The upcoming election has been more influenced by social media than any election that came before it. After the voting takes place on May 7th and we eventually find out who will come to power, we will be able to see the full extent of the influence social media has had over the results.
Since 2010, when the last general election took place, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have exploded in popularity, meaning that politicians now have the potential to reach out to many more people than ever before. Conversely, social media users have more power to influence fellow voters and reach politicians than ever before, which has certainly had some interesting results in the run up to the big voting day.
According to analysts, the Labour Party is more inclined to use Twitter, where they have accumulated 205,000 followers, whereas the Conservatives favour Facebook, spending over £100,000 a month on their social media marketing campaign. By targeting their audience and managing their Facebook presence, the Conservatives have amassed 423,000 likes. These numbers show the sheer number of people that can be reached using the quick, simple and effective medium of social media.
This month, the hashtags #Milifandom and #Cameronettes began trending on Twitter, as fans of Ed Miliband and David Cameron expressed their admiration for the party leaders. This year also marks the first ever time a political broadcast video has gone viral – the Green Party’s “Change The Tune” video has gained over 770,000 YouTube views. Developments such as this show how people engage with politics and the wider world through their social media profiles, highlighting the potential for businesses and political organisations to communicate with people.