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EU Referendum: Driving Social Followers

Written by Social Team | 01-Jun-2016 15:49:00

With the referendum now less than a month away, each side continues to gather support across their main social networks. An engaged core base has the potential to influence others and could prove a key weapon for reaching undecided voters. By utilising various data sources, we take a look at each campaigns’ main social platforms to see how they measure up.

But before we do, let’s have a look at our overall data this week

Weekly Summary of Activity

Voting Intention/Predicted Result

Data suggests the ‘Leave’ campaign has recaptured some lost momentum with signals beginning to indicate additional votes can be captured. This pattern will need to continue at pace if the overall result is to be overturned from the currently projected ‘Stay’ win, as indicated by our data. Overall patterns remain static but with around 13% of voters still undecided this race could become closer than expected.

Regional Summary of Activity

From what we can interpret, Scotland and Northern Ireland are highly likely to vote ‘Stay’, whereas Wales and England continue to offer the most likely areas for the ‘Leave’ campaign to make inroads, but time is running out to swing the balance – they’ll need to move fast if they’re to make a turnaround.

Key Topics Summary

‘Immigration’ gained significant traction this week however ‘Jobs & Employment’ and ‘Business & Trade’ continue to be main conversation drivers. With each campaign still using a broad brush of issues, consideration should be given to focusing on key arguments as the electorate continue to be overwhelmed by the breadth of topics and conflicting evidence presented by both sides. Whichever campaign can gain voter trust moving forwards is likely to benefit greatly.

Can social followings be converted to votes?

With each campaign now reaching maturity we have taken a look over main social channel followings over the past few weeks to help expand insight into this intriguing referendum.

Vote Leave Measure 10/05/2016 01/06/2016 % Gain
Facebook Likes 350,350 438,109 25%
Twitter Followers 39,900 48,600 22%
YouTube Views 135,021 773,891 473%
Instagram Followers 3,580 6,097 70%
Stronger In Measure 10/05/2016 01/06/2016 % Gain
Facebook Likes 391,399 443,524 13%
Twitter Followers (K) 27,000 32,200 19%
YouTube Views 7,943,966 9,701,319 22%
Instagram Followers 1,520 2,340 54%

Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter followings for both campaigns are at very similar levels, indicating each campaign shares a similar base social footprint. Overall, ‘Vote Leave’ has shown the greater recent growth but has generally started from a lower base.

While each campaign has now amassed sizable followings, the data could perhaps conclude that the public is still yet to fully engage socially, following similar data patterns we have seen previously as the public appetite continues to remain measurable but flat.

YouTube is a more interesting comparison. While ‘Vote Leave’ has seen tremendous recent growth, ‘Stronger In’ has delivered a more sizeable number of total views.

With capped campaign spending making traditional advertising spots less accessible to boost impact, driving YouTube video views could be considered a good secondary strategy.

Technological advancement has driven increasing acceptance of online video, in some cases beginning to replace traditional television broadcasts - especially across younger age groups.

Overall we believe both campaigns will benefit by continuing to leverage their online video assets, especially in a discussion featuring high levels of detail across a range of subjects.

As followings continue to grow for both campaigns, social amplification will play an important part in winning voters. However reliance on social strategy alone is unlikely to deliver the key to victory, the numbers just simply are not there at the moment unless both campaigns can encourage new voters to engage with their main social channels.

A sudden upshot in support however could help deliver a key signal of voter intention in a close race, one worth keeping an eye on over the next few weeks.

Other posts in this series

EU Referendum Week 1 - What does the data say?

EU Referendum Week 2 - Can hashtags provide insights?

EU Referendum Week 3 - When will the touch paper be lit?

EU Referendum Week 4 - Driving social followers

EU Referendum Week 5 - Will turnout be decisive?

EU Referendum Week 6 - Is social data underrepresenting female opinion?

EU Referendum Week 7 - Time for the undecided voters to make their decision

EU Referendum Reflection - Age the deciding factor