The Alberta Provincial election is Monday April 23rd – by the time you read this the results might be in – and judging by the most recent polls the upstart Wildrose Party looks to win a majority upsetting the Conservatives who have held power for decades. Social media has factored into the campaigns, especially highlighting comments, gaffes, by leaders and candidates, so how do the parties and leaders rank in terms of Twitter and Facebook statistics?
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A quick overview of the party leader social media statistics illustrates the two top contenders, The Wildrose Alliance and Progressive Conservatives, easily outweighing the NDP, Liberals and Alberta Party on popularity, Interesting to note the incumbent Premier, Alison Redford has close to 700 more Twitter followers than Danielle Smith of Wildrose, but using it far less – not really engaging with followers. (note, during the Conservative leadership campaign Alison Redford was far more prolific on Twitter)
Not surprising that Facebook continues to be the key engagement platform. While Twitter is gaining traction among social media users, the percentage of Canadians on Facebook is still far higher (around 52% on Facebook vs 20% on Twitter). This is where Wildrose overwhelms all other parties and leaders combined, with over 28 000 Facebook page likes – an indicator of popularity and social media campaign strategy. Same is true of Twitter, where the number of updates (messages) put out from the @ElectDanielle profile beats all others combined.
Video is also a factor. All parties have a Youtube channel, although the Liberals are not highlighting theirs and relying on the Liberal MLA Caucus Channel. The latest Wildrose Video – “Wildrose Momentum” – is a slick, 30 second advert posted on April 18th, with nearly 56 000 views. The Conservative Channel by contrast has few high value videos, with the highest view rate on a video posted 2 weeks ago at 3018.
Throughout the election campaign Wildrose has had the better communication team, focusing media on the leader, Danielle Smith, and handling the inevitable gaffes and controversies immediately and with unapologetic clarity. It is no surprise they are leading the polls based on social media engagement alone.