Here’s why #AskMmusi was a success

2015-05-14 16:50

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He took over the reins as the official opposition this weekend, and immediately opened up the lines of communication. The Twitter firing squad took aim. Some tweets hit the spot. Others missed. But #AskMmusi trended, newspapers lapped it up and Mmusi promised he would be back soon with another “Twitter town hall”. But was his social experiment a success, or did he end up looking like a real twit on Twitter? 

1. Mmusi. Everyone knows who that is now. He’s on a first-name basis with South Africans. Even those who call him Moosey. It boosted his coverage without having to pay for advertising. #AskMmusi notched up about 100 000 tweets. He was on the front page of newspapers – any idea how much a front page, full-colour advertisement still costs? You’re looking at hundreds of thousands of rands. And whereas your precious ad will be lining cat litter boxes the next day, people are still talking about that hashtag. 

2. At least he’s willing to answer questions. If Maimane proved anything with his “ask me anything” campaign, that was probably the biggie. Take that #Jacob. Who’s Jacob? Point made. 

3. It got us laughing. Who didn’t chuckle at some of the questions. South Africans have a fantastic sense of humour. It’s one thing that stretches across race, culture and language. Just ask Trevor Noah, the new darling of global comedic success. Laughing may not have worked as well for Jacob Zuma but Moosey...? He nailed it. For a short while, politics seemed like fun. 

4. He is accessible. Or, at least, the #AskMmusi campaign gave that impression. How many other politicians can claim that? Twitter is free, it’s instant, and it’s big. Latching on to that is clever. It’s also a great way of accessing young people – his very target market. 

5. He actually did answer some important questions, on topics such as Jacob Zuma, service delivery and black economic empowerment. The Twitter platform does not allow for much depth. But these days, who has time for depth. We want answers and we want them now.

Read more on:    da  |  mmusi maimane

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