Exploring Affordances of Facebook as a Social Media Platform in Political Campaigning

Tina Blegind Jensen, Signe Dyrby

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


    In recent years we have witnessed political parties adopting social media as part of their election campaign strategy to encourage citizen participation and involvement. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what Facebook as a social media platform is perceived to afford political parties in their campaign strategy and how these intentions are reflected in the actual actions during the campaign. Based on a case study of political parties’ use of Facebook in the Danish general election in 2011, our findings reveal that the medium is perceived to afford: 1) facilitation of direct communication to promote political interests and enable dialogue, 2) projection of an image of authenticity through informal media and 3) creating interaction and involvement through dynamic relationships with supporters. A closer look at the parties’ actual use of Facebook shows that the majority of the intended affordances is acted out in practice; however, our findings also highlight that certain aspects are neglected by the parties and that yet new types of affordances surface. The observed discrepancies between perceived affordances and actual use prompt a discussion of what political parties should consider when engaging in social media activities as part of their campaign strategy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationECIS 2013 Proceedings
    Number of pages12
    Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
    PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
    Publication date2013
    Article numberPaper 43
    ISBN (Print)9783834924421
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013 - Utrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof', Utrecht, Netherlands
    Duration: 5 Jun 20138 Jun 2013
    Conference number: 21


    ConferenceThe 21st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2013
    LocationUtrecht University, Utrecht Science Park 'de Uithof'
    Internet address
    SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems

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