A great deal is being said and written about the impact of social media in the political process, in debates and in fund raising. But can it help predict the outcome of these events? Indeed, can it then help shape events?
Itself a two-way communication system, social media has become popular because it lacks the central control of information found in a one-way traditional media communication system. No longer do politicians and the media control the dialogue, more often than not, they take their cues from social media.
Since political information knows no boundaries, it forms communities of people who, without even meeting each other, are in communion because they are in communication. For better or worse, these communities have the power to unite around a candidate or unite to tear them down.
With that as a backdrop, let’s return to the matter at hand. Can social media predict the outcome of an election and offer clues as to why one candidate was victorious or defeated? To answer those questions, I worked with social analytics provider MutualMind and their adaptive listening technology to listen in on the social discussions and compared it to traditional media sources.
Traditional media poll results