Saturday, 7 February 2015

The Tories £100,000+ per month Facebook fail

In January 2015 the website Political Scrapbook revealed how the Tories had blasted over £144,000 on Facebook advertising in November 2014 alone, shortly afterward the story also appeared in Private Eye magazine. Within a week or so the mainstream press picked up on Private Eye's story and more revelations about the Tories lavish Facebook spending appeared on the Guardian, Mirror, Independent, BBC and various other news platforms.

That the Tories can spend waste over £100,000 per month trying to buy Facebook popularity illustrates the fact that they have amassed such a vast election war chest from the rogues gallery of bankers, private health companies and hedge funds that bankroll their party. Their wealthy backers have pumped so much cash into the Tory party that they will easily outspend all of the other political parties combined in order to try to win the 2015 General Election.

Even though this extraordinary spending on buying Facebook likes illustrates the alarming financial advantage the Tories have over the other political parties, it's also a laughable waste of money.

The Tories may think that rapidly boosting the number of people who like their page to 342,000+ represents some kind of success, but it really isn't.

Even looking at the crude figures tells us that it's not that great. If the Facebook page of a guy like me (who has never even appeared in the mainstream press) can gather 134,000+ likes, then one might expect the wealthiest political party in the whole country to be able to do a little bit better than 342,000, especially since they've been 
 spending wasting tens of thousands of pounds per week on Facebook advertising and I haven't spent a single penny on it ever.

Judging a Facebook page by the crude number of followers it has is a very poor measure of popularity, especially since it is possible for pages to simply buy their likes from Facebook like the Tories have (the expensive way) or from "clickfarms" in Turkey or India like certain extreme-right pages do (the cheaper way).

A much better measure of Facebook popularity is the weekly number of interactions (the total number of likes, comments and shares on content from that page). On this measure my Another Angry Voice page easily beats the Conservatives. At the time of publication of my page has stimulated 46,164 interactions in the previous week to the Tories 30,199.

To get an even more accurate measure of a page's popularity we can divide the number of weekly interactions by the total number of followers to generate a percentage interaction rate, which gives us a rough measure of likely it is that the page content is going to be interacted with (basically how good it is).

The Tories percentage interaction rate is 30,199 divided by 342,379, which is 8.8%.

My weekly interaction rate is 46,164 divided by 134,102, which is 34.4%.

These figures show that despite the Tories spending wasting over £100,000 per month on Facebook advertising, people are still almost four times as likely to share content from some bloke from Yorkshire they've never even seen a photo of!

In the parlance of the Internet the fact that the Tories have blasted such a vast amount of money on trying to buy social media popularity is "a total fail" and it must raise the question of how they can be trusted to manage hundreds of billions of pounds on our behalf when they're so willing to squander their own money on such utterly pathetic efforts to fake their online popularity.

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