Latest Stats: NZ Politics on Twitter ~ #VoteNZ

NZpolitics social media review

I don't know about you but I love Twitter and I'm far more likely to engage with a politician on Twitter than Facebook. 5 months ago I evaluated the State of New Zealand politics on Twitter. That post took upwards of 15 hours to create and forms a great benchmark for this follow up post just three weeks out from the General Election on November 26th. So lets re-look at how the parties and their leaders are stacking up on Twitter.  I suggest you take a look at your local MP and judge for yourself whether their activity, conversations and engagement aligns with your own expectations of politicians and engaging Twitter use.

Across the New Zealand political scene there is a full spread of social media activity. From the NZGreens with all their MP's active on Twitter and highly engaging too through to ACT with little activity and over the last month they have only gained 30 followers. NZLabour's leader Phil Goff runs occasional Twitter chat sessions using the hashtag #goffchat, the last one I tracked was held at 5pm and had less than 200 tweets. The National Party comes in second after NZGreens and ahead of NZLabour in the Twitter follower stakes but National leader and Prime Minister John Key has gained about 10,000 followers since May 18th. Phil Goff has only gained about 2,000 new followers over the same time period.

Some politicians have not tweeted in months, others are posting 20+ times per day. Over the last three months I have 'asked Twitter' "who are your favourite politicians to follow?" and time and time again the responses back are Labour's Clare Curran, National's Tau Henare, NZGreen's Gareth Hughes. I think you can add to that list National's Nikki Kaye, Labour's Stuart Nash and Jordan Carter.

Social networking gives politicians a unique opportunity to meet, connect and engage with their local constituents as well as people around the country who share a common interest or passion for creating solutions to particular problems or industries. Social networking is a long walk rather than a sprint so those that haven't built a profile ahead of the election probably won't benefit by launching a campaign with just a few weeks to go.

From the party perspective I see MP's on Twitter as a great individual branding opportunity but it also helps to get the Party messages out to a wider audience. In that respect I think every MP should be more than encouraged to use Facebook and Twitter but of course it's not for everyone.

Overall we as voters want to vote for a Local MP we have a connection with, someone who's willing to listen, share their vision, help us understand policy, someone we share common values with. Using social networks to foster many one on one connections takes time and commitment but I'm sure over time that will pay off in votes and positive public opinion.

Over the last few weeks since the Leaders debates have been running on TV two hashtags have emerged. #NZVotes seems to take a Labour slant while #VoteNZ is surrounded by more National Party keywords. #VoteNZ is the hashtag that most people are using and I saw many tweets from the NZGreens launch over the weekend using it too.

Maori Party

ACT

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 496 Followers

NZGreens 

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 3020 Followers

 

Russel Norman 

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 1376Followers

NZLabour

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 1109 Followers

Phil Goff 

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 3423 Followers

NZNationalParty

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 1606 Followers

John Key

Recorded on May 18 2011 - 21743 Followers

 

Twitter Profiles for New Zealand Ministers of Parliament

The Greens

ACT

Labour

National

Maori Party

United Future

Progressive Party