Ornico’s SocialTrac of #Sona2015 shows big changes in volume and sentiment, as well as a rash of game-changing new political players who are dominating the local social media conversation on the State of the Nation Address.
Sandton, South Africa – Thursday 12 February 2015. Social media research conducted by brand and media analysis group, Ornico, shows distinct changes in sentiment as well as volume, when comparing Facebook and Twitter commentary on South Africa’s State of the Nation Address for 2014 with data from 2015.
Ornico tracked the #SONA2015 hashtag on Twitter and Facebook as well as the keywords ‘state of the nation address’ #TipsForSona, #SONA2014 and #SONA. The media and brand intelligence firm also tracked mentions of South Africa’s president for the periods from 01 February to 12 February 2014; and 01 February to 11 February 2015. South Africa’s previous State of the Nation Address (SONA) took place on 13 February 2014.
This year the SONA red carpet ceremony starts at 17h35 outside Parliament in Cape Town. The President of the Republic of South Africa Mr Jacob Zuma delivers his State of the Nation Address to a joint sitting of Parliament which commences at 19h00 this evening.
Sentiment analysis on the Twitter and Facebook posts showed that the overwhelming majority of sentiment relating to SONA2015 was either neutral or negative in nature. Ornico’s SocialTrac divided surveyed Twitter and Facebook posts into Neutral and Negative. 53% were deemed Neutral, and 47% Negative.
The total number of relevant mentions of the above stipulated keywords for SONA2014 came to 7,647 posts for the period under review for 2014, while for SONA2015, there were a total 28,353 posts for the surveyed period for 2015 (given the stipulated keywords). This clearly indicates the increase in uptake of social media (a 271% increase in content), and social media conversations related to SONA, given that the 2015 figure reflected a fourfold increase.
The drive by the Office of South Africa’s Presidency to elicit comment on #SONA2015 saw @presidencyza — official Twitter page of The Presidency of the Republic of South Africa — dominate Twitter mentions. The President’s official Twitter account was the centre of debate, followed by Julius Malema (@julius_s_malema), the MyANC Twitter service for the ruling party (@MyANC_), and DA Party Leader, Helen Zille’s Twitter account. This time last year, @helenzille was the second most mentioned Twitter user handle surveyed, (after @presidencyza), with 630 mentions in the 12 days leading up to SONA2014.
The top trending hashtag for this year’s SONA was #sona2015 — the designated hashtag — which was used in 18, 012 tweets. Following that, #Zuma was used 2 136 times, and #paybackthemoney was used over 1 200 times. Other notable hashtags leading up to this year’s SONA were #ANC, #EFF, #loadshedding, #powertothepeople, and #eskom.
The top four authors for #SONA2015 on Twitter, are the Democratic Alliance (@DA_News); News24 (@News24); Helen Zille (@helenzille) and Times Live (@TimesLIVE) in order of influence. Steve Hofmeyr (@steve_hofmeyr) follows as the fifth most influential Twitter user for the posts surveyed.
The influence of these Twitter users was based on their respective Klout scores. The higher the Klout Score, the greater the influence. Influence for the purpose of this survey is deemed to be the ability to drive or direct social media action. The score is derived from a combinations of attributes, such as the ratio of reactions generated compared to the volume of content shared, as well as the size of the user’s follower base. The most influential authors are those who potentially have the biggest effect on a topic or content.
The top three most prolific or active twitter authors discussing SONA2015 (by volume of tweets surveyed relating to SONA); regardless of their influence score, are: @ALETTAHA, @RSApolitics and @ZANC2EFF. These are independent twitter authors who actively generate content and discussion on SONA2015.
The top three retweets trending in the 11 days prior to SONA2015 came from a single author, namely Dr Richard Nel MBA (PhD), founder of Gate Investment Group. He is also an active member of the ANC Progressive Business Forum. He has an impressive Twitter presence with 534,000 followers, and together with his followers @GateInv dominated discussion regarding SONA2015. This made Dr Richard Nel one of the key content drivers for #SONA2015. Above, one of his Tweets discusses education. It was retweeted over 420 times in the February 2015 lead-up to #SONA.
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