There has been lots of comment about this being the first ‘social media Election’ in the UK. Undoubtedly the social networks are in place, there is scale in terms of numbers participating, and the political parties are fighting to win on this battleground.
So how did sitting MPs rate on day one of General Election 2010? I’ve conducted an unscientific survey to find out!
1. Search ‘MP’ in Twitter
2. Analyse content generated by UK MPs on day-one of GE 2010 (April 6th).
From a random sample of 25 UK MPs, 17 tweeted today (68 pct), nearly all referring to the official start of the Election campaign. Some of those without any content updates had been dormant for some time e.g. Tom Brake.
While this doesn’t in any way claim to be a comprehensive analysis, it does bring up some interesting points.
1. There is apparently no consistency in content/message across party MPs
2. Similarly there is no evidence of a coordinated effort to ensure the campaign is kicked off via Twitter on day one
3. Comments lack calls to action and clear opportunities to engage further.
If this is to be the first ‘social media Election’, one where parties can use it to make a difference, it will take more than a presence on platforms to make it happen. Content that engages and includes a clear online call to action would be a good start. Some content aggregation via the parties’ main sites/social outposts, would add consistency and visibility to individual MP’s content. Finally, genuine opportunities to debate issues online direct with candidates would see social media used to its full potential.
Game on. Let’s see if any one of the parties can use social media to its advantage in the closest Election for decades.
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