What the news-makers are saying about current issues on social media…
A discussion on the media, journalism, social media, technology and modern day politics.
Dec 18

CNN’s #AskACop hashtag gets appropriated

Sam Boden

On Tuesday evening, CNN asked Twitter users to tweet questions to a panel of police officers to promote an upcoming programme called ‘Cops Under Fire’. The hashtag has since seen 211,943 mentions on Twitter in two days, where it has received sarcastic tweets relating to police brutality and the recent incidents of police violence in the US.

This begs the question, what did they expect? After the recent public outrages in America, it’s pretty obvious that this was just another hashtag appropriation waiting to happen.

It also isn’t the first police related hashtag campaign to be hijacked this year. #myNYPD, a hashtag started in April by the New York City Police Department encouraging people to tweet pictures of themselves communicating with police officers, received a similar 150,922 mentions on Twitter in its first two days, where people tweeted pictures depicting police brutality.

The fact that 83.2% of the tweets mentioning the #AskACop hashtag came from USA just goes to show how frustrated that the American people are with their police service.

Social media can be a powerful tool in driving change and appealing to the masses, but if you choose to drive your campaigns during a period of public outrage, things are unlikely to go as planned.

Posted in USA Politics |
Dec 18

Nicola Sturgeon’s Twitter followers more than triple in 2014

Sam Boden

The SNP’s popularity in the polls is being matched by their popularity on Twitter, according to the latest data from Yatterbox. Since the start of 2014, newly elected First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s followers have grown to 107,340, up from 34,516 at the beginning of the year.

However, Sturgeon still trails behind her predecessor Alex Salmond, who currently has 134,202 followers.

Also behind on the polls in the Twitter stakes is Scottish Labour’s new leader, Jim Murphy, who has 29,618 followers. The Conservative’s Ruth Davidson is further behind on 14,901.

Full 2014 analysis shows:

  • ·         Out of the 128 MSPs, 113 are now on Twitter, a higher percentage than MPs in Westminster;
  • ·         Nicola Sturgeon has sent 2,600 tweets so far this year;
  • ·         She had 34,516 followers at the start of the year, which has more than tripled to her current 107,340 followers;
  • ·         Of the 2,600 tweets Sturgeon sent this year, 491 mentioned ‘Indyref’, and 281 mentioned ‘SNP’. She mentioned the Independence referendum more times than the SNP’s twitter feed;
  • ·         Alex Salmond has sent 669 tweets so far this year;
  • ·         His followers have increased by more than double this year from 52,155 in January to his current 134,202;
  • ·         Ruth Davidson has sent 2,279 tweets so far this year;
  • ·         Her followers have increased this year from 5,902 in January to her current 14,901 followers;
  • ·         Jim Murphy has sent 1,433 tweets so far this year;
  • ·         His followers have increased from 18,661 followers in January to his current 29,618 followers;
  • ·         Of the 1,433 tweets Murphy sent this year, 155 mentioned ‘Indyref’, and 199 mentioned ‘Labour’;
  • ·         Willie Rennie has sent 466 tweets so far this year
  • ·         His followers have increased this year from 4,188 in January to his current 5,405 followers.

Additionally, the dedicated Twitter page for Yes Scotland increased from 37,982 followers in April, to a massive 100,901 followers by the 18th of September. Comparatively, the Better Together twitter page didn’t do anywhere near as well, where its followers increased from 21,191 to 42,701 in the same period.

In comparison, leaders in the House of Commons:

  • ·         David Cameron’s followers have grown from 554,686 in January to his current 859,780;
  • ·         Ed Milliband’s followers have grown from 278,463 in January to his current 363,953;
  • ·         Nick Clegg’s followers have grown from 143,502 in January to his current 199,478.

Commenting on the data, Yatterbox’s Head of Product Ben Carson said:

“Twitter is fast becoming one of the most important tools for politicians and parties to communicate and engage with the public. The data shows a higher take up of Twitter in Holyrood compared to Westminster, with well over 80 per cent of MSPs using Twitter.

“The numbers show the SNP seem to have a strong social media strategy in force and it will be interesting to see whether the other parties and leaders will be able to catch up ahead of next year’s General Election.”

