidates are very conversational. They generally tweet or broadcast their candidate’s activities, often in multiple languages, about upcoming election rallies and TV appearances or newspaper interviews.They are fairly civil and some follow each other.The main aim of their personal Twitter accounts is to make statements in the hope of being picked up by traditional media.
  • Somebody who made news thanks to his Twitter activity is the President of the European Parliament @MartinSchulz. Schulz is an early adopter of the micro-blogging network, having set up his Twitter account on 27. November 2008. His first tweet was sent on 17 January 2012, when he was elected President of the European Parliament. Since then he gained 85,000 followers, however he rarely tweets himself.
  • Somebody who made news thanks to his Twitter activity is the President of the European Parliament @MartinSchulz. Schulz is an early adopter of the micro-blogging network, having set up his Twitter account on 27. November 2008. His first tweet was sent on 17 January 2012, when he was elected President of the European Parliament. Since then he gained 85,000 followers, however he rarely tweets himself.
  • A couple of weeks ago his staff created a new institutional Twitter account @EP_President for the President of the Parliament and transforming his personal profile into his campaign account. It is probably a good move to separate personal accounts from the institutional accounts. However he came under fire for having made his personal account the campaign account and giving him an unfair advantage over his competitors.Since his staff, paid by the European taxpayer had managed the account over the past years, shouldn't the account be renamed to @EP_President?
  • In other countries, personal and institutional accounts are separate. The @WhiteHouse does not follow @BarackObama, the @Elysee does not follow @FHollande and @Number10gov does not follow @David_Cameron. The new @EP_President account is following all other leading candidates on Twitter. To his credit @MartinSchulz is the first EU official to separate campaign and personal accounts. All other commissioners have not taken the same approach.
  • As youcansee from thisword cloud of Jean-Claude Juncker, candidates often tweet about themselves.
  • There is an official hashtag for the European Elections #EP2014 which was used 60,000 mentions over the past month. The Spanish and French versions #EP2014 and #EE2014 are used less than 2000 times in March 2014. The hashtag is not only useful for the European Parliament to capture Twitter activity around the elections but it is vital to add this hashtag to every single election-related tweet to be part of the conversation.
  • Some parties have set up other hashtags to rally their followers but none have had any universal appeal beyond their constituents.#knockthevote
  • #withJuncker
  • #SkaForYOURope
  • Most European politicians have been inspired by @BarackObama who set up his Twitter campaign account in 2007. The President only started to tweet personally in 2010. US President Barack Obama did his first Twitter townhall in 2011 with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey looking on, answering 8 questions of his then 10 million followers.
  • In the run-up to the presidentialelections in 2012 Barack Obama wasalso more active on the White House account and did a series of impromptu Twitter chats and even an AMA session on Reddit.
  • Quite a few politicians have discovered the Twitter chat. In 2013 @CarlBildt sat down for a Twitter Q&A session after a debate on Sweden’s Foreign Policy in parliament. In half an hour you can answer 62 questions in 30 minutes. Twitter Q&As have a definite advantage over traditional press conferences: a) you can see the question in writing giving you precious time before answering themb) you can’t possibly answer every single question that is tweetedc) lastly it is a great way to engage your audience. So far we haven’t seen many Twitter Q&As of leading contenders.
  • Most of you are familiar with this picture. Three words: Four More Years, sent after @BarackObama's election victory. For the past year and a half this was the most retweeted tweet ever. Retweeted 810,000 times on Twitter and shared half a million times on Facebook.
  • Adding a visual to your tweets will increase the number of retweets by 62%. But the old handshake pictures, group pictures and fuzzy ones won’t garner the same engagement.
  • Worse, they might even backfire as in this case when the campaign team of David Cameron decided to show the British Prime Minister solving the Ukraine crisis over the phone.Within minutes the image was lampooned by actor Rob Delaney posing with a toothpaste, followed by Patrick Stewart with nappy wipes and has seen hundreds of parodies by other Twitter users.
