Everyone seems to have stepped into election mode, and since I’ve been lured to the J’accuse election blogroll I thought I’d write something about the sorry state of local Twitter use amongst the local political parties.After the Barack Obama win in 2008 the world started seeing the potential of Social Media when fighting out an election. If some of you remember the latest British elections in 2010 Twitter was an unexpected tour de force. Would the same thing happen locally?First things first; thankfully both parties have a Twitter account;
Partit Nazzjonalista (PN) – https://twitter.com/#!/PNmalta
Partit Laburista (PL) – https://twitter.com/#!/PL_Malta

These are the numbers, including a Klout score which is a nifty way to measure online influence, assuming influence is what the elves behind the accounts crave.

So far, analyzing the numbers, the PL are definitely way far ahead than PN when it comes to Twitter use. However, and this is a big however, both parties’ use of Twitter is appalling.  Why? There is no engagement. Nada, zero, zilch! Whilst the PL have automatic posts from their Facebook, which is already a big no-no in Social Media, the PN post every single thing which is published on their online newspaper. There is no interaction with other Twitter users, no reply or retweets.One way communication with everything else pretty wide shut. PN even go a step further and not even follow any users. Both parties treat Twitter like a link garbage can, abusing it only for the link juice it so freely provides.So why do PL have a better Klout score than PN if they are doing the same thing? This happens because the PL happen to be more active when it comes to posting than the PN are. The PL have a very strong following on Twitter which continuously retweet whatever they post and mention them in a lot of their posts. Most of these are their own MPs which seem to have taken to Twitter quite well, and that is why they are currently winning the Twitter war.

AD, Malta’s Green Party, also unfortunately makes the same mistakes and this gives them a Klout Score of 10. And I say unfortunately because I truly believed they would be the ones who would try to use means such as Twitter to better reach their target audience.

That brings me to the question – will Social Media lead the next elections in Malta? From the way things stand, the answer is no. None of the parties seem to want to devote any time, money, or interest to Twitter. Facebook will be discussed in a later blog, but for now it seems like it all rests on the good old BORING billboards.