Social network sites are serious campaign tools

There’s an interesting piece by Michael Connery at Kos about MySpace, social network sites and politics.  There’s been a growing buzz about using these social networking sites for politics as campaigners and politicians have started to realise the ready-made communications tool that’s just sitting there waiting to be used.

Commentators have often assumed that this is just a tool to reach the places that other campaigns can’t reach – those hard to motivate late teens and early 20s. The study that Michael uses shows that actually there’s been a huge shift in visitors to myspace, and to other networking sites as well.

They found that:

as the [MySpace] has experienced dramatic visitor growth, it has become more popular among older Internet users.  The most significant shift has occurred among teens 12-17, who accounted for 24.7 percent of the MySpace audience in August 2005, but today represent a much lower 11.9 percent of the site’s total audience.  Conversely, Internet users between the ages of 35-54 now account for 40.6 percent of the MySpace visitor base, an 8.2 percentage point increase during the past year.

There were also less marked but still significant numbers of older users for other sites such as FaceBook.

This should change the way that campaigners think of using social networking sites. It’s not just an add on to reach the kids, micro-sites such as these should be considered as a serious part of a campaign’s communications strategy.

2 Responses to Social network sites are serious campaign tools

  1. Ian G says:

    On a (sort of) related issue, has anyone seen this?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/5406810.stm

    I’m worried that the right, with their greater resources, are considerably ahead of us in new media campaigning.

  2. Scrybe says:

    Please do check my blog for a regular update of Facebook groups for Labour deputy candidates (and other political groups). As far as I am aware, my blog is the only one to do so.

    At Ian G, I agree completely – that’s why I’m working on something for the left in terms of media campaiigning, along with some trusty friends. The facebook log on my blog may possibly be featured within it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: