written by: Kwong Hiu Ching, Esther

Leading the social media race, John Tsang Chun-wah (Tsang) is maintaining his popularity with interactive social media posts.

Screencap from John Tsang Facebook Fanpage

As of February 5 in 2017, Tsang has released 44 Facebook posts and 12 Instagram posts since his declaration of candidacy on 19 January, 2.7 posts per day. Although the election is not universal suffrage, Tsang is putting effort to gain as much support from the citizens through social media. By interacting with public constantly on social networks, Tsang gained much endorsement among public.

Promotion Videos: in unity with Tsang
Four days after Tsang’s announcement of election bid, the first promotion video was released via Facebook. Few hours before posting the video, a teaser photo of “Supporter A” holding the face of Tsang was posted. Lots of netizens started to discuss who is the mysterious man supporting Tsang. The promotional video turned out the most viewed video on Tsang’s page, reaching over 500k views and 30k likes.

Screencap from John Tsang Facebook Fanpage

Both Sammy Leung and Mak Chai-kwong’s promotion video projected the wise, kind image of Tsang. They showed their endorsement through talking about their real personal experiences with Tsang, which is better than hard selling directly. Besides, Tsang’s PR team carefully chose to post Mak Chai-kwong’s promotion video in the morning of Carrie Lam’s political rally.

Emotional tie: Rebuild hope in Hong Kong
Tsang’s social media posts are often full of empathy. From patronizing food truck, queuing like ordinary citizens, to Facebook live broadcasting of his in community visits…
Tsang developed a crowdfunding platform and invited citizens to support him by donations. In his fund-raising video, he emphasized the donations are not to support him as a person, but to support the spirit of getting Hong Kong united. So the audience may think donating to Tsang means supporting Hong Kong. The whole campaign uses this kind of emotional tie telling that hope will light up in Hong Kong.

On February 3, Tsang posted a status through Facebook and Instagram, showing gratitude to Hong Kong people when his Instagram followers hit 10k. Tsang said when he reads into his followers’ social media footprints and daily lives in Hong Kong, he felt that he has an inconceivable affinity with each Hong Kong citizen. Many people are touched by this status, feeling that Tsang care a lot about the unity of Hong Kong, not just himself. This status is the most liked post currently, reaching 380k likes.

Less interest in “You ask, I answer” (你問我答)
Tsang’s social media strategy is brilliantly executed if compared to other CE candidates. Apparently, Tsang’s followers are more interested in his emotionally motivating posts rather than his practical and political-related suggestions. People are relatively paying less attention to his “You ask, I answer” videos, where he plainly delivers small-talks/chit-chats in front of the camera. People get bored easily with less “juicy” contents on social media. Intentional or not, if the Tsang’s PR team could work up a bit on the “You ask, I answer” videos, it would surely be far more engaging.

Screencap from John Tsang Facebook Fanpage