Inside Jeremy Corbyn’s social media miracle

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Momentum organiser Adam Klug talks of the strategy which drove Corbyn's election success 

As someone who campaigned with Momentum to get Labour elected during the election, the notion that Jeremy Corbyn somehow ‘bribed’ the electorate is deeply insulting.

Embittered Tories might want to suggest Corbyn and his ‘money tree’ bought the election, but in fact all Jeremy’s policies are based on thorough costing – and were backed wholeheartedly by grassroots campaigners.

If people want to know the real reason Jeremy Corbyn did so well last week, they should look at social media, and the huge amount of traction Jeremy has galvanised. Young people didn’t vote for him because of money and empty promises; they voted for him because his message connected with them.

Throughout the campaign our social media team did a fantastic job. Across the election nearly one in three Facebook users in the UK saw one of our videos. In Sheffield Hallam, 56% of Facebook users, and 69% of 18-25 years olds, viewed our content. That’s one of the big reasons Labour took the seat.

Such phenomenal engagement doesn’t just happen. It took a monumental effort from our team – from those who work in our office, down through the network of writers, camera operators, video editors and SEO experts who worked for Momentum on a voluntary basis. We targeted Facebook and Twitter, but also used Instagram, which played really well for us. The message was always positive – we wanted to appeal to people’s hearts and minds, and you don’t do that with a nasty, negative campaign.

The Momentum team has come up with a number of innovations. For example we built a phone canvassing website, a web app that was picked up by Labour during the campaign. We’ve also built a site called mynearestmarginal.com, which lets supporters know their closest marginal seat so they can target their canvassing efforts.

No doubt the Tories will be looking to our campaign and trying to copy our success, to try to nullify our advantage by the time the next election comes around. But I don’t think our formula can be copied by the Tories as their key messages don’t translate to young people. Ours do.

What’s more, we’re going to carry on innovating to ensure the Tories (and other rival parties) can’t bridge the gap. We’re going to carry on broadcasting our message to the country. Yes we’ll be hammering home the message that the Tory-DUP coalition can’t last, but it won’t be a nasty campaign. We want the message to stay positive, emphasising Jeremy’s strengths and not Theresa May’s weaknesses.