Oct.19Social Media Engagement Facebook Types

For those who don’t know, Crowdbabble is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Our country is undergoing its 42nd elections today and it is one for the record books. It is one of the few elections in history where there has been an increase in voter turnout according to recently released advanced poll numbers.

Election 42 have been controversial in many other respects. Parties are accusing each other for all kinds of malicious tactics, but they all have one thing in common. They have taken to social media to engage and muster up Canadians, specifically the younger voters.

We created an elections social media analytics platform (free to the public) to monitor the Facebook pages of all the party leaders. We wanted to look at various trends and data points between the candidates.

We decided to investigate how users are engaging with the various types of Facebook content on each of the party leaders’ pages. All the data analyzed was collected from the start of the campaign period to October 11th.

Elizabeth May – Green Party

Let’s start with Elizabeth May, who is the leader of the Green Party of Canada. She is in a unique position whereby she is not often seen in the public eye, in particular the debates, but still manages to be a well respected politicians among many Canadians. Because of her lack of spotlight on the campaign trail, she has to rely more on social media to get her voice out.


May’s Facebook followers are engaging with the posts a bit differently. The most likes and comments go for the videos, but it doesn’t have as many shares. Links also perform well in a similar fashion as the videos. Photos do not receive as many likes but performs reasonably well, where she receives up to 500 likes per post.


A total of 215 posts made by May’s Facebook page through the election period up until October 11. What’s interesting is that May’s Facebook page mostly used photos in their Facebook status updates, but was ranked third for the engagement. Only 31 videos were posted, but they received the highest engagement out of all her content. Links were also shared and made up of 23% of the posts made, but gained the second highest engagement for likes, comments and shares.

Tom Mulcair – NDP Leader & Incumbent Lead Opposition Party

Moving on to Tom Mulcair. The engagement distribution is almost the opposite of the May’s. Mulcair’s engagement numbers are driven by status updates, nearly a thousand people have liked his non-content attached updates. Photos also have a high engagement rate but it is shared nearly the same rate as the photos and videos. Photos and videos not shared by Muclair’s followers as prominently as the other posts. Videos have almost 30% less like engagement than photos. Links are also not liked as much as statuses and photos, but compares close to video. Comments are more or less the same across all the media types.


Mulcair managed to have 548 post updates with all types of media. Here is where it gets interesting. Mulcair had only 3 status updates, but it received highest engagement. Photos made up of nearly half of the posts Mulcair’s page produced. Videos made up the least and links were a close third but a distant second. Despite this, the status updates received the highest engagement in terms of likes. We can only speculate about the strategy that his team is working on but it appears they may be missing a key piece to Mulcair’s social media strategy. In addition, none of us posts made it past the 1000 likes on average.


Prime Minster Stephen Harper – Conservative Party

Onwards to the incumbent majority leader, Prime Minister Stephen Harper. His Facebook page has 238,952 followers.


The engagement of his followers seem to be fairly consistent across all media types. The distribution for each media type follows the same engagement when divided across the types of engagement, likes, comments and shares. Likes lead the charge with comments are the lowest form of engagement. It seems that no matter what Harper posts, about 2.5-3k people are going to like it and less than a 500 are going to comment with another 500 or so will share the post to their friends on Facebook.

Stephen Harper Media Mix Facebok Election Canada Content

Compared to Mulcair, Harper’s Facebook page made less posts. A total of 416 posts were made, with 303 alone dedicated to photos. At a distant second, videos were posted 88 times with links and status rounding out the bottom. This is an interest phenomena in that no matter what the post, the type of engagement received on Harper’s page is relatively similar across all types.

My guess is that because Harper is the incumbent, this may reflect the nature of regular engagement received by Harper on his Facebook page albeit slightly more because of the elections. The followers are not just die hard Conservatives, but also represent the opposition.

I’m also surprised comments are low. I would expect a lot of commenting, leading to debate on his posts, given that the majority of voting Canadians do not support Harper’s Conservatives. Either way, social media engagement for Harper doesn’t appear to be an issue for Harper, the engagement on average is the same. Harper has been known to target areas in rural areas with a loyal following and many of these individuals are not on social media… yet. This will of course change in the future as more of the population logs in from rural areas using smartphones.

Justin Trudeau – Liberal Party of Canada

Our last candidate is Justin Trudeau. In case you haven’t noticed, the post was organized by number of page likes.  Trudeau has the most page likes with 354 678 fans on his page. He has 100 000 likes more than Harper on the fan page, but how does that translate to engagement?

Justin Trudeau Election Canada Media Content 2015

Trudeau has the highest status update engagement out of any of the candidates and in a distant second, photos, followed by videos then links. The photos and videos do not receive the same kind of engagement as his status updates do. Links round off the bottom with about a thousand likes for each of them. Trudeau’s media mix distribution follows the same sort of pattern as Mulcair, but overall has a higher engagement rate on each post with at least 1000 people liking his posts. However, on average still lower than Harper.

In total, Trudeau’s page used 443 posts, but has the highest number of statuses shared when compared to the other candidates. Photos and videos were shared evenly with 182 posts each, with 63 links shared on Trudeau’s page.

Justin Trudeau Media Content Distribution Election Canada 2015

Both Harper and Trudeau shared a similar number of statuses and it represented the highest engagement . Both front runners of the election relied on barebone statuses to build more engagement. Trudeau did better where on average garnered  3 500 likes, but this can also be due to his larger follower base. Trudeau lags behind Harper when comparing the type of media used, like photos and videos to engage with his followers. http://www.crowdbabble.com/blog/types-of-facebook-media-shared-by-canadian-parties/Harper’s followers engage more consistently with photos, videos and links. On the whole, Trudeau under performed when compared to Harper despite successes in some instances.

Harper has a tendency to use more negative style of attacks which has the potential to be shared and discussed more often than other forms of campaigning ads. Again it might have something to do with how Harper is the incumbent, so his engagement could naturally be higher by virtue of being Prime Minister.

Even so, Trudeau and his Liberals are currently leading the polls and it seems his message is capturing the attention of people online. We’ll find out later tonight, but it’s looking like a Trudeau minority government.

Now, I’m not ignoring May’s Facebook page, but her footprint doesn’t stand out when comparing the data to the “Big 3”. I hope in  future years, the Greens can refine their strategy to gain a foothold in the social media realm of elections because proportionally, they have a more devoted fan base and policies comparable to both the NDP and newly popular Liberals.

Our next post will be about May’s Twitter account. Stay tuned.