Innovation

Election Tech: Big data election trends from the social media capital of the world

The social web is powerful. It's also noisy. See how big data tools help both campaigns and companies communicate with influencers, identify relevant trends in real-time, and filter out distraction.

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NY primary Buzzgraph trends. | Image: Sysomos

The New York primary brought no resolution to a competitive primary season, but did help shove the 2016 campaign towards the endgame. In the media capital of the world—and a state experiencing an anomalous blip of political relevance—traditional and social media alike sizzled with news and memes.

Sysomos is a suite of tools that visualize and help extrapolate detailed information—metadata like post time and geolocation, user clusters, sentiment analysis—from social media data. "The data visualization tools are used by blue chip entertainment and media companies," said Jason Harris, Senior Manager of Community and Evangelism, "to help locate influencers and trending content. We ingest content in real-time and help companies find groups of people talking about the brand or product."

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In the days leading up to and during the New York primary TechRepublic used Sysomos to extrapolate election trends. We previously used its tool to interpret Super Tuesday and other election data, and we are currently collaborating to investigate the phenomenon of fake Twitter followers. Here are the traditional and social media trends from Tuesday's election.

  • With a total reach of 5.7 million estimated impressions, the top tweet of the New York primary came from @cthagod.

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NY primary top tweet. | Image: Sysomos/Twitter

  • Frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump won the night at the polls, and on social media. Conversation seemed to peak later in the evening, after results were announced.

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NY primary trends, including Overall Popularity and Share of Voice. | Image: Sysomos

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  • The sentiment of social media users in New York state also tracked closely with final poll results.

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Positive (green) and negative (red) social media sentiment in New York state. | Image: Sysomos

  • Trump dominated media conversation, online and off. Using social media, between April 18th and April 20th, Trump was able to correlate negative keywords—bribe, bribing, steal, stealing, bribes, scrap—with his rival, Ted Cruz.

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Social media keywords associated with Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. | Image: Sysomos

TechRepublic uses social media data visualization tools to better understand the campaign. But from academics to SMBs, data visualization tools can be used by any industry. If you're a data scientist, social media professional, or inquisitive TechRepublic reader we'd love your ideas on how to inspect campaign social media data. Please leave a comment below or ping us on Twitter @TechRepublic.

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About Dan Patterson

Dan is a Senior Writer for TechRepublic. He covers cybersecurity and the intersection of technology, politics and government.

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