News / Ottawa

Jim Watson scores top spot for number of mayoral tweets

Twitter Canada has released a report comparing Canadian mayors' use the platform.

Ottawa mayor Jim Watson sprays water at the crowd at the Capital Pride parade on August 23, 2015. Watson's most popular tweets include support for human rights and Ottawa's football team.

Haley Ritchie/Metro

Ottawa mayor Jim Watson sprays water at the crowd at the Capital Pride parade on August 23, 2015. Watson's most popular tweets include support for human rights and Ottawa's football team.

The results are in: among Canadian big city mayors on Twitter, Jim Watson has the fifth highest follower count and the overall highest number of individual tweets.

Watson has sent out over 72,000 Tweets since he started on the platform in 2009, making him the most active mayor on Twitter. Mayor Naheed Nenshi of Calgary  is a distant second, with about 52,000. Montreal mayor Denis Coderre comes third with over 46,000 Tweets.

Politicians across the country use Twitter to connect with people, but Christopher Doyle of Twitter Canada said municipal politicians are some of the most prolific.

“We find, especially with politicians, authenticity wins the day,” said Doyle. “You’re absolutely able to have these real conversations, which is so interesting. Obviously, nyone who serves a public office brings a passion for what they do and a passion to serve people. You can bring that passion to Twitter and have real conversations.”

Doyle said that, in general, posts that include photos, have a positive message or are newsworthy garner the most attention.

He also noted Watson’s dedication to posting photos of community events he attends around the city.

“Anything that is celebratory in nature does really, really well,” said Doyle. “Mayor Watson was tweeting a lot, as he should, about the Redblacks winning the Grey Cup. In that way they can celebrate along with the community and they can do that in a way that includes photos and videos.”

In the case of Mayor Watson, hockey, football and social justice have earned him the most retweets and likes overall.

One of the mayor’s most popular tweets was in 2014 during the Sochi Olympics, when he posted a message about flying the pride flag at City Hall during the duration of the games. He received over 2,000 retweets.

One Twitter user, apparently uncomfortable with the pro-LGBT message, responded by saying, “This is a stupid waste of time. You've lost my vote.”

In response, Watson said: “if you have that point of view, I really don't want your vote.”

Similarly brazen tweets — on topics like vaping and road closures — have also done well.

Mayor Jim Watson's Top 5 tweets:

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