Today, the Greens are the first party to release their final 2014 Party List. The final party list is available here. Most of the current crop of Green MPs are well known, especially on Twitter. I have already blogged on Kevin Hague, Julie Anne Genter and Holly Walker. This blog is going to focus on those in the top 20who are not current MPs. I have settled on 20, as that is just a bit more than what the Green party arm aiming to achieve this election. Even if they miss that target, there is still the possibility of some of them becoming MPs later in the term.
James Shaw (13) was the highest ranked non MP in the provisional list, at number 10. This was a boost from his 15th ranking at the last election. He is the Green candidate for Wellington Central, as he was last time.
James is semi active on Twitter, with an average of 6.13 tweets a day. This just below the average for Green MPs in the last week. This means he is more active than some of their current MPs. An average of .72 mentions per tweet is a reasonable effort, it shows a willingness to engage with other people. From personal experience, James is very approachable, and willing to engage and discuss things.
I do find it interesting that there are no Green party or Green MP accounts in his top 10 most retweeted accounts. I would have expected there to be at least the Green Party account in there, especially a couple of weeks after Budget, when we have seen a number a Budget related graphics coming out.
Marama Davidson (16) is the Green candidate for Tamaki Makaurau, I have already blogged about her taking on the media. She has the second highest number of followers of the candidates in this blog. Her following is not a huge one, but it is a good base to launch from, especially considering the young median age, 24, of the electorate. I am expecting to see some good social media work coming from Marama.
16 tweets a day is a good effort, added to this is the low, 9%, retweet rate. There are some people who have high daily tweet figures, but part of this is achieved from retweeting lots of other tweets. She is also obviously willing to engage with people, resulting in an average of over 1 mention per tweet.
Unlike James, Marama does have a Green MP, co-leader Metiria Turei, in her top 10 retweets, as well as another Green Maori seat candidate, Jack McDonlad (@tautokai), in there. Again, I am surprised at this low level of party mentions in their most retweeted lists. Though cross candidate connection and engagement is a good sign, especially for a party that is mainly aiming to gain party vote.
Barry Coates (17) is the Green candidate in Mount Roskill, he was until recently the Executive Director of Oxfam New Zealand. His presence on Twitter is pretty minor.
These statistics suggest that Barry is on Twitter cause he feels he needs to be, but doesn’t actually know what to do on there. One tweet every 20 days is his over all average, however, most of the tweets have been sent since December last year. It is not surprising to see a retweet figure of 31, I suspect it is rather common for people who have such a low number of tweets in total, when you are learning a new platform, you are not sure what to do, so you retweet things that you see as opposed to trying to create original content.
Even though 31% of his tweets are retweets, they seem to be evenly spread across a number of accounts. But again, there is a noticeable lack of Green party accounts, bar one retweet of Russel Norman.
John Hart (18) is a organic sheep and beef framer, with a background in the IT/Telecoms industry, as well as rural supplies. He does have the highest number of followers out of this group of candidates. He is also by far the most active on Twitter, with nearly 23,000 tweets.
Even though he has the more tweets, his daily average is still below that of Marama. He does also appear to be falling into the retweet trap, with nearly 1 in 4 of his tweets being a retweet.
Those retweet numbers may be a bit high for my liking, but at least there is a better representation of party accounts, Gareth, Russel, Metiria and James Shaw all feature.
Dave Kenndy (19) is a primary school teacher and principal from Invercargill, where he is the Green Candidate. He joins the group of new candidates who have a pretty weak social media presence.
The only reason that his average tweets per day is as high as it is, is the fact he has his blog linked to his twitter account, so every time that he post it tweets. It is odd that he has no retweets, at all. There is pretty much no engagement with other people, just 8 user mentions and 7 replies.
Jeanette Elley (20) is a IT manager with the Waitemata DHB, she has a background in Science, teaching, and public policy, she is also currently a PhD student. She is the Green candidate in Mt Albert.
Jeanette is the opposite of Dave Kennedy, over 70% of her tweets are made up of retweets. She is still very inactive on Twitter, but it looks like when she is on Twitter, all she is doing is retweeting stuff, with pretty much no original content.
Of those retweets, there is a good representation of Green Party MPs, Russel, Metiria, Gareth. But the interesting person is in number 2, Max Coyle. Max was a Green Party candidate at the last election, who, along with his partner, was caught trying to get stories into the Waikato Times that reflected well on the Green Party. He has also been known to call for Ministers to kill themselves and for National Party members to be executed. Is this and indication that the views and actions of Max Coyle are still accepted within the Green Party?
Over all there is a split among the Green candidates in the top 20 who are not MPs. There are those who have a well established social media presence already, James Shaw, John Hart and Marama Davidson, and those who don’t. I suspect those who don’t will remain the same during the campaign, they will attempt to use it, but due to their lack of understanding of how it works, they won’t achieve much in the way of cut through. The only way they will attract a large increase in followers is if they do something funny or stupid. Where as those with the well established social media presence will do what they can to leverage this presence. They will play a key role in the wider Green party social media campaign.
The Greens have traditionally had one of the best social media operations. This looks to be continuing this election, with some candidates coming through with a good understanding of social media. However they can’t rest on the laurels as there have been some big improvements in parts of the National operation, as well as the odd glimpse of good content coming out of the Labour party.