Both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) spent at least $234,496 in Facebook campaign adverts five months to the 2020 elections.
Entities sponsoring the two dominant parties spent in excess of Ghs 1.34 million to sell their messages to the electorates and ultimately, harvest votes.
According to the Africa 2020 population and internet users statistics, there are 4.9 million Ghanaian Facebook subscribers as of September 2020.
However, Reportal pegged Ghanaian social media users at 6 million.
Sponsors of the two political parties accounted for more than 90% of the total expenditure.
In total, Mr Zuckerberg and his shareholders would be smiling to the bank to cash at least $234,496 (US$=GHC 5.88) or Ghs 1.34 million from all political campaign ads that ran on his social media platform between August to December 2020.
The biggest spenders were the sponsors of the ‘Mahama2020’ page with $65,120 or Ghs 382,905 on 127 campaign adverts in total captured in their library.
This was followed by the ‘Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’ page $53, 598 or Ghs 315,156 spent on 117 campaign adverts.
Also captured in the top 20 biggest spenders was the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), an independent, non-partisan governance institution responsible for civic education which doled out $1,608 or GHC 9,455 on 14 adverts.
For the geographical location, Greater Accra had the most expenditure of $121, 930 almost double that of the Ashanti Region with totalled $61, 440.
The figures were contained in a Facebook Ad Library Report on Ghana. Facebook said the publicly accessible report is part of its efforts to increase transparency in advertising.
Commenting on the development, Digital Marketing Strategist Maximus Ametorgoh, who has conducted research into the expenditure pattern has said the amount is likely to double or exceed a 100 per cent increment by the next elections in Ghana.
“It clearly shows that online platforms especially Facebook is the go-to channel for political parties to push their communications and advertise to their audience,” he noted.
Former President John Dramani Mahama had the most votes in the Greater Accra with the NDC also winning the majority of seats with 20 seats out of 34.
He pointed out that the message, budget and target audience is key for an effective social media strategy as he linked the results of the elections to the social media input.
“You would realise that the NDC won in the Greater Accra Region,” he observed.