Why this site?
The UK Prime Minister’s group are heavy into their social media use and Twitter is but a part of their total strategy. Not every event, news or discussion they are having is reflected in this channel. Unlike many other government agencies (whom I will get to eventually) they are selecting bits of content for their Tweets and thus not overloading their followers. I show this in alternative to my examination of WSDOT & EPA who have split their streams into broadcasts or conversations (mostly). These are two very different strategies. I am guessing they involve different evaluations of use/need as well as resource allocation for maintenance.
@downingstreet: The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Twitter presence.
Joined: March 26th, 2008
Date data downloaded: August 7, 2009, images at a later date
Industry Sector: Government
Twitter ID: @downingstreet
Ratio followers/following: 2 to 1
Account created: March 26, 2008
First post: March 26, 2008
“No10 news: Entente Cordiale to enter “new era” – PM: Gordon Brown has spoken of a “shared.. http://tinyurl.com/2px2ld”
Bio: The official twitter channel for the Prime Minister’s Office based at 10 Downing Street.
Background: Black to match their website.
Avatar: They very cleverly chose the rest of their address for their avatar, numerals ‘1 & 0’. Given public agency employees may move around, it would be impractical to use a human avatar. They are open about who is posting however (see ABOUT/Who is? above).
Bio: As it is more important that they establish authenticity than personalization, their bio simply states they are the official Twitter channel for the Prime Minister. Within their recent tweets, more bio information was readily supplied in response to an inquiry about who is tweeting. For further personalization, they might consider adding “is run by civil servants in Number 10’s Digital Communications team” in their bio line.
Transparency: While not included in their bio line, they are quite open in their conversations about who they are. I would suggest they include a line in their bio to clarify this. “@moominxsammi The Downing Street Twitter feed is run by civil servants in Number 10’s Digital Communications team. (Jul 28th, 2009)”
“@Broookeeh My name is Ian and I work in the PM’s digital communications team – website, twitter, photography etc (Jul 8th, 2009)”
Bio Link: Takes us to their web site home page http://www.number10.gov.uk/ Their government home page is unique among many of the agency home pages I have viewed in that their sidebar is filled with links to their other social media links with current updates. As they continue their conversations through these other mediums, their strategy of linking back to their home page seems a strong one. I first wondered where their blog was. However, once I looked further into their Facebook application and their other social media platform usage I started to wonder why the rest of us were maintaining blogs? The overall effect felt dimensionally comprehensive and I felt very satisfied that I ‘knew’ this agency very well after my wander.
Of a 100 Tweet Sampling: Replies 34, ReTweets 4, Hash Tags 4, Favorite Tweets 1
According to the 100 tweets posted between June 11th and August 7, 2009 about one-third of their tweets were in reply to follower querys, with a small number of retweets and hash tags (four each). Conversation responses were clear and concise, yet personable and at times humorous without being disrespectful. Digging deeper into their links and website it is clear that Twitter is only part of their social media strategy. It also appeared that they only post a small portion of their news through Twitter, more of it appears through their website link back. Here the bio link shows us update options in SM formats. Very tasty!
Combined with Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and Bebo, 10 Downing Street is well on their way to de-stuffying their government image and increasing their communications with the next generation (i.e. http://www.bebo.com/bigthink). I found Facebook especially impressive, they’ve developed a more extensive application to join and share than other groups have. Their page includes videos, news, photos and uniquely e-petitions, speeches and transcripts.