Labour Leader @Phil_goff tweets in #goffchat

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Yesterday from 5-6pm Labour Leader Phil Goff answered question on Twitter using the #goffchat hashtag.This was the 6th #goffchat event. I did my best to monitor the social analytics and while they are not perfect here's what we know

  • More than 170 tweets mentioned #goffchat yesterday
  • First #goffchat was May 23rd with 193 tweets, 2nd was July 5th with 203 tweets, 3rd was on August 2nd with 150 tweets, 4th and 5th events failed to generate 150 tweets combined.

Yesterday we also had the #RWC2011Chat with Martin Snedden  from 3-4pm

I think the timing of #goffchat was interesting. 5pm is not typically a very busy time on Twitter as many people are leaving work and heading home etc. I would like to see the next #goffchat run between 8-9pm as I think we'd see a much higher level of participation. To target business conversations perhaps a 2-3pm timeslot could also be considered.

While this is obviously a great initiative by the Labour Party I felt a bit disappointed with the results. The timing probably had a huge impact on the number of people participating but even so I expected a lot more interest. Several Labour Party MP's had shared and promoted the event and it was the 6th occasion it had been done. Still it will be interesting to see if other parties follow suit leading up to the election on November 26th.

Twitter might be a relatively small audience compared to Facebook or TV etc but the people actively using Twitter in New Zealand are incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and influential on and offline.  Given people's retweet power #goffchat tweets could have a very significant reach. While Twitter probably won't significantly influence the overall result politicians that do use social networks well could influence Party votes. Although it will be interesting to compare electorate results to see if the active tweeters win more or less than opponents less/not active on Twitter.

What sort of impact do you think social media will have on this years general election?

While these are not in sequence I added as many relevant tweets to storify so you can read through the questions and answers.