Since June 2016, Penplusbytes has issued two Governance Social Media Index (GSMI) reports. The 1st Edition published on June 30th, provided a baseline data on the presence of Political party leaders, Political parties and election management bodies on Twitter and Facebook. The 2nd Edition issued on September 30th 2016 measured how the political parties and their candidates are using social media tools (using the June baseline) for their benefits ahead of the 2016 elections. This edition provides an assessment of which political parties and leaders have the most presence on social media and the level of their engagement as of 4th December 2016.
According to the 3rd GSMI report which is downloadable here, the largest opposition party’s leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, leads the pack of presidential candidates on Facebook with 1,253,452 likes which is an increase of over 200,000 more likes from the last report. President John Dramani Mahama followed in 2nd with 1,073,088 likes on Facebook which also indicates an increase of over 60,000 likes from the last report.
The 3rd GSMI has shown that the opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has over taken President John Dramani Mahama who led the pack of the presidential candidates in the 2nd edition of GMSI issued in September 30, 2016. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo gained more likes (272,395) as compared to that of President Mahama (65,493) in the last two months.
On the other hand, President John Dramani Mahama has a commanding lead on Twitter with 303,924 followers, followed by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with 119,725 followers. This lead on Twitter gives the President a clear opportunity to make the critical impact through his messages because of the wider audience at virtually no cost to him. Even though President Mahama leads on Twitter with 303,924 followers, the opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has engaged more with his constituents via Twitter with 5,372 tweets.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu II, “the report has shown that social media has become a normal and central form of communication for all segments of the population, particularly, political parties and their leaders who increasingly rely on this new media for constant engagement with their constituents because it provides direct, cheap platform, and a two-way information dissemination in real time about their programs ahead the 2016 Ghana elections.”
The report has further shown that all political party leaders are taking advantage of the real-time, two-way and cheap communication opportunities presented by social media to propagate their campaign messages in a very positive manner. The constant engagement with the youth who are the majority users of these platforms is very positive as it provides an opportunity for the youth to express themselves.
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