Campaigning on Facebook

New Brighton Labour Party ran its first Facebook ad, and the results are in.

Here’s the post. It’s a video of Saul Murphy speaking to camera for three minutes about arts and culture in New Brighton.

The numbers really show the value of social media campaigning. The ad ran for 5 days and went out to ward residents: our target voters. In that time it got 1,664 engagements, 453 ThruPlays and 21 reactions. The post has had 38 comments, nearly all from after we boosted it, and our Facebook page has picked up a handful of likes.

The manner in which people engaged with the ad, as evidenced by the comments, is fantastic. Some write briefly, others at more length, but they’ve all got their own little thing to say, they’re all relevant, and there’s a whole bunch of good ideas in there. No one’s jumped in to make snide political comments.

It clearly mattered that the post wasn’t very party political, and invited people’s views. People respond better if they feel that they’re being listened to rather than lectured to. If you’re a political party, of course it’s important to communicate what it is you stand for. However the biggest lesson of this for me is that when you’re pushing your posts into people’s newsfeeds on a daily basis, it’s really important to be a bit imaginative when it comes to creating content, think about how it’s likely to be received, and set the right tone. You’re bound to make some mistakes, but you can learn a lot from your mistakes, as long as you’re prepared to listen.

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