It would be hard to spend the week online without stumbling across a conversation connected to the presidential debate. In fact, according to Twitter, it was the most ‘Tweeted-about’ event in US politics. Back in 2008, commentators heralded the first ever ‘social media election‘, and 2012 is definitely continuing on this trend; with CNN, YouTube, and many others creating dedicated channels in a bid to become the ‘hub’ for conversation during debating season.
So let’s take a peek at the hot ‘social stories’ this week:
PBS turns ‘Big Bird’ meme into marketing opportunity
Who would have thought that a Sesame Street character would have become a hot topic for online conversation during the presidential debate? It was all started a comment by Mitt Romney in which he reportedly states that he ‘loves’ Big Bird but is still going to cut funding to PBS, the TV network that airs Sesame Street amongst other shows. The public was quick to respond; Romney’s proposed ‘firing’ of Big Bird became a meme. But what PBS did in response was where the real digital learning lies, in my opinion – the company bought the keyword “Big Bird” on search, directing users to a website called ValuePBS.org, containing information about how PBS serves the United States. Good thinking!
Pew Research Centre’s social media ‘deep dive’ gains massive traction
A soberly titled report by The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism entitled: ”How the Presidential Candidates Use the Web and Social Media” is the topic of nearly 20,000 news articles online currently. It has some interesting insights on how the social media battle is shaping up between Romney and Obama. Examples include:
- Social media sentiment appears to be more favourable towards the President, compared to the press
- Neither candidate has made much use of the ‘social’ aspect of social media (not responding to or re-Tweeting citizen’s posts)
- While Obama is a frequent Tweeter, Romney posts much more on Facebook