Election 2013: Bersani, Monti and Berlusconi challenge each other on Twitter

by | Feb 19, 2013 | Social Media

Home 9 Social Media 9 Election 2013: Bersani, Monti and Berlusconi challenge each other on Twitter

Twitter is the battleground of the upcoming elections. Pierluigi Bersani, Silvio Berlusconi, Mario Monti, Beppe Grillo, Antonio Ingroia, and Oscar Giannino are increasingly using the web as a ground for confrontation and especially confrontation before the elections. Social networks have taken the place of the old political grandstanding, and party leaders are trying their hand, some more breezily and some more awkwardly, with the new media.

The leaders’ spin doctors are the puppet masters who from behind the scenes maneuver every action of the actors playing on the political stage. And woe betide the wrong tweet: on the web, rumors run fast, and a small gaffe is immediately amplified and can shift thousands of votes. Barack Obama was a master at using social media during the campaign and was elected president of the United States for the second time partly because of the web because he adapted to the language of the online channel and used it to make his agenda well understood.

Italian politicians have also tried to exploit the network, but with results that have seemed rather clumsy. Grillo is perhaps the politician who has managed to make the best use of the web to gain support even though, from a participatory tool as it was meant to be in the beginning, he has little by little turned it into a unidirectional channel to get the message of guru Casaleggio across. Renzi was also presenting himself as a social candidate, but Facebook was not enough for him to win the primary against an opponent representing the more traditional left. If we look instead at the three leaders who have a real chance of gaining an influential place within the next government, it seems that out of fear they are playing hide-and-seek and damage control. The only one who perhaps tried to use social media to communicate to voters was Monti, who stepped down from his desk to tweet, but then made the mistake of responding only to journalists and not to ordinary citizens.

Interactions on social are growing in recent days, however, mostly due to candidate staffs, and even before projections and exit polls, analysts are measuring voter intentions through likes and retweets. According to statistics from the Ecce agency in collaboration with the Turin daily La Stampa, Grillo is depopulating on Facebook, while the most successful pages are those of the minor parties, the 5 Star Movement, Civil Revolution and Fare per fermare il declino.

On Twitter, the Pd is the only party to gain ground among those actually running for government. In contrast, among party leaders it is Bersani who is holding his own against Grillo and Giannino in recent weeks and is being rewarded by Twitter hashtags where #italiagiusta is in first place after also surpassing #tsunamitour.

In addition to popularity, from analyses of Twitter streams it is also possible to see how relationships between politicians are perceived in this complex web of alliances that change like the wind. In the diagram made by the Turin-based La Stampa newspaper with the Tycho platform, the most pronounced line is between Bersani and Berlusconi because the challenge to become premier is for all intents and purposes between the two of them and thus the names are frequently pitted against each other. In second place are those linking these two candidates with Monti, who could be the needle in the electoral contest. Finally, a thick line strangely connects former Missino Fini with liberal Giannino.

We have already entered the last week of campaigning. Voting will take place on February 24 and 25, and until then it will be a war to the last tweet.

Luigi Nervo

Luigi Nervo

Digital Marketing Manager

Marketing, Seo and content expert (read the bio).

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Luigi Nervo

Luigi Nervo

Digital Marketing Manager

Marketing, Seo and content expert (read the bio).