Significance of likes: Analysing passive interactions on Facebook during campaigning

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With more and more political candidates using social media for campaigning, researchers are looking at measuring the effectiveness of this medium. Most research, however, con-centrates on the bare count of likes (or twitter mentions) in an attempt to correlate social media presence and winning. In this paper, we propose a novel method, Interaction Strength Plot (IntS) to measure the passive interactions between a candidate's posts on Facebook and the users (liking the posts). Using this method on original Malaysian General Election (MGE13) and Australian Federal Elections (AFE13) Facebook Pages (FP) cam-paign data, we label an FP as performing well if both the posting frequency and the likes gathered are above average. Our method shows that over 60% of the MGE13 candidates and 85% of the AFE13 candidates studied in this paper had under-performing FP. Some of these FP owners would have been identified as popular based on bare count. Thus our per-formance chart is a vital step forward in measuring the effectiveness of online campaigning.




Khairuddin, M. A., & Rao, A. (2017). Significance of likes: Analysing passive interactions on Facebook during campaigning. PLoS ONE, 12(6).

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