Research by The Best Social Media platform among the 30,000 Instagram followers shows that 15 percent of this group follows a politician, and only 13 percent a political party on social media. If you want more to become famous you can ‘buy Instagram likes cheap‘ to attract more followers on your Instagram.
Never before have political parties made so much use of social media during election campaigns
We not only look at Belgium, but also at the US, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Facebook and Twitter are the ideal media for politicians to communicate directly (without the intervention of the press) with the voter. Personal opinions and realizations, but also party propaganda can be sent unfiltered. But perhaps more importantly: they can enter into a conversation with their target group. We are convinced that social media will not only bring politicians closer to citizens but will also help them to interact. Social media allows politicians to share their opinion, expertise, or vision on themes that are alive in their city or municipality. In this way, they quickly become more relevant to their voting audience. By using social media (not only during the campaigns) the election candidates become more authentic and they can also reach that younger, more difficult target group. The more well-known, the lesser, the more (preference) votes. That’s what politicians can achieve with social media. Do voters also know the politician online? Do they (regularly) see him or her pass by in their timeline? What image do they have of the politician?
Offers perspectives for a better (more participatory) policy, building credibility, and for a better campaign
On March 12, 2016, we came across an interesting tweet on Twitter that we would like to share with you: “A good politician campaigns for 6 years, you have to earn your voters, every day. Do what you say, say what you do.” Social media are just the right tools for this, simple but essential! Research also shows that social media has a positive influence on the number of preference votes that candidates received. Candidates who use social media during the municipal election campaign receive 7 percent more votes than candidates who did not. In comparison, rising one place on the electoral list produces more votes (namely 53 percent more votes). The research shows that the use of social media has a positive effect. On the other hand, this effect should not be exaggerated. The voters who will be reached directly through social media are still limited. When politicians make full use of and deploy their social media channels, they are not only reachable online, they also become more relevant to their constituents. As a result, they see the politician’s commitment and vision in a systematic way, so that they know better what he stands for. Finally, social media provide more online visibility, which only enhances the credibility of a local politician. Politicians do not build credibility in one day, not even during a campaign period. It’s something they have to work on in the long term. It is therefore essential to start early and to deal with it consciously. This way they can reap the benefits during a campaign period.
In addition, journalists also play a huge role in furthering the influence of social media. Journalists follow that social media and many politicians as a ‘news source’. Research shows that journalists often cite social media messages, such as tweets, in their articles. In this way, tweets reach a much larger audience and a candidate receives a lot of publicity. Scientists, therefore, emphasize that social media through traditional media may have a much greater influence than social media on its own. In this way, we get a nice interaction between social and traditional media. Publicity and attention are usually always positive and are likely to lead to more votes. Because as we already wrote: the more famous, the more loved, the more preferential votes. Especially in local elections: people vote for people. There are fewer undecided voters at the time of voting.