MPs on Twitter: Simon O’Connor

Simon O’Connor is the National MP for Tamaki. He was first elected at the 2011 election. Before becoming an MP, Simon worked in the private sector, at Southern Cross Health Insurance. Earlier in life, Simon was training to be a Catholic priest with the Marist Order. As part of this, he spent a year training with Boston. He has also been involved in Monarchy New Zealand.


Simon has been on twitter since before he became an MP. He is a medium level user of Twitter. He has sent just under 3700 tweets. Though he does have just over 1200 followers, which is a solid following for someone with that number of Tweets.


Simon has a good solid mix of promotional Tweets, personality Tweets, and what I would call reportage Tweets, ones documenting what he has been up to.


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The above Tweet is a prime example of what I would call a promotional Tweet. It is promoting a policy announcement, and is about supporting the parties policies and its social media plan. The fact that Simon has made sure to tag the school involved in the tweet shows a good understanding of how to use Twitter.


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As I have commented on before on other posts in this series, Simon is showing the early signs of using his Twitter presence to promote events and businesses within his electorate, or related to it. However, it would be nice to see a bit more, particularly supporting smaller businesses in the electorate. However, part of the responsibility for this lies with the businesses. They need to bring their events and Twitter presence to the attention of their MP. My advice to MPs on this front would be, next time you send out a newsletter or flyer to businesses, tell them to follow you on Twitter and to let you know of events coming up, so you can promote them.


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Simon lets his passion for fencing come through.

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I always love seeing MPs talking about the interesting elements of their electorate.

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This is a great Tweet from Simon, it gives a glimpse of his sense of humour, as well as letting people know about the water bowl outside the electorate office. Which is a nice little touch. I am sure it helps get people to stop and have a chat with Simon or his staff.


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These are nice, relaxed Tweets to support the National party, which is an important task for any MP.

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It is great to see MPs using their online presence to bring to public attention inspirational New Zealanders.


Over all, Simon has established a good base on Twitter to launch from. It would be good to see a bit more of Simon’s sense of humour and personality come through on Twitter. However I understand the risks that humour carries on Twitter. Due to the high density of National MPs in Auckland, it would be good to see a concerted, joint promotional effort undertaken by them, like Chris and Craig did in the Hawke’s Bay. Creating a join hashtag that they all Tweeted on to might be a productive idea. This advice applies to all MPs of all political parties. Joint efforts between groups or pairings of  MPs. On twitter, more Tweets equals more volume and volume can equal attention.