The Coalition is bombarding voters with targeted online advertisements in an effort to narrow the gap between it and social media-savvy Labor in a campaign experts say will be won or lost on the digital battleground.
Labor enters the federal election campaign with a larger social media presence than the Coalition, having steadily increased its dedicated followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at a much faster rate than their opponents in the three years since the last federal election.
But in a bid to level the playing field, the Coalition has invested in more than 100 distinct post-budget digital advertisements it targets to specific subsets of the community by using voter data.
Executive director of progressive campaign agency Principle Co, Daniel Stone, said voters should expect an increase in what is known as micro-targeting - tailoring digital advertisements to minute groups of voters in an effort to make a political message stick.
"Political parties will be looking for new ways to capture attention. In the olden days, you'd buy your 500 television ads and you would be guaranteed attention - not anymore," Mr Stone said.
"The organic stuff is great for getting your supporters involved - memes, for example, are a really powerful way to get supporters excited - but it's not great for persuasion."
Micro-targeting will be used extensively by political parties, Mr Stone said, but parties will seek to combine that with slick graphics, plenty of videos and eye-grabbing advertisements in order to win on the crucial social media battleground.
"Micro-targeting makes sure that the limited money you have gets used in a more effective way. But I think that the real differentiator will be, is the stuff you're making interesting enough to capture the audience's attention?"
"Everyone's really aware of how much you zone out when you're scrolling through things - just throwing stuff up on Facebook doesn't really cut it anymore."
Despite starting the campaign with considerably fewer tailored digital advertisements, Labor believes it enters with an advantage because of what it has steadily cultivated while in opposition - Facebook likes.
Across a network of pages run by the party or its elected federal representatives, Labor has increased its number of Facebook followers by 49 per cent since the 2016 federal election, according to social monitoring platform CrowdTangle, while the Coalition's Facebook followers have grown 36 per cent.
Each side posts at a similar rate - both parties hover at around 600 Facebook posts per week across their networks - but Labor's messages are shared at twice the rate of the Coalition's and they attract more reactions and comments.
This is despite the Coalition's greater number of social media pages: it has nine more elected members than Labor, and its three serving and former prime ministers have almost 1 million Facebook followers between them.
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Scott Wright, a political communication and digital media expert at the University of Melbourne, said although more followers offers parties a valuable, direct line of communication to voters, it is not in itself election-winning.
"While their social media followers tend to be those already engaged and interested in politics and may know who they want to vote for, when these people share party messages or political memes, this reaches beyond the so-called 'echo chamber'," Dr Wright said.
"People's barriers are arguably a bit more down when they hear about politics from their friends, particularly when they receive personalised political messages. These 'authentic' messages are generally considered more influential on undecided voters."
Mr Stone agreed, saying digital campaigns had crept away from organic reach - meaning users the party reaches without requiring cash to magnify posts or distribute advertisements - to a new pay-to-play battleground.
Both major parties have access to Facebook's in-house micro-targeting services which allows them to target advertisements to distinct income brackets, geography, age groups and gender.
Using the service, both parties blitzed Facebook with advertisements for and against Labor's new pledge for half of all new cars to be electric after 2030 - and used car ownership data to tailor their messages.
Labor published advertisements that zeroed in on those owning particular car brands, such as Holden or Ford vehicles, while the Liberal Party narrowed it down to models, publishing individual advertisements targeting Ford Ranger owners and Toyota Hilux owners.