Election 2010 offers politicians the opportunity to embrace an ever-maturing portfolio of social media platforms to engage with Australian voters, but sadly most are simply using social media platforms to push out their messages in a one way direction.
Myself and the digital team at Edelman Australia have been working on some research in the lead up to the election that aims to measure the Twitter activity of Australia’s politicians and staffers and provide a rank on who is the most influential. Check it out at the dedicated site we have set up – election.tweetlevel.com.au
To track Twitter’s influence on the election, we have input all the politicians we could find into Edelman’s TweetLevel tool, which measures the influence of individuals on Twitter based on a number of factors including re-tweets, followers, frequency of tweets, references etc. We have included a detailed overview of how the tool calculates the scores on the site.
Currently the top ten most influential political Tweets are:
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The findings at the moment show that the Greens are using the platform most effectively with a large section of Greens MPs and candidates using the tool effectively to communicate and engage with potential voters.
The top two positions on the table are controlled by former party leaders Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd. Malcolm is effectively using the platform to engage with his followers and tweets regularly. Kevin Rudd on the other hand has secured his position largely due to the huge following he has (close to 1 million followers), and updates his account sparingly and engages in virtually no two way dialogue via @replies.
Both PM contenders Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott feature highly on the influence score, but this is due in main part to the high number of followers and the high number of re-tweets they are generating. Disappointingly, both candidates are only using their Twitter channels to push content as opposed to using it to engage with Australian voters. Both engagement scores are woefully low.
Will the battle for votes be won by Twitter? Not this time it seems, but Twitter’s influence on the conversation and its use as a political organising tool cannot be underestimated.
We will be updating the Election.TweetLevel.com.au site on a regular basis over the course of the election campaign, so check in regularly if you want to stay up to date.
Another site that is tracking politicians’ use of social media during the election is The Social Election, which has been set up by digital agency Amnesia social media guru Karalee Evans. It is well worth checking out as well.
Any feedback you have on the research we are undertaking would be very much appreciated. If you would like to discuss it with me don’t hesitate to get in contact with me via the contact form on this site or via Twitter – @matthewgainIf you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you\’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .