Labour, The Greens, National and some Twitter analytics

As I did in my earlier post on John Key, David Cunliffe, Russel Norman, here is some Twitter analytics on the three largest parties.

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These are the basic statistics about the Twitter accounts of the three major parties currently in Parliament. When it comes to the number of Tweets we have National out ahead on 11,225, followed by the Greens on 7,292 with Labour bringing up the rear on 5,459. Though when we look at followers, the story is very different, we have the Greens out ahead with 10,724, Labour with 6,327 and National bringing up the rear with 5,098 followers. So there is a 2:1 ration in the number of followers between the biggest and smallest party.


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Across the 3 parties, we are looking at statistics for the same number of Tweets, just under the Twitter API limit of 3200. However, that number of Tweets is spread over a different period of time, for National it only goes back to July 2012, Labour back to March 2012 and the Greens August 2011. This is reflected in the statistics, with National sending 5.15 Tweets a day, vs 3.37 for the Greens. However, of these Tweets, the Greens and Labour are using more reTweets, 16% and 32% respectively. Where as National is using less reTweets, suggesting a higher level of original content being sent. National and the Greens are making much more use of Hashtags than Labour. But the Greens and Labour are getting higher numbers of their Tweets retweeted, 46% and 38% respectively. This is reinforced by the higher average number of reTweets, 3.53 for the Greens and 3.30 for Labour. This suggests that the Greens and Labour have followings that are much more likely to interact with their account. It is also indicative of content that has greater appeal to their followers.

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The National party list of the users most reTweeted is pretty unremarkable. The usual suspects you would expect to see. The odd one out is @NatFeed which is another National Party account, it is labeled as “News feed – Direct from the New Zealand National Party”. How this is different to what the main account is, I am not sure. But @NatFeed only has 271 followers. The interesting aspect of the Labour party list is that David Shearer, former leader, is still the most reTweeted user, with current Leader David Cunliffe coming in 3rd equal, behind David Clark and Megan Woods. David has only been reTweeted 4 more times than Grant Robertson, one of those who challenged for the leadership along side him. The Green account stands out for the fact that it is the only account of have a non party account in it’s top ten, namely Greenpeace. It also has known Green Party activist Jackson Wood in the top 10.


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The National party list of users most replied to says it all really. Their presence on Twitter is very much a broadcast style presence, with no interaction with their followers. The Labour list is better, with a number of MPs on there, but also a number of non MPs. However, the figures are all pretty low. With none in double digits. Compare this too the Greens, whose lowest number of replies in the top ten is the same as the highest for Labour. As well, there are two users in there, Fed Farmers and Inventory2 who normally fall on the other side of the political divide to the Greens. This is a good sign of a willingness to engage.






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Once again, the National party list is pretty unremarkable. Nothing amazing to talk about. Where as the Labour list once again has former leader David Shearer at the top of the list. Also interesting is the inclusion of John Key. I am not sure if including him in a Tweet is going to increase or decrease the reach/impact of the Tweet. Again, the Greens have John Key on their list. It would be interesting to do a controlled experiment, Tweet the same content with his handle in it vs just putting his name it, and see what happens.


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When it comes to the use of Hashtags, the National party are much more consistent. They have their own Hashtag that is being used regularly. This will make it easier to find folder Tweets, however, I suspect it is not a widely used Hashtag. Where as the Greens are using the nzpols Hashtag which is much more widely used and followed. This will be helping them get wider reach. Labour on the other hand have been trying to use a wide number of Hashtags and they are not using them regularly. Like anything in relation to the media, consistency is the key.


Over all, what we can see is that despite having sent the most Tweets, the National party is lagging behind Labour and the Greens. The Greens are a strong example of how to use social media effectively. They are Tweeting and reTweeting content that their followers want to engage with, plus they are willing to engage with people from around the political sphere. They all have places they could improve, but the Greens are definitely out in front.