I just came across an interesting blog from No Right Turn, he observes about Labour’s animal testing policy:
Its a welcome policy – but its like they’re not even fighting on the same battlefield. Its that paucity of vision thing again: the Greens want to fundamentally change our economy and our society to make them more sustainable, both environmentally and socially. Labour wants things pretty much the same as they are now, only with less pointless cruelty to animal. An improvement, sure, but unless you’re one of the animals concerned, one so mild, minor and unexciting one, barely worth voting for.
So I thought I would have a look at how they have gone down on social media.
On Twitter, the Greens won the policy announcement battle, gaining twice as many retweets as Labour did. I suspect this is influenced by the type of users that Twitter has. I know from the people that I follow that there are a more technically inclined people on it.
So the Green policy graphics managed to generate 139 shares and 670 likes, compared with 513 shares and 1333 likes. So it is clear that Labour have announced a policy that is resonanting with supporters. They have been able to generate nearly 4 times as many shares and double the number of direct likes that the Green’s policy announcements have.
It is important to remember that elections are won on a combination of policy content, how the policies are promoted, prevailing feelings of the wider electorate, and a number of other factors. Different parties will have different factors to consider when it comes to what polices to announce when. The Greens will have to consider the fact, confirmed by a source in the party, that as a minor, well technically medium, party, they will have a harder job getting media time the closer we get to an election. Where as Labour will be considering how to generate soft support, while holding off on announcing major policies until closer to the election. One element of this need to delay is awaiting the release of the Pre Election Fiscal Update, scheduled for 19 August. Having this extra information allows Labour to make decisions on what policies are possible to put in place with the money the Government is projected to have.
Therefore, the aim of the policies that Labour are announcing are different to the aims of the Green policy announcements. The Greens will be aiming to get solid policy proposals announced, with positive coverage, that establishes their credentials as a potential coalition partner. Labour on the other hand will be looking for policy announcements that will get them positive coverage, but also help to build their support on social media.
Overall it is clear that Labour’s policy announcement has generated more coverage on social media. It is hard to tell, without access to the page insights, exactly how many news likes this has generated for the page, but it will have pushed their brand into a number of people’s feeds that it may not have reached else wise. Their policy may not be what some core supporters wanted to see announced, but we are still two months out from election day, there have been very few major National Party policy announcements. So I think labour are playing a clever game with this. Using a simple, reasonably uncontroversial policy announcement as a way to generate more capital on social media, that can then be used later in the campaign to spread the higher level policy announcements.