As the EU referendum reaches its climax , I can’t help but think that the powers that be are only just scraping the surface of social campaigning. Within digital marketing, the concept of social referrals is not a new thing. The idea a recommendation by a peer is significantly more valuable to a brand or product than simply an advertisement. So with this in mind, and with the vast social networks available to them, why have the “in” and the “outs” not worked more to harvest opinion of the “average Joe”? They will, of course, claim that they have been using social media outlets for years. The Scottish independence election in 2015 was revered as a campaign won and lost over social media. But a day before the election, both campaigns’ official pages had just over 500,000 followers, not a lot when you consider the population is 5.2 million and half are rumoured to be Facebook account holders.
It seems vastly more accepted, in this day and age, to make public your political opinions. I was always told as a child that it was rude to ask an adult who they were voting for, worthy of a slap on the wrist! However, it seems that this is no longer the case. If I scroll down my Facebook page, I am certain to find an opinion on the upcoming referendum. I will, in essence, come across my peers campaigning on behalf of the political bigwigs to vote the way they are voting.
So this got me thinking: what makes people share and put their political beliefs online in such a public way? The answer is, in my opinion, compelling content marketing. The goal is to publish content/posts/videos/celebrity endorsements in the hope that captures the public’s attention, and they choose to share it amongst their peers. I did a little analysis of the ten most recent posts put out on the official “leave” and “remain” campaigns, and it seems obvious in terms of what works. The best-performing content in terms of shares is celebrity-endorsed content (Beckham, Clarkson and Branson for the “remain” campaign achieved more than 30,000 shares). Expert opinion seems to be the content that attracts the most amount of shares for the “leave” campaign is by Minford, Lord Guthrie and Drake, all achieving over 20,000 shares.
So assuming you can deliver engaging and compelling content, what is the potential power of a share? The average user on Facebook has 338 “friends” which means, in simple terms, one share is potentially worth 338 social impressions. With this basic and rather crude maths in mind, we can assume that the 8,221 shares David Beckham has achieved with his most recent post campaign are around 2.7 million impressions (again, I am aware of the broadness of this maths, but for the sake of an example). This highlights the potential power of social media and the opportunity for peer-to-peer campaigning to heavily influence an election of this importance and magnitude.
I fully expect the major parties to analyse social campaigning in time for the next general election, though of course, for one or two it might be too late! Clicksmith are specialists in content marketing. For more information on how you can make the most of social and content marketing, please get in touch.
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