Why Alistair Darling Sucks at Social Media
16th September 2014
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Did someone in the mighty British govenment PR office forget to tell Alistair Darling that SOCIAL MEDIA IS WHERE THE VOTERS ARE?

Whilst we along with thousands of SME's embrace the power of social media to promote our businesses because we know 'that is where our customers are' I am astounded that no one remembered to tell Alistair Darling.

The fact is, social media is the pulse of the nation. It can inform us by the second how the British public feels about something. What we love, what we hate, what makes us laugh and what makes us cry.

Social media can indicate mood swings, give feedback and let us know if we are 'on track'

Clearly someone whisperd into Alex Salmonds ear at some point and said, "listen mate, whatever you do don't forget social media, it's where the voters are and it can swing thousands of votes"

Good news for Alex but poor Alistair has been left stuttering on social media just like he does in his interviews.

Someone has also given Alex a few social media rules like content and engagement.

"Stick to these principles Alex and you won't go far wrong"

Good advice and thats what Alex has done.

Plenty of interesting posts and tweets, good photo's, relavent content. 

Whilst Mr Darlings post and tweets have been sporadic and in most cases, frankly, dull.

At the very time when these gentlemen needed to communicate clearly their concerns, hopes, vision and ambitions for the future directly to the people they hope to represent, social media is right there at their fingertips and to ignore this opportunity would be frankly, astonishing.

Only after the vote will either side sit back, lick their wounds and ponder what they might have done differently and consider what they could have and should have done differently.

I am confident that social media won’t be top of the list entitled ‘how we could have won’ but it should certainly be in there somewhere.

So let’s have a look at how Mr Darling and Mr Salmond compare at the pre-fight social media weigh in.

In the fashion of statistical releases by the UK government I should say at this stage that these figures may have change since publishing and if there are any errors it is due to the incompetence of the writer and is designed only to give you a flavour of what is the current state of the afore mentioned social media. Phew! Now that’s cleared up….

If you want the exact figures, go and have a look for yourselves – the links are at the bottom of the page.


Followers -  Salmond 91,000 Darling 20,000

Tweets – Salmond 1,792 Darling 392

Photos – Salmond 249 Darling 36



Likes – Salmond 70,684 Darling 1,432

Last Post – Salmond 1 hour ago Darling 6th September


Alex Salmond 7/10

Alistair darling see me after class.


Now it doesn’t need me to tell you that this is a heavy weight up against a feather weight in the social media arena but what is staggering is that they both had the same starting point and the same opportunity.

When you consider that the people Salmond and Darling want to communicate with are right there on social media where voters can like, share, re-tweet and comment on their posts and their tweets why wouldn’t they choose to be all over social media like a rash.

Love or loath him, my hat is off to Mr Salmond for being the undisputed champion in the YES NO independence for Scotland social media campaign.


If anything this has just reinforced what an amazing job business at the foundation level of the UK economy is doing to raise it’s profile and increase business through the use of social media.

SME’s like ourselves have embraced and dedicated time to understand the effectiveness of social media and how to effectively use social media to touch our customers and potential customers on a daily basis.

When the voting is all over I am sure there will be a list ‘what we could have done differently or better’

I hope that amongst other things, both Mr Salmond and Mr Darling will take a much closer look at the role social media can play in future campaigns.


For those fabulous SME’s out there……………

I am sure that we will be holding another of our ever popular ‘Making The Most of Facebook  in business’ courses and I will be sure to drop Mr Darling an invitation so that next time it isn’t so completely one-sided.

If you would like to have a look at Mr Darlings and Mr Salmonds social media here are the links.






About the Author

Mark Luckman

Member since: 10th July 2012

I champion the best businesses in Telford and Wrekin, businesses recommended by you. If you run a local business or know a really great local business that you think deserves to be known by more local...

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