General Election 2017: Social media’s political divide

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Digital marketing experts have investigated what would happen if social media was in charge of who came into power in the forthcoming General Election.  Download the infographic here.

Beattie, the creative communications group, has taken a light-hearted look at the main political parties and their leaders, according to Twitter and Facebook popularity.

And the research has garnered surprising results, revealing a much more right wing shift on Facebook, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is the Twitter king.

But Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP should not be written off, as the Scottish First Minister has a huge Twitter following. It amounts to more than double that of Theresa May and almost three times as many as the Green Party joint leaders.

Jessica McAndrew, digital communications director, said: “If followers on Twitter were an indication of total number of seats, there would be a Labour coalition government. But if the future of Westminster was in the hands of Facebook, UKIP leader Paul Nuttall would be running the country in coalition with the Tories.

“Political leaders know social media offers an effective way to reach voters. The echo chamber which channels like Facebook forms can even sway voters’ opinions – especially those who use social channels as their primary news outlets.

“But our research has discovered that right now, the audiences on these two platforms alone are very different, with opposing political leanings.”

If Twitter was a measure of the future of Westminster, Labour would take power – but would need to enter into a coalition with two other parties for a majority – such as the Greens and Liberal Democrats.

UKIP has the majority of likes on Facebook, but with the Conservatives and Labour not far behind.

If those likes were seats in the House of Commons, Paul Nuttall would be Prime Minister, entering a coalition with the Conservatives. But unless they could convince a third party to get on board with them, they would have a minority government.

McAndrew now expects all parties to mount an aggressive social media campaign to win the hearts and minds of voters.

She said: “The standing of all political parties on the social media hustings will change dramatically over the next six weeks as each party tries to woo voters.”

Beattie researchers discovered a huge shift in the 48 hours following Theresa May’s shock General Election announcement. The Prime Minister herself gained 5,000 more Twitter followers, and Jeremy Corbyn got a further 8,000. The Liberal Democrats increased by 5,000 on Twitter and 4,000 new Facebook likes between Tuesday’s announcement and Thursday morning.

Beattie’s digital marketing business Only Digital operates from nine offices across the UK including London, Manchester, Leeds and Glasgow.

With a team of more than 30 digital communications and marketing specialists, services include social media, PPC management, search engine optimisation and digital strategies.

 

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