Social media and Election 2010: a missed opportunity

juliavotes 420x0 1 Social media and Election 2010: a missed opportunity

Photo: Andrew Meares (SMH.com.au)

As I have mentioned already we at Edelman have been conducting research through the 2010 Election campaign on Twitter use by Australian politicians and the election. As I prepare to spend the night watching the results of the election I wrote the post below for our Edelman Election blog. I thought I would repost it here also. Would love your thoughts on the election campaigning so far in the comment box if you feel so inclined.

Reposted from here:

As I write this post Australia votes. On the whole I think social media has been a massively under utilised platform for connecting with and influencing the voting decisions of Australians.

There have been examples of social media use:

  • The Liberals offered a Facebook app, and managed a Facebook community, but with only around 14,000 members this is a massive missed opportunity when you consider there is in excess of 8 million Australians on Facebook of voting age.
  • The Labor Party created a YouTube video, which has generated around half a million views, which is considerable, but with no clear call to action at the end, this too has to be considered a missed opportunity.

There were other examples, but not many. Social media was seen simply as something to dabble with on the periphery of the campaign. It was not integrated, or used nearly as effectively as it could have been. Imagine the communities that could have been generated in Facebook if the advertisements on television and in print media directed people to join a page. This simple exercise could have created environments where information could have been provided, social actions could have been encouraged and political movements created. Instead the ads simply ran at great expense to the political parties without a clear call to action to engage online.

This post by Trevor at Park Young is a good overview of the opportunity missed. Also worth checking out is the excellent The Social Election blog the team at Amnesia Razorfish created.

The final standings in our Twitter influence rankings are outlined below. There were no great changes throughout the campaign, but we do like to think we played some small part in getting Julia Gillard to engage.

[table id=2 /]

Yesterday we presented our research as part of a PRIA panel. Check out the presentation below:

Twitter and the Australian Election 2010

View more presentations from Matthew Gain.

What do you think about the election? Do you have comments on our research? Do you think social media could have influenced your vote?

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  • Ellen McGruer

    Hi Matthew, I am currently studying PR at Canberra Uni and doing an assignment on the use of social media in the 2010 election. I whole heartedly agree that social media has been under utilised, particularly when you compare the Australian political parties efforts to those of Obama in 2008. I think politicians are still fearful about the uncertainty and uncontrolled nature of social media, and are therefore missing out on a great opportunity. Thanks for your insights Matthew, greatly appreciated!