Exploring User Engagement with Portuguese Political Party Pages on Facebook: Data Sprint as Workflow

Jorge Martins Rosa, N. Gizem Bacaksızlar Turbic, Alda Magalhães Telles, Clara González Tosat, Cristian Jiménez Ruiz, Kalliopi Moraiti, Oğuz Özgür Karadeniz, Valentina Pallacci


In the broader context of a research project about political participation on Facebook during the Portuguese electoral year of 2019 - for the European Parliament in May, and for the National Parliament in October -, a dataset of more than 9,000 posts and corresponding reactions and comments had been previously retrieved using Facepager. Participating in a data sprint came up as an opportunity to explore some specific questions in an intensive and time-bound context, using a subset of the data tailored to the purpose of discovering: 1) how differently official parties tried to engage with Facebook users before, during, and after the campaigns for the major elections periods (“supply side”), and 2) what type of content received the most attention and engagement (“demand side”). Our results show that regardless of the party’s age and position in the political spectrum, the persistent main categories are “National Politics”, “Fundamental Rights”, and “Self-Promotion” for both elections. Also, we found that posts with images attract more attention, and apparently this may be leveraged if the textual content of the post is in topics of “National Politics”. However, this finding requires further investigation. Along with details about the research during the data sprint and the main findings, this paper is also a testimony about the singularities and learnings of a process built upon the constraints of taking data sprints situation as a workflow.

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


Alonso-Muñoz, L. and Casero-Ripollés, A. (2020) Populism Against Europe in Social Media: The Eurosceptic Discourse on Twitter in Spain, Italy, France, and United Kingdom During the Campaign of the 2019 European Parliament Election. Frontiers in Communication 5(54): 1-12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fcomm.2020.00054

Bene, M. (2021) Who Reaps the Benefits? A Cross-Country Investigation of the Absolute and Relative Normalization and Equalization Theses in the 2019 European Parliament Elections. New Media & Society: 1-20. https://doi.org/10.1177/14614448211019688

Bennett, W.L. (2012) The Personalization of Politics: Political Identity, Social Media, and Changing Patterns of Participation. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 644(1): 20–39. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0002716212451428

Eberl, J.M., Tolochko, P., Jost, P., Heidenreich, T. and Boomgaarden, H.G. (2020) What’s in a Post? How Sentiment and Issue Salience Affect Users’ Emotional Reactions on Facebook. Journal of Information Technology & Politics 17(1): 48-65. https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2019.1710318

Effing, R., Jos, V.H. and Huibers, T. (2011) Social Media and Political Participation: Are facebook, Twitter and YouTube Democratizing our Political Systems? In: International Conference on Electronic Participation. Springer: 25–35. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-23333-3_3

Enli, G.S. and Skogerbø, E. (2013) Personalized Campaigns in Party-Centred Politics: Twitter and Facebook as Arenas for Political Communication. Information, Communication & Society 16(5): 757–774. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2013.782330

Engesser, S., Fawzi, N. and Larsson, A. O. (2017) Populist Online Communication: Introduction to the Special Issue. Information, Communication & Society, 20(9): 1279-1292 https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1328525

Gibson, R. (2012) From Brochureware to ‘MyBo’: An Overview of Online Elections and Campaigning. Politics 32(2): 77–84. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9256.2012.01429.x

Gibson, R. K. and McAllister, I. (2014) Normalising or Equalising Party Competition? Assessing the Impact of the Web on Election Campaigning. Political Studies 63(3): 529-547. https://doi.org/10.1111%2F1467-9248.12107

Heiss, R., Schmuck, D. and Matthes, J. (2019) What Drives Interaction in Political Actors’ Facebook Posts? Profile and Content Predictors of User Engagement and Political Actors’ Reactions. Information, Communication & Society 22(10): 1497–1513. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2018.1445273

Hughes, A. and van Kessel, P. (2018) ‘Anger’ Topped ‘Love’ when Facebook Users Reacted to Lawmakers’ Posts after 2016 Election, PEW Research Center, 18 July 2018. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/07/18/anger-topped-love-facebook-after-2016-election/

Hutto, C., and Gilbert, E. (2014). VADER: A Parsimonious Rule-Based Model for Sentiment Analysis of Social Media Text. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 8(1), 216-225. https://ojs.aaai.org/index.php/ICWSM/article/view/14550/14399

Junger, J. and Keyling, T. (2019) Facepager. An application for Automated Data Retrieval on the Web. Source code and releases available at https://github.com/strohne/Facepager/

Kalsnes, B. (2016) The Social Media Paradox Explained: Comparing Political Parties’ Facebook Strategy versus Practice. Social Media + Society 2(2): 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F2056305116644616

