Facebook Twitter Google Plus Vimeo Youtube Feed Feedburner

Leisure Home LBoard

Top 5 social media mistakes by politicians

April 10, 2013

Here are some top mistakes by politicians for this general election.


By Daniel CerVentus

The upcoming general election will be fought on social media, says Najib Tun Razak who is one of Malaysia’s top twitter user with over 1.4 million followers. However, it is clear that not all politicians in Malaysia are as savvy as Malaysia’s 6th prime minister and makes simple mistakes in social media during their champaign.

Najib also said that the GE13 will be the first social media election in Malaysia, after all Malaysia is one of the most connected country online. Malaysia have a population around 28 million people and we have 13.8 million Facebook users. That is almost half of the country is connected over Facebook. We also have around two million Twitter users in Malaysia.

Here are some top mistakes by politicians for this general election.

Mistaking followers correspond to influences or popularity

Although having an audience is important, the truth is that Twitter followers count and Facebook Likes, act as a proxy to indicate reach. It does not show what is the actual influence and popularity of the politician. A better way to do this is to figure out engagement of the followers. Also bear in mind not all followers are the same as some of these followers have more influences that can help you to spread the message.

Using cyber troopers and spamming the other parties pages

What are cyber troopers? They are online netizen volunteering or hired by a particular political party or politician to flood the net with their desire message, mostly to spread propaganda which is normally anti the opponents.

Cyber troopers are infamous at spamming comments and pages. However does anyone actually think this will influence voters? Cyber troopers only will trigger the voters B.S. detector. Besides that, spam filters can be employed to remove those massage effectively.

Not reaching to fence sitter

It is good to preach to your followers because they will most likely vote for you. It is the group in the middle that are the “king makers” in any elections. Those who are still on the fence will not be on your on blog or your social media pages. Try to find pages or groups who are more neutral and engage with the community there.

Not targeting the online ads purchase

Again, this is the case of trying to get more followers with the assumption it will create better reach. This is not true as mention at the first point. As the election approaches, politicians from both sides begin to spend on Facebook Ads to get people to like their page. However Facebook enables the advertisers to closely target where your voters will be. An advertiser can do many amazing things with this platform such as advertise to a particular age group or even what they like.

Not engaging in actual conversation with the public

The number one social media fail for most politicians when it comes to social media is not engaging with their public. Most people treat social media as a broadcasting channel and do not engage in two way conversations with their followers. Learn to start engaging with your audience and listen to their problems. That is the best way to create a following.

In conclusion, although elections are not decided by social media, the politician should understand social media is going to be the number one medium of consumption of their news and info. In order to leverage on this, one needs to understand the mistakes for this general election and start engaging with the voters.

Daniel Cerventus is the co-founder of NextUpAsia, formerly known as Entrepreneurs.my. Daniel is an entrepreneur who is involved in Asian startup scene. You can follow daniel at www.twitter.com/cerventus


Readers are required to have a valid Facebook account to comment on this story. We welcome your opinions to allow a healthy debate. We want our readers to be responsible while commenting and to consider how their views could be received by others. Please be polite and do not use swear words or crude or sexual language or defamatory words. FMT also holds the right to remove comments that violate the letter or spirit of the general commenting rules.

The views expressed in the contents are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of FMT.