If the 2012 election were based on a new metric of tweets per minute, the Obama camp would be assured of victory in November.
First lady Michelle Obama’s prime-time speech on opening night of the Democratic National Convention sparked a flurry of activity on Twitter. The social networking service peaked at 28,003 tweets per minute at its conclusion, nearly double Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s 14,289 tweet peak, according to Twitter figures.
While tweets alone don't measure sentiment — positive and negative — there are many sites that do. For instance, Tweetfeel gave "Michelle Obama" a positive rating of 60 percent. (Fifty percent would indicate an equal number of positive and negative tweets.)
Already, users have posted more than 3 million tweets, using hashtags such as #DNC2012 and other related terms, and President Barack Obama's address is yet to come. In comparison, 4 million tweets were sent throughout last week’s Republican National Convention. As for sentiment, "DNC2012" scored a 69 percent rating and "RNC2012" scored 52 percent in five minute tests taken today (Sept. 5).
So it comes as no surprise that a Pew Internet & American Life study released today shows that Democrats believe social media is more important for political activities than Republicans do. For instance, while nearly 50 percent of Democrats said social media was important or very important as a way to keep up with political news, only 34 percent of Republicans agreed. Pew also found that Democrats and Republicans were equally likely to participate in social networking — about half of the adult U.S. population uses social media.
While Republicans as a group may be less active than Democrats, the Republican National Committee has this week stepped up its efforts to gain support on Twitter. Yesterday, the Republican National Committee bought #AreYouBetterOff as a promoted trend, one of Twitter's pricier ad products, Ad Age reported. And today, Super PAC Americans for Prosperity purchased #FailingAgenda.
Promoted trends sell for between $100,000 and $120,000, Ad Age said. These ads appear at the top of the list of trending topics on Twitter , much like a Google-sponsored ad appears at the top of search results. The Obama camp, however, has yet to buy one.