In a Marginal Election, the Political Party that Utilises Social Media Most Effectively Will Succeed

Taking tips from last year’s battle for the American presidency, our own political parties will gain voters by utilising Social Networking outlets such as Facebook and Twitter predicts PR, search and social media agency Punch Communications.

The Conservative party has had the greatest success with its online engagement tactics, gaining more than double the number of fans on its Facebook page compared to its rivals. George Osbourne, Shadow Chancellor of the conservative party, who’s allegedly known as “iGeorge”, according to a recent article in Wired Magazine, is a major driving force behind the Conservative’s digital strategy. Inspired by President Obama’s online success, Osbourne has pushed the Tory’s social networking initiative to be extremely effective.

Social media has proven itself to be a relevant tool in engaging voters. With over 23 million users in Britain, it is also an extremely powerful one. It plays a key role in a great deal of the “next generation” of MP’s campaign strategies. A substantial 84 per cent of candidates intend to utilise social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, and tools such as blogs to communicate with their constituents if they are elected to the House of Commons.

These candidates also stated that once they have been inaugurated they will treat communication from constituents received through Social Media with the same priority as those received by letter and e-mail.

“Public engagement through social media outlets during political campaigns is no longer an innovative strategy; it is an essential one. It will be interesting to see how many younger people turn up to vote on May 6th. If numbers are up on previous years, then one could argue that social media has had an impact”, says Pete Goold, Managing Director of PR agency Punch.

“The next hurdle will be to resolve how to keep these new politically aware people engaged”, continued Mr Goold. “New candidates are spearheading with the tools available to them; contemporary political campaigning is transforming.”

For more information, please contact technology PR expert Punch on +44 (0) 1858 411600 or visit www.punchcomms.com.

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