Kapoor, K.K., Tamilmani, K., Rana, N.P., Patil, P, Dwivedi, Y.K. and Nerur, S. (2018) Advances in Social Media Research: Past, Present and Future. Information Systems Frontiers 20(3): 531–558. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10796-017-9810-y

Klinger, U. (2013) Mastering the Art of Social Media. Information, Communication & Society 16(5): 717-736. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2013.782329

Klinger, U. and Russmann, U. (2017) Beer is more Efficient than Social Media: Political Parties and Strategic Communication in Austrian and Swiss National Elections. Journal of Information Technology & Politics 14(4): 299-313. https://doi.org/10.1080/19331681.2017.1369919

Larsson, A.O. (2016) Online, all the Time? A Quantitative Assessment of the Permanent Campaign on Facebook. New Media & Society 18(2): 274–292. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1461444814538798

Larsson, A.O. and Kalsnes, B (2014) ‘Of Course we are on Facebook’: Use and Non-use of Social Media among Swedish and Norwegian Politicians. European Journal of Communication 29(6): 653–667. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0267323114531383

Lilleker, D.G., Tenscher, J. and Stetka, V. (2015) Towards Hypermedia Campaigning? Perceptions of New Media’s Importance of Campaigning by Party Strategists in Comparative Perspective. Information, Communication & Society 18(7): 747–765. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2014.993679

Macnamara, J. (2011) Pre and Post-election 2010 Online: What Happened to the Conversation? Communication, Politics, Culture 44(2): 18–36. https://search.informit.org/doi/10.3316/informit.627292905802447

Magin, M., Podschuweit, N., Haßler, J. and Russmann, U. (2017). Campaigning in the Fourth Age of Political Communication. A Multi-method Study on the Use of Facebook by German and Austrian Parties in the 2013 National Election Campaigns. Information, Communication & Society 20(11): 1698–1719. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2016.1254269

Nahon, K. (2015) Where There Is Social Media There Is Politics. In A. Bruns et al. (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Social Media and Politics: 39-55, NY: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315716299-5

Norris, P. (2003) Preaching to the Converted? Pluralism, Participation and Party Websites. Party Politics 9(1): 21-45. https://doi.org/10.1177/135406880391003

Ramos-Serrano, M., Fernández Gómez, J.D. and Pineda, A. (2018) ‘Follow the Closing of the Campaign on Streaming’: The Use of Twitter by Spanish Political Parties during the 2014 European Elections. New Media & Society 20(1): 122-140. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444816660730

Samuel-Azran, T., Yarchi, M. and Wolfsfeld, G. (2015) Equalization versus Normalization: Facebook and the 2013 Israeli Elections. Social Media + Society 1(2): 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305115605861

Serra-Silva, S., Dias Carvalho, D. and Fazendeiro, J. (2018) Party-citizen Online Challenges: Portuguese Parties’ Facebook Usage and Audience Engagement. In: Lobo, M.C., Silva, F.C. and Zúquete, J.P. (eds.), Changing Societies: Legacies and Challenges. Vol. 2. Citizenship in Crisis: 185–214. https://www.ics.ulisboa.pt/books/book2/ch08.pdf

Sobacı, M. Z. and Hatipoğlu, Ì. (2020) Measuring the Engagement Level of Political Parties with Public on Facebook: The Case of Turkey. 2017 Conference for E-Democracy and Open Government (CeDEM): 209-216. https://doi.org/10.1109/CeDEM.2017.15

Stetka, V., Surowiec, P. and Mazák, J. (2019) Facebook as an Instrument of Election Campaigning and Voters’ Engagement: Comparing Czechia and Poland. European Journal of Communication 34(2): 121-141. https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323118810884

Theocharis, Y., Barberá, P. Fazekas, Z., Adrian Popa, S. and Parnet, O. (2016) A Bad Workman Blames His Tweets: The Consequences of Citizens’ Uncivil Twitter Use When Interacting With Party Candidates. Journal of Communication 66(6): 1007-1031. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcom.12259

Vogels, E. A., Auxier, B. and Anderson, M. (2021) Partisan Differences in Social Media Use Show up for Some Platforms, but not Facebook, PEW Research Center, 7 April 2021. https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2021/04/07/partisan-differences-in-social-media-use-show-up-for-some-platforms-but-not-facebook/

Xenos, M. A., MacAfee, T. and Pole, A. (2017) Understanding Variations in User Response to Social Media Campaigns: A Study of Facebook Posts in the 2010 US Elections. New Media and Society 19(6): 826-842. https://doi.org/10.1177/1461444815616617

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7203/drdcd.v1i8.233

Enlaces refback

  • No hay ningún enlace refback.