With a provincial election underway in British Columbia, a new survey published this week shows a small group of users on Twitter are responsible for the majority of the tweets on the B.C. election. According to Ipsos Reid, almost half (47%) of tweets about the province’s main political parties are from the same 100 Twitter accounts.
This may come as a surprise, but it shouldn’t. Firstly, talk about political parties – not the election or the issues surrounding it – are inside baseball. Those outside of the political bubble do not take the time to talk about political parties: reporters, hacks and political junkies do.
Secondly, statistics that show a small group on Twitter generates the majority of content on Twitter is consistent with other studies on Twitter use. According to social listening software firm Sysomos, only 5% of users accounted for 75% of all activity. Use that to view Canada’s 10 million Twitter users, that translates into 50,000 “power users” in Canada that generate the majority of tweets.
The Ipsos spokesperson uses his primary point to make the case that Twitter only represents a subsection of the population. Of course it does. And political Twitter represents a (much) smaller number.
In the political space, Twitter isn’t typically about daily interactions with your constituency, although it can be. It is often about big events (like elections, scandals) or interacting with the opinion class (media, community leaders, etc). The value of the platform continues to be about who is on Twitter, not how many.