Politicians spend more and more time in social networks
Presence in social networks is becoming more and more powerful tool for winning elections.
The election, in 2018 started: the Ukrainian policy of inspecting its capabilities. And presence in social networks is becoming more and more powerful tool for winning elections. The reporter also conducts a review of who and how effective in communicating with voters.
The President of Poland Andrzej Duda has 629.154 followers on Facebook (population is 38.2 million people), the President of France Emmanuel Makron — 2.182.622 followers (the population of 66.8 million). That’s a lot? At first glance, not too much. But keep in mind that the audience of social networks — the most active part of the population, writes Svetlana Shmeleva in No. 1 magazine Reporter. Is celebrities, opinion leaders, journalists and social activists. Each of them — dozens, hundreds, sometimes thousands of people who listen to them. Facebook-Barack Obama’s campaign, Twitter-campaign is Donald trump are all examples for the strategists.
Minus Vkontakte, plus Facebook
In 2017, imposed sanctions against a number of Russian web services, including against the social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. This makes them impossible to use for communication with voters. No, sanctions are not cut off completely and irrevocably the access of Ukrainian users to Russian social networks, they are still used for advertising local businesses.
But Vkontakte for politicians, as everyone who takes advantage of sanctions sites for contacts with voters will be deemed the violator of Ukrainian laws and a traitor. Therefore, although the Ukrainian audience of Vkontakte is not less than 6.5 million people use it are unlikely to venture. Except for the acceleration of negative information.
Remains Facebook, with its 10 million Ukrainian participants? It would seem that not only he. For example, is becoming more popular Telegram, but he, like Twitter, remain in Ukraine rather a tool for professional or highly specialized purposes.
In addition, as shown by Iranian events in early January 2018, clicking fingers at the Kremlin, the founder of social network Vkontakte and the Creator of the messenger Telegram Pavel Durov cut in this network, several channels used by the demonstrators to coordinate their actions. Who then in Ukraine will risk to play political technology using Telegram?
In terms of the ability to reach the voter through the Internet Ukraine — not the most complicated case. Approximately 23 million people (data by Gemius) — this is the coverage of the Internet in Ukraine for all types of channels. 19 million people have access to the Internet desktop computers and laptops, more than 11 million mobile phones. Anyway really on the Internet is at least two-thirds of voters. That’s a lot.
TV, the major sites, radio — they cover the audience completely, they are effective but:
A) it is not cheap;
B) not every politician even in the presence of the budget will go to key media platform.
“Over the past two years have seen virtualization Ukrainian politicians: representatives of the “political class” gone in the social network and began a pursuit of “likes” and the number of subscribers, says a prominent political analyst Kost Bondarenko. In this they remind of Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov, the hero of the immortal Gogol who bought dead souls to enhance their own image and reputation in high society. Demand creates supply, so as the mushrooms grow different kinds of firms and individual professionals who package SMM [marketing in social networks] sell the most dead souls — bots. It’s hard to say about pricing, but apparently the service is now available: individual posts can sometimes be seen by several thousand “likes” from people from Pakistan or Malaysia, now interested in Ukrainian politics. At the time, this sin, for example, Saakashvili.”
Bots or followers?
Any activity in the social network policy should give the result, otherwise what’s the point in wasting her energy and time. Therefore, for the “echo” of this activity carefully monitored. In AP, the security agencies are monitoring the trends. Politstsi parties purchase monitoring in special agencies. The most advanced use the rule of “three points”: when a monitor is ordered three independent structures. On faith only accepts those results which more or less coincide with each other. Sometimes, do not match all three — then you have to discard the least plausible option and order monitoring someone fourth. And so, until a pool of relatively plausible results.
All very interesting, where are accelerated by a wave of publications, working as competing herds of bots who support overclock the publication of “the call of the heart” — all this information will be required during crisis situations.
Bots — that terrible weapon of social networks, and the problem. And it is not clear what this phenomenon more. A bot is an account in the social network, for which there is a real person, but who is able to “like” (put your estimation of other people’s publications), “charity” (to distribute other people’s posts) and then comment on the posts of a politician. The cheapest option is “empty” account (account). But these bots are a waste of money. Because Facebook is blocking such accounts fairly quickly, if they have not conducted activity, not hosting their own content.
Bot rank higher — with photos, biography and even some repost (“sarami”). Well, aerobatics — literate Botosani consisting of accounts, which are regularly filled with original posts, photos, etc. In such networks bots “likes” and “Sarat” each other, thereby raising the value and the chances of each of them separately.
“We are working on the quality of betazeta, not quantity. New algorithms of Facebook have learned to calculate bots and block them if earlier it was possible for one night to register a couple hundred accounts and to seed tapes and politicians ‘ comments the theme, now it is impossible — describes a new reality expert on media strategies Boris Tiesenhausen. — Should be possible to “humanize” the bots, add them as friends to the right target, etc. That is to conduct a serious preparatory work before you start seeding or promotion message. Therefore, for the creators of bots and botafirm in priority comes the quality. Studies of the life cycle of the bot, introducing new tools to “humanize” and maintained a perpetual struggle with the algorithms of Facebook to identify bots. Some politicians have already begun to invest in their small qualitative Botosani with an eye to the future.”
