The Net Effect of Social Media on Election Results: The Case of Twitter in 2014 Turkish Local Elections

  • Mehmet Zahid SobaciEmail author
  • Kadir Yasin Eryiğit
  • İbrahim Hatipoğlu
Part of the Public Administration and Information Technology book series (PAIT, volume 15)


Today, social media offer political actors (i.e., politicians, political parties, NGOs, activists) opportunities for political communication, particularly during election periods. Political parties and candidates use social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube comprehensively to convey their messages to large audiences, persuade their voters, and mobilize their supporters. The use of social media causes changes in the nature of election campaigns and paves the way for a “co-generated campaign.” However, studies focusing on the experiences of political actors’ use of social media in the campaigns at the subnational level (regional or local) are rare in the relevant literature. In this context, this chapter aims to analyze the net effect of Twitter on the election success of the candidates in the 2014 local elections in Turkey. Findings of our analysis show that when other variables are fixed, candidates with a Twitter account have 4.5 times greater chance of winning the election than those without an account.


Social Medium Political Party Political Actor Social Networking Site Election Result 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Andersen, K. N., & Medaglia, R. (2009). The use of Facebook in national election campaigns: Politics as usual? In A. Macintosh & E. Tambouris (Eds.), Electronic participation (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 5694) (pp. 101–111). Berlin, Germany: Springer.Google Scholar
  2. Benoit, W. L., & Benoit, P. J. (2000). The virtual campaign: Presidential primary websites in campaign 2000. Retrieved from
  3. Bimber, B. (2014). Digital media in the Obama campaigns of 2008 and 2012: Adaptation to the personalized political communication environment. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2), 130–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Campbell, A., Harrop, A., & Thompson, B. (1999). Towards to virtual parliaments—What computers can do for MPs. Parliamentary Affairs, 52, 387–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carlson, T., & Djupsund, G. (2001). Old wine in new bottles? The 1999 Finnish election campaign on the internet. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 6(1), 68–87.Google Scholar
  6. Carlson, T., & Strandberg, K. (2008). Riding the Web 2.0 wave: Candidates on YouTube in the 2007 Finnish national elections. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 5(2), 159–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carter, M. (1999). Speaking up in the internet age: Use and value of constituent e-mail and congressional web-sites. Parliamentary Affairs, 52(3), 464–479.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chen, P. J., & Smith, P. J. (2011). Digital media in the 2008 Canadian election. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 8(4), 399–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Church, S. H. (2010). YouTube politics: You choose and leadership rhetoric during the 2008 election. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7(2), 124–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cogburn, D., & Espinoza-Vasquez, F. (2011). From networked nominee to networked nation: Examining the impact of Web 2.0 and social media on political participation and civic engagement in the 2008 Obama campaign. Journal of Political Marketing, 10, 189–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Criado, J. I., & Martinez-Fuentes, G. (2010). Mayors’ usage of blogs in local election campaign: The Spanish case study. International Journal of Electronic Governance, 3(4), 395–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Criado, I. J., Martinez-Fuentes, G., & Silvan, A. (2012). Social media for political campaigning: The use of twitter by Spanish mayors in 2011 local elections. In C. G. Reddick & S. K. Aikins (Eds.), Web 2.0 technologies and democratic governance (pp. 219–232). New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. D’Alessio, D. (2000). Adoption of the World Wide Web by American political candidates 1996–1998. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 44(4), 556–568.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis, R., Baumgartner, J. C., Francia, P. L., & Morris, J. S. (2009). The internet in U.S. election campaigns. In A. Chadwick & P. N. Howard (Eds.), Routledge handbook of internet politics (pp. 13–24). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Demertzis, N., Diamantaki, K., Gazi, A., & Sartzetakis, N. (2005). Greek political marketing online: An analysis of parliament members’ web sites. Journal of Political Marketing, 4(1), 51–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dulio, D. A., Goff, D. L., & Thurber, J. A. (1999). Untangled web: Internet use during the 1998 election. Political Science and Politics, 32(1), 53–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Farrell, D. M., & Webb, P. (2000). Political parties as campaign organizations. In R. J. Dalton & M. P. Wattenberg (Eds.), Parties without partisans: Political change in advanced industrial democracies (pp. 102–128). Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Gasser, U., & Gerlach, J. (2012). E-campaigns in old Europe: Observations from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. In R. L. Fox & J. M. Ramos (Eds.), iPolitics: Citizens, elections, and governing in the new media era (pp. 125–150). Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Gibson, R. (2010). Open source campaigning? UK party organisations and the use of the new media in the 2010 general election. Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  20. Gibson, R., Lusoli, W., & Ward, S. (2008). Nationalizing and normalizing the local? A comparative analysis of online candidate campaigning in Australia and Britain. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 4(4), 15–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gibson, R., & McAllister, I. (2003). Cyber campaigning and the vote: Online communication in the 2001 Australian election. Paper prepared for the Annual Conference of the 2003 American Political Science Association, Philadelphia, PA.Google Scholar
  22. Gibson, R., & McAllister, I. (2011). A net again? Web 2.0 in the Australian 2010 election. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the American Political Science Association, 1–4 September 2011, Seattle, WA.Google Scholar
  23. Gibson, R., & Römmele, A. (2001). Changing campaign communications: A party-centered theory of professionalized campaigning. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 6(4), 31–43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Gilmore, J. (2011). Ditching the pack: Digital media in the 2010 Brazilian congressional campaigns. New Media & Society, 14(4), 617–633.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Greyes, N. (2011). The untapped potential of social media: A primer for savvy campaigners. Campaigns and Elections, 300, 45–47.Google Scholar
  26. Gueorguieva, V. (2008). Voters, MySpace, and YouTube: The impact of alternative communication channels on the 2006 election cycle and beyond. Social Science Computer Review, 26, 288–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gulati, G. J., & Williams, C. B. (2011). Social media in the 2010 congressional elections. Paper presented at the Annual Meetings of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  28. Gulati, G. J., & Williams, C. B. (2013). Social media and campaign 2012: Developments and trends for Facebook adoption. Social Science Computer Review, 31(5), 577–588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Hansen, K. M., & Kosiara-Pedersen, K. (2014). Cyber-campaigning in Denmark: Application and effects of candidate campaigning. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2), 206–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hurme, T. (2009). Online campaign strategy, Web 2.0 tools, and voter preference in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. CEU Political Science Journal, 4(4), 566–606.Google Scholar
  31. Ifukor, P. (2010). Elections or selections? Blogging and Twittering the Nigerian 2007 general elections. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 30(6), 398–414.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Johnson, T., & Perlmutter, D. (2010). Introduction: The Facebook election. Mass Communications & Society, 13, 554–559.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Karlsen, R. (2013). Obama’s online success and European party organizations: Adoption and adaptation of U.S. online practices in the Norwegian Labor Party. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 10(2), 158–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Klotz, R. (1997). Positive spin: Senate campaigning on the web. Political Science and Politics, 30(3), 482–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Klotz, R. J. (2010). The sidetracked 2008 YouTube Senate campaign. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7(2), 110–123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Koc-Michalska, K., Lilleker, D. G., Surowiec, P., & Baranowski, P. (2014). Poland’s 2011 online election campaign: New tools, new professionalism, new ways to win votes. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2), 186–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kushin, M., & Yamamoto, M. (2010). Did social media really matter? College students’ use of online media and political decision making in the 2008 election. Mass Communication & Society, 13, 608–630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lappas, G., Chatzopoulos, S., & Yannas, P. (2008). Parliamentary candidates running on the web for the 2004 Greek national elections. Journal of Political Marketing, 7(3–4), 256–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Larsson, A. O. (2014). Online, all the time? A quantitative assessment of the permanent campaign on Facebook. New Media & Society, 1–19. DOI:  10.1177/1461444814538798
