>> Italy's powerful Interior Minister, and champion of the far right, Matteo Salvini. Has doubled support for his League Party in just seven months. By harnessing social media in a way that in some aspects surpasses the prolific use of US President Donald Trump. His strategy was, in fact, inspired by Trump himself.
Steve Scherer at the Reuters Rome Bureau.>> Salvini is a lot like Trump in a lot of ways. He borrowed basically his main slogan, Italians come first, from Trump's campaign. However, one of the things that he does that Trump doesn't do is this, he invites people into his world.
People see him speaking directly to them on Facebook, live, in that moment. And he talks to them as if they're involved in his decisions, you sent me here, and now I'm going to do what you sent me to do. But he also does things like posting pictures of his midnight snack or his lovely plate of pasta that he had for lunch.
He tries to give them an opportunity to see themselves in him, to see, this guy is a normal guy, just like me. I understand how he thinks, I agree with him.>> He's strongest on Facebook. In the first week of July, 2.6 million people interacted with Salvini's 82 videos, more than any other European leader and Trump.
There's method to it, for example, he consistently posts memes that get people arguing. Facebook's visibility algorithm favors posts with a lot of discussion.>> Luca Morisi, the social media guru for Salvini. Denies using any of the sort of tricks that other people have been caught using on social media, like bots on Twitter.
They say simply that they're online all the time, they're following social media all the time. They're reading comments, and they know what people get excited about, and it's all done at a human level.>> All political parties use social media, very few master it.