David Cameron passes 100,000 followers with dig at bookmakers
It was a quick canter to six figures for the Prime Minister who marked the occasion with his ninth Tweet and a little dig at some bookmakers.
It appears some bookies had doubted Cameron’s ability to pass the 100,000 follower mark during the week of the Conservative Party conference and have had to payout.
The bookies should have called me. I was pretty sure he would quickly pass that mark this week. Oh the glory of hindsight.
I’m told some bookmakers are regretting laying odds against this account passing 100,000 followers during conference.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 9, 2012
Some have accused the PM of being a bit vain or boastful with that Tweet and wondering if he might have other issues on his mind. Maybe, they are right, if I had been on his digital comms team I would have said “Mr Prime Minister, now is the time to thank your followers for their support”. Just an idea.
The bookies though are still paying attention and Ladbrokes have cut the odds of the PM mentioning Twitter in his speech from 2/1 to evens.
So what else have we learnt so far? I like that when he has been tweeting, in the little he has done, that he is doing it smartly.
For instance we have seen some use of hashtags
#supportoursoldiers and we have seen him using the Twitter handles of others when he has been tweeting such as talking about his media appearances today:
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 9, 2012
FROM MONDAY - Two weeks ago we heard that David Cameron was getting ready to join Twitter and this weekend he finally got Tweeting.
He has quickly racked up more than 91,000 plus followers after just his first four tweets.
The quick rise of the PM on Twitter will likely seem him fly through the 100,000 follower mark later today as the Conservatives gather in Birmingham to begin their party conference.
He has a little way to go before he catches Labour leader Ed Miliband who has more than 165,300 followers — although his is not a prolific tweeter.
Cameron began his life on Twitter with a small joke and a statement of intent:
I’m starting Conference with this new Twitter feed about my role as Conservative Leader. I promise there won’t be “too many tweets…”
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 6, 2012
That tweet alone, with its humorous reference to his 2009 comment that there was a danger that “too many tweets might make you a twat”, had almost 1,000 social reactions, with retweets, comments and favourites.
It is early days for Cameron and difficult to know what kind of tweeter he will be. One thing, however, is for sure he has started out slowly perhaps suggesting he, not unlike Miliband, will not be the most active of Twitter users.
While we only have four Tweets to go on at least each of them has come with a picture including this one of the PM and wife Samantha Cameron who accompanied her husband to the BBC studios as he got ready to be interviewed by Andrew Marr on his Sunday morning @MarrShow:.
— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) October 7, 2012
He probably has something to learn about following. So far Cameron is following just 34 other Twitter users almost all Tory MPs or ministers bar London Mayor Boris Johnson who finds himself among the lucky 34 clearly putting paid to any rumours that the two are rivals.
The question is will Twitter help Cameron and his party appear more in touch at a time when it comes under fire and languishes in the polls ten points behind Labour (42 -32).
At the weekend the Guardian reported remarks by Neil O’Brien, of the right of centre Policy Exchange think tank, saying that the Conservatives are still the party of the rich and that the PM has failed to modernise his party.
One former Tory digital strategist, Craig Elder, said that the problem was not the availability of platforms, but more the message. Something Twitter really can’t help Cameron with.
Tom Malcolm, head of consumer engagement, at Diffusion labels Cameron’s decision to ignore Twitter for so long as bizarre given early Conservative Party online initiatives such as WebCameron.
“The Prime Minister’s absence from Twitter has been a strategic error that’s made him look out of touch compared to Ed Miliband – when even the President of the United States tweets, you have no excuse not to.
“The launch of @david_cameron is a case of better late than never, but he will need to display faultless Twitter skills if he is to avoid portraying himself as the embarrassing dad at the digital disco,” says Malcolm.
His advice for Cameron is to be clever with Twitter to giver a fuller in-sight to counteract the ‘chillaxing’ charge leveled at Cameron by Labour.
“Using twitter as a one-way news feed misses the opportunity the Prime Minister has to use the platform to be more authentic and in-touch. The @Number10gov feed has attracted over 2 million followers, so @david_cameron needs to avoid the mistake of simply replicating the official content that feed pumps out and provide a more personal perspective,” he says.