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SONA gets Social Media treatment

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Social media exposed South Africa’s election year State of the Nation Address (SONA) to more than 300 million internet users, according to data from Brandseye.

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) bears more weight in election year than any other. Following recent criticism of government on major corruption allegations and the ANC’s failure to address serious economic issues, this SONA had to be a critical success for the ruling party.

BrandsEye, the local online media monitoring and marketing company, tracked how the South African public used social media to express its views regarding President Jacob Zuma’s key address and its exposure not only to local voices, but to the international online community as well.

According to BrandsEye’s #SONA report the overall spike in online conversation rose 2857% from February 12 to February 13. This indicated that 91 percent of online conversation about SONA took place on-the-day, highlighting the “live”” quality online communication brings to topical issues.

Clearly, Twitter was the preferred platform to share concise public opinion with the lion’s share online conversation.

The site generated 95% of all SONA activity, including leading local voices such as Khaya Dlanga, an influential media figure.

He tweeted: ‚””I think this is Zuma’s best State of the Nation Address ever. It is informative, firm and address real issues. #SONA2014.‚”” The tweet reached 122 215 people.

DA leader Helen Zille remained tongue-in-cheek with her comment: ‚””Oh, that’s the real ADDRESS they are talking about! RT@JaquesMaree73: #Zuma’s Estate of the Nation. #SONA2014.‚”” It reached 379 733 people.

In total the number of SONA online conversations was up 27 percent from last year, to 62 943. This exposed SONA to a potential international audience of more than 300 million online users.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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