  • Worse, they might even backfire as in this case when the campaign team of David Cameron decided to show the British Prime Minister solving the Ukraine crisis over the phone.Within minutes the image was lampooned by actor Rob Delaney posing with a toothpaste, followed by Patrick Stewart with nappy wipes and has seen hundreds of parodies by other Twitter users.
  • Worse, they might even backfire as in this case when the campaign team of David Cameron decided to show the British Prime Minister solving the Ukraine crisis over the phone.Within minutes the image was lampooned by actor Rob Delaney posing with a toothpaste, followed by Patrick Stewart with nappy wipes and has seen hundreds of parodies by other Twitter users.
  • Worse, they might even backfire as in this case when the campaign team of David Cameron decided to show the British Prime Minister solving the Ukraine crisis over the phone.Within minutes the image was lampooned by actor Rob Delaney posing with a toothpaste, followed by Patrick Stewart with nappy wipes and has seen hundreds of parodies by other Twitter users.
  • David Cameron’s team took in in a stride and posted a picture of the BritsihPrimne Minister talking to another President, this time face to face and not on the phone.It is important to be reactive and to have a team in place which tracks the topics and replies to tweets in real time. I doubt many candidates have such a team in place.
  • In late 2013 well beforethe famous Oscar selfie last month, which has become the most retweeted tweet ever, even politicians have started to take selfies. Guy Verhofstadt posted this selfie two days ago with Slovenia’s Prime Minister AlenkaBratusek and JanezPotocnik.
  • Martin Schulz has been featured in a selfies posted by the European Socialists at their recent Congress.
  • Somebody who really knows how to engage his audience is Finnish Minister for European Affairs @AlexStubb who regularly engages his audiences with pictures and group selfies.
  • He has started to flood his Twitter stream with #Alexies. In his defence he tweets himself and as he states in his Twitter profile he: “tries not to take himself too seriously”.
  • I am not sure whether the Twitter activity of politicians will make a difference in the upcoming European elections. My personal hope is that it will usher in a new era of two-way communications where we can be more engaged with our elected leaders. Thank You very much
  • How do you use social media for political campaigns?

    1. 1. How do you use social media for political campaigns? Hash # Tags and Politics, European Parliament, 2 April 2014 #EP2014smc @Luefkens @Twiplomacy
    2. 2. Twindex
    3. 3. Twitter Engagement Map 3
    4. 4. Twitter Engagement Map 4
    5. 5. 5
    6. 6. @David_Cameron 7
    7. 7. 8
    8. 8. #EP2014 9 1200+MEP candidates have a Twitter account 40Set up their Twitter account in 2014
    9. 9. #EP2014 10
    10. 10. #EP2014 11
    11. 11. Parody Accounts 12
    12. 12. 13
    13. 13. @MartinSchulz 14
    14. 14. @MartinSchulz 15
    15. 15. @MartinSchulz 16
    16. 16. @EP_President 17
    17. 17. #Hashtags 18
    18. 18. #Hashtag 19 #EP2014#PE2014 #EE2014
    19. 19. #Hashtags 20
    20. 20. 21
    21. 21. 22 #withJuncker
    22. 22. 23 #SkaForYOURope
    23. 23. Hashtags 24
    24. 24. A picture says more than 140 characters 28
    25. 25. The Power of Pictures 29
    26. 26. The Power of Pictures 30
    27. 27. The Power of Pictures 31
    28. 28. The Power of Pictures 32
    29. 29. The Power of Pictures 33
    30. 30. 34
    31. 31. #Selfies 35
    32. 32. #Selfies 36
    33. 33. #Selfies 37
    34. 34. #Alexfies 38
    35. 35. #Alexies 39
    36. 36. #Alexfies 40
    37. 37. Thank you Matthias.Luefkens@bm.com @Luefkens @BMdigital

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