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Tuesday, 2nd December 2014

UK: Like, Share, Vote

Source: Demos (UK)

Across Europe, low voter turnout in European and national elections is a growing concern. Many citizens are disengaged from the political process, threatening the health of our democracies. At the same time, the increasingly prominent role that social media plays in our lives and its function as a new digital public space offers new opportunities to reengage non-voters.

This report explores the potential for social media to support efforts to get out the vote. It lays out which groups need to be the focus of voter mobilisation efforts, and makes the case for using social media campaigning as a core part of our voter mobilisation efforts. The research draws on a series of social media voter mobilisation workshops run by Demos with small third sector organisations in six target countries across Europe, as well as expert interviews, literature review and social media analysis.

Having affirmed the need for and utility of social media voter turnout efforts, Like, Share, Vote establishes key principles and techniques for a successful social media campaign: how to listen to the digital discourse of your audience, how to use quizzes and interactive approaches, how to micro-target specific groups and how to coordinate offline events with online campaigns. This report concludes that, with more of our social and political lives taking place online than ever before, failing to use social media to reinvigorate our democracy would be a real missed opportunity.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »



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