Twitter and Politics
n truth, getting this balance right if probably your biggest Twitter challenge.
Get out of broadcast mode and be engaging
Twitter is not a one-way street, so if you simply use it as a tool to post your policy,propaganda and prejudice, then you
re definitely missing out. Check in on your @yournameto read the comments others are making. Needless to say you won
t want to be drawn intoarguing out every criticism made. You won
t have the time. But do post a few choiceresponses and not just to those who say something polite. You
ll find Twitter far more usefulif you actually engage with people. You
ll also surprise and impress people when yourespond, because rather like the way that people don
t expect you to be Tweetingpersonally, they don
t expect you to ever respond either.
ont get offended!
re a politician and you probably already have or are in the process of developing a thickskin.
f not then don
t even think about being active on Twitter you
ll just get sad! Sincethe medium is largely anonymous people will write in 140 characters what they
d neverdream of saying to your face.
would estimate that the comments that range from negativeto outright abusive outnumber the positive by two to one. But once you know this is thenature of the Twitter beast this really doesn
t matter. As
m about to explain in #7, you canuse it as your personal instant YouGov polling system. Here
Pay attention to your @ Twitter comments
ight. Now you
ve resolved not to be offended, here
s how to make use of your Twitterfeed. The next time you
re over at Millbank doing a Live on the News Channel or Sky, alertyour Twitter followers just before you go on air. Then afterwards switch your mobile back onand expect instant feedback. When
was recently talking to the BBC about why High Streetshops could still have a future, despite the rise of
made several points abouthow Town Centres enable human contact, yet somehow failed to point out the most obviousadvantage that you can actually touch and feel the goods you
re about to buy.
quick glanceat the Twitter feed afterwards reminded me. Two minutes later
had reworked the line liveon Sky News. Hearing how viewers interpreted your performance is gold dust feedback andit
s instantly available for active Twitter politicians and anyone else on the media.
Twitter is great at putting people in their place. So avoid being pompous, getting overlyoffended or taking comments too seriously when you respond.
f you Tweet from yourmobile (
use the excellentTweetCasteravailable on Android, iPhone, Blackberry andWindows) then sooner or later the auto-correction feature will shame you by twistingsomething you meant to say. When you make a mistake Tweets will quickly appearsuggesting that your office intern screwed up. So, put your own hands up. Make a jokeabout it and move on. Accidents happen. Of course the nature is Twitter is fast and furious