If you are wondering about social media use in March 31 and June 23 İstanbul elections, you will find everything in this article.

We can see that social media has become an indispensable point of election campaigns. Although social media use has reached certain point with 2017 Presidency elections I can easily say that March 31 and June 23 İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections were turning points for social media use.  At the end of this article, you will clearly see the whole picture and you will see that I am right.

Let’s remember memorable election campaign of Obama

Let’s go back in history to 2008. That year, Obama called an election for US Presidency. Barak Obama target was to reach young people. To do that, as you can guess, he thought that the most suitable platform would be social media and he entrusted his social media stage of election campaign to Chris Hughes, one of the founders of Facebook. Hughes has completed his job well by being legendary on social media.J He created a success story that can be accepted as an example for the world. Such that he turned Barack Obama’s website into a social media platform. On this website, 25k groups were formed, 160k blog posts were created and 18k hours video was uploaded to YouTube. Of course, I am not talking about the financial side 🙂

Familiarity of Ekrem İmamoğlu and Binali Yıldırım before candidate announcement

In March 31 and June 23 İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections, I believe that social media use has been a turning point. Because Ekrem İmamoğlu was not recognised as much as Binali Yıldırım and Binali Yıldırım was known by both parties. I must admit, I didn’t know Ekrem İmamoğlu until he was the candidate and I believed he had no chance against Binali Yıldırım. Of course to see how right I was about familiarity, I consulted to Google. Between  January, 01 2018 and December, 01 2018, when I searched “Ekrem İmamoğlu” and “Binali Yıldırım” on Google, I saw the results I was guessing.

 

After parties announced İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality election candidates, we saw that there was a large audience, who wanted to learn who Ekrem İmamoğlu was, searched him on Google as we can see from the graphs.

Social media use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Election is at the centre of the campaign!

When we look at social media numbers we can see that Ekrem İmamoğlu’s campaign centred social media to reach wider audience and this was the correct strategy. Because each social media channel has its own target audience and dynamics. Of course when I’m  saying that, I am not talking about what we see they are doing in offline world. If we go back to social media, when we review March 31 and June 23 campaigns of both candidates, you will be shocked when you see how social media use has become an important point.J If you are ready, let’s dive into the magical world of numbers.

Review of Social Media Followers of Candidates

Social media status of both candidates before İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality election

As you can guess, reaching to target audience and communicating your message in elections is the most crucial part. Have you ever wondered states of these candidates? To see social media use and development in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections, let’s see social media channels and number of followers of Ekrem İmamoğlu and Binali Yıldırım.

When we look at December, 01 2018 numbers, Binali Yıldırım had 2 social media accounts while Ekrem İmamoğlu had 4 social media accounts. But when we look at the number of followers, we can see that Binali Yıldırım had clear advantage.

ekrem binali social media

In short, each candidate started their own work based on the current situation before İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections. Do you want to know these numbers on March 31 and June 23? Then get ready 🙂 Here are some stricking numbers for social media use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections.

When we compare Ekrem İmamoğlu’s number of followers between December 1- March 31 and March 31 and June 23:

  • His growth on Facebook was 203% in 1st campaign and 197% in 2nd campaign.
  • His growth on Twitter was 301% in 1st campaign and 618% in 2nd campaign.
  • His growth on Instagram was 117,401% in 1st campaign and 1,104% in 2nd campaign.
  • He has earned 21,924 followers from 446 followers on YouTube with 4,815% growth. In the 2nd campaign, his followers increased from 21,924 to 342,345 with 1,462%.

When we look at Binali Yıldırım’s followers between December 1 and March 31:

  • His growth on Facebook was 14% in 1st campaign and 38% in 2nd campaign.
  • His growth on Twitter was 4% in 1st campaign and 11% in 2nd campaign.
  • His Instagram account was opened in May and number of followers was 912,433 on June 23.
  • His YouTube account was opened in May and number of followers was 142,664 on June 23.

Since these numbers say everything, I don’t need to comment on them 🙂

Channel Based Detailed Analysis

In İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality election, we have started our detailed analysis of social media use with number of followers. We have analysed, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube respectively.

Facebook Use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Election  

It is time to analyse Facebook works of our candidates. Before our analysis, I want to emphasise one thing. Instead of increasing number of followers on Facebook, it is important to increase number of likes, comments or shares of the content. Therefore, if followers do not interact even though there is high number of followers, this actually does not mean anything. Also, interaction parameter is important to measure success of content, communicating the message.  In this sense, I checked number of interactions of content shared by Ekrem İmamoğlu and Binali Yıldırım.

Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Facebook share results

Let’s check Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Facebook account shares and interaction between March 1-31.

  • Total of 358 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 12 contents per day.
  • Average like per content was 14,415.
  • Average number of shares were 1,576.
  • Average number of comments were 1,407.

If we look at the shares between June 1-23:

  • Total of 180 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 8 contents per day.
  • Average like per content was 37,215.
  • Average number of shares were 4,165.
  • Average number of comments were 5,931.

As we can see, Ekrem İmamoğlu shared more content in March to express himself and his interaction rate was at certain level. As more concise content was shared in June, interaction is higher than March.

Binali Yıldırım’s Facebook share results

Let’s check Binali Yıldırım’s Facebook account shares and interaction between March 1-31.

  • Total of 341 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 11 contents per day.
  • Average like per content was 1,112.
  • Average number of shares were 133.
  • Average number of comments were 85.

If we look at the shares between June 1-23:

  • Total of 237 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 10 contents per day.
  • Average like per content was 6,495.
  • Average number of shares were 813.
  • Average number of comments were 642.