  40. Larsson, A. O., & Moe, H. (2011). Studying political microblogging: Twitter users in the 2010 Swedish election campaign. New Media & Society, 14(5), 729–747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Lev-On, A. (2012). YouTube usage in low-visibility political campaigns. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, 9(2), 205–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lilleker, D. G., & Malagón, C. (2010). Levels of interactivity in the 2007 French presidential candidates’ websites. European Journal of Communication, 25(1), 25–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Marcella, R., Baxter, G., & Smith, S. (2004). The use of the internet by candidates as part of their campaign for election to the Scottish Parliament in 2003. Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics and Informatics, 2(2), 54–59.Google Scholar
  44. Marcinkowski, F., & Metag, J. (2014). Why do candidates use online media in constituency campaigning? An application of the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(2), 151–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Margolis, M., Resnick, D., & Levy, J. (2003). Major parties dominate, minor parties struggle: US elections and the Internet. In R. Gibson, P. Dixon, & S. Ward (Eds.), Political parties and internet: Net gain? (pp. 53–69). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Margolis, M., Resnick, D., & Wolfe, J. D. (1999). Party competition on the internet in the United States and Britain. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 4, 24–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Myers, D. (1993). New technology and the 1992 Clinton presidential campaign. American Behavioral Scientist, 37(2), 181–187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Negrine, R., & Papathanassopoulos, S. (1996). The Americanization of political communication: A critique. International Journal of Press/Politics, 1(2), 45–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Newell, J. L. (2001). Italian political parties on the web. Harvard International Journal of Press/Politics, 6(4), 60–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Norris, P. (2000). A virtuous circle: Political communications in postindustrial societies. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Ozdesim Ikiz, O., Sobaci, M. Z., Yavuz, N., & Karkin, N. (2014). Political use of Twitter: The case of metropolitan mayor candidates in 2014 local elections in Turkey. ICEGOV 2014, 27–30 October, Guimaraes, Portugal.Google Scholar
  52. Raynauld, V., & Greenberg, J. (2014). Tweet, click, vote: Twitter and the 2010 Ottawa municipal election. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 11(4), 412–434.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Robertson, S. P., Vatrapu, R. K., & Medina, R. (2010). Off the wall political discourse: Facebook use in the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Information Polity, 15(1), 11–31.Google Scholar
  54. Schneider, S. M., & Foot, K. A. (2002). Online structure for political action: Exploring presidential campaign web sites from the 2000 American election. Javnost—The Public, 9(2), 43–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Segaard, S. B., & Nielsen, J. A. (2013). Local election blogs: Networking among the political elite. Information Polity, 18(4), 299–313.Google Scholar
  56. Skogerbø, E., & Krumsvik, A. H. (2014). Newspapers, Facebook and Twitter: Intermedial agenda setting in local election campaigns. Journalism Practice, 1–17.Google Scholar
  57. Slotnick, A. (2009). “Friend” the president: Facebook and the 2008 presidential election. In C. Panogopoulos (Ed.), Politicking online: The transformation of election campaign communications (pp. 249–271). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  58. Steger, W., Williams, C., & Andolina, M. (2010). Political use of social networks in 2008. Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association. 2–5 September, 2010, Washington DC.Google Scholar
