Yesterday, I looked at the social media work of the Conservatives, today is the turn of the Liberal Democrats. 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/libdems

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 Liberal Democrat’s page on 09/03/2015, the latest update is…

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.03.43

This is a very good update. Short, sharp copy that draws the user in and a link to more information housed within their official site – this allows people to be exposed to more of their content. The best thing about this update is the image. They’ve created an image that is perfectly sized (1200 x 1200 pix) for Facebook. It uses nice graphics to convey their key messages, is branded and encourages people to share, which a good number of people have done. A very strong start, showing a good level of creativity.

Update score – 9/10

Next…

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.10.00

This update leads the user to an article on their official site. Again, there’s a short text intro to draw the user in and lead them into the article. They’ve created and uploaded a custom image to sit within the article link which ensures an attractive update, but also allows them to reinforce their message, again it’s branded and urges people to share. Another great example.

Update score – 9/10 

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.14.25

This update is the adding of photos to an existing album. Straight-forward enough, with simple copy. They should’ve branded all of the images and perhaps used some overlays to reinforce messages. Showing Nick Clegg and his colleagues mixing with the event attendees adds a nice personal touch to the update. Political selfies, expect to see a lot of those over the coming weeks! They should’ve included a link to content within their site in this update.

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.18.27

Update score – 5/10

Update average score – 8/10

An excellent overall score for Facebook updates. They’re capitalising on imagery which is very important in all social media and are staying away from text-heavy updates.

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.

Across the three posts, there are hundreds of comments. A number of those are genuine questions about policy, news etc. As we saw with the Conservatives, there’s not one answer from the Page admins. While it’s wise to let the users drive a conversation, they’re missing opportunities to engage with potential voters by leaving them hanging. It’s all too broadcast-led. I expect this to be a pattern in my analysis!

Responsiveness rating – very poor

The Lib Dems are making good use of Facebook from an update perspective, but it’s all about broadcast at the moment. Let’s hope that improves over time.

Twitter

Official account – twitter.com/libdems

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 2015-03-09 at 10.35.32

This tweet uses as video as the key component. When a YouTube link is added to a tweet, Twitter pulls the video through so it can be viewed within the tweet. It’s a wise move from the Lib Dems to have video as part of their Twitter activity. The video is over 3 minutes long – ideally they would create a much shorter video to be used purely for Twitter as this would likely increase the impact. There’s no point in starting a tweet with ‘.@libdems’ – they don’t need to have their username in the tweet at all, a waste of characters. They’ve also not used any hashtags at all which is poor. Good content, but poor delivery.

Update score – 6/10

Tweet 2

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.42.25

Sticking with the apprenticeship theme, they’re using video again. This video is much shorter than the previous example, however, at 1:42 it’s still too long. A punchy 20-30 second message would have better impact. Again, there’s not use of hashtags to amplify the tweet. There’s a hashtag (#NAW2015) for National Apprenticeship Week and failing to use that is just silly!

Update score – 6/10

Tweet 3

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.48.01

Another video. This time, used in a terrible fashion! The video is their latest party political broadcast. It’s fair enough to give people the chance to watch it within Twitter, but this update is very poor. There’s no copy! Just the link to video. It offers no reason to watch, no message and no chance of strong reach due to no hashtags. They’ve let themselves down here!

Update score – 2/10

Update score average – 5

Inconsistency of quality and best practice has let the Lib Dems down here.

 

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 10.56.23

While answering one in 24 hours isn’t exactly staggering, it at least show they’re listening and are willing to respond, even at a very small level. However, this still isn’t acceptable. Poor, but not very poor.

Responsiveness rating – poor

Twitter has fallen short for the Lib Dem’s when compared to their Facebook use.

Summary

Facebook from an update point of view is very strong for the Lib Dems, a score of 8 not being one to scoff at. Their Twitter use drops down a notch and it would be far more beneficial to their cause if  they could have consistency across the platforms. Apart from one answer on Twitter, they are un-responsive, and that is really not acceptable.

Battle scores to date:

Conservatives 

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

Liberal Democrats

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

Lib Dems leading they way so far! Read the Conservative assessment here.

I’ll be assessing Labour 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.

Watch VelociTV, my weekly round up and digital marketing news and my social media tips here!

 

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