Yesterday, I looked at the social media work of the Liberal Democrats, today is Labour’s turn. My analysis is an assessment of their use of the social media platforms from my professional perspective. The measures of this are:

  • The quality of their updates, in-line with best practice. Also an assessment of their creativity.
  • Their communication – are they having conversations or it is just broadcast?

My key focus will be Facebook and Twitter, as they are still the dominant platforms, especially within politics.

This is not an assessment of their political messaging, policies or stances. I’m focussing on the official and main accounts for the broad parties, i.e. not supporter accounts or regional presences. I’m also not considering the size of their followers or ‘likes’ as this can be misleading due to paid growth. Another area I can’t consider is paid advertising on both platforms as I will not be exposed to it all from all parties.

So, if that is all clear, I’ll get going!

Facebook

Official Facebook Page – facebook.com/labour

Update quality

This looks at the use of imagery, copy and video to create impactful and engaging updates. For all parties I will look at their three latest posts (original posts, not shares from other Pages). I’m viewing the Labour Page on 10/03/2015, the latest update is…

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 08.35.14

This post takes an article for the Urban Echo by Labour candidate, Naz Shah, and copies it in its entirety into a Facebook update. When you click ‘Continue Reading’ it extends to over 300 lines of text. Facebook is not the place for swathes of text. The ideal solution here would have been to take the link from the Urban Echo, paste it into an update, add a custom image to the link ‘pull through’ and left it at that. Facebook up-weights organic reach on news articles, which is of course also advantageous.  They still could have had the donate link as part of the copy. The saving grace here is the image – it’s well designed, carries a key message and will achieve stand-out in the newsfeed. Aside from that, this update is poor from a best-practice point of view.

Update score – 3/10 (the image saves this from being given a ‘1’)

Next…

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 08.45.13

Labour have scored an absolute screamer from the edge of the box with this one. Short, sharp update copy accompanied by nicely designed, appropriately sized image. One failing on the image is the lack of branding. The link leads to the story-telling site, Immersive, which allows you to make beautiful articles. It’s good to see the party exploring new publishing platforms. They should be using this to create their own stories more often, instead of pasting articles as above. Kudos for the overall approach here though.

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 08.49.54

Update score – 10/10

Final Facebook update…

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 08.56.50

Again, we see the use of a custom image. Short, sharp copy leads people into the link and the image achieves stand-out. The link leads to their site, which allows easy access to further content. They’ve used a hashtag – they’ve never really taken off on Facebook, and if you click it, you can see that it has only been used four times, all by Pages connected to Labour. I’m going to mark this as ‘8’, they could have been more inventive with this image (like the Lib Dem’s Green image I assessed yesterday), however it’s a very good update.

Update score – 8/10

Update average score – 7/10

This is a strong Facebook showing from Labour, let down by their text-heavy update. Good use of imagery boosts their score.

Responsiveness 

This gauge looks at the responsiveness to questions, comments etc from the Page admins. Again, I’ll look at their last three posts. This isn’t suitable for a numerical score, so will be allocated on a very poor to excellent basis.

As with the Lib Dems and the Tories, there is not one single response to the hundreds of questions and comments. Yes, some comments don’t warrant a response due to the vitriol, however, this is yet another sign the political parties don’t understand the trick they’re missing by being broadcast only.

Responsiveness rating – very poor

Twitter

Official account – twitter.com/UKLabour

As with Facebook, I’m looking at the last three tweets from the account, focussed on original updates and not including re-tweets. I feel this approach is fair as it represents a reasonable level of content that a user would absorb.

Tweet 1

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 09.24.19

This is right off the top-shelf of how not to tweet. First off, no image, which can reduce reach by up to 46% (stat from Buffer). It also leads people to a link within Facebook (the huge Naz Shah article I looked at above) – this creates a big barrier to people actually reading the article, they may not want to have to visit Facebook or even have an account. There’s no use of hashtags here either, massively reducing the reach of the tweet. There’s no saving grace here.

Update score – 0/10

Tweet 2

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 09.32.43

This tweet falls foul of my analysis for pretty much the same reasons as the tweet above! There’s one saving-grace here – they link to their blog which is at least accessible for all. Other than that, there’s nothing good about it.

Update score – 1/10

Tweet 3

Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 09.36.20

Within the space of one hour, Labour has tweeted about the same candidate. This time linking to her donation page. No image of Naz to add a human touch. No hashtags. Her name with ‘.’ before it at start of tweet. All negatives. Dear oh dear.

Update score – 1/10

Update score average – 1

Labour has self-destructed with horrendous Twitter use! It’s like they know they should be tweeting and are just ticking the boxes.

Responsiveness 

I’ve looked over 24 hours of in-bound tweets. Within this period, they’ve had hundreds of questions that have gone unanswered.

Responsiveness rating – very poor

Twitter has been a horror-show for Labour! Compared to Facebook they’ve let themselves down.

Summary

Labour started so well, only to blow it at the end with Twitter. They are also anti-social in every way. They need consistency in order to make a bigger impact.

Battle scores to date:

Conservatives 

  • Updates across Twitter and Facebook –  combined average score  – 4.5/10
  • Responsiveness – very poor

Liberal Democrats

  • Updates across Twitter and Facebook –  combined average score – 6.5/10
  • Responsiveness – poor

Labour

  • Updates across Twitter and Facebook –  combined score – 4/10
  • Responsiveness – very poor

The Lib Dems remain in the lead!

I’ll be assessing UKIP next. Scroll down to subscribe to my blog and ensure you don’t miss my General Election 2015 coverage! You can also read all of my GE2015 coverage here.

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