In addition to posting videos of cute cats, social networks also have the advantage of creating proximity, especially with young people. An advantage that some local elected officials have understood and that they exploit for different purposes. While most politicians are already present on historical platforms, like Facebook, others have taken up the much less conventional challenge of TikTok. From the newcomer to the confirmed user of the Chinese social network, 20 minutes has selected three profiles of local elected officials in Oise, Essonne and Doubs.
Ismaël Boudjekada, the opponent with 200,000 followers
At 28, Ismaël Boudjekada is no longer a six-week-old rabbit. At the political level, he has already presented himself in a good number of elections, in particular the presidential one, before entering the municipal opposition in Grand-Charmont, in the Doubs. On social networks, he is present everywhere, but it is on TikTok that it gets the strongest audience thanks to his 202,700 followers. It must be said that the young city councilor is on the job, with more than 200 videos posted, not counting the lives, in just one year of presence on the Chinese platform. “Even I am still surprised when I see the numbers,” he slips.
Because he doesn’t look for buzz, even if he often finds it: “I don’t forbid myself anything and I only make a video because I want to share something that might interest people”, continues Ismaël Boudjekada. . And if he deals a little with local news, in particular to tackle in good and due form the mayor of his commune, the almost thirty-year-old also surfs on national political news, through the media, cooking and small legal tips. “My video that has the most market is the one in which I give advice on auto insurance contracts,” he recalls.
His success is mocked by his opponents at the town hall and envied by a good part of the political world, so much so that some contact him to ask him for advice. “I am often told that I manage to make interesting content that is not sexy”, assures the municipal councilor. Brands are also interested in him for product placements. “That, I refuse to do, except to help a local craftsman who is starting out,” he insists. Moreover, Ismaël Boudjekada does not need that since he recognizes without flinching earning between 500 and sometimes 2,500 euros per month thanks to TikTok. “It is information that I believe should be public, such as the amount of the retirement of Gérard Larcher “, ironically the young man. And that will be the whole subject of his next video.
François Parolini, the rest of Itteville
Itteville is a small town of 6,700 inhabitants, located in Essonne, south of Paris. Without offense, there’s nothing truly exceptional there that could earn him national fame. And yet, the number of media occurrences that emerge on the Internet about him is impressive. And it is to its mayor, François Parolini (DVG), that the city owes this fame. Elected in 2020, the mustachioed sexagenarian spent the first year of his mandate making a terrible observation: “We could no longer reach young people, even with Facebook, which they dropped,” he admits.
So, guided by his com consultant, he decided to lean into TikTok. “It’s ultimately a fairly simple and very creative tool. It is enough to observe a little what is happening there and to take it cool, ”estimates the chosen one. And he quickly picked up stuff, unearthing the trends that work by reproducing them in his own way. He stages himself on Orelsan, Eminem, Darth Vader. For François Parolini, “humor is a very good vector of communication”. Because if he brilliantly handles derision, it is for a specific purpose: to convey a political message with pedagogy. “Renewing the political discourse to interest young people, particularly in the role of local authorities”. In the line of sight, the “intercos” as he says, community of communes, department, region, which tend to take precedence over the mayors.
He doesn’t like it, so they display them, like in his “couscous” video where he denounces the unfair treatment between the communes of the community. “The local politicians scrutinize us, denigrate us,” he blurts out without paying more attention to it. In the meantime, he has twice as many followers as people in his city.
Christophe Dietrich, the terror of wild deposits
Mayor of Laigneville, in the Oise, since 2014, Christophe Dietrich has his little notoriety. Barely in place, the 50-year-old decided to tackle a phenomenon that was rotting the life of his commune: illegal dumping of garbage. His “return to sender” technique was radical, but the effects were slow to be felt until he discovered Facebook: “If we want it to be effective, for it to have educational value, we have to let it be known,” he said. Posted on social networks, his spectacular videos of waste redeposited with their owners were a hit: “We had 50% less illegal dumping in the first month and there, it had been ten months since we had had anything “, he congratulates himself.
If Facebook has been rather successful for him, Christophe Dietrich has all the same opened a TikTok account a few weeks ago which already has 700 followers. “The idea comes from my 18-year-old daughter, he admits, to show what the daily life of a mayor is like”. So yes, there is a video of a wild deposit author, caught flagging this weekend. And it is also the most seen. But in another, the elected official dwells on neighborhood disputes, “the mayor’s penitent cross”, he laments. Meals for seniors, falling trees, city council: it’s all there.
Pedagogy, humor and proximity. “It allows me to be informed in real time of what is happening in the municipality and to be reactive. This creates a very strong link with the population,” says Christophe Dietrich. It is also very time consuming; hence the need, “from time to time, to wean oneself a little.” But, because it’s his trademark and he can’t help it, the mayor of Laigneville does not deprive himself of a little rant sometimes. Latest target, Total and its “cynicism lesson of the century”.