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The midterm #election on #Twitter November 6, 2010

Filed under: social media — thisgirlsarah @ 12:00 AM
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m not a big politics person, so the purpose of this post being several days after the midterm election is because I find the election period overwhelming. There are endless advertisements everywhere, including social media.

As I jumped on Twitter Tuesday night I was welcomed by a seemingly endless stream of election results. I follow several local and national affiliates, however the three dominating the election talk on my Twitter feed were the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and NPR.

Because I didn’t stay on for long I didn’t notice any specific trends, however, apparently this round of elections was revolutionary for both Twitter and the news media!Even Twitter wrote a story about how impressed they were with the success of Twitter usage for election related news.

The New York Times attempted to stand out by utilizing a visualization of the conversations occurring on Twitter as well as a streamline of tweets. The Senate races starting October 21 and ending on election day can be seen here, but below is a static picture of the visualization.

CNN also created a visual using the tweets directed at monitoring the conversations on Twitter. For instance, CNN posted several different maps of what people were talking about. One compilation answered the question, “Why are you voting” but it was not a poll or a direct question, just simply what people were tweeting about. They also used this same visual on CNN television. What a great analysis of the election’s presence on Twitter!

Lastly, the Washington Post did something no one had ever done before as well. They became the first organization to buy one of Twitter’s “promoted  trends.” This looks just like a normal tweet, but it notes that it has been paid for by an advertiser. When anyone used the hashtag #elections, it would promote the Washington post first. According to a post-election article measuring the success of this promotion, the Washington Post said it was successful in driving traffic to the paper’s website but that their main purpose was to just be at the center of the conversation.

Implications?

The innovative ways in which these organizations used social media to engage with the audience though analysis and conversation proved they were accepting this new trend in resources for information.

While some people might still be in shock that many people rely on Yahoo or other online sources to receive their news, that is officially, for lack of better terms, old news.

The new trend is in social media and especially using Twitter as an outlet for delivering news. It is mobile, fast and it is here to stay. For these three news outlets to reach out to their audience in such a different way shows real progression.

Where do you get your news from?

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5 Responses to “The midterm #election on #Twitter”

  1. I love this post! I must admit that I am guilty as to using social media as my news source. I love getting my news from Facebook and most of all Twitter. Twitter is a great outreach to finding out things as they happen. You get to find out what move people are making and when they are making them. When someone tweets something as in CNN, you find out things very quickly and get it summed up within 140 characters which is awesome. I like knowing whats going on and like getting it in a summary. Call me crazy, but Twitter is a great outreach for getting news first.

  2. Matt C. Says:

    Sara, are you digging Twitter? I really enjoy it because that’s where I get all my news from. I love being able to get all types of news in one feed..ALL THE TIME! It is also amazing to see politics and twitter develop into a strong team. I was reading the other day that Washington is hiring more people to help train politicians to use Twitter. A fair amount of politicians are currently on Twitter, but not enough are. It is going to be the future of reaching out to the public for votes.

    Just when we thought social media was big. It is going to be incredible how big it is going to get in the next few years. The 2012 election will be dominated by social media. At least that’s my prediction.

    • I am definitely using Twitter for news now that I set up Hoote Suite because I can separate news from random stuff and it makes it really easy! I’m still new… but Twitter’s media section had a story on the midterm election and they were as estatic as you can be through a press release format. They seemed really excited to see how people would use it in 2012 as well. It is a great way to talk to us regular non politician folk! Thanks for your prediction! 🙂

      • kt62587 Says:

        I love how easy Hoot Suite makes managing social media as well. Being able to track your stats on Facebook and Twitter and to schedule status updates in advance are very useful tools. I didn’t use Twitter much during the election, but I think the same arguments can be made for Facebook. I definitely get news updates from my news feed on Facebool!


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