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  1. ITV Report

Which side is winning the #indyref social media debate?

Both Yes and No campaigns have been prolific on social media. But who's in the lead? Photo:

Long before politicians hit the campaign trail or sparred on live TV, the Scottish referendum debate was raging on social media.

So how have the campaigns been harnessing social media, and crucially, who has dominated?

Reach

The Yes Scotland campaign was the early bird on Twitter, launching its @YesScotland account in April 2012, and has amassed almost 80,000 followers.

The pro-union Better Together campaign embarked on its Twitter voyage a month later and has failed to close the gap, with @UK_Together gaining just 36,600 followers at time of writing.

The Yes Scotland (above) and Better Together Twitter accounts Credit: Twitter

Similarly on Facebook, Yes Scotland got in there early and has amassed more than 266,000 likes compared with Better Together's 188,000.

While both camps have been prolific tweeters, Yes Scotland has shared more images and videos - both important factors in the 'shareability' stakes.

Shareability

The top two most re-tweeted images using the neutral #indyref hashtag both had a pro-independence bias.

The third most re-tweeted image was a graph from the pollsters at YouGov showing the moment the Yes and No votes equalised for the first time.

Both camps have been active on the video front, although Better Together is the only campaign to have YouTube views in the hundreds of thousands.

Its video entitled 'We want the best of both worlds' had received more than 466,000 hits at time of writing, compared with just 64,700 for Yes Scotland's most popular video.

Better Togather's second most watched video - 'The woman who made up her mind' - also has more than 400,000 clicks, but possibly for the wrong reasons (keep reading)...

Bloopers

The pro-independence camp used Twitter to devastating effect in the wake of the video above, which featured an over-worked mother making up her mind to vote No.

Some saw the video as sexist and patronising and took to Twitter using the #PatronisingBTLady hashtag to complain or share memes from the video with sarcastic slogans.

Labour leader Ed Miliband's bid to convince "cities, towns and villages across the UK to fly the Saltire" led to some photos of blue and white flags fluttering over public buildings.

But again, these were eclipsed by images of the Saltire over Downing Street accompanied by sarcastic comments, and claims that the flag refused to be hoisted the first time.

But with a week to go until referendum day and both campaigns moving into top gear, there is everything to play for.

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