The ruling SDSM party is going all – in on sponsored Facebook ads with about over 700 “boosted” campaign posts. This lavish campaign on the part of Zoran Zaev is estimated to cost the party about 27.000 EUR per day.
Zaev alone yesterday had 150 boosted posts, while VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski had 9. Similarly, the regional SDSM candidates had between 5 and 10 times more sponsored posts than their opponents from VMRO-DPMNE showing that SDSM apparently has “money to burn”. SDSM’s ethnic Albanian partner Bilal Kasami from BESA is waging a similarly well funded social media campaign with 74 boosted posts, while DUI’s Ali Ahmeti has just four.
Two small parties are oddities in the campaign, with similarly high levels of boosted, sponsored posts. The nationalist Integra party, whose leader Ljupco Ristovski went from supporting Zaev’s Colored Revolution to denouncing the name change, pays big bucks for its ads and is having 15 of them sponsored at the moment. And it’s not just the spending – Integra drew the attention of the public with the content as well – first by promising that eight billion EUR will be spent to build high speed railway lines between all Macedonian cities, including towns such as Berovo, ignoring the currently established corridors. Its more recent ad promises a space center at the site of the ancient Kokino observatory, that would train future astronauts in zero G conditions and would lead to the launching of the first Macedonian made sattelite in 10 years.
Another party that has about a dozen sponsored posts and a well produced campaign is Tvoja – made again of former supporters of the Colored Revolution, but coming more from the left, it aims to win votes from other disgruntled former supporters of Zaev.