Twitting Priti - A textbook example of how not to run a social media campaign
Some lessons from Number 10's questionable social media strategy
As a keen observer of social media, it was fascinating to see how a lot of backbench MPs took to Twitter in the aftermath of the report into Priti Patel’s behaviour. It’s quite clear to me that Number 10 has lent on them to support what is clearly unsupportable. This has backfired quite badly, and we think there are three lessons that can be learned from this:
- If you’re going to ask a group en masse to come out in support of something or someone, at least do it subtly. All of a sudden what seemed like dozens of MPs tweeted very similar messages along the lines of: “I know Priti really well and I can definitely say she’s not a bully, she’s in fact a lovely person.” It’s the similarity of these messages that makes the whole campaign laughable, because it is so obvious to the observer that this is a coordinated effort.
- Make sure the message is plausible. As someone pointed out on Twitter, what the MPs tweeted was akin to someone saying: “I knew Dr Shipman. He treated my tonsillitis perfectly and he had a wonderful bedside manner, therefore he can’t be a murderer.” The line of argument taken in the Priti tweets so obviously defies logic that it makes their authors look stupid.
- Understand that Twitter folk see it as their role to expose hypocrisy. They react very badly to being spun to, and they can spot a coordinated campaign a mile off. The result is a spectacular own goal. In this instance, I think that by taking to Twitter the MPs have made things worse for the Home Secretary, not better.