Right back when I started this blog, I did a post about the state of the various major parties Facebook pages. I was checking out the Labour Party page for something else, I noticed a significant change in the numbers on the page. So I thought it was time to update the stats. It looks like National, Labour and the Greens have all been putting in a bit effort to increase their like on Facebook.
So back on 3 February the Green Party Facebook page had 35,113 likes, with 10,528 talking about it. Now, 21 April, they are up to 39,993, with 6883 talking about this. That is an increase of 4880, but a drop in talking about of 3645. Talking about is a measure of the number of unique people who generate a story about that page. So they like the page, they like a post on the page, or comment on a post, or share a post. So it is a measure of people who are interacting with the page. So it is interesting that they have had a 13.9% increase in likes on the page, but a 34.6% decrease in talking about. I had a quick look back of the last few days and they have been posting a couple of times every day, with a rather impressive number of likes, 200-700 range. Yet their talking about this is going down. What this suggests is, back in February they got a lot of new likes, or they had a number of stories that generated engagement with people who now no longer engage with the page. This could be a small number of post that got lots of shares, with people liking the post from the share, but these people didn’t come back to the page. Talking about is a stat that is just as, if not more important than, the total likes. Facebook talk about it here. They state:
Good rule of thumb of ‘Likes’ vs “Talking About This’ numbers for a Facebook Page:
- With LESS than 100,000 likes, a great ‘talking about this’ number is about 10% of the likes.
So the Greens are still doing very well, just not as well as they were. Though they still prevent people from posting directly to the wall of their Facebook page. Unlike National or Labour.
Just like the Greens, Labour have had a big jump in likes on their page since early Feb. 9,776 to 12,676 likes an increase of 2900 or 29.7%, and 826 to 5,144 talking about this an increase of 4318 or 522%. Now it is not possible to tell, without lots of manual searching, if the interactions driving this increase are positive or negative. However it appears that Labour have been producing a lot of content that is generating engagement. A lot of Labour’s posts are getting between mid 100s and mid 200 likes on them. There are a few outliers, the post about 1 year since gay marriage has got over 1000, where as the posts about David Cunliffe talking to the directors conference and Chris Hipkins Report Card for Hekia Parata both got in the 80s. My assumption would be that Labour is producing content that appeals to a wide range of people. Now this appeal my be positive or it may be negative, but it is generating engagement. Because of the way Facebook works, even if someone makes a negative comment, as long as it is not abusive, it is a good way to spread your posts and reach friends of theirs who may be sympathetic to your message.
Now we come to National. They have always struggled on social media, but recently it has looked like they have started to take it more seriously. They have been trying new things and the quality of the photography has gone up massively. Though there have still been some slip ups. Back in February National had 5963 likes, they now have 9708, an increase of 3745 or 62.8%. Talking about has gone from 1117, to 4695, an increase of 3578 or 320%. For a party that is sitting at 40% + in the polls, National is still very much lagging in the social media. They are picking up their game, but they have a long way to go.
Overall all of the parties have picked up a number of new likes on their page. They all seem to be doing the same thing, producing info graphics, that then generate engagement, but none of them are actively replying to comments on their Facebook posts. So they are still serving solely as a broadcast medium for parties. Since the parties are getting good engagement, in general, and an ongoing increase in likes, I suspect we won’t see any major revolutions in the way the parties engage on social media. If what they are doing now works, why change?