Analysis: SNP’s staggering dominance of social media

From STV News: While the Nationalists have been clocking up votes, they have also accumulated hundreds of thousands of likes, followers and subscribers across social media.

No other Scottish political party comes close to matching their online influence.

As the readerships of newspapers continue to tumble, more and more Scots are learning of political developments not through traditional news stories written by journalists but from party press releases plus videos created by political propagandists.

Over the last two years the SNP has employed staff solely to create content for its online feeds. The investment is paying off by any measurement.

[Read full article on STV News website…]

Scotland: Research finds Scottish Greens and SNP are the most trusted parties on digital platforms

From The National: A new study by a team of Scottish academics has shown that the Scottish Greens and the SNP are the most trusted parties on the reliability of facts they present on the internet and social media, while the Scottish Conservatives are the least trusted.

The study by Professor Rita Marcella, research fellow Graeme Baxter and researcher Agnieszka Walicka explored public perceptions of the reliability of information presented online as “facts” by Scottish political parties.

It is the follow-up to the study they carried out about the referendum in 2014, which found that citizens were “generally sceptical about the reliability of information presented online as ‘the facts’ or ‘the truth’ by Better Together, Yes Scotland, and the main Scottish political parties”.

[Read full article on The National website…]

Social media is the new campaign front

From The Times: Party campaigners only used to worry about an “air war” and a “ground war” in an election. Those engaged in the air war attempted to shape broadcast, radio and print coverage. The ground war took place on the streets, with party foot soldiers taking part in canvassing, door-knocks, leafleting and get-out-the vote operations on polling day.

But no more. Over the past 15 years, a new and increasingly important front has opened up in the struggle for power — the cyberwar.

The widespread use of social media sites, and Facebook in particular (60 per cent of the UK population has an account), has become a fundamental and increasingly sophisticated feature of political campaigns.

“All parties now do digital — some better than others,” says Ana Langer, a senior lecturer in political communication at the University of Glasgow.

[Read full article on The Times website…]

How the Yes social media strategy helped SNP effect seismic change in Scottish politics

From The Herald: many people who were not professional politicians also used Twitter to express their opinions. Some 2.8 million twitter messages using #indyref from 145,000 separate accounts between January and September 2014 were collected and the content and the patterns of interaction were analysed. We found a huge discrepancy in activity levels between the Yes and No sides.

…The Yes campaign was… permissive. Its primary goal was securing a Yes vote and there was a similar focus on undecided voters. However, Yes Scotland believed that it had to build momentum from the ground up, harness the energies of supporters, enthuse new recruits and bring together lots of disparate groups in the attempt to create a national movement rather than fight a traditional election campaign.

The more loosely organised and grassroots orientated structure of the Yes campaign encouraged more people to channel their energies into a variety of activities including the use of social media.

[Read full article on The Herald website…]

Scotland: SNP politicians ‘most effective’ on social media

From The Scotsman: SNP politicians are “particularly effective” campaigners on social media with all 56 of the new Nationalst MPs using Twitter, research has found. It is now the most effective communication tool for politicians as it helps them engage with the younger generation, according to the firm behind the data says.


[Read full article on The Scotsman website…]