Penplusbytes is pioneering a Governance Social Media index in order to track the relevance and effective use of social media in the governance space.
The SMI report assesses and ranks the presence of political parties, political party leaders and key election management bodies in Ghana on social media by reviewing the number of followers and their level of engagement on Facebook and Twitter as of June 8th, 2016.
The report measures how key actors within Ghana’s political ecosystem use their social media platforms to reach out and engage target audiences and how this impacts their electoral fortunes and society.
According to the report which is downloadable here, President John Mahama is leading the pack of presidential candidates with 223,834 followers on twitter and 880,620 likes on Facebook. He is followed by the opposition leader, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo with 94,034 followers on twitter and 715,761 likes on Facebook. Both candidates have verified accounts with high engagements on their platforms.
On the political parties front, only four out of the 25 registered political parties have twitter handles. The New Patriotic Party (NPP) dominates on both Facebook and Twitter while the National Democratic Congress (NDC) follows in second place.
According to the Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Kwami Ahiabenu, II, the report has shown that politicians, political parties and some election management bodies in Ghana have adopted social media as a new method of reaching out to electorates with their message in addition to the traditional media. “With over 3 million Ghanaians on Facebook, the political parties who campaign online will no doubt have some great results come Election Day”, he added.
Ahead of and during the 2016 Ghana elections, Penplusbytes will be using this report to periodically monitor the impact of campaign messages on the electoral fortunes of political parties and their leaders as well as the impact of other election management bodies through social media.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.