Posted in Scotland |
Dec 17

PMQs 17 December 2014

James Donald

In the final PMQs of the year Ed Miliband asked David Cameron about the government’s spending plans. Both quoted the OBR to try and prove they were right, but the press were unimpressed by the exchange. The Independent’s John Rentoul summed up the mood, tweeting “That’s the whole of the election campaign in 10 mins. Wake me up on 6 May”.

PMQs 17 Dec small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Dec 12

Yatterbox week ahead

Happy Friday all and Happy Christmas Jumper day too! At Yatterbox we like to break news before it’s even broken, so we thought in future we’d put together a list of events that politicians, journalists and the Twittersphere are likely to be talking about in the week ahead. We hope this is of use and it’s great to get direct feedback from our users on what else they’d like to see.

In the real world there are a few stories that are likely to attract headlines. This Saturday and Sunday sees the winner of The X-Factor announced. The finalists (Andrea FaustiniBen Haenow and the bookies’ favourite, Fleur East) will all be battling out for Christmas number one. However they will be competing with a charity version of The Farm’s ‘Altogether Now’which is being recorded on Monday by acts including Alexandra Burke and The Proclaimers.

Other events that are likely to create some Twitter interest is Sunday’s Premier League match between Man Utd and Liverpool. Sunday also sees the annual BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards, this year’s favourite from Paddy Power is golfer Rory McIlroy followed by F1 World Champion, Lewis Hamilton.

The most interesting has certainly got to be Monday night’s episode of Gogglebox on Channel 4. This week Steph and Dom ‘the posh couple’ will be joined by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, it is bound to cause some interest across social media.

Other things to be aware of include Wednesday when Google will put out their top-trending search terms of the year. We are also expecting to see on Wednesday the monthly UK unemployment figures, preceded by Tuesday’s inflation figures.

This is the last week in Parliament before the Christmas break. Yatterbox will be providing our final weekly PMQs round up of 2014 and look out for a few other specials as Westminster closes down for Christmas too.

Happy tweeting!

Posted in Week ahead |
Dec 10

PMQs 10 December 2014

James Donald

With David Cameron in Turkey Nick Clegg stood in at PMQs having “hot-footed” back from his son’s nativity play.

Harriet Harman questioned him on the number of Lib Dem women in the Cabinet and how government policies have affected women, but relationships between the parties was the main point of interest.

With the election looming Clegg has been absent from recent PMQs and the Autumn Statement as the Lib Dems apparently try to distance themselves from their coalition partners. There was a view that this approach took a hit with Clegg taking PMQs as he defended the Government and attacked Labour. Labour MPs tweeted to accuse Clegg of sounding like a Tory, but Conservatives were quieter than usual tweeting just a handful of times during the session.

PMQs 10 Dec small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Dec 09

#CameronMustGo drops off Twitter’s trending list

Sam Boden

After over two weeks of being featured on twitter’s trending list, the #CameronMustGo hashtag seems to have dropped off the radar.

The hashtag’s inception was on the 21st of November, when it initially received 2,788 tweets. The hashtag skyrocketed to 104,570 tweets the day after it was created, and since then, it has received at least 56,000 mentions per day, totalling over 1.4 million tweets in 18 days.

Support for the hashtag has taken a plunge today, it has only been tweeted 17,735 times so far, compared to 108,140 tweets yesterday.

Obviously there is still time for the hashtag to take back its place, however, contrary to popular belief, the trending list isn’t determined by the number of tweets alone. According to a Twitter blog, Trends on Twitter occur when a topic is being talked about “more right now than they were previously.”

This means that in order for the hashtag #CameronMustGo to take back the place that it has held on Twitter’s trending list for two weeks, those who oppose David Cameron will need to drive the hashtag to a greater extent than they were previously.

Posted in Twitter |
Dec 03

Yatterbox 2014 Autumn Statement Analysis

James Donald

We’ve taken a look at what MPs tweeted during the Autumn Statement, who was tweeting about the key issues, and who was tweeted about the most.

Click here to see our analysis.

