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Why are politicians suddenly taking to Facebook?

Brand marketers are no longer the only ones striking for social media presence with PR stunts.

Last week has been tough for Hong Kong’s top government officials, including the chief executive and the three key secretaries, as they caught fire with the latest Wang Chau document revelation.

As it revealed, the top government officials made a collective decision to scale down a key section of a controversial Wang Chau housing project after coming under pressure from rural leaders.

While officials are being urged to come clean, especially chief executive CY Leung and his potential rival at 2017’s chief executive election John Tsang (rumor suggested), LegCo member James Tien (田北俊) got cheeky (as usual) with his latest Facebook post.

“So you guys have been urging me to go for the next chief executive election. (I’d) rather grab peanuts!”

The phrase “grab peanuts” share the same meaning with “grab popcorns” in Cantonese. The post stirred a great deal of noise in the internet, with more than 120 shares, 50 comments and 470 likes in two days.

Starting from this year’s legislative council election, politicians of all parties have started exploring the social media, many learned that a sense of fun and humor would always work.

Breaking the internet during mid-September was Alvin Yeung (楊岳橋)’s seemingly romantic photo with another LegCo candidate Jenny Chan(陳玉娥). Despite the photo being taken under accidental forced perspective, Yeung’s social media team had leveraged the opportunity to win social media exposures.

“We can’t just rely on traditional media to get our voices heard,” said the team in an interview with HK01.

Humor, informal and affability are the keys in social media, Yeung’s team said, adding that they had started using live broadcasting and Instagram as new channels.

On Instagram, cheeky pictures, short captions, long hashtags and sincere attitudes are most preferred.

Yeung’s facebook page followers has recorded a growth from 10k to 120k within six months.

Yet not all informal pictures work well for politicians. The latest post from Regina Yip(葉劉淑儀), for instance, was posted in an attempt to show the casual side of the LegCo member – only to suffer backlash as netizens mock her posture.

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