I saw something interesting on the Greens Facebook page the other day. They posted a graphic to promote their policy of expanding free doctors visits to include the 13-17 age bracket.
This graphic has elicited responses that are prime examples of two rather common elements of social media.
1) people generally won’t read anything that is more than one or two lines long. Now most people who read this blog I assume know that the current government has proposed to expand free doctors visits to those up to the age of 13. So the Greens policy is an expansion of that. Hence the lack of mention those under 13 in the graphic. There is a single mention of the word “expand” in the text that goes with the graphic:
Even with text that explains the policy is an expansion of something that is already in place, people have commented on the post asking why it doesn’t include those under 13.
2) People on social media like to be combative. Even when it is pointed out that the over arching policy platform this is part of already includes what they have suggested, the response comes back combative.
Political parties, and candidates, need to keep these two elements of social media in mind when preparing graphics and content. Had the Greens stated in the graphic that this policy was an expansion of what was already in place, they may have been able to avoid the combative comments that have been placed on their post which, due to the way Facebook likes to stack and order comments, are now displayed prominently at the top.