How Did Paid Search and Social Media Help in the UK General Election?

9 June 2017

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 June 9, 2017
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The results are in. For the second time in seven years, Britain is experiencing a hung Parliament. How much of an effect did search and social media have on the huge surge in Labour votes?

Paid Search and PPC in the General Election

Over the past week, these have been the top questions surrounding the general election that were entered into Google. As you can see, the number one question is ‘who should I vote for?’, which gives parties a great opportunity to implement targeted PPC ads to entice swing voters.

Ad Targeting

According to Who Targets Me?, political parties have been specifically targeting constituencies to help gain hard votes. Facebook and Google ads have been used to target users, but this seemed to have worked as 246,000 under 25s signed up to vote on the last day, and 1.57 million who signed up were under 35.

It is said that around 20% of the voting public made up their mind the three weeks prior to election day. Given the close nature of the swing seats it was detailed their was two steps in targeting: segmenting the audience and locations; and messaging.

Harry Dance, a senior digital marketer, noticed this whilst searching for a polling station.

Writing yesterday, Harry said that “I don’t think the advert itself will be changing any one’s minds today but it does direct potential swing voters towards a Labour website…”

Search

The search interest in party leaders also showed some interesting fluctuations, with Labour experience a dip in searches on 4th June, before moving up into first place a few hours later. Searches for UKIP also peaked a few hours into 5th June, moving up from fifth place into third, before declining again a few hours later.

Social Media in the General Election

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, It Will Be On Social Media

As the exit polls were announced, voters up and down the country knew this would be an interesting election night. The Conservative landslide that the media had predicted did not materialise.    

This year’s political climate saw traditional forms of media (such as newspapers), tend to have a right-wing alignment, with contemporary forms of media (such as Facebook) being more left-aligned.

As we are saturated in information more than ever before, it is the younger generation who are getting their news in a completely different way, thanks to social media. This year, fake news came into play, swaying voter opinions when viral articles were taken as truth.

Social media in the General Election 2017 was used as a platform for people to voice their opinions and tap into a younger and digitally active demographic. It seemed as though the younger voters were chanting a different name compared to the mainstream media, and Jeremy Corbyn was the name that people were getting behind online.

Corbyn and Influencer Marketing

Corbyn did something clever in the lead up to the election: influencer marketing. Corbyn joined forces with figures that represent the younger generation, such as Stormzy, Lowkey, JME and Rag n Bone man to help spread the word of Labour.

Celebrities such as Steve Coogan, Nick Frost and Martin Freeman used video marketing to share a short opinion piece to camera which was in turn shared across social media. Facebook live was used to stream Labour rallies as these were not given the air time on traditional media.

Whatever happens, one thing for sure is that traditional formats of information and how political parties campaign have changed forever. People are sourcing their own information, turning to alternative sources of news, sharing information to all their friends, and are listening to people they trust and who they feel represent them.

How did you interact with political parties on social media and Google? Let us know in the comments!

*This article does not reflect the political views of Sleeping Giant Media, its employees or partners.

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