Investment in own high-quality Botosani is really a trend 2017, which will continue to 2018. especially that many politicians such units account for the lion’s share of followers. Politicians and leaders of public opinion (Crowbars) are measured by number of followers, insisting that “the more followers, the higher the influence”. And it’s true: the more followers, the more people will read the post of the person, the publication of which they signed. The more people “will lannet” and/or “rasarit” such publication and it will see an even greater number of people, including “friends” of these followers on the social network.
But how to understand, do these followers from a particular policy — real people or is it mostly bots?
If you believe the study of TV espresso carried out with the help of Microtargeting tools and published in early December 2017, the lion’s share of followers of well-known politicians — it bots.
For example, Mikhail Saakashvili, according to espresso, such as much as 86%. Petro Poroshenko, according to the study — 69%, Arsen Avakov — 71%, Oleg Lyashko — 81%, Yulia Tymoshenko — 60%.
The Correspondent has no objection to such tools, but we wanted to assess another method, more simple and perhaps more understandable. This — below.
Who is who
Exactly a year ago, Reporter ranked Ukrainian top Facebook bloggers who write about politics. This January we have repeated this ranking by number of followers. What did we find? A very interesting trend. Much went up to Boris Kolesnikov (from 7th to 3rd place) and Volodymyr Groysman (from the 15th to 7th place). Broke into the top twenty Alexey Mochanov (14th place) and Vladimir Zelensky (20th place). Left her Yuri Biryukov and Vitali Klitschko.
If at the beginning of 2017 to stay in the top 20 was enough to have at least 120 thousand followers (as it was Klitschko), now strap — 154 thousand that is why the public Prosecutor Yury Lutsenko with his 129 thousand failed to make the top twenty.
The top 20 categories is as follows:
– politicians, high officials, deputies, regional leaders, 14;
– large businesses — 1;
bloggers, entertainers, media person — 5.
What surprised? The absence of top bloggers Svyatoslav Vakarchuk (less than 1 K followers). But the meteoric rise Zelensky absolutely not surprised — it is clearly hyping campaign-2019. Also looks a little strange the weak position of Tymoshenko, but she explained her focus on the older generation, as well as the fact that it has access to the TV channels and financial resources for their payment.
That did not surprise? The increase in the number of followers you have Kolesnikova and Groisman. First — the entrepreneur and patron system. The second Prime Minister with a rapidly growing political ambitions.
It is clear that among the followers of top bloggers quite a lot of bots. But how? Peer evaluation of espresso TV is fine, but we made her. Namely evaluated the top bloggers on the degree of involvement of followers in their content. The engagement rates we estimated as the number of “likes” under the Christmas greetings plus five multiplied by the number of “Sarov” (repost) — and this sum was divided by the number of followers.
It turned out that you can divide the top bloggers into two groups — those who have engagement rates more than 2%, and those who have it are significantly lower.
First group: Mikhail Saakashvili (5,9%), Petro Poroshenko (2.1 percent), Boris Kolesnikov (6,0%), semen Semenchenko (2.0 percent), Boris Filatov (3,6%), Vladimir Parasyuk (3,9%), Dmitry Yarosh (6,5%), Oleg Ponomarev (7.4 per cent), Vladimir Zelensky (3,8%) and were not included in the top 20 Vitali Klitschko (2.4 percent). Everything is quite logical: Saakashvili, Semenchenko, Filatov, Parasyuk, Yarosh, Sexton and Zelensky have real fan clubs, even informal. Poroshenko — President, a figure is interesting in itself. It is read by supporters and opponents. Kolesnikova from politics — not in the first place, but it is widely known real and aiming in particular at young people, charity, and because he has a wide circle of readers.
And really, why Saakashvili failed campaign in the fall and winter of 2017 has the longest list of followers? Why weak “I hear” top bloggers-politicians (Avakov, Timoshenko, Lyashko)?
“Social networking is not just a page of press-service, it is important personal involvement. President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Groysman, Yulia Tymoshenko, Andriy Sadovy, and other politicians who are considered the “top” while we manage pages that are of the press-service. Personal content a little, — explains the Director on strategies PolitExpert Consulting Group Petro Okhotin. — Interesting leads page Saakashvili. A lot of information, live broadcasts, writing a text in two languages. Of course, interesting content is the lighting interesting strategy this policy.”
“The attitude of Ukrainian politicians to social networks is ambiguous. Many of them have Facebook accounts, but most of the reports management page concerns the employees of the press service, due to which it resembles the report on the done work. The parliamentary accounts often little personality part” criticized as a watered-SMM Director of the world policy Institute Eugene Magda. But the achievements of Saakashvili, he is skeptical: “it is Worth noting also the Internet activity of Saakashvili, which has become a symbol of his opposition and lack of access to television channels, although the number of TV channels willing to provide airtime to the leader of the movement novih forces. In my opinion, the low level of popularity of its political project indicates the ineffectiveness of the elected Saakashvili’s strategy…”
Founder of the Agency Internet marketing Uamaster Evgeny Shevchenko believes that the key to the hearts of subscribers — a sound balance “trade” and “Peremogi”: “For politicians and officials actively engaged in social media accounts, there are several scenarios obtain coverage: a) to plunge into ugly history — for example, a photo or video of the Verkhovna Rada. However, such coverage they don’t want; b) to actively post about #zradu and/or #Peremoga. But all the time you need a new reason, as of old, the audience gets tired quickly; C) to use bots. Ugly, but the result gives”.
