Scott Morrison is speaking to hundreds of thousands of Aussies on LinkedIn. So where’s Albanese?

LinkedIn

On day one of the campaign, Scott Morrison penned an article to mark the start of the official 2022 federal election campaign: “This election is a clear choice.”

The piece — nearly identical to prepared remarks he gave at a press conference that day — was published to the Prime Minister’s 620,000-odd followers on the professional social network LinkedIn.

When talking about social media and elections, platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok get all the shine. LinkedIn, however, could play its part in influencing millions of Australians who use the Microsoft-owned platform — and on it, Morrison has a significant edge over Anthony Albanese.

LinkedIn is tight-lipped about the number of Australian users. In 2013 it celebrated 5 million; more recently a report from We Are Social and Hootsuite said that 26% of Australians aged 16 to 64 used the platform, just behind Twitter (29.5%) and in front of Reddit (22.6%). In short, it’s a huge platform that doesn’t get the attention others get.

And according to a University of Canberra report, a quarter of those users use it to get news.

Demographics aren’t public, but it’s believed LinkedIn’s demographics skew towards young professionals who use the platform primarily as a digital CV and networking platform.

In terms of functionality, LinkedIn is similar to Facebook. Users have an account, they can follow or connect with other users (following is a one-way relationship) and accounts. There’s a feed of updates from accounts and users you follow as well as some suggested by the algorithm.

Over his time as Prime Minister, Morrison has cultivated an enormous following on the platform, giving the Liberal Party of Australia a significant “LinkedIn advantage” as it blasts campaign messages several times a week to hundreds of thousands of voters.

His posts always have thousands of engagements, and top posts have tens of thousands of likes and comments. It’s fair to assume that each of these posts is getting tens of thousand of views as he promotes campaign stops and shares political advertisements.

HIGHLIGHTED POSTS ON SCOTT MORRISON’S LINKEDIN ACCOUNT (IMAGE: LINKEDIN/SCOTT MORRISON).

Meanwhile, Albanese is nowhere to be seen. He has no LinkedIn account. The Labor Party has a page that’s only been used a few times in the past year. 

Personal profile analytics aren’t publicly available, so there’s no way to further benchmark Morrison’s account performance. But the Liberal Party is also outperforming the Australian Labor Party’s LinkedIn page — although on a smaller scale. The Liberal page has three times as many followers as its opposition — 15,560. It’s gained about three times as many during the past year (adding 994 to Labor’s 271) and posting 104 times in the year compared with just 11 from Labor.

Although the typical LinkedIn demographic — young white-collar workers — may naturally skew towards the Liberal Party, Albanese and Labor’s limited presence cedes the ground to Morrison’s team to freely post content that’s curated for a specific audience.

During an election campaign when every eyeball is hard fought (or bought, in the case of advertising), LinkedIn — where Morrison can speak directly to voters without competition — is a digital advantage for the government.

This article was first published by Crikey.

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