Our friends at Falcon Social have a knack for training their technology toward democratic processes around the world. Recently, they accurately predicted the outcome of the UK elections by analyzing Twitter. Well, they’re doing it again. This time they’ve shifted their lens 784 miles East, from Westminster to The Folketing—the political epicenter of the Kingdom of Denmark. For a relatively small population (Denmark has 5.5 million citizens, a little less than Atlanta, Georgia), the Danes are witnessing a pretty wide berth of political parties to choose from. Where we are generally relegated to three parties in America (Democrat, Republican and Independent), the Danes enjoy a very democratic selection of 10. However, two leading parties—the Venstre (Liberals) and the Socialdemokraterne (The Social Democrats) are dominating much of the news. So how can the other eight parties air out their philosophies and appeals if they’re not getting enough air time?
This sort of party exclusivity seems to be systemic across political news platforms around the world. But Falcon Social is lauding (and analyzing) the meaningful workarounds being utilized by the under dogs—namely through social media. However, there’s an issue: Only 5% of Danes (260,000 people) use Twitter. So Falcon Social turned to Facebook, where 54% of the population regularly logs in. And it turns out the candidates are as active Facebookers as their potential constituents. And so Facebook is becoming a battlefield in Danish politics. And it’s a more even field than traditional media allows for. Smaller parties like the nascent Alternativet and Liberal Alliance are beginning to overtake the mainstream competition.
This election will change the face of Scandinavia and Europe as a whole when the ballots are counted and Falcon Social makes even more predictions in their article. It’s a fascinating read. But the overarching question, once again, is what role social media plays in election results. Beyond predicting the outcome of the ballots, what Falcon Social is illustrating is the importance of social media in building a solid base of support and brand recognition. This applies to both politicians of varying radicalism and companies of all sizes. Leveraging social media can be a measurable approach to great brand recognition. Further, understanding the data your social media experience yields is key to excelling within the platform. That’s why products like those offered by Falcon Social are so important when navigating your brand through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and other outlets.
Whatever the outcome of the Danish elections, one thing is clear: Social media is creating a paradigm shift not only in the way we interact and do business but also how we run our countries. The amount of Likes on a politician’s page might not accurately indicate if they’ll get elected, but it is a measure of their brand and a conduit through which they can disseminate their message. “Liberal Alliance,” says Falcon Social content editor Manita Dosanjh, “have replaced the age-old leaflet and paper manifesto with a video manifesto, broken down into bitesize chunks that can be shared and promoted as Facebook posts.” It’s through these new and very public lines of communication that modern politics and business is being shaped. As the Danes say, Enhver er sin egen lykkes smed. (Every person is the blacksmith of their own fortune)