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Italian Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has doubled support for his far-right party in just seven months by cultivating a savvy social media presence that any politician would envy including his inspiration, Donald Trump.Salvini has been especially successful on Facebook, Italy's most popular platform with 34 million active users per month out of an eligible voting population of 46.6 million.In the first week of July, for example, 2.6 million people liked, commented, shared or watched videos on Salvini's 82 Facebook posts, versus 1.5 million engagements on 32 posts for Trump, Raffa's data showed.A loyal and growing cohort of "real people" churn out social media support for Salvini voluntarily, Morisi said in his presentation, titled "The Legend of the Captain", a ubiquitous nickname for Salvini that Morisi coined.THE BRANDThe machine started up in earnest in January 2014, less than a month after Salvini took the reins of a party polling around 3 percent and plagued by corruption scandals, Morisi said.In September, Salvini's Facebook page had 28 million unique views, and Morisi said it has recently reached as high as 30 million.
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