So it has been a while since I did a stock take of the state of the various party Facebook pages. I last did one around the end of June as well as April and February. Looking at Facebook pages and the level of engagement with them is not as easy as as it is with Twitter due to Facebooks inherently more closed structure. However this post will use the same measures that have been used in the earlier posts, and each party will be assessed the same way.
Nation are now sitting on just over 21,000 likes, this is a big increase since last time. In just over 2 months they have gained just under 10,000 likes. This is around 65% increase. But likes are all good and well. What matters is engagement.
There has been a much bigger increase in the number of people talking about the National Facebook page than there has been in likes. They have had a 168% increase in those talking about the page. This is a good sign that they are able to get their message out there. However, as we saw with the posting of the opening address, there are still issues within the National social media machine.
Labour still lead National in the number of likes they have, but it is still not a huge lead they have. They have gained 52% more likes since the end of June. So National are slowly closing the gap. But as I said before, number of likes is but one measure.
One place where Labour have beaten National is in the increase in the number of people talking about them. They have increased that by 382%. So the Facebook page is obviously generating engagements.
The Greens have gained around the same number of likes that National and Labour have, but because they were starting from a higher level, they have only added 23% in the way of likes. But they now have around twice as many likes as any other party.
The Greens have increased their people talk about figure by 192%, which puts them ahead of National, but well behind Labour.
This is the first time that I have looked at the Internet Party in this series, so there are no earlier figures to compare them to.
The Internet Party is currently the second largest political party in New Zealand on Facebook. They have had a very rapid increase in likes.
However, while they have a large number of likes, they have a very low people talking about them figure. To this figure in context, it is around the same as National had when they had 13,000 likes. So even though lots of people have liked the page, it looks like they are not that active. I suspect that this is because a lot of the people who have liked the page are just wanting to see what they are up to and follow them, but they are not actually supporters who are engaging with the page.
The most engaged insights present an interesting picture. The Internet Party are not the only ones who seem to be connecting with the youth vote. National’s most engage age group also stretches down to 18. But they also manage to stretch up to 34, so they are matching both ends of the spectrum that the other parties are covering. The fact that all of them have Auckland as home to the most engaged group is really not that surprising, considering that Auckland is home to approaching 40% of the population.
So overall all parties are increasing their likes, and some are generating much increased engagement, which will be helping to spread their message across Facebook. It is not surprising that as the election campaign has drawn closer, and picked up in intensity, that we have seen such dramatic increases. I doubt these will hold once the election period is over, but the base of likers will be there for the parties to use as a launch pad in the lead up to the next election. But will the parties ignore and neglect their Facebook pages during the down time between election cycles?