Posted in Infographics |
Dec 03

PMQs 3 December 2014

James Donald

Today’s PMQs acted as a warm-up act for the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement. Ed Miliband chose to go with a theme of “broken promises”, the Prime Minister responding with promises he says he has kept.

Cameron was keen to talk about the economy, but Miliband brought him back onto immigration and the NHS. Labour backbenchers enjoyed it tweeting over 90 times, and many journalists felt Miliband used this tactic well.

PMQs 3 Dec Small

Posted in Infographics, PMQs |
Dec 02

The power of social media

Sam Boden

It comes as no surprise that people make money out of social media, yet, Hannah Ellis-Petersen’s article on Instagram’s money-makers in The Guardian really shed light on the extent to which this is happening.  It may surprise some to know that those making the most money through the use of social media are individuals rather than corporations, with some bringing in MILLIONS of dollars per year. Pewdiepie, the highest earning Youtube user, for example, takes in a massive seven million dollars per year. Similarly, Tia Mowry received payments exceeding $108,000 just for posting a series of promotional Tweets. All she had to do was click send!

We’ve seen that brands are now commonly turning to individual users to advertise on their behalf because they tend to be more creative, active and engaging when posting content. And of course, having someone else’s endorsement is far more valid than saying it yourself. These key aspects stimulate a greater and more devout following because people are more likely to digest information that comes from a person, rather than a corporate, and a person that they have grown to trust. This level of trust can be more difficult for companies to build, in part because they don’t have a human face, and also because their content is often tied to their bottom line and may well have gone through various legal and compliance checks which can make content more formal and less entertaining.

Clearly, this is a very powerful form of advertising which is unique to social media, however, there is a difficult balance to tread; advertisers must ensure that their audience are aware that they are viewing a paid for ad. For the first time ever, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has delivered a ruling involving Youtube, where it issued a warning for Youtube stars who participated in the Oreo sponsored ‘lick race’ campaign without signifying overtly enough that it was a paid for ad. In financial services, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has recently completed the consultation around its approach to the supervision of financial promotions on social media.

Watchdogs are sharpening up on new forms of advertising on social media. It is excellent to see the rise of more innovative, engaging and entertaining methods of awareness raising, however, it is important to ensure that advertising remains honest, transparent and distinct from PR activity. We’ve only just begun tapping into the potential of social media, and it’s great to see that creativity is positioning it as an essential tool in the marketing industry, enabling PRs and the wider marketing community to engage with more and more people around the world in newly innovative ways.

Posted in Social Media |
Nov 27

Christmas has taken over twitter – before December

When is the right time to get excited for Christmas? In the past, it may have been your very first sighting of Santa’s grotto. Or perhaps when you caught a repeat of ‘Jingle all the Way’ on television. In 2014, we can add another moment to the list – your first experience of a festive tweet.

Christmas graph

The chart above shows the growth of Christmas tweets in the UK between September and November. Since the headline Christmas adverts aired in early November, the buzz on twitter has reached fever pitch before any of us have even put up our Christmas decorations. The response from journalists and politicians has ranged from excitement to disbelief.

Christmas tweets

Is this consumerism gone mad? Is ‘Christmas Creep’ sneaking up on us earlier and earlier? Or is this just merely social media catching up with our everyday conversations? One thing is clear – Christmas has become a huge social media event.

Did you not hear about John Lewis’ new Christmas advert? With #montythepenguin , many of us heard all about it first on Twitter, and then watched it for the first time on YouTube. On the other side of the scale, not all of us are aware of Downtown Abbey’s new Christmas Album. Yet even still, something like this may have appeared on your Twitter feed:

Christmas at Downton Abbey

The direction of the social media conversation has now become vital in ensuring the success and the failure of a Christmas campaign. It can no longer be reduced to big, set piece adverts on television. The social media footprint has become imperative – even as early as November.

These trends ensure that the monitoring of social media platforms, and the delivery of twitter-friendly campaigns will be at the heart of any Christmas programme. Increasingly marketing and public relations professionals begin to think – all I want for Christmas is a good social media campaign.

Posted in Christmas |