Social media pivotal in Moving Forward Party’s election victory, experts say

Video clips of famous politicians on TikTok, Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

The 2023 election results have highlighted the significant role social media played in the Moving Forward Party‘s victory, as digital agencies and communication experts emphasise the importance of appealing content and social media engagement.

It has become evident that social media is not just an alternative channel for election campaigns, but a mainstream media channel, reaching 85% of the population, with Thai citizens spending an average of eight hours daily on these platforms, according to Pawat Ruangdejworachai, CEO of creative digital agency Media Intelligence.

The Moving Forward Party’s popularity on social media translated into real votes, demonstrating the effectiveness of organic online trends driven by party supporters who shared and created content for their election campaigns. Pawat Ruangdejworachai stated, “For the first time, this approach was able to win over traditional election campaigners who spent money to buy votes in many areas. The election outcome in Bangkok and major cities reflected this result.”

In this election, the phrase “content is king” took on new significance, with clear and consistent communication of policies being crucial to gaining voter support. Social media served as a tool to connect with potential voters, and the winning party targeted specific user profiles with tailored language styles.

The Moving Forward Party participated in policy debates on various platforms, with discussions and campaigns shared on social media to reach a wide audience, including young people and baby boomers who began using social media after the pandemic. Social media facilitated viral marketing through organic political supporters and the sharing of subtle messages to discredit the opposition.

However, Pawat Ruangdejworachai emphasised that “policy or content is the backbone of everything. Even with heavy use of social media, success cannot be guaranteed if the product is not good enough.”

Mana Treelayapewat, vice president of the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, highlighted the importance of combining social media with offline channels, event roadshows, and strong policies for a successful election campaign. He also noted the increased diversity and fragmentation of social media channels in this election compared to the last.

A key feature of this election was user-generated content, with political supporters creating and sharing impactful policy content for their preferred party. Additionally, the spread of fake news and misinformation was less powerful, as supporters and fans helped clarify false information concerning their favourite parties.

Ultimately, the success of the Moving Forward Party in the 2023 election demonstrates the importance of clear policies and effective communication of campaigns to targeted groups, with social media playing a crucial role in connecting with voters and sharing appealing content, reports Bangkok Post.

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