Tag Archives: politics

Wake up Britain! Look at the tip of the iceberg! The BNP might be winning the Facebook war.

I appreciate this is controversial post but in measuring social media success we measure fan engagement.

That means not just number of fans, but how active those fans are on a campaign page, in particular how much do they comment?

Lets take a look at the data.

If we rank the political party pages BNP, Conservative, DUP, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid  CymruSNP,  UKIP by fan page, a reassuring and expected ranking appears:

Facebook Fans of main UK Political Parties at 12:40pm on 14 April

The big three appear to be winning, the little parties are seemingly down where they “belong”.

However, if we count wall posts by fans in the last hour, the  picture is quite different:

Fan wall posts on main UK Political Party Facebook Pages at 12:40pm on 14 April

The data is startling – if we measure fan engagement – the amount Facebook users are commenting and engaging with a campaign – BNP emerges as a major contender for public opinion.

Despite that their 17 fan posts were generated by only 6 people, there is still cause for concern.

On their own page the BNP are driving a political message that is causing reaction and generating debate. Something the other smaller parties seem unable to do and the bigger parties only just manage. As we know on Facebook – the more social actions we can activate (whether positive or negative) the more a campaign message spreads automatically across the social media machine.

At one level, Facebook is an invisible platform, you can’t see the private debates being held between friends but the more user generated posts, the more the BNP related content is spreading across the platform. Think of fan posts as the “tip of the iceberg”….

We need to wake up and engage with the issues that are bringing BNP votes and provide real solutions that are not just papering over the cracks.

Facebook’s own Democracy UK page is a good place to start, maybe with the Ministry of Mates application:

The Ministry of Mates app creates socially remixed stories on Facebook

Social media in UK elections

Generated Tory poster (joke)(fake Dave Cameron poster courtesy of AndyBarefoot.com)

Just as brands battle it out for audiences online – now so do political parties. Check out my opinion article (which doesn’t include fake posters I’m afraid) over at New Media Age.

My predictions were:

* Higher turn out

* Local issues increase in importance

* Key place to sway younger voters

What do you think?

UPDATE 10 March 2010 – I erroneously referred to Joe Trippi as Obama’s online campaign manager for the 2008 election – this title should instead have gone to Chris Hughes

CNN gets social media


Screenshot of CNN the forum showing Facebook Connect results

Screenshot of CNN the forum showing Facebook Connect results

I wrote recently about how I wanted to see politics on the web through a friend lens on Sky News and now it’s great to see it in action on CNN.


CNN’s the forum integrates Facebook Connnect so I can engage with CNN news, US political debate and see what my friends are voting.  It came sixth in Mashable’s recent survey of 10 great implementations of Facebook Connect.

In the illustration you can see my political badge (not that relevant as I am in the UK) and that of Dave Morin who has been heading up Facebook Connect since its announcement in May.

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