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how social media changed the game for the election campaigns

With the evolution of social media, the political parties have stepped up their campaigning to embrace local and online engagement with the public, especially Labour. Move aside traditional campaigning and say hello to influencing via social media.

 

Since the start of the Conservatives’ first ‘Let’s stay on the road to a stronger economy’ campaign, the political parties have forgone the more traditional route and capitalised on alternative methods.

 

Labour by far, have utilised the power of the people online, starting with that pink bus. In an effort to reach female voters, Harriet Harman (Labour’s Deputy Leader). The main focus on family and childcare, equal pay and domestic violence. Social media users however, branded this as ‘patronising’.

 

Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, set about a 1000 mile tour, from Land’s End to John O’Groats, two days before Election Day in an attempt to be the ‘centre ground’ in British politics.

 

Over the past couple weeks, we’ve seen social media drive more organic engagement from user generated content than that of the parties own campaigns.

 

Starting the #milifandom, a 17 year old student called out Ed Miliband being a sex symbol and has created a Twitter storm with other’s joining in voicing their adoration for the Labour leader.  The Conservative response to this was the creation of the #Cameronites hashtag, started by a 21 year old student Conservative supporter.

 

Meanwhile, Youtube has been a game changer for all parties. Starting with ‘Cameron’s Conference Rap’, which turned the Prime Minister’s speech into a rap, generating over five million views so far – far more than any video created by the parties themselves.

 

Trying to get in on this success, the Green Party posted its own video ‘Change the Tune’, which shows the leaders of the main political parties as members of a boy band.

 

Recognising the power of YouTube, Ed Miliband visited Russell Brand for a home interview for his online show ‘The Trews’. From previously saying he wouldn’t vote to urging the public to vote for Labour: “What I heard Ed Miliband say is that if we speak, he will listen. So on that basis, I think we’ve got no choice but to take decisive action to end the danger of the Conservative party.” This video has generated more than 1.2 million views.

 

With Election Day finally here, politics have dismissed the norms of traditional advertising and embracing the world of online and social media, to their benefit and tapping into a new audience of voters.

 

If this is the power of social media, then shouldn’t your business be utilising this power too?

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