GE2017: Facebook


After @philipjohn success using facebook in the local election: 2017 Local Elections HQ

This article is well timed:

Maybe we should prioritise facebook/online advertising over leaflets at the GE, depending on how much money we pull in?



Yes! As much as I’m not the biggest fan of Facebook in general, ads definitely work. I haven’t posted my full results yet, but I will do soon.

This has also given me an idea. We could choose to target people based on what they already like, such as;

  • More United
  • Best for Britain
  • Electoral Reform Society
  • Make Votes Count
  • Republic
  • National Secular Society

Of course, this all costs money…


It does, but probably a lot cheaper than leaflets!


Hmm let’s look at the figures :wink:

Leaflet cost: £140
Distributed to 5,500 properties
Equals 2.5p per “reach”

Facebook ad cost: £79
Reached 6,765 people
Equals 1.2p per “reach”

So yes, FB is cheaper BUT there’s a significant difference in distribution. With leaflets, we are targeting only those people in our electoral division/ward. With Facebook, you can’t target that well so there is inevitable wastage.

For example, my division covers roughly half of Lichfield but my ad was targeted to the whole of Lichfield. It could be that half of those people who saw my ad couldn’t even vote for me. Anecdotally, at least one person I know went to vote for me and found they couldn’t because they weren’t in my division.

Also, given James and I got such similar results I’d say the FB effect is, based on the limited evidence so far, about the same as for leaflets.


Figures are always good!

But how does that scale to GE? The constituencies are much larger, so both costs will probably rise - we are also missing the “hidden” costs of the leaflets: they have to dropped off at the right place, which is ok with ~6,000 leaflets, but probably more difficult with ~60,000?



Yeah, I dunno - we need to try it :wink:

Maybe we should aim to run an FB campaign for one of our two candidates in the GE, and see how much of a difference there is. Obviously it’s not a fair test, but it’ll hopefully give us some indication.


Couple of things - general election leafleting is a LOT easier than council, because they get delivered, dropping them off is easy. Leafleting on the ground takes a LOT of time.

I probably only delivered about 1500 leaflets - I still need to do a proper count, but that’s only about a third of what I could have delivered. It might be lower. It was just a matter of having time. So, assuming (generously) 2000 delivered, and 200 votes, the leaflets gave a 10% return on deliveries/vote. But that’s very different for a general election.

In terms of time invested, I’d say Facebook gave a much better return, as I assume Phil didn’t have to walk 40km to get round a third of his voters… :wink:

But; inclusion, connectivity, catering to only those who are online… those are all issues too. I’d say it’s best to do both, of course, but it comes down to the money.

For a general election, because delivery is free and you can hit every household guaranteed, I reckon leafleting is a better bet, then use Facebook to top up.


I will be doing everything online unless we gain a generous benefactor! If we can keep leaflets to b/w then I can print a thousand or so for nothing. Colour a little harder to justify.

In regard to facebook I presume we target the population centers and a small radius to maximize return.

What would be ideal would be a video that we can get some momentum on, I’ll work on an animation tonight.