Honestly, is it not a bit old-fashioned to research the use of social media in election campaigns? No, says Jan-Hinrik Schmidt, because social networks are changing and so is (political) communication online. While platforms like studiVZ and wer-kennt-wen.de, which today seem like stone-age platforms, were used in the 2009 federal election campaign, now Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok are used, where communication practices are completely different. Continuous monitoring of social media use for election campaign communication is important in order to document long-term developments.
This study surveyed the candidates' activities on Facebook and Twitter. In future studies, the scope of the survey will be expanded to include Instagram and TikTok. The findings show that two thirds of all candidates for the 2021 federal election used social media, either Facebook or Twitter. One third of the candidates exclusively used Facebook; about five percent were exclusively active on Twitter.
Dr. Jan-Hinrik Schmidt