Tuesday 17 May 2011

5 minute post - when the numbers don't add up

Some questions. I suspect these won't make me popular, but someone needs to be asking, I think.

Firstly, digital is where it's at. I know this, I embrace this, though with the usual caveats about digital inclusion.

But we've got some serious issues. According to a Citizens Panel we ran last year, 7% of our Borough use Twitter. More than I thought, I must confess, though in my defence for encouraging the set up of Twitter streams at all, I tend to think that those in the Borough who do use Twitter probably belong to a certain Acorn group and as a result of that, may be more engaged. I could be wrong though.

But if only 7% of a Borough are on Twitter, then ofc we wouldn't focus all of our social media communication efforts on Twitter. So we don't.

So what I want to know is, are we unusual? Does anyone else know how many people they're talking to? Can anyone provide figures on how many people talk back? Has anyone asked our residents if they want us to talk to them on Twitter? Additionally, although I am all for using social media to tell stories, is Twitter the right medium? Can it scope for that? Or is it merely acting as a signpost to the content, and at what point does that cross over into merely broadcasting at people again?

It seems to me, Twitter is perfect for brief exchanges. Quick problem reporting, quick checking of a telephone number or the right person to speak to. Link to news by all means but if that's all you're doing and your audience are definitely on Twitter, or your residents, are definitely on Twitter because we no longer want them to be an audience, we want them to be conversationalists, of course, and terminology is important, well...

I don't like Facebook. I don't use Facebook. But increasingly I am coming to accept that at the moment that's where everyone is, even if there are early signs that that particular love affair might be ending. And if we're not there, and 46% of our Borough are, then we are doing a disservice by not keepng up.

Thankfully, we are. But...there's a research gap here. A knowledge gap. A business case gap. And I don't see anyone filling it.


  1. Have the same view as you regarding Facebook. If Facebook is were your audience then as you say go there with haste.

    Your job is to engage were your audience is and you would let down your locals if you did otherwise

  2. Hey,

    Have you seen that NYC are planning to utilise the new twitter fast follow feature.


    that might start to make some interesting links between organisations putting a lot of information through their twitter accounts but residents not actually reading it!

    Having said that I think you're right about Twitter as perfect for quick interactions and that feature doesn't really help with that.

    Great post btw.


  3. I haven't read this yet but even though it's US focused I think it's probably a timely bit of work


    Still hoping to comment properly!