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Facebook affordances and citizen engagement during elections: European political parties and their benefit from online strategies?

Koc-Michalska, K., Lilleker, D., Michalski, T., Gibson, R. and Zajac, J., 2020. Facebook affordances and citizen engagement during elections: European political parties and their benefit from online strategies? Journal of Information Technology and Politics. (In Press)

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Official URL: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/witp20/current

DOI: 10.1080/19331681.2020.1837707

Abstract

This paper examines how Facebook is used by political parties during elections to extend or accelerate their reach within the electorate and how successful these efforts are. Specifically, we compare the content and style of parties’ Facebook posts during the 2014 European parliament elections, and how this affects followers’ responses in terms of liking, sharing and commenting on the posts. Our findings reveal while that the timing and visual content of posts are important in increasing voters’ attention, interactivity matters most. Responsive party posts on Facebooks are significantly more likely to be shared, liked, and commented on by users. Given that follower reactions, particularly sharing, helps to increase the visibility of party communication through indirect or two-step flow communication (online and offline), these findings are important in advancing our understanding of how and why social media campaigns are able to influence voters and thus affect election outcomes. For parties themselves the results provide some useful insights into what makes for an ‘effective’ Facebook campaign in terms of how they can accelerate the reach of their communication.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:1542-4049
Additional Information:This work was supported by an Audencia Foundation research grant Innovation and stability
Uncontrolled Keywords:affordances; Facebook; social media; political communication; electoral campaign; interactivity
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:34730
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:23 Oct 2020 13:51
Last Modified:04 Nov 2020 09:41

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