Although Binali Yıldırım shared almost the same number of contents in March and June, there was significant difference between number of interactions. There were two main reasons for that: advertisement and target audience factor. It is possible to interpret these numbers differently but I will leave that up to you 🙂

Who effectively used Facebook groups in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections? 

I see Facebook groups as an important source to gather individuals with similar thoughts and ideas and make these people share content. This way, it is possible to reach individuals in these groups without advertisement. Well, who effectively used Facebook groups and how did they do it in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections? To see that I wrote and searched “Ekrem İmamoğlu” and “Binali Yıldırım” words on search bar of Facebook. I counted groups with these words. Results were:

  • Total of 90 groups were created with Ekrem İmamoğlu’s name.
  • There were total of 1,667,278 people in 90 groups.
  • “Ekrem İmamoğlu Social Media” had the highest number of members with 314,176 people.
  • Total of 19 groups were created with Binali Yıldırım’s name.
  • This 19 groups had total of 37,554 members.
  • “Binali Yıldırım” group had the highest number of members with 14,625 people.

 

Based on the numbers for Facebook use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections, I can only say that Ekrem İmamoğlu effectively used Facebook.

Twitter Use in İstanbul Elections

Yes, it is time for social media network that sets the agenda in Turkey.J As we can see from the number of followers, both candidates emphasised Twitter.  Although this platform has higher advertisement costs compared to Facebook and Instagram, both candidates reached a significant audience with advertisement on this platform. Followers of each candidate were trend topic every day. How about their content shared on Twitter?

Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Twitter share results

Let’s check Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Twitter account shares and interaction between 1-31 March.

  • Total of 394 tweets were shared.
  • This corresponds to 13 tweets per day.
  • Average like per content is 6,014.
  • Average number of RTs is 865.

If we look at the shares between 1-23 June:

  • Total of 199 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 9 contents per day.
  • Average like per content is 52,118.
  • Average number of RTs is 5,901.

Binali Yıldırım’s Twitter share results

Let’s check Binali Yıldırım’s Twitter account shares and interaction between 1-31 March.

  • Total of 767 tweets were shared.
  • This corresponds to 25 tweets per day.
  • Average like per content is 1,364.
  • Average number of RTs is 411.

If we look at the shares between 1-23 June:

  • Total of 369 tweets were shared.
  • This corresponds to 16 tweets per day.
  • Average like per content is 11,991.
  • Average number of RTs is 3,361.

If I should comment on Twitter use in İstanbul elections, we can see that both candidates wanted to reach as many as people they could in June. There is nothing to tell as we can see from the numbers.J

Instagram Use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Election

Instagram use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections were different from other social networks. You will understand what I am talking about when you see the numbers. Of course when I say that, especially when I view Instagram, I recommend considering target audience distinctions and comment accordingly.

Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Instagram share results

Let’s check Ekrem İmamoğlu’s Instagram account shares and interaction between 1-31 March.

  • Total of 259 content were shared.
  • This corresponds to 8 contents per day.
  • Average like per content is 37,487.
  • Average number of comments is 602.

If we look at the shares between 1-23 June:

  • Total of 199 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 9 contents per day.
  • Average like per content is 52,118.
  • Average number of comments is 5,901.

Binali Yıldırım’s Instagram share results

I did not consider this data as Binali Yıldırım did not have his own Instagram page on that date. But “Binali Yıldırım Communication Office” account shared contents. Number of followers was 105,496. But as I said, I did not consider this account as I only look at individual accounts.

When we look at shared content and interaction between 1-23 June:

  • Total of 369 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 16 contents per day.
  • Average like per content is 11,991.
  • Average number of comments is 3,361.

YouTube Use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Election

Do you know the most visited website in Turkey? According to Alexa ranking, as you have guessed, it is Google. What about the second one? The answer is YouTube. If we think that video consumption of internet users increase, we can see that YouTube is an important network. Additionally, you can reach to a wide audience from young people to old people. So, I believe YouTube is one of the most important channels.

Well, how was YouTube used in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality elections?

“Binali Yıldırım” account was opened in March. This account is being used actively since May. “Binali Yıldırım Communication Office” YouTube channel was opened 1 year ago. In March elections, this account was used for active communication. On the other hand, Ekrem İmamoğlu’s YouTube channel was opened in 2013. In both elections contents were shared via this account. However, since I only analysed “Binali Yıldırım” accounts, I did not consider March data shared on the other account.

Ekrem İmamoğlu’s YouTube share results

Let’s check Ekrem İmamoğlu’s YouTube account shares and interaction between 1-23 March.

  • Total of 72 contents were shared.
  • This corresponds to 3 contents per day.
  • Average view per video is 356,450.
  • Average number of comments is 261.

Binali Yıldırım’s YouTube share results

Let’s check Binali Yıldırım’s YouTube account shares and interaction between 1-23 March.

  • Total of 57 tweets were shared.
  • This corresponds to 2 tweets per day.
  • Average like per content is 312,533.
  • Average number of comments is 7.

As a result, in Social Media Use in İstanbul Metropolitan Municipality Election

I believe Ekrem İmamoğlu used his social media communication campaign to the centre of this campaign work and he actively used all social networks. After seeing the returns on social media in March, we can see that he emphasised social networks more for June 23 elections.  However, although Binali Yıldırım had an advantage in March elections, he was unable to sustain this advantage. I believe he failed to use social media at the centre of his election work.

In short, we can see that Ekrem İmamoğlu expressed himself to target audience with his communication campaign. It is possible to talk about it more but the numbers say it all. All I know is in the following elections, candidates will want to use the power of social media more.