By November 6, 2012 1 Comments Read More →

Election day online mentions of Presidential candidates (so far)

Here’s the first in a few posts I’ll issue today which will feature analysis of online activity related to the election. It’s mostly interesting data to discuss. That is, I suggest online activity will have no bearing on the outcome of today’s vote. (Click here for analysis of Canadian participation)

By 2pmET today, Barack Obama had been mentioned in 1,687,779 tweets. Mitt Romney trails with 1,054,593 Twitter mentions. Overlapping mentions accounts for 369,968 of the tweets. That means pure mentions amount to 1,317,811 for Barack Obama and 684,625 for Mitt Romney. Note this analysis does not consider substance or sentiment of the identified mentions.

Data suggests age distribution of online mentions is essentially identical for both Presidential candidates. Further, 36-50 year-olds and the 51-and-over set are equally engaged.

As is typical in online political chatter, participation skews male. Having said that, female participation is better than normal. I typically see a 70:30 split favouring men. Barack Obama enjoys slighly better female representation in his online mentions.

New York and California are leading all states in online mentions of the Presidential candidates. The top-five state mentions of both candidates is essentially identical.

I’m a bit surprised the volume of retweets is so high. It suggests a shift from my earlier research which revealed election day tweets were largely original content (tweets) with much fewer retweets (what I consider amplification) and very few replies (what I consider conversation).

I had typically chalked this up to the second screen and the rate of content production. That is, my theory was people would watch their television and share whatever happened to be on their minds; people were less likely to read the stream of tweets being issued by others since it was hard to follow the television coverage and social media chatter at the same time.

Perhaps its the repetitive nature of the live television coverage or the increased draw to social media which has led to the shift. So, it’s worth noting the chatter about Mitt Romney has the edge in amplification (retweets) and conversation (replies).

Analysis performed using Marketwire/Sysomos Heartbeat and MAP.

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About the Author:

Mark Blevis is a digital public affairs strategist and President of FullDuplex.ca, an integrated digital communications, public affairs and research company. His work focuses on the role of digital tools and culture on issues and reputation management. He also leads research into how Canadian opinions are shaped through online content and interactions.