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Volume 22 / Issue 3

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DOI:   10.3217/jucs-022-03-0375


Social Media Battles: their Impact during the 2014 Greek Municipal Elections

Georgios Lappas (Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia, Greece)

Amalia Triantafillidou (Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia, Greece)

Prodromos Yannas (Piraeus University of Applied Sciences, Greece)

Anastasia Kavada (University of Westminster, United Kingdom)

Alexandros Kleftodimos (Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia, Greece)

Olga Vasileiadou (Technological Education Institute of Western Macedonia, Greece)

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to examine the use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by candidates running for the 2014 Greek Municipal Elections by addressing the following questions: (1) which factors affect social media adoption by municipal candidates?, and (2) whether social media usage along with the popularity of candidates' social media pages influence candidates' vote share. Results indicate that social media are not very popular campaigning tools among municipal candidates in Greece. This implies that Greek candidates still rely on traditional ways to lure their voters. Furthermore, findings reveal that candidates running in large municipalities are more likely to utilize social media (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube) as means of political marketing. In addition, challengers seem to prefer Facebook and Twitter as campaign tools while males tend to focus on YouTube to attract voters. Despite the low adoption rate, results suggest that candidates who made use of social media won more votes compared to candidates who were not social media users. Moreover, it was found that a candidate's Facebook page and YouTube channel popularity are good indicators of the candidate's vote share.

Keywords: Facebook, Greek municipal elections, Twitter, YouTube, political marketing strategy, quantitative analysis, social media, social media popularity, vote share

Categories: H.3.5, J.1, J.4, K.4.1, K.4.2, K.4.3, L.6.1