It’s over-egging the pudding to suggest that 2015 is the year that digital media wins the UK election. But digital and social media are an increasingly influential aspect of campaigning. Any politicians – particularly at parliamentary level (Welsh and UK) who haven’t yet joined the masses are in serious danger of being left behind and rendered irrelevant.
So let’s check out how our protagonists, Albert Owen and John Rowlands are doing on social media.
Starting with Facebook, unless I’m very much mistaken, Albert Owen hasn’t actually got a Facebook presence, and therefore gets 0 out of 10. John Rowlands’ page is here; he’s got 290 likes, which is hardly setting the world on fire, but we all have to start somewhere. More importantly, there’s a fair bit of content being generated, with several posts a day (which is probably about right: too many and people get inundated and jaded). A solid 4 out of 10.
Turning to Twitter, Albert Owen has a pretty good following of 2,046. Albert’s tweeting fairly regularly (14 times per day according to Riffle), but I have to say that the content is – well – boring. We get the occasional weather observation, for example, and rather few images overall (and still fewer taken by Albert – does his phone have a camera?). Top tip for Albert, sometimes it’s better not to tweet than to tweet stuff that is inane.
There are some pretty neat tools out there that can analyse twitter feeds. So we learn that Albert does nearly a quarter of his daily tweets between 7 and 8am. And according to ‘My Top Tweet’, Albert’s most noteworthy tweets have been retweeted 28 times (2 tweets). Startlingly, at number 10 in Albert’s top tweets of all time is this effort, retweeted a grand total of 5 times. The median number of followers of people who follow Alberts is 378. Finally, is there something Albert’s not telling us? His top mentions are of @vaughan_wms, @hywelplaidcymru and @plaid_cymru.
Albert’s Klout score is 55. That means he gets 5.5 out of 10 for his twitter exploits. I haven’t been able to trace a google plus account for Albert, nor a LinkedIn account.
How’s John doing? Well, his following is just 438, which is pretty poor. But then he’s been on twitter less than a year, so let’s not be too harsh. His activity is largely retweets, which means he hasn’t really got the hang of it. But with a week to go, it’s probably not a bad strategy to be retweeting people who know what they’re doing. In John’s case, this is principally Rhun ap Iorwerth. John’s top tweets have been retweeted 18 and 14 times, which for someone who’s a novice isn’t bad. His top mentions are more aligned with his party than Albert: @plaid_cymru, @plaidcymrumon and @rhunapiorwerth. And interestingly, the median number of followers of people who themselves follow John is 429.5. That means that they have rather more clout than Albert’s followers.
John’s Klout score is a surprisingly high 47 – quite possibly because John’s twitter feed is being consumed by twitter users of a considerably higher tweet power.
John has a google plus account, although it’s clearly not being used at the moment, alongside a LinkedIn account with 420 connections (1/5 and 2/5 points for those).