DAY 20 | Video Killed the Radio Star award

The WA Liberal Party

The Buggles called it in 1979 and in 2017 political Facebook posts prove video really is killing everything in terms of social engagement.

Video is far and away the most sharable content of this election contest and the team smashing out the most video content this election is the WA Liberal Party .

The Premier (or at least his team) is switched on to the fact video is king, posting a whopping 56 videos during the election campaign.

Following Mr Barnett on the video post leader-board is Greens MLA Lynn McLaren with 41 videos and then a chain of Liberal Party members.  Mr Barnett’s rival, Mark McGowan is way down the leader board with only 10 videos.

Name Number of video posts
1 Colin Barnett (WA Liberals) 56
2 Lynn MacLaren (Greens WA) 41
3 Liza Harvey (WA Liberals) 21
4 Albert Jacob (WA Liberals) 11
5 Roger Cook (WA Labor) 11
6 Peter Abetz (WA Liberals) 11
7 Ellen Evangel (WA Liberals) 10
8 Mike Nahan (WA Liberals) 10
9 Mark McGowan (WA Labor) 10
10 Brendon Grylls (WA Nationals) 9

Who is posting like a pro?

So what are people watching?

The Premier’s top three videos include this one which has been viewed 13,000 times and shared 45 times since it was posted last Monday (13 Feb).

What makes a popular video?  Nationalism?  LOL cats?  Nope, quite a safe campaign video highlighting the Government’s achievements during the past eight years.

A similar video gets right to the heart of the Opposition’s attacks – the state debt – and presents the Premier’s argument about why it is important.  Dry stuff – but it has been viewed 25,000 times and shared 70 times since it was posted on February 10.

And of course, there is one that captures the public’s interest in the new Perth Stadium, posted on February 4 and viewed 25,000 times.

Of course, it is hardly surprising that the Premier has the most video; after all he has the weight of the Government media team and eight years of footage behind him.  His videos have high production value and feel-good imagery, all designed to make viewers feel warm and fuzzy about his reign over the last few years.

And while it works, it’s not the only way to crack the video audience.

Greens rival Lynn McLaren has also been posting like a social media star but is hardly as well-resourced as the Premier.  How does she do it?  First of all, her videos are not as slick as the Premier’s – in fact many are shot on a phone.

But what they lack in polish, they make up for in passion.


It goes to show that while resources and a good advertising team are helpful, video is now cheap and easy to produce.

So videos are great, but what are the responses?

We know Facebook lets you both ‘like’ a post but also indicate five other reactions (love, haha, wow, sad and angry).

The winner of the most “angry” reactions for posts in this election period, with just under 450 angry faces is Lynn McLaren.  This isn’t surprising given most of her highly emotional posts relate to the controversial Roe 8 development with many references to dead animals or bushland.

The most “love” responses ….well that is Lynn McLaren too with far more love than Colin Barnett, who came in at number two.

Which is a little confusing.  But we can see this video, of protesters doing their thing, gained a whole lot of love.  In fact within a few days it has 56 likes and 28 “love” responses.

It goes to show that while it is great to be slick, nothing gets a reaction like passion.

Why does it matter?

When once it was good enough to have Facebook, savvy social media users know that nothing engages like video.  In fact, video viewing is taking over other traditional forms of entertainment – a recent report by Roy Morgan Research suggests one in seven Australians no longer watch commercial television.

Volume is great, when budget is no barrier to the creation of video. But as with all communication, those creating video content must keep in mind the target audience.

The Premier’s videos show a high quality of scripting, editing and careful choice of footage and imagery.  They are carefully crafted and there has been a good response by his largely Conservative audience.

Lynn McLaren’s videos have had a strong response for different reasons.

She is in the thick of protests so her videos have a grass-roots feel that appeals to supporters. In her case, expensive looking, highly edited videos could feasibly alienate her support base and even work against her.

DAY 19 | Totally engaged award
DAY 21 | The spreadable message award