Political Uses of
Social Media
Prof. Axel Bruns
ARC Future Fellow
Digital Media Research Centre
Queensland University of T...
SOCIAL MEDIA?
• Facebook:
– ~13m Australian accounts, all demographic groups
– Smallish, strong-tie, local, semi-private n...
#QLDFLOODS TWEETS (JANUARY 2011)
10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
SYDNEY SIEGE (DECEMBER 2015)
#LIBSPILL
Education
Agriculture
Literature
Adelaide / SA
Food
Wine
Beer
Parenting
Mums PR
Netizens
Marketing
Investing
Real Estate
H...
AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER
(data to June 2013)
SOCIAL MEDIA?
• Instagram:
– ~4-5m Australian accounts (?), strong with young adults and women
– Often used in conjunction...
POLITICAL USES OF SOCIAL MEDIA
• Maintain connections with voters:
– Strong role for Facebook, especially in local communi...
2015 QLD ELECTION: TOP HASHTAGS
2015 QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION
WORTH THE TROUBLE?
• Some social media myths:
– “Social media can win you the election.”
• Unlikely – but they may lose yo...
QUESTIONS?
@socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/
@qutdmrc – https://www.qut.edu.au/research/dmrc
This research is funded b...
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Political Uses of Social Media

Lunchtime seminar presented to Members of the Queensland Parliament, Brisbane, 15 Sep. 2015.
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Published in: News & Politics      
Source: www.slideshare.net


Transcripts - Political Uses of Social Media

  • 1. Political Uses of Social Media Prof. Axel Bruns ARC Future Fellow Digital Media Research Centre Queensland University of Technology a.bruns@qut.edu.au – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/
  • 2. SOCIAL MEDIA? • Facebook: – ~13m Australian accounts, all demographic groups – Smallish, strong-tie, local, semi-private networks (family, friends, workmates, …) – Public pages and private groups for wider community engagement • Twitter: – ~3m Australian accounts, influential professional demographic – Large, weak-tie, public networks (celebrities, journalists, politicians, …) – Hashtags for rapid assembly of issue publics (#spill, #qldfloods, #illridewithyou, #borderfarce, #lightthedark, …)
  • 3. #QLDFLOODS TWEETS (JANUARY 2011) 10 Jan 2011 11 Jan 2011 12 Jan 2011 13 Jan 2011 14 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011
  • 4. SYDNEY SIEGE (DECEMBER 2015)
  • 5. #LIBSPILL
  • 6. Education Agriculture Literature Adelaide / SA Food Wine Beer Parenting Mums PR Netizens Marketing Investing Real Estate Home Business Sole Traders Self-Help HR / Support Followback Urban Media Utilities Advertising Business Fashion Beauty Arts Cinema Journalists Politics Hard RightLeftists News CyclingTalkback Music TV V8s UFC NRL AFL Football Horse Racing Cricket NRU Celebrities Hillsong Perth Pop Media Teen Idols Cody Simpson THE AUSTRALIAN TWITTERSPHERE ~140k Australian accounts with degree > 1000, as of Sep. 2013
  • 7. AUSTRALIAN POLITICIANS ON TWITTER (data to June 2013)
  • 8. SOCIAL MEDIA? • Instagram: – ~4-5m Australian accounts (?), strong with young adults and women – Often used in conjunction with Facebook and Twitter – Hashtags to help content discoverability • Others: – Snapchat, WeChat, WhatsApp messaging apps – Periscope, Meerkat live video streaming apps – …
  • 9. POLITICAL USES OF SOCIAL MEDIA • Maintain connections with voters: – Strong role for Facebook, especially in local communities – Pages preferable to personal profiles – Embed audiovisual content – Allow voters to respond and engage in discussion (but manage abuse) • Engage in political debate, respond to current topics: – Facebook, but especially also Twitter – Track and connect with hashtags as indication of public mood – Expect spirited, sometimes heated debate – Remember this is a public space – mistakes will be noted
  • 10. 2015 QLD ELECTION: TOP HASHTAGS
  • 11. 2015 QUEENSLAND STATE ELECTION
  • 12. WORTH THE TROUBLE? • Some social media myths: – “Social media can win you the election.” • Unlikely – but they may lose you the election. Users will talk about you more than with you, and gaffes can go viral. – “Social media are full of lefties / greenies / trolls / …” • No. Facebook has strong take-up throughout society; Twitter is popular with the AB demographic, independent of party affiliations. – “I don’t need to be on social media.” • Maybe. But if you’re not, you have no way of responding to criticism, misinformation, questions, support, …
  • 13. QUESTIONS?
  • 14. @socialmediaQUT – http://socialmedia.qut.edu.au/ @qutdmrc – https://www.qut.edu.au/research/dmrc This research is funded by the Australian Research Council through Future Fellowship, LIEF, and Linkage grants FT130100703, LE140100148, and LP120100627.

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