To me one of the worst things to see on a social media feed is inconsistency. Resource limitation is a legitimate explanation for below average graphics being used. Now for parties like the Conservatives, or other minor parties, this might be the case. But when you are a major party, with your own in-house graphics people, it is not an explanation. Add in a history of producing some good graphics, and it becomes even more of a concern, annoyance. This is starting to look like the case with National. I have already talked about the most tragic social media effort of the year. We haven’t got close to that again. But we do have a rather clear demonstration of the level of inconsistency that is starting to become apparent. Both of these images came from the National Party Twitter account, they were posted within 36 hours of each other.
The first image is pretty basic, it looks like it was knocked up in 10 min, which is about 8 min longer than it took to knock up the Labour war room image. The back ground image is a free stock image from here. Now there is nothing wrong with using stock images, but when you do, you still need to put thought into how they are used. This looks like it was put together by someone without a design background.
When you compare it to the second image, the difference is clear. The second image contains a simple screen grab, a positive quote and a single slogan. It is well branded, with the national party colours prominent in it. It has a polished look that the earlier image is missing.
A political party is a brand, it needs to build a consistent brand presence, images are a useful tool for this. But they all need to be of a similar, high, quality. They also need to be seen by as many people as possible. The National party Twitter account has the lowest number of followers out of the 3 largest parties in Parliament, as well as less than the Internet Party. This is where hashtags help spread the word. But these two tweets us hashtags that either only the National party account tweets too, #nznats, or are incorrect versions of well used hashtags, #nzpols (#nzpol).