There is even a theory that the candidate with the most Facebook followers or Likes will win. In November 2011 three mayoral Candidates who I supported and assisted all won and all had the greatest number of Facebook followers versus their opponents.
Curious, ain’t it?
So as we have seen from my extensive examples above, social media can elect a President and a bunch of Mayors…but how about British Columbia Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) in a byelection? Can future MLAs feel the magic that is social media?
Thankfully last night we had two byelections in BC so we can test out some social media theories.
For Chilliwack-Hope we had Gwen O’Mahony – NDP; John Martin – BC Conservatives; Laurie Throness – BC Liberals and Lewis Clarke Dahlby – Libertarian. NOTE: since Dahlby did not have a social media presence, he was left out of this study.
So here is my methodology (which is Latin for “stuff I did to collect the data you are about to read”): At 5pm Wednesday (the day before the election) I wrote down most of the numbers you will see in the charts at the bottom of the post from the candidate’s Facebook, Twitter and Klout sites. I also used Topsy to get some of the cumulative figures over the 30 days leading up to yesterday. The election results were recorded AFTER the election. Hope you were able to follow my awesome research techniques.
The voting results for both Chilliwack-Hope and Port Moody-Coquitlam show that yes indeed, the number of Facebook followers “predicted” not only the winners, but the second, third and fourth place finishers with 100% accuracy.
In Chilliwack, the candidates’ voting results mirrored all but one of the measured social media areas.
In Port Moody the social media measurements were not across the board reflective of the voting results but the third place finisher in votes always finished third with social media. Also the second place finisher dominated with Twitter followers but that result did not mirror the number of votes he received.
Both elections saw the parties finish in the same order: 1st NDP; 2nd BC Liberals and 3rd BC Conservatives.
Social media is a valuable tool in recruiting, engaging and activating volunteers, supporters and voters. It seems the more Facebook “Likes” a candidate receives is indicative of the final voting results. Therefore campaigns must have a thoughtful, Team based social media stratedgy in place which is used well before the election is announced and of course during the election period. Campaigns still fail to engage on social media and while more difficult to quantify, anecdotal evidence indicates that even though engagement was poor, the rankings in that area would be the same for the above candidates as the final voting results.
Since the parties placed in the same order in both elections (1st NDP; 2nd BC Liberals and 3rd BC Conservatives) and with Facebook “Likes”, this may highlight the differences between the parties on the importance of social media in their election / communications / engagement planning.
So what do you think? Is the “Facebook Likes equals final results” just a coincidence? Or is it an obvious measure of a candidate’s popularity which translates into votes? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Port Moody Byelection
|Joe Trasolini - NDP||Christine Clarke - BC Con||Dennis Marsden - BC Lib|
|Facebook Likes / Rank||338 / 1||59 / 3||100 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Likes||68%||11.9%||20.1%|
|Talking About / Rank||26 / 1||20 / 2||19 / 3|
|Twitter Followers / Rank||195 / 2||82 / 3||360 / 1|
|% of Total Candidate Followers||30.6%||12.9%||56.5%|
|Twitter Updates / Rank||96 / 2||74 / 3||216 / 1|
|% of Total Candidate Updates||24.9%||19.2%||56%|
|Twitter Replies to Candidate / Rank|
(see chart below)
|106 / 2||77 / 3||114 / 1|
|% of Total Candidate Mentions||35.7%||25.9%||38.4%|
|Votes / Rank||6,070 / 1||1.720 / 3||3.377 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Votes||54.36%||15.4%||30.24%|
|Gwen O'Mahony - NDP||John Martin - BC Con||Laurie Throness - BC Lib|
|Facebook Likes / Rank||357 / 1||60 / 3||192 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Likes||58.6%||9.9%||31.5%|
|Talking About / Rank||74 / 1||14 / 3||67 / 2|
|Twitter Followers / Rank||272 / 1||73 / 3||248 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Followers||45.9%||12.3%||41.8%|
|Twitter Updates / Rank||156 / 2||29 / 3||375 / 1|
|% of Total Candidate Updates||27.9%||5.2%||67%|
|Twitter Replies to Candidate / Rank |
(see chart below)
|301 / 1||82 / 3||133 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Mentions||58.3%||15.9%||25.8%|
|Votes / Rank||5.772 / 1||3,548 / 3||4,399 / 2|
|% of Total Candidate Votes||41.19%||25.32%||31.39%|