"Three Attitudes to 140 Characters The Use and Views of Twitter in Political Party Communications in Sweden"

Marie Grusell, Lars Nord

Abstract


Abstract
Digital media in general, and social media in particular, are a distinctive feature of contemporary election campaign strategies. This article adds to the on going discussion of the political power of social media by exploring political party strategies behind the usage of social media. In this study we specifically focus on Twitter (a micro blog) during the latest National Election Campaign in Sweden in 2010. The study exams the degree and character of Twitter usage among parties and prominent party members, and relates content to the declared communication strategies regarding the role of Twitter in the campaign. Methodologically, the paper is based on a quantitative content analysis of all party tweets and on personal interviews with all party campaign managers. The results show
campaign purposes. However, the content analysis confirms only a modest party use of Twitter messages and Twitter patterns where messages are most often related to current news media activities and are of a one-way character, with more focus on information dissemination than on interactive dialogue with voters.

Keywords


Twitter, strategic political communication, election campaigns, digital media, Sweden

Full Text:

PDF