Social media campaigning by numbers – SayYesAustralia vs Clean Energy Future


Mumbrella report that the Say Yes Australia campaign is shifting to a grass roots approach, which I think is code for targeting the members of supporting organisations (including GetUp!) with direct email.

Anyway, this is a good reminder for me to check the Twitter and Facebook stats on both this campaign and also the government’s Clean Energy Future site, which I’ve been tracking.

In the period 28th July to 6th September:

Clean Energy Future

  • Twitter 1,603 increased to 1,725 followers 
  • Facebook 1,490 increased to 1,847 likes


  • Twitter 1,247 increased to 1,409 followers 
  • Facebook 21,644 increased to 24,050 likes

According to Mumbrella the nine groups supporting SayYesAustralia have 3 million members, so based on these numbers it would make sense for them to engage more directly rather than waiting for a viral approach to take hold.

As it happens, I also noticed that a case study was presented today about the Clean Energy Future digital engagement campaign, most of which was managed in-house by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The total budget for the campaign overall (not just the digital part) was $13.7 million.

One of the highlights from this summary of the case study was emphasis on the videos, so that has also prompted me to look again their popularity.

Clean Energy Future’s most popular video (How does carbon pricing work?) has received 17,434 views (30% of all their views). Unfortunately, adding comments is disabled on their videos so they missed the chance to get feedback that way. Meanwhile, GetUp’s most popular Carbon Tax video (A Price on Carbon – In Five Easy Steps) attracted 90,887 views – however, another non-Carbon Tax video reached 423,870 views. It is interesting to note that both videos address the same topic.

On reflection, I’m still not entirely clear about the purpose of the social media channels for both campaigns. Clearly, involving an agency in SayYesAustralia hasn’t helped their Twitter stats. However, based on numbers their Facebook and YouTube channels have been more successful than the government.

Looking at the actual engagement on Facebook in particular, I’m also not sure either campaign has been particularly good at creating a groundswell of support. The approach of both campaigns appears to be one of post interesting links and then letting the community argue amongst itself (I couldn’t find any examples of the moderators from Clean Energy Future joining the conversation). SayYesAustalia’s Facebook page gives supporters the ability to add a badge to their profile pic, but other than this there is nothing for people to do for either campaign. Of course, the argument is that you just have to be on Facebook – but without any clear purpose, my question is would anyone have really noticed if they weren’t?

Hopefully SayYesAustralia have finally realised this and they are going to finally give people something to do.