Middlesbrough’s Local Elections: The Power of Social Media

Katie Dodshon

Katie Dodshon

May 09 • 3 minute read

After the recent local mayoral elections in Middlesbrough, we’ve been looking at how each candidate’s social presence played a part in their campaigns.

As a digital agency, we understand and appreciate the importance of a strong social media presence during any campaign, especially those involving essentially ‘winning over’ the people.

When targeting a community of people with similar interests to you, where is the best place to find them? Social media serves as a way to connect people whether this be a local community or even national. That’s why we’ve decided to look into the social media presence of each mayor candidate from the local election in Middlesbrough to see how this impacted their campaign.

The elected Mayor, Andy Preston, had an extremely strong social media presence and connected with his audience regularly via these channels, especially Facebook.

Preston made full use of his page “Tees Issues by Andy Preston” to share the plans he had if he was to be elected for Mayor during his campaign. Adding a real personal touch, Andy showed his audience issues around the area he was looking into using short videos and photos of him out and about in the community, interacting with locals and shedding light on how he plans to resolve certain issues picked up on in his campaign.

This type of content encourages supporters to share on their pages, therefore resulting in the post reaching a wider audience. If people share the promising plans a campaigner has to friends, they are likely to gain more support from the community.

Shifting our attention to Ken Hall, a candidate who didn’t induce social media campaigning, we’ve noticed a significant drop in votes.

When starting a campaign, the main aim is to get your message out there in the most efficient yet effective way possible. Reaching a large audience but still having a personal and conversational touch.

Of course, there are many factors which encourage/discourage votes and social media campaigns are just one element of a campaign, however it is important to understand the power of social media when reaching out to a wide number of people. The recent local election for us is a reflection of that.

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