It’s time again for another Victorian State election, and after the last few years it’s bound to be a contentious one. But, as campaign efforts ramp up, there’s one thing for sure: Labor has won social media.
Ahead of the state election on Saturday 26 November, Melbourne-based influencer agency Sticki examined the Instagram and TikTok activity for 67 Liberal, Labor and Greens candidates across 16 key seats to see how influential their social media presence has been.
Not all candidates have accounts or if they do, some don’t exceed the 1000 followers needed to glean the insights for the research. But among those that did, there are 18 Labor candidates with over 238,000 collective followers on Instagram. Conversely, Liberal is boasting 85,000 followers on the photo sharing platform.
On TikTok, the numbers are skewed towards the ALP as well, with Labor boasting 101,000 followers compared to Liberal’s 14,900.
Not only are the followers in Labor’s favour, but so is the engagement rate. Labor’s average engagement rate across the platforms is 3.9 percent, while Liberal’s hovers around 1.8 percent. Overall, Labor has more than three times as many followers and Liberal would need to make seven posts to a single one of Labor’s to reach the same engagement rate and audience.
“Most of Labor’s social media followers are young and female compared to Liberal, which skews towards older male followers,” says co-founder of Sticki, Tzvi Balbin. “You never know until the day, but overall our engagement data points to a Labor victory. Why? Labor candidates have the highest Sticki Index Score at 85.5 percent, followed by Greens at 77.5 percent and Liberals at 66.75 percent. This score represents the party’s ability to attract new followers, promote engaging messages, and reach their constituents.”
How Labor and its social media has kept the campaign alive
Current State Premier Daniel Andrews is a prolific social media user. His reach started to grow during the first lockdowns of 2020. Since this, his Instagram following has blown up to 221,600 and TikTok has accumulated 108,100.
But how is it that Andrews has been able to grow his following and keep it there? His team understands the rhetoric and audience of social media. Reposting memes aimed towards Gen Z and Millennials, the premier has shown repeated moments of understanding the youth.
And, it’s showing. Opposition leader Matthew Guy has added less than 100 new followers on Twitter since his campaign trail started, whereas Andrews has gotten over 13,000 new followers.
Since campaigning, Andrews has:
- 24,435 more Retweets
- 219,800 more Favourites
- 38,601 more Replies
With the election looming, it will be a real test to see if social media trumps traditional campaigning.
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