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Social Influence and The Vote

The Role of Social Influencers on Undecided Voters

 

Alberta Election 2015

We all live busy lives — carting kids to school and sports, ensuring they’re fed and that they did their homework. All that on top of our ever-demanding careers, and carving out time to do our taxes and cheer on our Calgary Flames! Well, maybe not all Albertans on that last one.

For many of us who believe it is our civic duty to vote, it is equally important to do our research prior to voting. But what if you don’t have the time to attend each debate or watch the news every day? During this election I’ve been thinking about the influence of social media on the undecided voter, especially in the final week approaching the election. I decided to dive into some analytics to see if we can predict how the undecided voter might be influenced if they chose social/online as a quick way to educate themselves on the election.

Share of Voice:

If any news is good news, then the PC Party seems to be in a commanding lead when comparing four major parties using their leader’s name.

Share of Voice

In the last election, we saw that a rise in popularity, especially in the last week or days leading up to the election can work against you. The Wildrose party had all the polls convinced they were going to win but a large spike on social in the final week, analyzed as mostly negative sentiment, turned the tide for the PC party and ultimately the election. Here are the sentiment ratings from the week leading up to the 2015 Alberta election in each of the sources analyzed.

Twitter Sentiment

Sentiment

Online News Sentiment

News

Blog Sentiment

Blog

Summary

After reviewing the data, it would seem that when it comes to social as an outcome predictor, there is no clear winner. But if we take into account that the PC Party has had the lion’s share of voice (most mentions) during this race, it would indicate that even though numbers on the positive side are fairly equal between PC and NDP, similar to the negative sentiment on the Wildrose party in the last election, a much higher negative sentiment for the PC Party across Twitter and Online News would tip the vote in favor of the NDP party. While blogs seem to have more negative sentiment for the NDP, the reach was much more limited than Twitter (#1) and Online News (#2).

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About the Author - Jay Cloutier

Jay Cloutier is a guest blogger and works with Marketwired. You can follow Jay on Twitter at @Clouts.

3 thoughts on “Social Influence and The Vote

  1. Thanks for this great contribution Jay! We really appreciate your insight and data, and seeing what Sysomos can do in analyzing how social media works as an indicator.

    1. Thank you for the opportunity Jacqueline! These are the fun projects we all look forward to being a part of. We are working on a lot of cool innovation at Marketwired in the areas of emerging trends and influencer identification in social media and how pulling insights from how they intersect will help our clients optimize and distribute their content. Stay tuned…

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