Pulling on the heart strings. Political communication and users’ reaction on social media Cover Image

Érzelmek húrjain. Politikai kommunikáció és állampolgári reaktivitás a közösségi médiában
Pulling on the heart strings. Political communication and users’ reaction on social media

Author(s): Krisztina Burai, Márton Bene
Subject(s): Politics and communication
Published by: MTA Politikai Tudományi Intézete
Keywords: virality; emotions; Facebook; reactivity; social media

Summary/Abstract: Political communication is increasingly adapting to citizen’s user habits, switching to appropriate platforms and delivering content that align with them, leading to the growing political importance of social media. On these social media websites, especially on Facebook, the reactions of users significantly increase the visibility of a message, so the main goal of political actors has become to create content that can go viral. Based on previous research, emotions have a prominent role in this process. In our study, after reviewing the relevant literature, we conduct a qualitative research in which we examine the emotional character of politicians’ most successful Facebook posts created during the 2018 Hungarian parliamentary election campaign. Existing research could only indicate the presence of certain emotions, but did not provide information about the successful way of communicating emotions, therefore we’re trying to fill this gap with our analysis. Our results show that the most successful posts were clearly emotional, neutral content was rare among them. We found that citizens responded most favorably to positive emotions, including posts about victory and saying thanks to voters, with holiday greetings also being particularly popular. Meanwhile, in the case of negative emotions, expressions of anger and sadness characterized viral posts. It can be observed that although the most popular posts displayed emotions, they did not do so with the traditional and common means of expressing emotions on these online platforms.

  • Issue Year: XXX/2021
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 82-103
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Hungarian