Tasmanians are ready for the onslaught of election campaigning set to come their way via social media according to new research revealing the number of Tasmanians using social media to stay up-to-date with news and current affairs has doubled in the past three years.
In 2011, only 36 per cent of Tasmanians were using social media for news and information jumping by another half to 55 per cent in 2013 according to the latest research from the Font Public Relations 2013 Social Media Index.
While social media is an effective tool for politicians to connect with Tasmanians, they will have their work cut out for them in an effort to gain the trust and respect of their constituents if the Index is anything to go by.
The research revealed that trust was the biggest barrier for politicians, with only 36 per cent of Tasmanians saying they trust members of parliament on social media.
Never before have Tasmanians been so engaged in social media and never before have politicians saturated platforms with online election campaigning as they will in the lead up to the September 7 election.
More than half the State’s population is now using social media for news and information purposes, so there is no doubt they will be using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to source information about politicians and their policies.
When it comes to deciding who gets the votes the real influencers would be friends and family, who gained 82 per cent of Tasmanians’ trust on social media.
That means peer-to-peer recommendation will be key for politicians in connecting with their Tasmanian constituents, with many trusting and relying on family and friends for information, over the politicians themselves.
Politics is a minefield for many and trying to figure out whose policy is better can be time consuming, confusing and often overwhelming, so many will ask for policy opinions from friends and family as they feel they will get an honest response with no political jargon.
If politicians want to establish this same connection, they need to use social media to personalise their campaigns and give clear and concise messages to the public about what it is they are going to do and why they deserve the vote of Tasmanians.
For a copy of the 2013 Font Social Media Index click here.