Twitter hashtags are the new political slogans

Four years is a long time in politics and it is even longer in social media. As the Republican National Congress gets underway there have already been more Tweets about this week’s gathering than during the entire week of the 2008 Republican convention.

Twitter is busy at the convention and is filing updates from its @gov Twitter Government & Politics team and has been curating the most relevant and interesting Tweets on an event page at

It is the kind of Twitter page we are starting to see more and more of having already seen them for the London 2012 Olympics and Nascar.

Last night the biggest spike in tweets came not when the Republican Party formally adopted @MittRomney as the its nominee for President, but later when his wife took to the stage.

When @AnnDRomney was on stage and was joined by her husband Tweets per minute hit a spike of 6,195. It looks like Ann Romney is the one who could make a real difference on her husband’s campaign and she has already shown that on Twitter when she changed the narrative of the US presidential race with one tweet earlier this year.

The “event page” that Twitter has created gives us another taste of the kind of content pages it is building. On the event page it is pulling together Tweets highlighting things from behind the scenes and on the convention floor.

Of the event page Twitter says: “You’ll find Tweets from Romney campaign staff, convention organizers, delegates, insiders and some of the 15,000 journalists and observers on the ground. For political junkies who can’t be in Tampa themselves, the event page offers an insiders view of the action.”

As the race develops it is going to be interesting to see what more Twitter is planning to unveil in terms of content pages. An election hub of Twitter pages would no doubt be a very useful addition to what it is already doing.

The pages are helping to shine a light on some of the moments we probably would never have gotten to see before the arrival of Twitter. In the TV age, these kinds of stories would never have come to light. One good example of that is this tweet form Garrett Jackson, the Governor’s body man, who tweeted a photo of Romney watching his wife’s speech from backstage.

You can also get an idea of the kind of little touches that Twitter is adding to its presence at the Republican convention such as these button badges, which are helping to cement the idea that 2012 is the Twitter election.  

As well as the event page Twitter is releasing a good deal of data including this Twitter Political Index, which is gauging sentiment on a daily basis.

It showed that Ann Romney’s speech not only inspired a lot of conversation, but a lot of positive Twitter sentiment. Her sentiment score nearly doubled over the course of her speech, from 45 to 83— the biggest increase for any of the night’s speakers.

The other highlight last night in terms of Twitter was when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke. That inspired the second highest spike in conversation for the night (6,079 Tweets per minute).

According to Twitter the spike in that speech came  at the point as he spoke about an “second American century”. Right after he was finished, the Governor began tweeting from the special account he set up for the night: @ChristieKeynote.