UK politicians’ ’social media reputation’ assessed through Facebook, Twitter

Monday, March 29, 2010

LONDON - A rating for British party leaders’ online popularity has been made available with the use of social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook.

MPs and candidates were said to be turning to the popular social forums as part of their campaign to test the political waters.

And one company, Yomego, has assessed their “social media reputation scores” (SMRs), based on the “noise” and “sentiment” surrounding the politicians, The BBC reported.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown was said to have a popularity score of 68.20, out of 100, while that of Lead of the Opposition David Cameron’s was 58.98, compared to leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg’s 68.49, which was the highest.

Steve Richards, managing director of Yomego, said: “The trend has been that Nick Clegg has been steadily rising, without doing anything particularly spectacular.

“David Cameron’s personal score has gone down recently. He took a big knock around the whole airbrushed poster campaign. There were a lot of spoofs, particularly from influential bloggers, and that really seemed to hurt him.

“Finally, Gordon Brown’s score has risen recently, but largely due to noise, not because of any growth in positive sentiment.”

Richards went on to explain the influence of social media outlets citing the example of US President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign.

Richards said: “A huge part of his campaign was directed towards social media and influencing younger voters who might well take a steer from their peers rather than traditional media outlets.

“And it’s very immediate. Just last week Labour took a hit over the lobbying stuff and David Cameron saw his sentiment ratings improve because of his wife’s pregnancy.” (ANI)

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