By Jon Elvekrog
With social network membership swelling, analysts are becoming ever more aware that social media can predict certain cultural events and decisions. This is readily apparent in the film industry, where social chatter, trending hash tags, and early viewer sentiment are easy barometers for determining whether a movie will be a blockbuster or a bomb.
Identifying box office returns is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s capable with social data. Analysis of social engagement data on a much deeper level can uncover unstated preferences and help match ad messages to consumers. It can even help identify which presidential candidate a user is likely to vote for.
With the presidential election ever closer, 140 Proof wanted to test the hypothesis that users identified as either liberal or conservative would be interact more readily with content that matched their political preferences. The study used historical data on social media engagement and current network associations to segment users into potential political parties and then record their engagement rates with political content.
Segmentation relies on publicly available social data, including user connections like friends and other accounts they follow. Fore example, you can safely place current @BarackObama followers in the liberal bucket. Shared content is crucial here too — if someone responds negatively to a televised Obama speech or consistently shares content from conservative publications, slot them with the GOP.
For the purpose of this experiment, the Twitter users in the liberal, conservative and control groups were shown tweets (in the form of ad units) from both liberal and conservative news sources. To easily identify whether content skewed liberal or conservative, the messages were confined to the Presidential election. The content was culled from The Washington Post (liberal) and the Washington Times (conservative), and the Twitter accounts @TheDemocrats and @GOP (self explanatory).
Anything critical of President Obama (Tweets that read “Infographic: Top 10 Obama Failed Promises”) was classified conservative. Salacious attacks on Romney (“Can Mitt Romney be likeable? Does he need to be?”) fell into the liberal bucket. Did we mention that we wanted to make these as clearly identifiable as possible?
The results showed that users are far more likely to engage with content hewing closely to their political beliefs than they are to unmatched political ads. Democrats engaged with liberal ads 6.35 percent of the time, compared to 3.97 percent for conservative ads. GOP supporters exhibited even higher engagement rate for their preferred content, with a 7.61 percent engagement rate, compared to 5.08 percent for liberal ads.
This shows that social media is a great way to politicians to galvanize users that match their political views, but it’s also vital information for brands and other social advertisers. Because social media users are far more likely to engage with relevant messaging, it’s fairly easy to move this study model from the political arena to the soda aisle to look at how hypothetical Coke and Pepsi fans interact with soda ad messages.
That’s not even the most interesting part. A full scientific study needs a control group, and this study compared the liberal and conservative engagement rates to those of apolitical Twitter users. The results were even more pronounced, with politically active users engaging with the ad content at nearly twice the rate as the apolitical users.
Again, brands can adopt this to their social strategies. It would suggest that soda drinkers are far more likely to engage in soft drink content than those who don’t drink soda, regardless of their brand preference. The same goes for athletic brands, where those who either bike or run will likely engage at higher rates than consumers who don’t exercise.
There is a wealth of untapped data readily available from social media channels, if you take the time to understand it. Predicting box office success on trending hashtags and buzz metrics is the low-hanging fruit of social. Segmenting the audience to understand how they’ll identify with messages can predict sales, and it may even predict a presidential election.
Jon Elvekrog is CEO of 140 Proof.
Read all our political coverage from the world of social media and social advertising:
October 31, 2012 - 1 year ago
In conversation with Karen Jagoda of Digital Politics Radio, 140 Proof CTO John Manoogian III (@jm3) discussed how the combination of mobile and social will be a winning strategy for candidates in the 2012 election.
Mobile is the dominant and growing platform for social. Over 50% of teenagers and adults 18-45 have smartphones. And that mobile device is the last screen that the voter is going to see before they go into a voting booth. You can’t get any better than that for an advertising platform.
Manoogian and Jagoda touched on the value of short messages to political candidates — for example, Twitter as the home of the sound bite. Politicians can also take a page from big brands, who have been tailoring messages for social and proving those platforms out for the last two years. Manoogian and Jagoda also discussed how state and local campaign managers can target their ads for social.
Listen to “Mobile Strategies for Voters in Social” with Digital Politics Radio:
For readers interested in more background information on 140 Proof, also listen to the in-depth DPR intro from the same interview.
July 16, 2012 - 1 year ago
We’re pleased to announce our new social ad solution for political campaigns.
Political Stumping Gets Social With New Ad Solution for Political Campaigns
140 Proof, the leading social ad platform for Twitter and Facebook, today launched a new social ad solution for political campaigns that allows candidates to reach large groups of targeted voters within the social stream. 140 Proof social ads enable candidates to amplify their campaign efforts and extend their reach beyond existing followers, putting their messages at the top of the social news feeds of over 100 million potential voters.
Candidates Can Extend Social and Traditional Campaign Efforts Beyond Existing Followers
Whether candidates just want to broaden the reach of their existing tweets and posts, or they’re out to own the social conversation around a Presidential debate, 140 Proof social ads are a natural extension of any candidate’s ongoing campaign efforts. 140 Proof creates real-time, top-of-the-feed ads directly from a candidate’s tweets, allowing them to conduct far-reaching conversations with social audiences at the precise moments that are relevant to their campaigns.
For example, candidates can use 140 Proof social ads to:
- Reach new potential voters: a candidate’s regular tweets and posts are only seen by existing followers; 140 Proof gets these tweets in front of millions of new potential voters.
