Dubbed the crisis election, or the Covid-19 polls, Singapore held GE2020 on 10 July 2020, her most significant General Election since independence.
With physical rallies out of the question, political parties were forced to step out of their comfort zone and engage in virtual rallies in the new normal. We took a look at how the four biggest political parties in Singapore managed their virtual campaigning efforts between 23 June 2020 to 10 July 2020, within the cyberspace.
Who were the winners, losers, and ballers on social media and digital? We did some homework and put together some GE2020 statistics for you.
PAP: 4,200 web visitors
Top 5 searches: carrie wong, lee hsien loong, teo heng, merdeka generation, and heng swee keat.
Top 5 pages:
WP: 2.100 web visitors
Top 5 searches: wp online, hougang smc, medishield life, cpf life, and hdb parking.
Top 5 pages:
PSP: 1,300 web visitors, with a sharp spike in visitors on 7 and 8 July.
Top 5 searches: tan cheng bock, pofma, spotlight, active sg, and tanjong pagar.
Top 5 pages:
SDP: 285 visitors
Top 5 searches: google singapore news, tan kin lian, inflation rate singapore, aware singapore, and cpf contact.
Top 5 pages:
👑 Political party with the most website visitors: PAP
PAP: 206,930 page likes. Average growth rate 6.84%
WP: 137,479 page likes. Average growth rate 21.68%
PSP: 41,057 page likes. Average growth rate 22.50%
SDP: 71,916 page likes. Average growth rate 11.86%
👑 Political party with the most Facebook Page Likes: PAP
👑 Political party with the fastest Facebook Page Likes growth rate: PSP
PAP: 39,600 followers. Average growth rate 29.56%
WP: 34,700 followers. Average growth rate 247.41%
PSP: 12,300 followers. Average growth rate 180.87%
SDP: 4,790 followers. Average growth rate 87.48%
👑 Political party with the most Instagram followers: PAP
👑 Political party with the fastest Instagram followers growth rate: WP
PAP: 3,730 subscribers. 928,327 views
WP: 11,200 subscribers. 3,401,309 views
PSP: 9,830 subscribers. 2,013,117 views
SDP: 8,510 subscribers. 3,312,095 views.
👑 Political party with the most Youtube views: WP
Posts: 221 posts
Interactions: 272.8K interactions (217K reactions, 33.7K comments, 22.1K shares)
Posts: 132 posts
Interactions: 504.3K interactions (412K reactions, 30.8K comments, 61.5K shares)
Posts: 102 posts
Interactions: 236.9K interactions (166K reactions, 30.7K comments, 40.2K shares)
Posts: 175 posts
Interactions: 180.8K interactions (142K reactions, 14.2K comments, 23.6K shares)
👑 Political party with the most Facebook posts: PAP
👑 Political party with the highest engagement rates on Facebook: WP
Interactions: 70.3K interactions (68.4K likes, 1.9K comments)
Interactions: 93.9K interactions (992.5K likes, 1.4K comments)
Interactions: 24.1K interactions (23.6K likes, 551 comments)
Interactions: 11.6K interactions (11.4K likes, 205 comments)
👑 Political party with the most Instagram posts: PAP
👑 Political party with the highest engagement rates on Instagram: WP
👑 Political party with the most YouTube videos: PAP
👑 Political party with the most YouTube interactions: PSP
PAP: Lunchtime rally live video (8,483 interactions - 4,916 reactions, 2,699 comments, 868 shares)
WP: WP Make Your Vote Count (21,724 interactions - 15,527 reactions, 854 comments, 5,343 shares)
PSP: Lee Hsien Yang on not contesting in GE2020 (10,047 interactions - 6,245 reactions, 477 comments, 3,325 shares)
SDP: Website unveiling (7,427 interactions - 6,029 reactions, 699 comments, 699 shares)
👑 Most popular GE2020 Facebook post: WP Make Your Vote Count (see below)
Our party members share how our walk with Singapore continues this General Election. Make your vote count. #GE2020 For...
PAP: Lee Hsien Loong GE2020 Lunchtime Rally (3.4K interactions - 3.2K likes, 255 comments)
WP: Workers' Party Manifesto for the Youth (9.5K interactions - 9.3K likes, 167 comments)
PSP: Did You Know - Dr Tan's free parking policy(3.9K interactions - 3.8K likes, 39 comments)
SDP: Dr Tan and Professor Paul fist bump(549 interactions - 544 likes, 5 comments)
👑 Most popular GE2020 Instagram post: Workers' Party Manifesto for the Youth (see below)
PAP: PAP Manifesto 2020 - with Sign Language (261 interactions - 196 likes, 60 dislikes, 5 comments)
WP: The Workers' Party GE2020: Make Your Vote Count (3,133 interactions - 3,046 likes, 66 dislikes, 21 comments)
SDP: Dr Chee clarification - I’ve dedicated my life fighting for these matters, fighting for our rights and for us to be heard (1,718 interactions - 1,493 likes, 56 dislikes, 169 comments)
👑 Most popular video: Lee Hsien Yang - No more blank cheques and VOTE fearlessly
SDP: 44 paid ads between 23 June 2020 to 9 July 2020, totalling to $111,196.
PSP: No paid ads during campaign period, but the party ran ads regarding POFMA in December last year for $318.
👑 Biggest baller: SDP
Dr Tan Cheng Bock
Dr Chee Soon Juan
Dr Jamus Lim
He Ting Ru
Dr Paul Tambyah
👑 Most popular opposition politician (by search volume): Nicole Seah
👑 Most popular Singapore opposition politician on Facebook: Dr Tan Cheng Bock
👑 Most popular Singapore opposition politician on Instagram: Jamus Lim
One way to capture the attention of your audience is to be relatable. Speak your audience's lingo.
Despite his age, Dr Tan Cheng Bock, the 80-year-old politician, is crushing it on social media by speaking his young voters' language.
He captured the hearts of young voters by revealing his knowledge of "Hypebeast" and "Woke".
View this post on Instagram
Thank you for the responses. I will try to reply all of you. Please do something for me and send me a video of why you love singapore. My men said you can send through private message on Instagram. I will look at all your videos. Help me ok.Thank you. My woke Friend @victhortan is with me.
View this post on Instagram
Good morning to my online friends @monicabaey @wendgoh @xxnli @ashposed @fj.az @charlenesu. My other friend @pardonmyfrxnch taught me a new word. It’s called WOKE. I just woke up but it’s not the same meaning. I know...if you see me at a walkabout today, say hi and tell me im WOKE. But I might forget because it’s a new word. See you at Bishan today.
"People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic" - Seth Godin.
While being a credible candidate and having a sound manifesto are important, telling stories that connect with your audience is also important.
Watch the following two videos of Jamus Lim and Nicole Seah telling their stories.
We are all shaped by the visible and invisible forces that we experience in life. One important influence that has made me the man that I am today was my father. He embodied a unique attitude, humility, and wisdom in confronting life, and in seeking a life in public service, I hope that I carry with me those values day after day--as he did.
Posted by Jamus Lim on Friday, June 26, 2020
It has been a long journey but it also feels like it has just begun. Thank you for being there for me. It’s my turn to be there for you. #MakeYourVoteCount #GE2020 #WorkersParty #TrueBlueSG
Posted by Nicole Seah 佘雪玲 on Saturday, July 4, 2020
These two videos went viral and had high engagement rates. It shows that you don't need a big budget to have high engagement rates. You just need certain elements in your story:
Jamus Lim and Nicole Seah's videos that we've shared above are good examples of videos (and photos) that are authentic, yet lightweight in production.
The videos were shot in their homes, with the two candidates in their casual wear. Effective videos don't require high budget and professional settings.
Another politician, PAP's Tin Pei Ling, is a savvy social media user. She endears herself to her voters by producing different types of lightweight content.
Yesterday while visiting Geylang East residents, I met furbaby Kenta and family! ☺️ Kenta is a familiar face in the neighbourhood
Posted by Tin Pei Ling 陈佩玲 on Sunday, July 5, 2020
Content that shows you she listens and takes actions:
Footpath & Noise Barrier (akan datang!). Over time, we have been listening and fighting to address the needs of our residents. We will continue to do so. #CentralGrove #TreResidence #MacPhersonSMC #MacPherson
Posted by Tin Pei Ling 陈佩玲 on Monday, July 6, 2020
Met uncle Lee again at his home. He is the 80 yr old uncle who cried to me after losing his job to the pandemic, as he...
We all make mistakes.
When Raeesah Khan was reported for her insensitive comments on social media about certain race and religion, she and The Workers' Party apologized for it. They didn't avoid the issue.
Similarly, companies sometimes make mistakes too. They get negative online reviews for it. What companies shouldn't do is to avoid those negative reviews. They should reply to those reviews properly and honestly - it will show the public that they listen to feedback, and have a plan to improve on it.
Jamus Lim is no doubt one of the standout stars of GE2020. As you can see in this Google Trends graph, which measures relative popularity of a search query, Jamus is the most popular politician, compared to other prominent opposition politicians, like Nicole Seah, Tan Cheng Bock, Pritam Singh, and Chee Soon Juan.
One of the main reasons for his surge in popularity (other than the fact that he did very well during the live debate session) is he produced many memorable quotes during GE2020.
These quotes gave him more visibility and media coverage on social media and traditional media.
GE2020 has shown that virtual campaigns do work, and may soon overshadow physical rallies.
Social media marketing has been proven to be a key strategy that political parties and personalities can use to gain visibility and convey their message. Those who could leverage social media marketing well seem to do better than their less savvy counterparts.
Dr Chee Soon Juan has seen a surge in popularity amongst younger voters, especially after his interview with social media personality, Prettipls, was released. Similarly Dr Tan Cheng Bock and Jamus Lim, whose memorable quotes such as "hypebeast" and "warms the cockles of our heart" have been meme-ed, have also experienced the rippling network effect that allowed their message to be amplified to multi-faceted audiences.
It's time for political parties to embrace the new future within the digital age.