Social media networks are, by definition, capable of spreading photos, videos, memes and alternative facts well beyond the limitations of a single user’s follower count.
That’s kind of the point.
For a political party, leveraging those networks and encouraging one person to share something to their 100 followers, and each of them to do the same and so on and so on, is the holy grail of campaign messaging.
But it is not easy. Have a look at the social accounts of the best performing politicians in the #WAElection and you’ll see some very low interaction levels.
So who is leveraging their potential audiences the best? Whose messaging is spreading far and wide through social channels? Well that award must go to the Greens.
— TheGreensWA (@TheGreensWA) February 12, 2017
Taking this tweet as an example, we can see a respectable 141 actions taken by followers. That isn’t going to break the internet, but when we dig deeper we can see the impact of these actions:
Each line on this graphic represents a link to a real person who retweeted the original @TheGreensWA message. There were 55 separate tweets in the first couple of hours. (A side note: around half the retweets a tweet will receive happen in the first 16 minutes.)
So from an engagement perspective, it’s a satisfactory response. But when we look at the potential audience who subsequently saw that image as a result of all the sharing, we know that an additional 197,285 people could have seen it.
Engagement is key on social platforms. Without it, you’re not having any real impact. But in an election, for a non-major party, spreading your policies, messages and perspective as far and wide as possible is also a key strategic goal; people can’t feel engaged or connected with you before they understand who you are and what you’re about.