While budget time is always an interesting period to gauge who is saying what, we all know now that high volumes of content don’t necessarily mean high impact. Mylan Vu, senior account manager at Hotwire PR, analyses #Budget2016.
The #Budget2016 hashtag took flight in the days leading up to, during and after the budget announcement, and there was clearly no shortage of commentary on the various initiatives discussed.
But more importantly than looking at whose voice was the loudest among the social debate, I was curious to see which voices attracted the most social reactions (i.e. social shares) and were, therefore, most engaging.
Looking at the 20 #Budget2016 tweets with the most reactions, I noticed three distinct things:
- Education and healthcare are on everyone’s minds
While tax is always a hot topic, education and healthcare were the next most discussed areas of concern. The top two most engaging tweets, both by Adam Bandt, MP for Melbourne (@AdamBandt), criticised budget allocations in these fields, attracting high and fast volumes of shares online.
Though education and health aren’t new topics or hot issues when federal budget normally comes around, it is interesting to see this shared more commonly than issues like the economy, climate change, startups and innovation, and industries like mining.
This may not necessarily be a reflection of where voters’ priorities lie, though it does indicate a desire among Australians for either more discussion on education and healthcare, or a gap in the budget that other political parties, journalists, and voters have identified as being too big to overlook.
- Happy tweets don’t go viral
A perfect 20 out of 20 of the most engaging tweets had an either negative or sarcastic tone. This would be unsurprising for most in the marketing industry, who are familiar with controversy and entertainment often being of more interest to consumers than happy-go-lucky (but bland) content.
However, this trend and the stats to prove it simultaneously highlight the potential positive conversations happening around the country that aren’t being shared or publicised on social media.
Why is this important?
Particularly for brands or individuals looking to grow their profile through social, we have to continually remind ourselves that there is a time and place for different conversations. While you may post a positive story about your company’s growth that no one shares or clicks on, this doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t saying great things about your company on other channels.
In the same token, just because a particular negative comment goes viral online, does not mean your overall reputation among customers and peers has plummeted. With more channels arising every day, and with each starting to carve out their own place in the way consumers and businesses interact, each channels’ content and the reactions to that content should be assessed accordingly.
- Politicians are among the most engaging social influencers
CEOs, startup founders, and aspirational business leaders used to look to the likes of Bieber and Kanye for best practices on how to engage and influence a captive audience. More than ever, politicians are now stealing that limelight by embracing social media and becoming solid case studies for how to run integrated marketing campaigns, start and spread a hashtag (e.g. #BetterBudget), and create engaging content.
While I won’t go as far as to say politicians have made the budget exciting and sexy for the average consumer (at least not to the extent this has progressed in the US), they’ve definitely made milestones in translating what has traditionally been a very dry and convoluted conversation into valuable bite-size pieces of content that resonates with everyday Australians, on platforms they’re actually paying attention to.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – here’s the top 20 most engaging pieces of social content, as measured by Hotwire’s social listening tools, Listening Post and Pulsar, between April 29 and May 5: