Facebook Corbyn

If you have any spare time on your hands and fancy getting involved in an online row with someone then the best way to start the ball rolling is to criticise Jeremy Corbyn.

It’s really easy – just go on to Facebook and say something mean or uncharitable about the current leader of the Labour Party and sooner rather than later someone will have a go back at you.

I recently tried it myself and decided to take part in what I thought was a reasoned conversation with a friend on Facebook on Labour’s policies.

Within a matter of minutes Corbynistas were lining up to take pot shots at me and anyone who dared to agree with my points.

It is becoming very obvious that Corbyn’s supporters see social media as the best way of circumventing the traditional press to get the message out.

Even though Labour has tried to seize the political high-ground with a manifesto which actually puts the  focus on policies rather than repeating the same mantra over and over again Corbyn’s supporters still can’t resist when it comes to lecturing and hectoring.

It goes without saying that most of the national papers are going to give the leader of the opposition a rough ride during the General Election campaign but politicians have long been wise to the fact that social media is the best way to speak directly to potential supporters.

The relationship between Donald Trump and the traditional heavyweight press in the US can best be described as strained. And the leader of the free world has clearly decided the best way to win over the electorate is on Twitter rather than through the columns of the New York Times and Washington Post.

The rationale makes perfect sense, after all any politician would prefer to talk directly to potential voters rather than have their message filtered by a newspaper with an axe to grind.

Musicians, entertainers and sports stars caught on years ago, after all why bother with those nasty and annoying critics when you go straight to your fans.

What’s more if you use social media as a marketing tool then your costs are going to be far lower than traditional methods.

A few years ago UKIP supporters were bombarding forums, news sites and social media sites with their comments and this time around it is the turn of the Corbynistas.

There are several Facebook pages out there devoted to Corbyn which have thousands of followers.  And there is also a small army of commentators sitting at their keyboards or on their phones ready to take on anyone who wants to criticise their beloved leader.

It doesn’t take long to spot a common thread and the same arguments and points keep recurring.  Express any doubts about Labour’s policies and strategies and sooner or later you are likely to be accused of believing the lies of the right-wing press.

There is also a complete lack of any doubt surrounding the policies of Corbyn and his inner circle and that is where the problem lies.

One of the great strengths of using social media as a communication tool is the fact that you can have a two way conversation and swap ideas and exchange views.

Experience has shown that hard sell on social media simply does not work. People view their Facebook and Twitter as their own private domain and the last thing they want is spam or advertising in their inbox.

Nobody likes being lectured at and even less so on user friendly forums such as Facebook.

All of this goes to show that having a social media strategy only really works effectively when you get the delivery right as well as the message.

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