September 1st 2022: in a few hours, the highly anticipated Silvio Berlusconi, Matteo Renzi and even the Democratic Party land on TikTok. A few days earlier it had been Carlo’s turn Calendawhile Giuseppe Conte, Matteo Salvini and Giorgia Meloni have been presiding over the ByteDance social network for some time.
TikTok definitely was one of the novelties of this election campaign: over time, the Chinese platform has also transformed into a space for information and indeed politics, a mature environment where it is possible to reach especially the youngest, perhaps those called to vote for the first time.
Why Berlusconi on TikTok did not “break every world record” and which are the most viewed videos
by Emanuele Capone
TikTok and the youth vote
A month later, polls closed and clear results, the question arises: did TikTok actually have a role in the election campaign? A first indication it could come from the analysis of the voting flows published by the Ixé Institute: browsing the pages of the report, you will find an interesting data, especially to understand the impact of the ByteDance platform. Let’s talk about the percentages of votes by age group.
By analyzing the numbers, it turns out that people between 18 and 24 years old, who are the most numerous visitors to TikTok, have voted, as well as for Fratelli d’Italia, above all for Terzo Polo, PD, Alleanza SI-Verdi, Movimento 5 Stelle and + Europa. All parties that, with the exception of Conte’s, did not invest so much in the Chinese social network (Calenda fell after a good start, as did Renzi). The litmus test comes from performance of the Salvini League: The leader has been very busy on TikTok, but is among the worst in the vote of 18-24 year olds, with only 2% against over 8% in all other age groups.
What will remain?
In short, the feeling is that opening the TikTok profile was an exercise, a way not to miss an opportunity to make news. And yet, now the point becomes another: what will remain of the politicians’ profiles? We did a first check, one week after the vote. And one month after the debut (data and information updated to 3 October 2022).
Giorgia Meloni, 600 thousand followers
His growth on TikTok has been impressive: in just one month he has practically sixfold the number of followers, passing from 100 thousand to 600 thousand, proving capable of going beyond that “I am Giorgia, I am a woman, I am a mother”, which was the main reason why she was known to the social media public. In the last 30 days, the number of contents (including newspapers) has grown considerably and their quality has also grown: the staff of the leader of Fratelli d’Italia has evidently found the right key to speak to the youngestas evidenced by the very short clip with melons published shortly before the vote.
Silvio Berlusconi, 690mila follower
On TikTok, the former Knight brought all of himself: the way of speaking, the swaggering attitude, the jokes, also the tendency to exaggerate a little. Like when she said that “my first video on TikTok reached 8.5 million people and broke every record in the world”, and never mind that it wasn’t true. In her first 30 days she posted 35 videos, often curated and platform specific, sometimes taken from old interviews or clips from her life. The numbers proved him right, although probably less than he would have hoped for: reached 350 thousand followers on the first day, also thanks to the novelty effect and the undeniable media coverage of his name, he got stuck a bit, growing by the same number in the remaining 29.
Matteo Salvini, 693,000 followers
As we have seen from the Ixé data on the vote, the social presence of the leader of the League did not have significant consequences on the results that came out of the polls. And also on TikTok, in a similar way to Berlusconi, Salvini seems to have slowed down a bit the race: in a month, the followers have grown by less than 200 thousand units, which are many but for someone like him they are not many. They still remain respectable numbers, but it is easy enough to predict that soon will be on the lowest step of the center-right podium social, after being on the higher one for a long time. Compared to his colleagues, he is the only one who has not published a video of thanks for the electoral outcome.
Giuseppe Conte, 468mila follower
The leader of the 5 Star Movement was among the best tiktokers of the entire election campaign, with well-made videos designed specifically for the audience of the platform. He managed to amass a good following with performances that have grown up to almost 5 million views of the last two contents published. At the time of this writing, incredibly enough, no videos were posted after the vote.
Carlo Calenda, 26,000 followers
Carlo Calenda had started quite well, despite the reference to his being a “drunk bear” and the nod, perhaps a little paternalistic, to ballets. However, the commitment has gradually waned as the electoral campaign proceeds: fewer and fewer specific videos for the platform and more and more content recycled from rallies and interviews. And no, he hasn’t posted any content after the vote either.
Matteo Renzi, 36 thousand followers
Renzi had also started the adventure on TikTok quite well, even with a nod to the memes that see him as the protagonist and to italics. During the election campaign continued to post well-made videos, suitable for the platform and accompanied by images and subtitles. There was perhaps a little lack of consistency, with less than one content per day, but there were still some exploits, such as that of the first video, with over 1 million views, and that of a content that challenged Salvini to a confrontation, taking up an old debate at Porta a Porta. Even in his case, the publications are stopped before the vote.
Elections are not won on social media
by Riccardo Luna
Democratic Party, 7 thousand followers
The PD arrived on TikTok on September 1st, together with Berlusconi and Renzi, with a well-made video by Alessandro Zan dedicated to civil rights. Since that time, the account of the party led by Enrico Letta has continued to publish videos on a daily basis, using different faces, depending on the theme. This is perhaps what penalized performance a bit: despite the contents being well done on average, the results were quite disappointing. As if that were not enough, even the PD has not yet published a single content after 25 September.