Online Presence of EU Politicians in European Election Campaigns
Study monitoring online presence of EU politicians among EU-28
Politicians of the European Union (EU) underestimate the importance of Social Media. This is the result of a recent study conducted by OGM, Austria‘s leading opinion research institute and social media expert for political issues. The study measured the online presence of more than 1200 EU politicians in all 28 member states of the EU over the past three months. All relevant online media sources have been considered in the evaluation: social networks like Facebook and Twitter, online-forums and blogs, mainstream news. Results are now available for members of the European Commission, European Parliament and all top candidates of the 28 EU countries.
EU politicians do not use social media professionally
A total number of about 1.7 million mentions since February sounds impressing, but is rather low for more than 1200 monitored EU politicians. The social media usage lacks of direct dialogue with the citizen, relevant content for the people and consistency in developing an online community.
Other recent events achieved more online awareness in Europe in a shorter period: i.e., Champions League semi-finals with 2.000.000, Ukraine crisis with 900.000 and Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst with 600.000 mentions within three days only.
Last night’s debate of the five top candidates generated about 90,000 statements in social networks primarily on Twitter. Most of the mentions referred to Martin Schulz and Alexis Tsipras.
Wasted opportunity of mobilisation of younger voters
Due to the fact that EU politicians do not use social media professionally, they neglect a huge potential among younger voters. According to a study of the European Parliament, the voter participation among young voters (18-30 years) in the last EU election was only 31 percent.
EU-critical Politicians and topics are more present
The online sphere is widely dominated by users and politicians who are critical of the European Union. Much more statements are related to EU-critical topics and politicians. The predominantly EU-favorable media – except yellow press – are bypassed by social media. The most mentioned topics are unemployment, bank rescues, immigration and income.
The EU-wide ranking is headed by UKIP leader Nigel Farage with more than 300.000 mentions in all member states of the EU, around 200.000 of them in UK.
A full index of all EU politicians include in the study can be downloaded here: Liste-EU-Politiker-EU-Wahl-2014
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