Using Social Media in Politics

This is a quick post to update you all on my latest consultancy project.  It is  using social media for the 2010 UK Election. The first major use of social media in politics was the highly successful campaign to elect  Obama. The same principle are now being used in the UK Election.

The consistituency is Blaenau Gwent in South Wales. It is is a seat with deep historical and political significance for the Labour Party. For those of you with an interest in politics it was the seat of Aneurin Bevan, who set up the NHS and  then came Michael Foot, with massive Labour majorities. It was lost to an  Independent candidate and has been controversial since 2001. Labour have been fighting hard to win it back for the first time since 2001 and it is not an easy task.

The campaign has a very limited budget. My role has been to run and manage the social media and the results so far have been amazing. The starting point was a Facebook group which has grown hugely with a regular following. This is really important as these people are engaged with the group. That is a major difference as it is two way communication, so much more powerful than one way communications.

This is linked to a blog. This has a different function. It offers more of an in depth analysis of the issues and attracts new readers, who are directed back to FB.  Twitter plays a role and is connected to the blog and also to a FB page. The political candidate already had a page so Twitter was linked into this. The blog tracks back to FB and then of course there is Utube. That has also been a huge boost to the campaign. Simple enough to upload a video to Utube and then link in to the site.

 One of the big advantages of social media in the campaign is immediate feedback and measurable outcomes. In best marketing practice that is key. For those of you in business it is something to focus on. For marketing students sitting marketing exams it is an interesting case study to show you understand what is happening in marketing at the moment.

Within hours you can see the results of a post, the hits on the website, the sources of traffic. This permits immediate response and the ability to change and adapt quickly.

Check it out here and watch the results of the Election to see if it is successful.

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