The Social Media Paradox Explained: Comparing Political Parties’ Facebook Strategy Versus Practice (2/61)

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Political parties’ interaction strategy and practice on Facebook is the topic of this article. Political parties and individual politicians can use social media to bypass media and communicate directly with voters through websites and particularly social media platforms such as Facebook. But previous research has demonstrated that interaction on social media is challenging for political parties. This study examines the disparity between interaction strategy and online responsiveness and finds that political parties identify three clear disadvantages when communicating with voters online: online reputation risk, negative media attention, and limited resources. In addition, the authenticity requirement many parties adhere to is creating a “social media interaction deadlock,” which is increasing the disparity between the parties’ expressed strategy and online performance. This study compares major and minor political parties’ interaction strategy during the 2013 national election in Norway and combines interviews of political communication directors with an innovative method to collect Facebook interaction data.

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Written by Parker Collignon


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