Ipswich: Celebrating 10,000 followers on Twitter
19:00 06 August 2014
We’ve done it! Today the Ipswich Star reached 10,000 followers on Twitter.
Jayne Cole, CEO of the Local Council Public Advisory Service, based in Clare, became our 10,000th follower.
Jayne launched the new company on July 1, providing legal support and advice on town and parish council regulations to local authorities and members of the public.
She said: “I wanted to follow our local newspapers because I am interested in local news and it is a really good way of finding out what is happening quickly.
“For me, Twitter it is the best social media platform. If I want to contact someone I wouldn’t normally have access to, Twitter is the way to do it. You can make all kinds of Twitter friends.”
The Ipswich Star’s Twitter account was launched back in March 2009, and our first tweet was about a breaking news story.
At 1.15pm on March 20 we tweeted: “Big fire in Waldringfield”
The tweet referred to a huge blaze which ripped through part of the Seven Acre Industrial Estate in Waldringfield Heath.
Large plumes of thick, black smoke and flames shot 30ft up in the air could be seen from miles away and a 200 metre exclusion zone was put in place.
We still use Twitter to break big news stories but also to help raise awareness of the stories that matter to you - this week we posted links to a web story about missing labrador Harley and also retweeted posts from friends of his distraught owners who were helping search for the beloved pet.
And on Tuesday, more than 48 hours after he went missing, he was found after golfers at St Clements, who had seen our appeals, spotted him in among the trees.
We also use Twitter to engage with our readers and this week have been tweeting the link to our hidden Ipswich interactive quiz.
We have sent 45,000 tweets over the past five years, which is an average of 2.5 a day.
Our first follower was former web editor, Mark Heath, who is now head of sport. Richard Rout was our second and Barrack Obama was our third - although the account is actually managed by Organizing for Action staff on his behalf with the president adding the occasional personal message himself.
Our Twitter feed @IpswichStar24 is just one of the many social media channels we use to interact with readers in Ipswich and further afield, including many ex-pats who like to keep a watchful eye on the town.
Our Facebook page has nearly 6,000 likes and this week we have reached 34,500 Facebook users.
We also use streetlife.com to listen to local conversations and gain a better understanding of the issues that are affecting our readers - two particularly lively debates include the removal of pebbles from Felixstowe beach and the use of food banks.
Terry Hunt, Star editor, said: “It’s brilliant that we now have 10,000 Twitter followers. Twitter has become a really important and useful way for us to talk to, and listen to, our audience - just one of the many ways we discuss issues with the local community.’’