https://pds.blog.parliament.uk/2017/06/02/storytime-young-voters-and-the-general-election/

Storytime: young voters and the general election

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During the general election campaign, Parliament's strategy is to encourage young voters to engage in politics. We've done some work on social media and the website to support this ambition so here's what we've done so far.

Our followers on social media

We have a strong following on our social channels from the 18-24 age group, and they're the second largest audience after 25-34 year olds:

28% of our followers on Twitter

30% of people who like our page on Facebook

27% of our followers on Instagram

Least likely to vote

The 18-24 year old age group is the least likely age group to vote. We wanted to see if we could use our channels to connect with this audience.

Free tours

We worked closely with the Visiting Team to promote free tours of Parliament for 18-24 year olds. The film promoting the tour was watched 100,000 times on Facebook, 100,000 times on Twitter and generated thousands of clickthroughs to book a tour.

Countdown to registration

We focused on registering to vote ahead of the deadline and developed a series of animations counting down to the deadline. It was interesting to note that the most popular tweet of the series (by far) was the final tweet reminding people it was the last day they could register to vote.

With this in mind, we'll be focusing more of our content on encouraging people to get out and vote closer to polling day next week, with a significant ramp up on the day itself (which is 8 June, don't forget - make your voice heard).

The second most popular post was the one that reminded young voters that if they turn 18 on 8 July or before then they can register to vote.

General election hub on the website

At the beginning of May we created a hub pulling together relevant content on the general election. Our user research team have been analysing the performance of the content to see if it meets user needs.

The findings has been invaluable in testing our assumptions. For example, in the first couple of weeks they revealed that users were more interested in what a general election is, not how to register.

The next stage of user research focused on analysing if there was any change in user needs once the voter registration closed. In the days following, the top searches to our site were about finding an MP or constituency. Users were also searching for political parties and information about a hung Parliament.

This was also echoed in some of the responses given in a pop-up survey where users were asked ‘What were you looking for on this page?’ This has been rolled out to other pages on the website to gather more qualitative data to help us improve the content. We'll let you know more how the research is going once we've got some more responses.

The search terms that brought people specifically to the general election hub showed that users were looking for:

  • the date of the general election
  • to understand what a general election is
  • information about the parties running

The parties running is an interesting finding - currently it isn’t part of the hub so this is something for us to consider.

Overall the hub isn’t attracting large numbers of users (it was only the 43rd most visited page in May). Those who do visit are overwhelming based in London and are typically finding this page through search. We're going to do more investigation into why the hub wasn't popular and test some more assumptions about how our audience use our pages, how they navigate the site, and what they use the site for.

Have a look at our general election content on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and the general election hub and let us know what you think.  

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