Yesterday, I looked at the social media work of Labour and today is UKIP’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/UKIP

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 UKIP Page on 11/03/2015, the latest update is…

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 08.13.33

This update takes an article from their official site and links to it within an update. A standard practice for Facebook Pages. The intro copy could be shorter. I can’t really hugely fault this update as it ‘does what it says on the tin’, however it’s far from staggering and shows no creativity. At least they’ve not taken the approach I’ve seen from other parties of pasting the full article text into the article.

Update score – 5/10

Next…

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 08.13.58

This update links to a video on the UKIP YouTube channel. While it’s a good idea to use video within Facebook, the best practice is to upload the file directly into Facebook. This is highly likely to extend organic reach, but also means the video will autoplay in user’s newsfeed, potentially increasing the exposure to the content. Another middle-of-the-road update.

Update score – 5/10

Final Facebook update…

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 08.14.26

This update links to an article on the Daily Express website. The intro copy is too lengthy. Linking to an external source to back up a message is a good move, however, they could have used the information from this article to write their own, hosted on their site and exposing users to their wider content. Again, there’s nothing shockingly wrong with this update, however, it lacks any creation or effort.

Update score – 5/10

Update average score – 5/10

UKIP’s Facebook activity is just very standard. Hard to describe it as anything else really! Nothing terrible and nothing brilliant.

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/UKIP

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 2015-03-11 at 08.16.49

This tweet includes a YouTube video of a UKIP MPE talking to a rather empty European Parliament. Using video within Twitter is smart as it can be viewed within the stream. The copy is punchy enough, however, note the lack of hashtags, which reduces reach. The video could be shorter and an edited version purely for social media use would have been beneficial.

Update score – 6/10

Tweet 2

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 08.17.39

Here we have an example of a tweet that struggles to inspire. No image to catch the eye or reinforce a message and no hashtags.  There’s not much more I can say about it! Bland.

Update score – 3/10

Tweet 3

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 08.18.00

Erm. See above! Exactly the same approach, so the same score will be allocated.

Update score – 3/10

Update average score – 4/10

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

Below-par Twitter use from UKIP and a very anti-social approach.

Summary

An average overall show from UKIP in terms of updates. As with all parties (aside from Lib Dems, marginally!) they are 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 on both Facebook and Twitter

Liberal Democrats

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

Labour

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

UKIP

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

Current standings

  • Liberal Democrats (6.5 updates, poor response)
  • UKIP and Conservatives (4.5 updates, very poor response)
  • Labour (4 updates, very poor response)

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