Power, politics and social media

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Power, politics and social media

How do the 10 most powerful people in Australia in 2019 use social media?

The 2019 AFR Magazine’s Power Issue published on 4 October lists the top 10 most powerful people in the country – six politicians, two regulators, the Chair of the ABC and a tech leader/social activist.

Interestingly six of the ten were new to the list this year with Bill Shorten, Kenneth Hayne, Mathias Cormann, Sally McManus, Chris Bowen and Tony Abbott bowing out for Gladys Berejiklian, Philip Lowe, Anthony Albanese, Mike Cannon-Brookes, Jacqui Lambie and Ita Buttrose.

Having searched each of the top ten’s social media footprint, it is clear the politicians are the leaders in the use of these ‘owned’ communications channels.

Scott Morrison the most powerful person in the country as rated by the AFR, is also the clear leader in social media use and following – 96k+ Linkedln followers, 200k+ Twitter followers and 205k Facebook followers. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese (#5) does not have a LinkedIn profile, has 171k Twitter followers, and 112k+ Facebook followers. The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (#2) doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile either, has 51k Twitter followers and 25k+ Facebook followers. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has 73k Twitter followers and 39k Facebook followers.

Senator Jacqui Lambie (#8) is big on Facebook with 277k+ followers. She is also well represented on Twitter (45k+ followers) and LinkedIn (500+ connections & 3278 followers).

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (#3) has 8k followers on LinkedIn, 29k followers on Twitter and 35k+ followers on Facebook.

Tech guru and social activist Mike Cannon-Brookes (#7) has a modest social media footprint which belies his Australian and international profile. He has tweeted 12,500 times so he is a proactive social media communicator. The head of ABC Ita Buttrose (#10) has a Twitter following of 64k. She only follows 66 people/organisations.

Regulators Philip Lowe (#4) and Rod Sims (#9) do not appear to be on social media at all. Is it an occupational hazard in their roles leading the RBA and ACCC? It should be noted that Rod Sims uses the traditional media so well he probably does not need to use social media channels.

So why are politicians such avid users of social media? Lyfe Marketing sums it up well:

  • Your customers are on social media – Sensis 2018 Yellow Social media Report noted that almost eight in 10 Australians (79%) now use social media, which is 10 points higher than 2017.
  • Consumers will be more receptive to your messages when marketing through social media - Salmat’s 2018 Marketing Report notes that positive online reviews are one of the main reasons for brand loyalty.
  • Different social media channels help you reach specific audiences - Another benefit of social media marketing is that you are able to strategically target different audiences based on the channels that your brand is active on.
  • Marketing through social media is cost effective - Most of your social media results will come from investing time in creating and publishing content as well as having conversations with your fans and followers.

Politicians and power-seekers would do well to bear the age of their intended audience in mind when using social media. Roy Morgan research found that while social media is a massive source of news for Gen Z (58.6%) it is a key source of news for just 7.3% of pre-boomers. And only 4.3% of Australians consider social media their most trusted source of news. Nevertheless, the influence of social media is clearly growing by the day.

Final comment. What happened before social media? The answer: “It’s Time”.

Published: 21/10/2019 Author: Tags: Back to News