For those who don’t know me, I, @Beanmimo, have been running social media and twitter accounts for businesses in Ireland since 2012 (50+ campaigns).
The following is my analysis on how well the political parties engaged with social media via twitter on the day of the announcement of #GE2020 – January 14th.
There are several keys to a successful social media presence especially in the face of an election: My criteria are: frequency, focus, precision, consistency, and alignment.
The Twitter conversation is dynamic which means that political account messages need to be sharply focused, correct, strongly aligned with the current contexts and carefully tagged/labelled and connected with each party’s brand, values, and other aspects of their campaign.
Here is my rating of how the political parties have fared in those early stages of their election campaigns on January 14th in relation to their ‘original’ tweets (retweets not taken into account):
In first place are Sinn Fein, tweeted throughout the day with the best balance of Election tweets while also keeping the parties’ other activities front and centre. A fully rounded approach.
Losing points for not having an original announcement text tweet besides their video and failing to add account tags (one) and links (all) for media slots Fianna Fail were the second most organised, well structured and on point throughout the day.
The Labour Party come in a close third, losing out mainly because of no video tweet.
Social Democrats land in fourth place as they hit all the main marks, a written launch post and a video launch – but lost out by not tweeting more frequently and having a typo in one of their tweets.
Fine Gael are in fifth place mainly due to the fact that they should have had a much more prepared and structured approach to the day.
With so much to gain The Green Party should have burst out of the gates but instead they were the last to announce via text tweet shortly followed by a video tweet. This puts them in sixth place.
People Before Profit bring up the rear with only one election related ‘original’ tweet.
Original Tweets on 14th January
(Parties listed alphabetically – Video tweets dealt with separately below)
Declaration of 2020 Irish General Election 2 pm on the 14th January.
@fiannafailparty 37.7K Followers
FF were the earliest party active on twitter.
7 am A tweet about Seán Fleming on RTE’s Morning Ireland.
9.54 am FF Leader Micheál Martin on Pat Kenny NewsTalk.
11.53 am FF shares information about General Election ticket in Cork North Central being completed.
Followed by a number of Election interview slots.
1.04 pm Lisa Chambers TD on RTE News At One.
4.16 pm Marc MacSharry TD on Ivan Yates NewsTalk.
5.40 pm Stephen Donnelly TD on RTE’s Drive Time.
9.20 pm Lisa Chambers TD on RTE PrimeTime.
10.33 pm Dara Calleary TD on Virgin Media One TV.
(Points lost for no original Fianna Fail launch tweet besides video discussed below, RTE’s Morning Ireland account not tagged, no links to radio/tv station spots, not using #GE2020 in first few tweets of the day)
@FineGael 38.5K Followers
1.41 pm Fine Gael chose not to post any actual ‘original’ content but instead shared their party leader – Taoiseach Leo Varadkar‘s tweets.
“The General Election will be held on Saturday February 8th. I hope the Saturday vote will cause less inconvenience to parents than a weekday, and will make it easier for students and people working away from home to vote. Next stop the Áras to see the President ! #LookForward”
Followed by three more retweets (shares) of the Taoiseach’s tweets.
The Green Party
@greenparty_ie 32K Followers
10.05 pm, The Green Party, arguably the party with the most to gain in this election, are the last to pitch in.
(Points lost for not using #GE2020 hashtag and for this being their first tweet of only two ‘original’ posts for the day)
The Labour Party
@labour 50.3K Followers
LP shared a Storm Brendan Howlin’ pun from the Sun newspaper followed by an 11.25 am tweet letting their followers know about an upcoming interview with their Dublin South candidate Kevin Humphreys.
11.32 am Senator Ivana Bacik is LP Director of elections.
1.09 pm Senator Ivana Bacik to be on RTE News.
4.41 pm The official election kick off announcement.
“We’re kicking off our General Election campaign – we are ready to build an equal society. 🌹 #GE2020 #AnEqualSociety”
4.44 pm A quote from Leader Brendan Howlin TD’s launch press conference,
Later they let their followers know that LP Leader Brendan Howlin TD would be on RTE Prime Time (will be discussed below).
(Point lost for not taking the frivolous first post down)
People Before Profit
@pb4p 11.9K Followers
1.22 pm Announcement their election campaign.
“On Saturday Feb 8th vote to break the cycle of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail.
#ge20 #GE2020 #ireland”
(Points lost for not capitalising ‘Ireland’ and posting only one election-related ‘original’ tweet)
@sinnfeinireland 99.9K Followers
9.15 am, Declan Kearney welcoming the tackling of sectarianism, but their second 11.09 am was the announcement of Pearse Doherty TD as Director of elections.
11.27 SF start their twitter election campaign.
“#GE2020 is on!
They followed this with two SF committee appointees tweets and information about an upcoming radio appearance by Pearse Doherty TD.
1.33 pm Karen Mullan welcomes £45m education investment.
3.13 pm An election message “This is the first time there will be a General Election on a Saturday since 1918 We topped the poll that day, let’s do it again! Vótáil Sinn Féin #1 #GE2020”
4.34 pm An election message ‘Sinn Féin will give workers and families a break – @MaryLouMcDonald http://sinnfein.ie/contents/55737 #GE2020’
7.03 pm They tweeted about @PaulMaskeyMP calling for the release of Catalan political prisoners.
7.35 pm They informed us of Pearse Doherty’s upcoming appearance on RTE’s Prime Time.
They finished off the night with a tweet about John Finucane MP meeting US political leaders in Washington and from an Irish Diaspora event in London.
@SocDems 17.5K Followers
1.13 pm, the SD’s preempt the 2 pm #GE2020 announcement, with the message
“#GE2020 is a chance for people to change the direction in w which Ireland is going.”
3.25 pm A tweet promoting Cian OCallaghan.
4.13 pm The official announcement their election on twitter.
“#GE2020 Don’t be stuck on the sidelines!
(Points deducted for not spotting or correcting the typo in their first tweet and lack of more frequent ‘original’ tweets)
14th January Video #GE2020 Election Day Announcement Tweets
7.30 pm FF leader Micheál Martin TD delivers a polished video broadcast.
Videos on the day retweets (shares) of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s tweets – ‘owning’ the party’s election campaign launch perhaps?
4.36 FG’s first video is a strategic clip from the earlier #GE2020 announcement which focuses mainly on the deal on Brexit and what needs to be done next to protect Ireland’s economy.
9.07 The Second FG video is The Taoiseach kicking off the campaign trail from earlier in the afternoon.
(FG have coined their own hashtag for the election #LookForward but lose points for only using the #GE2020 hashtag in one of the video tweets and not having any sort of structured strategy for the day)
10.38 pm Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan delivers a casual video broadcast.
(points lost for no text with video)
10.28 pm With no official video launch The Labour Party, instead, show a clip of Labour Leader Brendan Howlin TD clashing swords with Simon Coveney on RTE’s Prime Time.
(points lost for no official video launch)
Twitter Shares of Announcement and Video Tweet (at time of blog posting).
No announcement tweet
Thanks to Bill Gleeson for letting me know the exact timing of the announcement of the election.
You can follow me @beanmimo on twitter.