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General News of Monday, 24 February 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Social media campaigns won’t guarantee victory – Dr. Kobby Mensah to political candidates


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A lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School who specializes in political organizations, political parties, voting behaviors and elections, Dr. Kobby Mensah has stated that actively campaigning on social media is no guarantee that a political aspirant/party will be elected into office or win an election.

Many political candidates like the NDC’s John Dumelo, Sam George, and Samuel Okudzeto and many others are vigorously using social media as a campaign tool towards the 2020 parliamentary and presidential elections.

While the social media campaigns employed by politicians often appear to be getting the needed traction with the citizenry, Dr Mensah argues it can create a deceptive picture of what is actually happening on the grounds for any politician or political party seeking to get votes.

According to Dr. Mensah, social media can mainly make a candidate likeable and popular. However, it does not make the candidate get any closer to winning if the public thinks they are incompetent.

“It could be that you may be more popular as a result of your engagement, you may be more likable, but you may not win the elections. People can like you; you can be likable in terms of your personality, but they may not feel that you are competent enough to represent them,” he said.

Nonetheless, social media campaign is not futile as it makes the candidate more ‘visible’ and can add up to other more important variables to increase a candidate’s chances of winning.

“But of course, there is a relationship between your social media engagements and other outcomes other than winning. For example, visibility, popularity… You have got to actually have so many variables, examine or analyze them to be sure that put together, you would be able to win,” Dr. Mensah said.

Dr. Mensah says with the explosion of the internet, it is almost impossible for politicians and political parties to avoid them but adds “they are all good, they could have good outcomes but they may not result in you winning,” he concluded.

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