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Post Election Blues

Monday, May 11th, 2015 | Latest News | Leave a response

By Jo Carter

Wowzer – a longwinded general election campaign with a sting in its tail! And a campaign and outcome that leaves plenty for marketing and communications people to think about.

Politics and spin aside, #GE2015 should have aroused the curiosity of anyone interested in digital technologies or communications. This was a UK election that was fought online like no other. There were successes and some notable #PRfails.

All political parties maximised social media and got to grips with the rolling, never sleeping nature of the internet. Some parties embraced new tools in their campaigns to reach and woo new voters. All parties invested in big teams of people and champions to exploit social media and reach voters in more engaging ways.

Key messages were amplified beyond constituencies and the hustings. Little surprise the NHS, tax and the economy were the three major issues from political candidates from all parties in terms of output on Twitter and Facebook (measured by Yatterbox).

Some of the parties embraced video. The Greens enjoyed viral success with a ‘Change the Tune’ video on YouTube. The Greens were also highly active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.

Interestingly, the Lib Dems turned to geolocation technology to target undecided voters in key marginal seats. They became the first party to use a new hyperlocal tool, created by Digital Element, to plot users on a sub-regional level to tailor relevant content about their local candidate. We don’t know the results yet – albeit we know the Lib Dems were crushed at the polls.

Facebook was seen as the primary platform to reach 18-24 year old. FB was seen as the second most influential media platform in terms of influencing this group of young voters, only beaten by TV. Interestingly, radio performed poorly in the research undertaken by North East firm Dipsticks. They revealed that 55pc of 18-25 year old would vote online if given the chance, with FB the favoured option. One to watch in the future.

While the Conservatives invested heavily in FB advertising the message must have fallen on deaf ears as it seems Labour came out on top among UK youngsters.

Twitter, of course, was the liveliest and most immediate noisy platform. For much of the time Labour boasted a quarter more followers on Twitter than the Conservatives, while David Cameron was the most followed UK politician (measured by SocialBro).

Early analysis by Yatterbox reveals Labour ‘won’ the social media election battle but clearly this did not convert into votes at the ballot box. Evidence also suggests Labour supporters were the most active on social media generally but perhaps this was simply an enthusiastic hard core group of activists. Equally, the #EdStone debacle towards the end of the campaign was an awful guffawing online moment amplified with much jubilation by Labour critics.

More analysis will be done; greater efforts will be made to influence opinion, measure effectiveness and refine tactics. Finally, it should be remembered that traditional media, particularly TV, had the greatest impact – as Nicola Sturgeon’s successful campaign would testify.



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