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January 25, 2013

The Social Side of The Inauguration


President Obama’s second Inauguration was something all of us we were eagerly waiting for and on Monday, January 21, the day had finally come. Whether watching at home, streaming live from the office or following the social buzz, the country was all eyes and ears.

Among the most noticeable impact of the second Inauguration was the effect it had on the social media world. Scoring a record high of 1.1 million related tweets during the ceremony, the event was the most buzzed about topic in the Twitter-sphere (and up by 82K tweets since Obama’s first inauguration in 2009).

At 12:08 pm, when the President stated, “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle…name calling as a substitute for debate,” the ceremony reached its most viral moment, with 27K+ tweets per minute. Below is a play-by-play of Twitter activity – down to the minute [provided by Twitter Government, @gov]!

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 4.48.36 PMThe official players leading the conversation included @WhiteHouse and @ObamaInaugural, who both live tweeted and provided quotes by the President. And of course Hollywood was all over this. Top celebs tweeting included @KatyPerry, @TheEllenShow, @EvaLongoria, @ActuallyNPH, etc.

Researching a bit further and looking at Social Guide’s latest feature, TV Events, we were able to pull a few fun facts:

  • President Obama’s gay-rights topic was tweeted 3.5K times to-date
  • Non-political hot topics included: The First Family, The First Couple of Music, Beyonce and Jay-Z (trending on Twitter), and Michelle Obama’s new-do
  • Top hashtags included (in order): #inaug2013, #Inauguration, #Inauguration2013, #mlk, #fourmoreyears, #beyonce
  • Top key words included: Obama, Inauguration, #Inaug2013, BarakObama

Taking a look at Facebook results, terms that peaked throughout the day included “Beyonce,” “Kelly Clarkson,” “Inauguration,” “Oath,” and “President Obama.” Conversations in the morning included top terms such as  “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” “Happy MLK,” “A Dream,” and “Inauguration.” As the day went on, terms such as “Our President,” “Obama,” and “America,” made their way to the top.

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 5.52.37 PMSocial TV was taken to the next level with various apps giving fans the opportunity to check-in and experience the ceremony. The most popular check-in service was GetGlue, followed by Viggle and IntoNow. NBC partnered with GetGlue to develop unique stickers while their partnership with Zeebox optimized the televised experience, allowing viewers to view real time social reactions, share images, quotes and participate in surveys. Foursquare, who partnered with the Presidential Inauguration Committee, was the official check-in service during the National Day of Service.

Screen shot 2013-01-25 at 4.19.45 PM

With all this buzz, there was bound to be a few bumps and hiccups along the road. Twitter experienced disruptions over the course of 6 hours (this was reported after the ceremony reached its peak of 1.1MM tweets). With people complaining about slow or no access, Twitter’s engineers jumped right on it to resolve the issues. Although Twitter did not comment on the cause of these issues, it’s pretty safe to say the traffic (i.e.  27K tweets per min!) was the reason for the congestion and disruption (impacting timelines, the help center, favorites and friends).

While the Twitter disruptions indicated a serious need for solutions to managing high-traffic events, the record breaking social activity during the second Inauguration marked a monumental day in social media history.

Looking at this data, it’s without question that social TV is a huge player in the space. The second screen experience has secured itself as an important part of any major televised event, and has changed the way people participate in these events. Brands need to recognize this shift and identify the best approach in targeting this new wave of viewers.  Social will only continue to magnify the TV experience and thus create more opportunities for brands to engage with their viewers.

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Get Glue, Inauguration, IntoNow, President Obama, Social Media, social tv, zeebox

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