Twitter Usage on Political Communication: ''A Comparative Analysis on Twitter Usage of Political Parties in Pre-and After November 1, 2015 General Elections''

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ÇELİK F., Aktaş H.


  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Antalya
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.8-9
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


       Social media platforms, which are actively used by almost every social layer, holds an important place for not only political organizations but also the institutions and organizations that produce services and try to market their products because of its agenda setting and its direct influence on masses. Along with the two-way communication process that the social media has, the political communication practices of the parties have also been directly affected. Political actors are working through social media now for the purpose of influencing the electorate who is the target mass, getting a positive place in their minds, informing the masses and making propaganda for them.Within these social media platforms, Twitter has a special significance.

        On the basis of this importance, how and for what purposes the parties who passed the threshold of %10 in the General Elections of November 1, 2015 used Twitter for political purposes before the elections (October 17-31, 2015) and after the elections (3-17 November 2015) and analyzing what is the content of the tweets taken during these periods are the main objective of this study. Justice and Development Party (AKP), Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP)’s total of 1145 tweets during their 15 days pre-election and post-election periods were analyzed in the context of political communication of official Twitter accounts by using the content analysis method and the findings obtained were evaluated comparatively.

         As a result of the evaluation, AKP seems to be the most successful party in terms of using Twitter by standing out among its rivals with the maximum number of tweets. In the evaluation of the tweet content that constitutes the main topic of the work, the official Twitter accounts of the parties were examined between the specified dates and seven different categories were created. These categories determined as; "Election Campaign Communication, Explanation/Information, News / Publicity, Sharing Related to the Agenda, Interpersonal Dialogue, Sharing and Other". AKP has achieved a significant success in the "Explanation / Information" category for both the pre-election and post-election target groups. While CHP leaves behind its competitors in the "Election Campaign Communication" category in the pre-election period, MHP follows a successful strategy in the "News / Publicity" category in the pre-election period. HDP, on the other hand, achieved a serious success in the pre-election period in the "Inter-personal Dialogue" category, which allows two-way communication. It is also seen that HDP has given up using this category in the post-election period, while the opponents did not tweet to this area both before and after the election.

        When we look at the four parties in terms of the right and wrong strategies in Twitter use, in the terms of importance they attach to or do not give to; besides AKP, CHP, MHP and HDP become more aware of the increasingly effective use of Twitter, it will be more appropriate for these parties to have twoway communication channels that are both self-supporting and non-supporting mass and interactivity with one-way communication.

Keywords: Political Communication, Social Media, Twitter, 2015 General Elections