They may not be rock stars. But alongside her Form Six buddies, the friends' list on student Edith Leung Yik-ting's Facebook profile boasts some impressive names, including Civic Party core members Ronny Tong Ka-wah and Tsang Kwok-fung. 'Some months ago, I stumbled upon the Civic Party on Facebook. I added Mr Tong and Mr Tsang, and posted questions about their work. To my surprise, they replied to me,' said the 18-year-old from PLK Vicwood K.T. Chong Sixth Form College. Initial informal chats with the politicians, and some further research into their work, led Yik-ting to membership of the party. Schmoozing with political movers and shakers was something she would never have thought possible in the past. 'I am a Young Civic now. I often help to distribute flyers as a volunteer at promotional events,' she said. Making use of hip communications channels, like social networking sites and YouTube, to reach young people is now the norm rather than the exception among local political parties. Political bigwigs like Savantas Policy Institute head Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee and Emily Lau Wai-hing of the Frontier Party have set up profiles on Facebook to get their message across to the online community. Tsang Kwok-fung of the Civic Party regards such online sites as convenient and effective ways to raise the party's profile with a younger generation. 'Young people spend a lot of time on the internet nowadays. Traditional promotion tactics like posters featuring a clenched fist held aloft are no longer enough to attract attention,' said Mr Tsang. To further spice up its image, the Civic Party has recruited a youthful team of election managers, including Ada Lee Man-ching, a sociology graduate from the Hong Kong Baptist University. 'In the past, election managers were mostly experienced people who know a lot about politics. But the image of politicians in suits and ties was also stale and stuffy. Thinking that we are full of creative ideas, they recruited us to come up with hip strategies that appeal to young voters,' said the Civic Party's 27-year-old election manager. Marco Mak Chung-on, 22, joined the party this year, attracted by its youthful and innovative image. 'I was surprised when I saw a video on YouTube showing Civic Party legislators rap dancing. They talked about their vision and work in the video,' said Mr Mak, a Year Four nursing student from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. With its extensive reach, Facebook has proved to be a convenient and cost-free tool to organise gatherings with new recruits. Mr Tsang was surprised by the high turnout at a karaoke gathering last week organised via the hit site. 'In between songs and games, we talked about our political vision and future work plans. At the end of the meeting, many signed up to be our volunteers,' said Mr Tsang.