Social networks of foreign politicians: what features can be distinguished

 

Social networks have long been an integral part of any election campaign. Today, it is necessary to carry out a comprehensive work on the Internet to achieve results in elections. If we turn to the experience of other countries, spending on voter outreach in social networks is growing. Practice shows that these costs are not in vain.

A simple post on Facebook or Instagram can attract the attention of a huge number of users. This is extremely useful for a candidate during an election campaign. Undoubtedly, technology is evolving and political campaigns are actively paying more attention to electronic means of communication than to traditional ones. First, the costs of traditional advertising methods are now much higher than those of electronic methods (and the effectiveness of electronic technologies is no worse than that of traditional ones). Secondly, the Internet platform is millions of users, and brand awareness also increases. Thirdly, thanks to various communication channels information about the brand is spread with great speed.

In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, all the candidates actively worked with the digital sector. Now there is a blogorization of all politicians. Therefore, it is possible to identify many interesting examples of foreign accounts. Both in terms of design and content. All the more this is quite a hot topic for our country too, because the State Duma elections are just around the corner. It is possible to compare how our politicians and foreign ones approach this case.

I will look at five interesting (in my humble opinion) Instagram accounts of European and American politicians.

It made sense to start with Donald Trump, since much has already been said about him, but the former U.S. president is too easy an example, and we all know about him. His social media during his presidency was unique, though. With one message on Twitter, he could bring down the dollar or vice versa.

So we should talk about those who are less visible in the infofield, but are a good example of the use of social media.

1. Jean-Luc Melanchon.

 

Member of the French National Assembly from the party “Unconquered France”. (https://www.instagram.com/jlmelenchon/)

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Melanchon knows how to surprise. During the presidential elections in France in 2017, the politician used his own hologram during rallies. In this way he was able to be present at two events at once. But this provoked a strong reaction from both voters and the media. In addition, Melanchon used the most viral advertising, including digital, during the presidential race.

I would like to talk about the Instagram of the ex-candidate for the French presidency.

First, he is a big fan of the Stories format (which is now in great demand among the audience). That’s why he often sends everything to “Actual.”

Second, Melanchon has special visual templates for posts with political themes when he speaks out about any hot topics in France.

Third, Jean-Luc Mélenchon is a philosopher by training, and he has been in politics for a long time. Therefore, he knows all the topical subjects of interest in society. It’s not enough the wrapping, it’s the content that’s important. You’ll find here everything about Covid-19, about vaccination, about criticism of authorities and about interethnic conflicts. Besides, if you pay attention to the politician’s Instagram feed, you will see a lot of video content, because it is the most viewed among the audience right now. True, these are not short clips of 10-15 seconds, but long recordings of his speeches. But for the presence of video content, you can still safely put a plus sign.

 

2. Nikki Haley

Former U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations. (https://www.instagram.com/nikkihaley/)

Nikki Haley worked on Trump’s team, so she must know how important digital and personal blogging are to reaching an audience. I’m not going to address some of the scandals surrounding her during her time at the UN. We’re just here to talk about social media. And there’s a lot to take note of here.

Haley, just like Melanchon, uses video content. And not as long in length as her French counterpart. Her feed also has its own templates for visual content. But the main advantage of her blog, it seems to me, is the ability to combine the work with the personal. A photo with her husband, a photo with her son, even the dogs in the feed do not look odd when combined with a report about another American crisis, where Nikki Haley spoke her mind. Personal photos just remind us that a politician is also a person. An account should be alive. The mistake of many politicians is that their blogs are too official, there is no sincerity, just merits and achievements. But compliments to the family, declarations of love and vacation photos are rare, which alienates the politician from the voter. A ribbon filled with work makes you feel like a robot. But the ability to intelligently combine the work with the personal shows that you are a person like everyone else.

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3. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Congresswoman in the U.S. from New York. (https://www.instagram.com/aoc/)

Alexandria is a young and very ambitious politician. Experts predict a great future for her in American political life. She has a very popular Instagram account, with almost 9 million followers (the record holder of this selection).

All of her photos look lively, real. You can see that she herself tries to keep her blog. On the merits: a lot of Stories, a lot. Of the latest: she has added to Actual the entire vaccination process, from making an appointment with the doctor, to the shot itself, to answering all of the users’ questions. Such a personal example inspires confidence in the audience. Not surprisingly, in the U.S., more than 50% of the population has already decided to get vaccinated.

But the main advantage of her profile is the live broadcasts. Every day. A great many technologists are setting an example of her activism. Ocasio-Cortez is a lover of answering user questions. And it’s a very good technique. First, it’s an opportunity to talk directly (without managers, emails or a receptionist). Secondly, such openness inspires confidence. For example, in our country some politicians speak only after agreed questions to avoid embarrassment. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, on the contrary, is ready for anything, which once again emphasizes her ambition and real desire to help people.

4. Gretchen Whitmer

Governor of Michigan. (https://www.instagram.com/gewhitmer/)

Gretchen Whitmer also knows how to combine the personal and the work in her feed well. And her account has almost no photos with screenshots of Twitter posts. The Michigan governor’s personal blog looks very lively and real. She tries to respond to comments, do live streams, use Stories, etc. During the Christmas break in 2020, she launched the hashtag #Givemas . For 12 days, she posted photos after shopping at a convenience store. For example, she didn’t hesitate to write that their prices had gone up. The posts garnered a good response from users, but the great thing about this story is that Gretham didn’t just resent the prices, she got them lowered. This generated even more positive attention from the audience.

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5. Sebastian Kurz

Federal Chancellor of Austria. (https://www.instagram.com/sebastiankurz/)

Sebastian Kurz is the youngest chancellor in Austrian history. Obviously, his account is run by a whole team of technologists. But he, unlike the other members of our top, already posted posts in the new Reels format. Separately, I would like to note the Austrian leader’s storismakers. All stories look informative and beautifully designed. Kurz is an example of a young politician. He is not afraid to post the vaccination process on social media. In addition, the politician’s account is filled with short videos of his highlights. Of course, it’s a little harder for the leader of the state to answer everyone’s questions because of the sheer volume. But Kurtz’s personal blog looks very good, unlike many leaders of other countries (some of them do not have personal social media accounts at all). Therefore, one state leader should be in our top.

In conclusion, it is worth saying that you can find many more examples of good personal blogs of politicians, including in our country. The author notes that the blogging of politicians has already become an integral part of image-making. And, judging by the feedback from users, it is not necessary to have a beautiful account in a single style (although this will be a huge plus). The main thing is the stuffing. The account needs to be alive. And the politician is like everyone else. With his interests, family, and workspace.

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