The recent General Election generated a lot of noise in both traditional and online media, and there was a lot made of the fact candidates could campaign using social media for the first time. As a political science graduate and social media professional, I was interested in seeing how this effected the volume of online conversation and conducted a study which looked at mentions of five of the biggest political parties in Singapore. I didn’t want to see who had the most official party assets (facebook pages etc.) but who was generating the most third party content. Some of the results were pretty interesting and I thought you’d like to know that you were one of the individuals I identified as having been involved in most conversations – I don’t think that congratulations is the right word but it’s cool to see that you were one of the most frequent commentators!
Below are a snapshot of the report findings, while the whole report is online here http://www.slideshare.net/mcfeelyp/grayling-pluggedin-report-singapore-general-election-2011-7939870. If you’ve any questions about any of it feel free to drop me an email. If I’m doing anything like this in the future I’ll let you know and I’d also love to hear any feedback or suggestions for what other topics you think might be interesting to analyse.
Share of voice did not reflect election results
The opposition parties enjoyed a greater proportion of mentions than they received votes. Noise doesn’t directly translate into results and does not account for sentiment nor geographic concentration or spread.
People spent more time criticising the PAP than supporting an opposition party
The PAP had by far the most mentions but actually incurred a very large amount of negative comments. In fact, the number of negative comments was larger than the number of positive mentions made regarding any other party.
Results and rallies drove engagement
Unsurprisingly the major spike in conversation came on election day as results were announced. Outside of that, each party enjoyed spikes at times they held major rallies. Large-scale events drove an increase in online conversations.
Sentiment in the last week reflected actual results
Positive mentions of the WP peaked during week 4 while negative mentions of the PAP were also at one of their highest points, in line with the PAP/WP swing in seats won vs 2006. Positive conversation around the other opposition parties peaked in weeks 2 and 3, with their challenge fading by week 4. In fact SPP were mentioned negatively more often than positively in the final week, reflecting their decrease in percentage of votes won vs 2006.
Traditional media still starts conversations
Online sites of traditional news outlets provided the most frequent mentions of each party. Overall, these mentions were a minority percentage of total message, demonstrating that bloggers and other influencers develop and expand conversations originally started by news sources.
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