Teal independents stimulate greater online engagement than liberals

According to the new data, far more people are accessing the websites of independent candidates from the blue than the websites of their liberal counterparts.

The Similarweb web traffic measurement platform analyzed the traffic to the running independent websites Kooyong, Wentworth, Goldstein, North Sydney and Mackellar.

Overall, independents are receiving far more visitors than incumbents, particularly in April, which saw an increase in web traffic to independent websites. The elections were called on April 14th.

Analysis of the data shows that in April the website of Wentworth Allegraspender’s independent candidate received more than triple the traffic from her opponent, Liberal MP Dave Sharma (28,636 visits versus 9367).

Kooyong was much closer, with Dr. Monique Ryan attracting just a few thousand more visits than Josh Frydenberg in April (37,288 vs 33,670). Zoe Daniel in Goldstein reported 28,601 visits, far more than Tim Wilson, for whom the figure is less than 5,000 (the software does not report any numbers below 5,000).

In North Sydney, Kylea Tink’s website is getting significantly more traffic than Trent Zimmerman (21,453 versus 5,000); Even in Mackellar, the gap is very wide, with Dr. Sophie Scamps’ website receiving 14,365 visitors compared to Jason Falinski’s 6056.

Unfortunately, there is no accurate data for the website of controversial Warringah candidate Katherine Deves, as her site is a subdomain of the liberal NSW website (rather than her own website).

Political marketing expert Dr Andrew Hughes said the website traffic figures were largely indicative of support for teals because “actions speak louder than words.”

“We devote our time and attention to the things that we consider most relevant and that we find most interesting,” he said.

Hughes, of the ANU Research School of Management, is an expert on how digital media and social media are used in political campaigns.

This time on the websites it would indicate that someone might consider changing their vote or reinforcing an existing decision on how they had already decided to vote, he said.

Since the teal candidates don’t belong to any of the major parties, their political advertising is more local and therefore limited to social media, especially Facebook. Their announcements are universally positive, unlike those of Labor and Liberals, many of them negative.

Hughes said independent candidates are conducting “micro-targeting” campaigns, aimed at reaching hundreds of voters, as opposed to major party TV campaigns which are designed to reach millions of people.

The cost of social media ads, especially Facebook and Google, is very low, often hundreds of dollars rather than thousands. “They’re very affordable,” Hughes said.

Teal candidates also use interesting merchandise, such as earrings and dog bandanas as “conversation starters” designed to get people talking about the candidate, he said.

Website traffic April (until 23 April 2022)
Kooyong M Ryan: 37,288 J.Frydenberg: 33,670
Wentworth A. Donor: 28,636 D Sharma: 9,367
gold stone Z Daniel: 28,601 T Wilson: <5,000
north sydney K Tink: 21,453 T. Zimmerman: <5,000
Mackellar S. Scampi: 14,365 J Falinksi: 6,056

Similarweb also analyzed six months of traffic between October 2021 and March 2022 to understand the long-term trend. During this time, Frydenberg received little more traffic than Ryan (19,146 versus 17,800). Otherwise, the independents running around each place attracted more traffic than the incumbents.

Average monthly traffic (October 2021 – March 2022)
Kooyong M Ryan: 17,800 J.Frydenberg: 19.146
Wentworth A. Donor: 7,214 D Sharma: <5,000
gold stone Z Daniel: 16,381 T Wilson: <5,000
Yet another Sydney K Tink: 11,513 T. Zimmerman: <5,000
Mackellar S. Scampi: 7,851 J Falinksi: <5,000

This Similarweb data would seem to avenge all the teal candidates’ decision to spend a lot on digital advertising.

According to a analysis from Guardian Australia Released last month, this group of independents were spending far more than the Liberals, who appeared to be campaign savings funds for expensive TV advertising reaching a national audience. The analysis looked at ad spend last December for Google and January 16 for Facebook.

In Wentworth, spender and Climate 200 had spent about $ 140,000 on ads on Facebook, Google and YouTube, double that of Sharma. In Mackellar, Falinski had spent $ 13,000 while Scamps and Climate 200 had spent about $ 100,000.

The problem with political advertising is that there is no legal obligation to tell the truth, so anyone can say what they want about their opponents.

As George Orwell wrote: “Political language – and with variations this applies to all political parties, from conservatives to anarchists – is designed to make lies seem truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to the wind. pure”.