How Jeremy Corbyn beat Theresa May in the social media election war
Nicholas Cecil, The Guardian
Jeremy Corbyn beat Theresa May in the social media election war, figures reveal today.
They show how Labour successfully mobilised hundreds of thousands of young people through Facebook and Twitter to deliver the shock election result.
Mr Corbynís official Twitter and Facebook pages posted 925 messages over the election campaign, receiving 2.8 million shares.
Mrs Mayís pages posted 159 times, nearly six times less than the Labour leader, and her messages were shared just 130,000 times.
Mr Corbyn, who is 68, began with more than twice the number of followers of Mrs Mayís accounts on both platforms, but he also saw a surge in the number of supporters, which Mrs May and her team failed to match.
Both Mr Corbynís Twitter and Facebook pages increased their number of followers about 45 per cent over the campaign, from 850,000 each to more than 1.2 million apiece.
In contrast, Mrs Mayís followers grew by 20 per cent, to 350,000 on Twitter and 420,000 on Facebook.
The data will be seized upon by political parties as it appears to confirm a growing importance of online activity for election.
Labour relied heavily on online campaigning to draw support and the number of likes on Facebook shot up by almost 75 per cent over the election period, compared with just 10 per cent for the Conservative Party. Labourís greater activity and focus on social issues, particularly healthcare, contributed to the partyís posts on Facebook and Twitter being shared almost three times more in total than those by the Tories, whose main issues were the leadership battle and Brexit.
Both parties had similar numbers of followers when the election was called, but Labourís following rose from 560,000 to 980,000 before polling day, with big spikes at the start and end of the campaign and after its manifesto launch.
Posts by the official Labour Party Facebook page were shared more than one million times and received more than 1.7 million positive reactions from Facebook users between the election being called on April 18 and the polls closing on June 8.
Posts, pictures and videos from the Conservativesí page were shared almost 360,000 times in total, and received just under 700,000 positive reactions over the campaign period, when the number of followers rose from 570,000 to 630,000.
The most widely shared post from either party over the campaign was a video from the Conservative Facebook page, published in late May, attacking Mr Corbyn over previous statements on security issues.
uploaded: Wed, Jun 14 2017
modified: Tue, Dec 30 1969
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