ONS social media-ing along to the #AutumnStatement

The Autumn Statement happened today and obviously featured a lot of our statistics. Here’s a sense of the volume of mentions over the last few days. (It started trending a day or so ago, so the explosion really shows how much chat there was.)   chart_from_3 Dec_to_4 Dec_780px   Whilst in the past we haven’t tweeted along to these events, recent efforts in republishing our content around TV programming has proved so successful, we wanted to progress onto live events as well.

Rather than fact checking as such, our job is to inform debate and encourage greater use and understanding of our statistics so tweeting signposts to our content should it come up is an obvious fit. For a while now, we’ve had tweeting statisticians at ONS which have had lots of mini successes. What started as a trial has reached day-to-day for us, we just need scale and a greater breadth of authors – something we’re working on organically. Anyway, the statisticians were the face of our content today with @ONS retweeting so it still reached the same users but they could see and interact with the statistician behind the numbers and relationships beyond today, can grow.

The control room as I called it, consisted of 10 colleagues from across ONS’ economy function, and

  • Monitoring major conversation themes on the big screen
  • The speech itself streaming on my iPad underneath it
  • 20 or so pre written tweets of content areas we assumed would come up – uploaded to hootsuite and ready to post
  • Several devices with hootsuite on so we could all assign content to each other as well as post it – we worked in subgroups so if one group was consumed with something, it didn’t stop momentum of the entire operation listening and posting

Overall, the hour went well. The content performed well given the context of a trending # not to mention the speech itself being somewhat of a distraction to people looking too closely at stats content right there and then. Some users seemed to appreciate our efforts too…

.…though star of the show of our content was…

…an interactive as they nearly always are for us. Something to bear in mind for next time.

Andrew Clark

Head of Social Media

[Update, here’s an article analysing Twitter’s response to the Autumn Statement]

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