With the General Election firmly upon us, we are exploring how each party/leader is using social media to increase their influence.
We’re also looking at how schools are taking this opportunity to have a voice.
Which channels are the politicians and parties using?
All leaders and parties are on Twitter and regularly tweeting (particularly now that it is election time!).
Leanne Wood (@LeanneWood) is a Twitter veteran having signed up in April 2008.
David Cameron (@David_Cameron) is the newcomer to Twitter having only signed up in 2010. However, he trumps all leaders when it comes to followers. His 962,000 followers by far the highest number of all party leaders.
Interestingly, when it comes to the number of tweets by each leader, it flips.
Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood have the lowest number of followers, but the highest number of tweets.
The range of followers is much closer for the different parties. Somewhat surprisingly, @UKLabour have the most followers by a large margin. This stands out because @Ed_Miliband does not have a huge following, nor do they tweet often.
They also don’t own @Labour. Nope, that’s owned by the Irish Labour Party. This will, no doubt, lead to confusion and mis-tweeting / following.
Conservatives have tweeted less - which can be excused as they have been on Twitter for a shorter period.
Similarly with Twitter, David Cameron is leading the way on Facebook by a country without really doing much. A lot of this will be down to the fact that he is the Prime Minister so many will like/follow to hear the voice of the UK PM.
Nigel Farage and Nicola Sturgeon share many more likes than Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg - which is a contrast to their Twitter following.
Natalie Bennett and Leanne Wood have a very low number of likes on Facebook, similar to their Twitter followings.
Conservatives have the highest number of likes on Facebook, closely followed by UKIP.
This is completely inconsistent with the parties following counts on Twitter, where Labour are the most followed party.
Conservatives lead the way with YouTube by a considerable number. Each have just over 5 million views each for their respective channels.
We wanted to throw in a younger, more hip channel to see how each party / leader holds up.
Instagram seemed the logical choice - very popular with a younger audience but still has one of the largest user base of any social channel (over 300 million).
Unfortunately, there’s just not much activity from the leaders.
Ed Miliband is the only verified leader on Instagram but only has a low 5,594 follower count - that’s nothing to shout about.
He’s got a nice mixture of photos and has even been playing with the filters.
Nick Clegg has also been dabbling in Instagram but just doesn’t understand it. He takes ready-made photos and uploads them to Instagram - that’s not how it’s done, Nick. Just look at those white lines!!
Instagram is all about that square crop.
Maybe it is for the best that the leaders are not on Instagram…
What people are saying
The conversation regarding the General Election is happening on Twitter. And there is not avoiding it. Every day there are new trends, announcements, and breaking stories regarding the election on Twitter.
Conversation on Twitter using #GE2015 is steadily rising. It hits a peak whenever there are TV debates - which shows that there is still huge power in using mass broadcasting.
It’s interesting to look at the discussions around the word ‘manifesto’ on Twitter.
Not much movement until we hit the 12th April when the manifestos started launching.
#milifandom vs #cameronettes
Heard of Directioners and Beliebers, right? They’re the fandoms of One Direction and Justin Beiber.
Sounds like a joke, but #milifandom was set up by a teenager studying for her AS Levels (and has had to turn down interviews as she’s studying) who wants to correct the ‘distorted presentation of Ed’.
Her personal account has since been followed by over 15,000 people. She even received a personal tweet from @Ed_Miliband too.
The story of #milifandom has gone viral and been covered by multiple publications.
In just one day, #milifandom was tweeted over 25,000 times. Apart from the SNP (with just under 30,000 mentions on 2nd April), none of the parties, or leaders have been mentioned that many times in one day. Not even Labour themselves. This is the power of social.
What we’re doing
We’ve launched our own campaign and manifesto - yep, why not!?
We want to rid the world of average school websites. So we decided to put our adverts up around the country to help gather support.
Let’s just say - they weren’t as expensive as we had first thought ;-)
What’s your school doing?
There’s an opportunity for your school to have its voice heard. Get out and get involved with the conversation on Twitter.
Do your pupils study politics at all? Get some of them to write a blog post, have a debate on YouTube, create a podcast on Soundcloud, do a Q&A on Twitter.
Why not launch your own manifesto? Seriously. Share your 5 ‘key points’ on Twitter. Create a 60 second video. Do an interview. Explain why someone should vote for your school.
What’s your school’s manifesto? How are you looking to improve your school over the next 5 years? Are you going to increase grades, build a new science department, invest in new technology? Put this in a manifesto.
We’re marketers - we look for opportunities. And this is one BIG opportunity.
Share your school’s manifesto with us, @intSchools. We’ll put the best ones on Twitter and in our blog (free link to your school website!).