This month I’ve continued the theme from the last post on TV brands and social media,  and have applied our social media reputation scoring to the political domain.

So whose performance is good, whose is bad and which party’s approach is downright ugly?

This is particularly relevant this month as David Cameron has managed to create his own PR disaster by having his image airbrushed on his ad, then bearing the brunt of a social media backlash as dozens of internet memes did the rounds (see below).

A little explanation of how the Social Media Reputation index works: the overall scores are comprised of ‘noise’ (number / reach of comments on blogs, networks etc) and ‘sentiment’ (the relative positivity of the noise).

A ‘recency’ metric is also applied to reflect the transient nature of content, so last year’s comment still has less impact regardless of medium! The index, out of 100, ranks contenders in context of other competitors in each particular sector.

Here are the scores on the doors:

Politics SMR Scores

Lib Dems

Whilst the Liberal Democrats achieve the lowest noise score, they take the accolade for “best improvement”, which shows a steadily growing presence within social media channels. 

Both the party and their leader have active Twitter accounts with healthy followings. They have even managed to get to grips with Twitter hashtags. Nick Clegg has his own official Facebook page, which is regularly updated with multimedia content and has over 3,000 fans.

Verdict =  Bad (but improving)


While the ‘noise’ score for Labour has increased over the last few months, the sentiment score has remained stagnant. It seems the recruitment of ‘Twitter Tsar’,  MP Kerry McCarthy, has not paid-off yet. Their presence on Facebook is restricted to a few unofficial groups, and a content-starved page dedicated to Gordon Brown.

Verdict = Bad


The Tories disobeyed one of the cardinal rules – attempting to distort reality by photoshopping an image of leader David Cameron and mislead a generation who are quick to celebrate their inability to be duped.

So, in SMR terms, the Conservatives’ noise score has risen but their sentiment score has taken a nosedive. Twitter and the blogosphere were set alight by ‘alternative’ Conservative campaign posters (see below). It began on, and was quickly picked up by Clifford Slinger, who created, which received 90,000 visits in the first two weeks.

Twitter made sure the posters were widely discussed and shared, keeping the joke alive. The party couldn’t even retaliate, as one quick-thinker set up to re-direct know where.

Verdict = Bad (rapidly getting ugly)

Some reworkings of David Cameron's campaign

David Cameron - Suspicious Minds

David Cameron - Airbrushed for Change

David Cameron - I'll Show you My Policies

Steve Richards

Published 28 January, 2010 by Steve Richards

Steve Richards is MD of social media agency Yomego and a contributor to Econsultancy.

31 more posts from this author

You might be interested in

Comments (5)



The Conservatives also have 'davefacts' on Twitter. This follows the same pattern as the old Chuck Norris 'facts' meme that did the rounds a few years ago. As a satire on the absurdity of Dave Cameron's lack of policies you couldn't get any better.

over 8 years ago


Robin Fishley

There is a similar trend in the Google search results, after monitoring the Google rankings for a number of UK politicians over 3 months, it's clear that the parties and politicians are not focusing on the domination of page 1 results. Have a look at the Tamar Political Search Index from Our Reports.

over 8 years ago



I think Davefacts is quite the opposite.  Its the Obama effect, seems more in lovable mocking then the pure hatred and bile at Gordon Brown.  The poster has become a phenemeon, and the old adage Any publicity is good publicity seems to work with cameron.

over 8 years ago


Mark Clayson

Thanks for your honest ideas here. it will be greater investment in the way of time and money into social media marketing.

over 8 years ago


social bookmarking service

They follows the same pattern as the old Chuck Norris same facts "that goes around a few years ago. As a satire of the absurdity of the lack of political Dave Cameron could not do better.

almost 8 years ago

Save or Cancel

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Digital Pulse newsletter. You will receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.