Friday, July 12, 2019

No Contest: Data Reveals Boris Johnson Wins Social Media Engagement Battle

The Conservative party leadership contest is nearing the end. It is estimated that 72% of ballot papers have been returned and polls indicate that Johnson will win comfortably (Telegraph, 11 July 2019). I decided to take a look at how both Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are faring in terms of their social media engagement.


On Twitter Boris Johnson has 626,000 followers, over three times that of Hunt's 192,000. More importantly he has a much more engaged following. Johnson gets over 1,000 retweets on average each time he tweets, compared to just 104 for Hunt.


On Facebook Johnson has a more commanding lead. 14,500 people follow Hunt's Facebook page compared to 556,000 people following Johnson's page. This difference is also reflected in engagement with their posts.

As we can see below Jeremy Hunt, had 10,475 interactions with his Facebook posts in June.

By contrast Boris Johnson had 243,000 interactions with his Facebook posts in June.

Web articles

Between 1st May and 11th June there were 4,139  articles published about Jeremy Hunt or with his name in the headline. By contrast there were 17,230 articles published about Boris Johnson or with his name in the headline. This is not always good news for Boris Johnson as the most shared and liked articles have been negative, as we can see below.


As was to be expected Boris Johnson has dominated the Conservative Leadership campaign in terms of media and social media coverage. Johnson's social media dominance is most marked on Facebook. It has been reported by Bloomberg that Johnson spent £6,433 on Facebook ads between 2 July and 8 July compared to just £1,191 by Hunt. Thus it appears Johnson is actively consolidating his lead when it comes to Facebook reach. These ads will also be heavily targeted to likely Conservative Party members.

While not all coverage of Johnson is positive, indeed there has been much critical coverage, he has overwhelmingly won the battle for reach and engagement on social media. 

Note: all data was taken from BuzzSumo.