- Capitalize on breaking news: 140 Proof allows candidates to be first out of the gate with commentary on breaking news and events (and even opponent missteps).
- Augment crisis communications: when candidates must react to negative ads or campaign gaffes, 140 Proof gives them a powerful tool for rapid and far-reaching response.
- Enhance TV and video ad buys: candidates can use 140 Proof to run ads that include a video within the ad itself, drawing more attention to viral campaigns or TV spots.
- Own the social conversation around live events: candidates can run real-time campaigns targeting voters who are watching and commenting on live political broadcasts while on Twitter or Facebook.
Instantly Reach Targeted Groups of Voters on Twitter and Facebook
140 Proof also gives candidates the ability to precisely target these ads to their most coveted audiences, using technology that segments voters based on whom they follow, keywords used in their social streams and other publicly available keys from their social graph. Campaigns can work with 140 Proof to customize their own voter targets, or they can leverage 140 Proof’s pre-built political audience “clusters”, such as Swing Voters; Soccer Moms; NASCAR Dads; Greens; Tea Party; Union Interested; Hispanic; We are the 99%; and many others.
“Twitter and Facebook have become the de facto political platforms that decide elections, and experts are projecting that the ad spend in social media in this year’s election will be 15 times greater than in 2008. To be competitive in the social era, candidates will need to look beyond their existing followers and use tools such as 140 Proof to extend their reach,” said Jon Elvekrog, CEO of 140 Proof. “Candidates should be using their Twitter account as their mouthpiece, and 140 Proof social ads as their megaphone.”
Learn More about 140 Proof’s Political Offerings
All political stories from the 140 Proof Blog
140 Proof Debuts Social Ad Service for Politicians (Vator.tv)
How Political Campaigns Can Leverage Social Media Interview with 140 Proof CTO @jm3 (Ad Operations Online)
March 29, 2012 - 1 year ago
How big a role will social ads play in the 2012 presidential election?
Advertising in the social ecosystem offers presidential candidates bigger results than tweeting and Facebooking alone. To create this infographic about the 2012 landscape for political advertising, 140 Proof’s Data Team reviewed data from the 2004 and 2008 elections as well as recent reporting from AdAge, Adweek, and eMarketer.
See more on AllFacebook.
For political campaigns, 140 Proof offers simple, powerful advertising in the social ecosystem’s top 50 apps. Our ads are targeted via the interest graph and reach over 200 million US users monthly.
To adapt your campaign for social and learn how political teams are using 140 Proof to win, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 15, 2012 - 1 year ago
Every election year breaks records for ad spending. The total spend leading up to the 2008 election in TV alone was over $450 million. But in 2012, where does social advertising fit in to the political advertising landscape, and how does it work?
140 Proof CTO John Manoogian III (@jm3) reveals the secrets that political campaign managers use to supercharge their messages with the voting public. Campaign teams should be quick on the draw and use social to power campaigns with influencers and crowds.
With two-thirds of online U.S. adults using social feeds, campaign managers can use paid social advertising to reach large numbers of voters. And they can also zero in on influencers by targeting people with a high number of followers or users who demonstrate thought leadership on key issues.
The biggest revelation, however, is that there’s a marketable message in every story:
Campaign managers create messages tailored for their key audiences. And smart players will even capitalize on blunders. For example, the recent fracas between Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and President Barack Obama made headlines nationwide. Jan Brewer’s supporters in Arizona will be sure to spin the incident during her reelection bid. (To reach this audience, Brewer’s PAC should target Arizona residents following GOP accounts like @SenJohnMcCain and @JeffFlake.)
And, on the flip side, Obama’s team could use the story to craft a message alleging Republicans are refusing to reach across the aisle. To reach audiences of moderates and independent voters with this message, I’d recommend reaching beyond the already-outsized and committed following of @BarackObama, instead focusing on the audiences of more independent influencers like @fivethirtyeight and The Washington Post’s @mentionmachine.
Get the details on Mashable: 5 Tips for Reaching Voters in the Social Stream
February 21, 2012 - 2 years ago
The first paid social ad campaigns for GOP presidential candidates are have already launched, and campaign teams are already betting big on earned social channels. We know how widespread social media is in general (78% of Americans are active on social platforms), but how important is social to political campaigns? How big will social be in the 2012 election?
Watch the video
Stay tuned for more from 140 Proof on the pivotal role that paid social will play in the 2012 presidential election. Any predictions? Let us know in the comments.
February 13, 2012 - 2 years ago
Ad teams are gearing up nationwide to shift their efforts away from everything nonpolitical and lock in for an intense year of political advertising. Given the growing influence of social seen in the last two presidential elections, how big a role will social play in 2012?
President Obama’s social strategy in 2008 was hailed as a coup (New York Times). And AdWeek says, “the use of social and online media has increased exponentially among political organizations” (emphasis ours).
Could social eclipse TV and print for the hearts and minds effort this year? We’ll explore this theme next week in a special installment of our video series on 140 Proof.
January 30, 2012 - 2 years ago
By Yanik Jayaram
Last month marked a milestone in the history of social media, as the White House partnered with Twitter to host the first ever ‘Twitter Town Hall”. The news of Twitter and Facebook’s role in politics around the globe from Eqypt to China is well known, but when the ruler of the free world endorses your platform, that is a different matter.
August 18, 2011 - 2 years ago