Strache's Facebook strategy benefits tabloid

Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) is known for his aggressive comments on social media. But since he has been appointed Vice Chancellor, his tone on Facebook has changed drastically.  

Christine Tragler
Christine Tragler Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Strache's Facebook strategy benefits tabloid

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Heinz-Christian Strache, WikiCommons

Why this story matters:

When Heinz-Christian Strache (FPÖ) writes a post, it’s expected that thousands will see it, and, if there is a link -- to click on it. As a politician of the right-wing opposition he was known for his aggressive tone. But as Vice Chancellor, he has drastically changed his communication via Facebook, which is arguably FPÖ’s most direct means of reaching its voters.

Data analysis by Der Standard editors has yielded some interesting insights. If Strache shares a link that leads to the website of the Austrian tabloid newspaper "Kronen Zeitung", he will, on average, generate more than eight times as many reactions as the newspaper’s posts alone. 

Therefore, it can be assumed that by linking to "Kronen Zeitung," Strache generates almost as many views of the newspaper’s website as the newspaper’s Facebook page alone.

Does the tabloid deliberately publish articles or write titles differently so that Strache shares them?

"With all due respect, that would be a little over the top," says Richard Schmitt, editor-in-chief of the "Kronen Zeitung". "It happens because we talk a lot about issues such as integration and crime," said Schmitt.

But it so happens that the two topics are Strache's main obsessions.

Details from the story:

  • More than 775,000 Facebook users like Vice-Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache's page.
  • Strache often shares articles from"Kronen Zeitung". Especially on social media. This increase is evident: Strache generated 218,128 reactions in the period under review, with only 111 of the posts leading to the "Kronen Zeitung". On its own, the newspaper generated 235,723 reactions with 982 posts. 
  • According to media analysis, "Krone" is by far the largest daily newspaper in Austria with an outreach of 29.2%. Even online, "Kronen Zeitung" has an enormous reach with more than 2.5 million of hours spent on the site by users per month. In addition, it has a strong Facebook presence with over 300,000 fans.
  • While Strache's Facebook page has gained fans since the election campaign, responses, comments and shares have generally declined. The FPÖ leader has 774,000 Facebook fans, compared to 739,000 in September 2017. In the past two months, he has posted 267 times, generating around 510,000 reactions. In the previous year, he posted 314 times with a total of around 680,000 reactions. His posts were shared 146,000 times during the election campaign, and have been shared 83,000 times so far this year.
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