Power of posts: a quantitative analysis of Facebook election campaigning interactions

Khairuddin, M 2016, Power of posts: a quantitative analysis of Facebook election campaigning interactions, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Power of posts: a quantitative analysis of Facebook election campaigning interactions
Author(s) Khairuddin, M
Year 2016
Abstract Media reports and past studies consider social media a valuable campaigning channel for political parties and candidates, especially during an election. Most research on social media election campaigning is more qualitative than quantitative. The limited number of papers that discuss Facebook use data coming from western democratic countries such as the United States and the UK. This research is about finding ways of measuring the effectiveness of using Facebook Pages (FP) for election campaigning in the 2013 Malaysian (MGE13) and Australian (AFE13) elections, concentrating on the interactions that occur between the candidates' and the public (users). Initial observation on the dataset implies that based on the number of `like’, some posts are more attractive than others. To study what makes these posts more attractive, the research developed two new methods. The first method called (Passive) Interaction Strength Plot or P_IntS measures the performance of the FP by incorporating the variability of posting, as well as the probability of the posts gaining the appropriate number of likes, in line with the possibility that a candidate's posts could affect the number of likes received. The P_IntS reveals that many of the FP used by the candidate in the campaign have weak interactions and underperformed. The other method named Stickiness Level Chart or SLC, assesses the attractiveness of the FP by using the likelihood of the sticky posts being posts containing positive or negative sentiment. The SLC highlights that the stickiness of the FP does depend on the sentiment of the sticky posts, particularly for the AFE13 campaign. This research shows that including the properties of the posts in measuring FP interactions results in more reliable statistics than the bare counts. Besides being a tool for examining Facebook interactions, P_IntS and SLC have the potential of strategically guiding the use of social media in an election campaign.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Mathematical and Geospatial Sciences
Subjects Communication Technology and Digital Media Studies
Applied Mathematics not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Online election campaigning
Social media
Facebook pages
Control chart
Interaction Strength Plot
Stickiness Level Chart
Posts and likes
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Created: Thu, 12 Jan 2017, 10:50:25 EST by Adam Rivett
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