ECONOMIC Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has more Twitter followers than official opposition leader Helen Zille‚ a study by digital media company Apurimac Media has found.
CE Will Green said on Tuesday that social media offered politicians insight into how their political campaigns were being received by online audiences ahead of the May 7 general elections.
“With 2014 being South Africa’s ‘first digital’ election‚ it is interesting to see how (parties) and party leaders stack up against each other‚” he said.
Among party leaders‚ Mr Malema had the most Twitter followers at 426‚755‚ followed by Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Ms Zille‚ who had 391‚811.
African National Congress (ANC) president Jacob Zuma had 314‚149 Twitter followers‚ while Agang SA leader Mamphela Ramphele had 40‚066.
Between March 8 and 14 this year‚ Ms Zille gained just more than 3‚000 Twitter followers‚ while Mr Malema gained 3‚000 and Mr Zuma 1‚000.
In that week‚ Mr Zuma did not tweet‚ Mr Malema posted 13 tweets‚ Dr Ramphele tweeted nine times and Ms Zille 43 times.
There are a number of Twitter accounts for Mr Malema‚ including official‚ news and parody accounts.
The study also found Ms Zille had an “engaged” Facebook audience‚ with 6‚463 users “talking” about the comments she posted‚ compared with Mr Malema’s 142 and Dr Ramphele’s two. No one was talking about Mr Zuma on Facebook during the week of the study.
In terms of Facebook “likes”‚ Mr Malema led the pack with 79‚700‚ Mr Zuma had 38‚776‚ Dr Ramphele had 2‚496 and Ms Zille had none‚ as she lacked a dedicated Facebook topic page.
By political party‚ the study found the DA had the most Facebook friends‚ at 71‚377‚ the EFF had 64‚477 and the ANC 58‚176. – Sapa
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