In context: SONA on Twitter PDF Print E-mail

Last week's State of the Nation (SONA) address by president Jacob Zuma garnered a nine-fold increase in mentions on Twitter, compared to those received in 2011.

According to data from online reputation management agency, BrandsEye, on Thursday there were 45 000 mentions relating to the SONA. BrandsEye MD Tim Shier says this is 18 000 more tweets than what was achieved during SA's Rugby World Cup games.

“We see this as a clear indication that the South African public are increasingly interested in politics – across the full range of demographics,” says Shier.

While 5fm DJ Gareth Cliff's State of the Nation Undress (#SOTNundress) garnered much attention during the event, according to BrandsEye, mentions of the game only accounted for 10% (4 542) of the total mentions relating to the SONA. The mentions were tracked across the open Web, notably on social networks, as well as press sites, forums and blogs.
The rules, as defined by Cliff, were: “Every time the president: 1. Laughs 2. Says “Absolutely” 3. Says “Poverty” 4. Touches his glasses with his middle finger, or 5. Seems to have been distracted by an attractive woman in Parliament, you lose an item of clothing.”
“Last year @garethcliff's #SOTNdrinking occupied a whopping 45% of the total conversation around the State of the Nation. Certainly an interesting shift and possibly an indication that South Africans are starting to take politics more seriously," says Shier.
BrandsEye says the gross “opportunities to see”, or reach of the SONA conversation, was 11 069 905 (non-unique users).
This translates into a potential R2 522 528 worth of publicity. “If only a brand had gotten involved and somehow sponsored it,” says BrandsEye, adding that it was a missed opportunity for a brand like Nando's. “SOTNundress – I'll have a thigh and a breast please.”
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