  59. Strandberg, K. (2006). Parties, candidates and citizens on-line: Studies of politics on the internet. Abo, Finland: Abo Akademi University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Strandberg, K. (2013). A social media revolution or just a case of history repeating itself? The use of social media in the 2011 Finnish parliamentary elections. New Media & Society, 15(8), 1329–1347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Sweetser Trammell, K. D. (2007). Candidate campaign blogs: Directly reaching out to the youth vote. American Behavioral Scientist, 50(9), 1255–1263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Sweetser, K. D., & Lariscy, R. W. (2008). Candidates make good friends: An analysis of candidates’ uses of Facebook. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 2(3), 175–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Taylor, M., & Kent, M. L. (2004). Congressional web sites and their potential for public dialogue. Atlantic Journal of Communication, 12, 59–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Towner, T. L., & Dulio, D. A. (2011). An experiment of campaign effects during the YouTube election. New Media & Society, 13(4), 626–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Trammell, K. D., Williams, A. P., Postelnicu, M., & Landreville, K. D. (2006). Evolution of online campaigning: Increasing interactivity in candidate web sites and blogs through text and technical features. Mass Communication & Society, 9(1), 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Vaccari, C. (2008a). Surfing to the Elysee: The internet in the 2007 French elections. French Politics, 6(1), 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Vaccari, C. (2008b). Research note: Italian parties’ websites in the 2006 elections. European Journal of Communication, 23(1), 69–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Vergeer, M. (2012). Politics, elections and online campaigning: Past, present…and a peek into the future. New Media & Society, 15(1), 9–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Vesnic-Alujevic, L. (2011). Communicating with voters by blogs? Campaigning for the 2009 European Parliament elections. Discourse & Communication, 5(4), 413–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ward, S., & Gibson, R. (2003). On-line and on message? Candidate websites in the 2001 general election. British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 5(2), 188–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Ward, S., Gibson, R., & Lusoli, W. (2006). The same the world over? Candidate campaigning online in the UK and Australia. Paper presented at the Elections, Parties and Opinion Polls Conference, 7–9 September 2012, Nottingham.Google Scholar
  72. Ward, S., Gibson, R., & Nixon, P. (2003). Parties and the internet: An overview. In R. Gibson, P. Dixon, & S. Ward (Eds.), Political parties and Internet: Net gain? (pp. 11–38). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  73. Westling, M. (2007). Expanding the public sphere: The impact of Facebook on political communication. Retrieved from
  74. Whillock, R. K. (1997). Cyber-politics: The online strategies of “96”. American Behavioral Scientist, 40(8), 1208–1225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Williams, C. B., Aylesworth, A., & Chapman, K. J. (2002). The 2000 e-campaign for U.S. Senate. Journal of Political Marketing, 1(4), 39–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Williams, C. B., & Gulati, G. J. J. (2009a). The political impact of Facebook: Evidence from the 2006 elections and the 2008 nomination contest. In C. Panogopoulos (Ed.), Politicking online: The transformation of election campaign communications (pp. 272–291). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.Google Scholar
  77. Williams, C. B., & Gulati, G. J. J. (2009b). Facebook and YouTube grow up: An empirical assessment of its role in the 2008 congressional elections. Paper presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, April 2–5, 2009, Chicago, IL.Google Scholar
  78. Williams, C. B., & Gulati, G. J. J. (2009c). Social networks in political campaigns: Facebook and congressional elections 2006, 2008. Paper presented at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Political Association, September 3–6, 2009, Toronto.Google Scholar
  79. Williams, C. B., & Gulati, G. J. J. (2012). Social networks in political campaigns: Facebook and the congressional elections of 2006 and 2008. New Media & Society, 15(1), 52–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Williams, A. P., Trammell, K. D., Postelnicu, M., Landreville, K. D., & Martin, J. D. (2005). Blogging and hyperlinking: Use of the web to enhance viability during the 2004 US campaign. Journalism Studies, 6, 177–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Yannas, P., Kleftodimos, A., & Lappas, G. (2011). Online political marketing in 2010 Greek local elections: The shift from web to web 2.0 campaigns. In G. Panigyrakis, P. Theodoridis, & A. Panopoulos (Eds.), Proceeding of the 16th International Conference on Corporate and Marketing Communications (pp. 38–50), Athens.Google Scholar
  82. Yannas, P., & Lappas, G. (2004). E-Campaign in Greek elections: 2000–2004. WSEAS Transactions in Information Science and Applications, 5(1), 1332–1337.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mehmet Zahid Sobaci
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kadir Yasin Eryiğit
    • 2
  • İbrahim Hatipoğlu
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of Public AdministrationUludağ UniversityNiluferTurkey
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Department of EconometricsUludağ UniversityNiluferTurkey

Personalised recommendations