Social media in political engagements in Africa A study of Twitter use in the intra-party elections of political parties in Ghana

1. Abstract

The advent of social media is changing the dynamics of political communication, engagements and election campaigns across the world. These platforms extend opportunities for political actors especially political parties, governmenta and citizens to engage directly to build mutually beneficial relationships through engagements ans interactions. Using interviews and content analysis, this article explores “Twittering” in political communication and engagements; how political parties use social media especially during their 2018 intra-party elections in Ghana. It examines how the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress in Ghana use Twitter in intra-party elections. The article gathers data from political parties and their Twitter pages to theorize the political appropriation of social media in Ghana.The findings show that the political parties minimally appropriate Twitter; as they occasionally used it for public information purposes than interactive engagements and mutually beneficial relationships via two-way symmetrical communication. There were insignificant amount of tweet made by the political parties during their intra-party elections in 2018, which indicate that political use of social media in Ghana is still infantile. Therefore, political parties need to improve their use of Twitter and other social media platforms to take maxim advantage of the interactive features and relationship building potentials to garner support from the public and votes in elections. In this regard, political parties require enlightenEd communication strategies and professional political public relations tact for improved use to mature in social media communication.

Akwasi Bosompem Boateng (, North-West University, South Africa

Theme: Lux by Bootswatch.