And content is still king. “Writing posts and blogs of their own doing a handful of politicians, and it immediately felt: sincerity and style of the author is clearly discordant with the pathetic creations of the press services and media departments. In my tape — several hundred politicians, but those who write themselves, not more than two dozen — analyzes Bondarenko. — I can say for sure (without claiming to be objective — I have, too, their preferences in the policy) that the active position in Facebook helped to raise awareness and form their fan clubs (if you can call it that) Andriy Portnov, Vadim Novinsky, Boris Kolesnikov, Irina Gerashchenko, Ilya Kiva, Vadym Denysenko, Mykola Knyazhytsky, Elena Lukash and others”.
Nevertheless, SMM-front of events in 2017 enough. Okhotin most visible in Facebook for 2017 considers the question of the blockade of trade routes from the occupied territories, the topic of garbage in Lviv, the campaign against the land market, Mahomedan. Special attention, in his opinion, deserves the final event in 2017 — the release of prisoners. “In all cases, actively used the exchange of arguments among speakers, humorous pictures, discussion, comments, and advertising,” concludes Okhotin. But Bondarenko was not considered a significant impact and use of social networks during the campaign, Saakashvili fall and winter of 2017.
Magda considers a noticeable activity of the Minister of internal Affairs and leader of the popular front: “is a special case Avakov, managed to consider the growing influence of social networks on Ukrainian politics. An experienced politician has acquired several Facebook-aides, translating his point of view using information from the bowels of the Ministry of interior, allowing the interior Minister to appear in the information space, like a God from the machine”.
2017 Okhotin calls a year search top politicians digestible format to work with the user. For example, he says, Poroshenko of Ukraine are increasingly using short themed movies, in particular, the road-building project. Garden (100 thousand followers) went their own way — the videos on his page are accompanied by sign language.
“The team Tymoshenko several times tried to raise the hype on the world film premieres — July 17, posted a screenshot from the 7th season of Game of thrones, and in early December, closer to the premiere of Star wars fans Tymoshenko has posted a comic about the fight with Darth Gunpowder — says Okhotin. — If we consider the purpose of these campaigns the number of references and the viral effect, then they can be considered successful.”
Like anything new? And yet new technologies are gradually being developed, the approaches change. “Many politicians are moving away from “Soviet” model of doing social media accounts. Photo “I and the children”, useless reports about milk production and yields of winter trying to replace quality content, or at least to serve fresh, — says the observations Tiesenhausen. They began to take in the state of acamemic for personal account. The market is now a large shortage of good people in this area, to me once a week for sure apply and find these. A good specialist who will be able to choose the material, and to offer to wrap it in the right wrapper in the style of the client’s costs from $800 a month.”
Another characteristic trend that marks Tiesenhausen, — the growing influence of Scrap: “the Average user simply has no time to analyze the huge and rapid flow of information. Easier to subscribe to experts in various fields and get chewed and clear picture. Buying Scrap is a thankless task, it is our policy understood, even if not immediately. Therefore, a number of political forces now investing in growing and pumping their own popular experts. The process is labor intensive, costly, but more effective in the long term”.
It supports Okhotin: “Botieri as such do not work. More effectively negotiate with the leaders of opinion on the placement of the thesis and repost. Or to raise them within their organizational structure just to take and to prepare a hierarchy of speakers.”
“If to speak about “like” — experts will help you to dial the desired number with the help of programmers, scripts” — reveals the secrets Okhotin.
The main items of costs in 2017, he mentioned the creation of special content (video, cover for social pages), cooperation with opinion leaders, as well as direct advertising. But the image content is almost always advertised from the pages of the news sites, not from the pages of politicians, says Okhotin.
“Live PR almost does not work in social networks, so in 2018 there will be demand for professionals able to create custom campaigns and viral newsworthy. Relatively new format of business — lease of botola — will also be in demand, — said Tiesenhausen. — Clustering of classrooms and work with small groups of users, maximum automation of processes of seeding and content creation is a trend 2017, which in 2018 will only increase. Facebook also provides us with an unlimited selection of audiences. For example, we can see the information 30-year-old residents living in Kiev, or just MPs. This specification of target groups allows with minimal cost to convey information to the right target audiences.”
And that in addition to technology? This personalization of content, of course. And the use of new formats. “2018 is the year before the election. So I expect a surge in the creation of satirical and comic pages that will be used to disseminate “gray” and “black” PR, — said Okhotin. Will continue development of the format for use in Facebook. Expect a breakthrough politicians in Instagram where they will not only upload pictures from the ethers, but making your way through the demonstration of personal moments. I also believe that political SMM will also go to existing channels.”