All posts by Greg Cypes

Debate Season Comes to a Close

Last night’s Presidential debate put a keystone into the political debate season. The third and final showdown lacked the fireworks of previous debates, but continued election season’s dramatic presence on the social web. Check out our data from the AddThis network on the major moments and trends from our analysis of social mentions during the debate. Social mentions are a measure of online sharing, social referrals and searches related to specific content.

Social Analysis

Social activity during the first debates took place on Twitter exclusively. By the last debate Facebook was the dominant social network. For Barack Obama related content, Reddit shot up to the 3rd spot for most popular social network.

Top Social Moments

The top social moments of the evening took place in the post-debate recap related to China and Iran.

The most shared moment related to Barack Obama’s came at 9:56PM ET right after he talked about the unprecedented cooperation with Israel on deterring Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.  Romney’s top moment came at 10:24PM ET as the debate wrapped up and he hammered home how the country can’t afford 4 more years of high unemployment and increasing debt.

And the winner for most online social mentions is…

While the map looks very red, Obama edged out Romney social mentions by 1.5%.  Obama continues to dominate the conversation in Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Iowa, all swing states.

Just because debate season is over doesn’t mean we’ll stop our data analysis. Check back over the next two weeks to learn more about how the election is playing out in social media and social interest.

The Second Presidential Debate, Binders Full of Data

Less than 3 weeks until we go to the polls and the path to victory is still very unclear.  Did the debate last night help one candidate separate themselves? Unlike the first presidential debate which, outside of Big Bird, did not produce many memorable moments, the town hall debate definitely hit some great marks.

Social Analysis

Unlike the 1st two debates, where Twitter crushed all other social services, this debate provided more of an opportunity for other services to jump in for sharing.  Why?  Well, the top content shared about the debate came in the post-debate spin on whether or not President Obama called what happened in Libya an act of terror.  We have seen consistently during the first 3 debates that content about fact checking, Facebook is the preferred way to share those articles.  The top article was from Commentary Magazine.


Top Social Moment(s)

No question that the top social moment for the debate was the exchange on Libya at 10:22PM where moderator Candy Crowley even corrected Mitt Romney on quoting Barack Obama.  Many people might think that the “Binders of Women” comment Mitt Romney said would be the top moment, but the buzz from this moment was actually small initially and grew steadily during the rest of the debate.

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Coal, Lilly Ledbetter, Memes

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The top issues of the debate last night that did not include a binder or Big Bird dealt with energy issues and women’s right to fair pay and whether or not the candidates were telling the truth.

Though the most lasting moment of the night may be the mentions of the word “binder.”

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And the winner is …

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Style versus Substance: It’s the VP Debate Recap

Last night at Centre College in Danville, KY Vice President Joe Biden faced off against Congressman Paul Ryan in the latest round of debates.  While last week’s 1st Presidential debate showed a clear winner both in opinions as well as the data, this debate was much closer.  Let’s jump into the data.

Social Analysis

There was a great divide last night not just in substance between the candidates but also which social networks drove referrals for each candidate.  If you were reading content about Paul Ryan during the 95 minutes the debate it most likely was found on Facebook.


However, if you were reading content about Joe Biden, then it was probably because you found that content on Twitter.


Top Social Moment

There was a tie for top social moment last night.  The first top moment was at 9:35P Eastern when Joe Biden pointed out that Paul Ryan sent letters requesting stimulus money and the second moment was at 9:56P Eastern when the candidates had an exchange about Jack Kennedy.


Style vs. Substance Social Mentions

Each candidate had high points and low points last night.  The top words associated with Paul Ryan last night were the letters he sent to President Obama requesting stimulus money for his district.

Biden’s buzz was around his laughing reaction to Ryan’s answers, but it was not just about Biden’s debating style.  Biden generated a lot of buzz with his comments on Jack Kennedy.

And the winner is …

The map is very balanced with Biden leading in mentions in the metropolitan areas while Paul Ryan took the lead in mentions in rural, midwest and southern states.

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It’s also worth mentioning the breakout star of the night … Martha Raddatz, the debate moderator! Unlike poor Jim Lehrer, who was (and still is) the punchline of jokes after his Presidential debate performance, Raddatz had a largely positive reception. In fact, our data shows that Martha had the highest social spike of the night, beating out both Biden and Ryan:

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Less than 4 weeks to go until decision time.  Get the latest social stats from our special coverage section Election 2012. We’ll see you next Tuesday for the second Presidential debate.

Can a Cup of Coffee Predict the Election?

We are less than a month away from Election Day in the US, and everyone is trying to predict the outcome using a variety of data points. We joined in on the fun by launching our Election 2012 page as a place to highlight our social data and give insights into how the election is playing out.

Well, AddThis publisher, 7-11, has a very fun and unique data point of their own that they are tracking nationwide. If you go into a 7-11 and buy a cup of coffee you are presented with a choice of a Barack Obama cup or a Mitt Romney cup. Results are tabulated and presented on a map. Currently Obama leads Romney 60% to 40%. (What about regular vs. decaf?)

You also can check out results in your state or certain cities.

How does that stack up to our data?  Check out the latest social mentions map below, displaying by county the intensity of mentions for each candidate (Romney red and Obama blue). It is worth noting that this data is not taking sentiment into effect so it’s possible Alaska is just really upset about the whole PBS thing … ;)

Stay tuned for the VP debate recap on Friday morning. Missed the Presidential debate last week? We’ve got the data rundown here.

You can also follow us on Twitter for more fun data facts!

First Presidential Debate in the Books

Last night, in Denver, CO, President Obama faced off against Governor Romney in the first presidential debate.  While Facebook and Twitter existed in 2008, wide adoption of each platform had not yet occurred.  Last night was the first presidential debate where having your Twitter stream open while watching the debate was a prerequisite.

Social Recap
If you followed the live tweets we did during the debate, we mentioned that leading up to the start of the debate twice as much sharing was happening on Facebook over Twitter.


Once the debate started, that completely flipped where 66% of all sharing for the debate was on Twitter.


Top Social Moment
The top social moment during the debate occurred at 9:51PM ET when the candidates began to discuss Medicare. In second place was the moment Big Bird was mentioned at 9:44P ET.

Measuring Social Mentions
The results of the debate are subject to opinion and each candidate’s representative in the spin room afterward. Of course we could just go to the data, which does not lie. Prior to the debate last night, Obama held a sizeable lead in social mentions in east of the Mississippi River.
Once the debate ended, Romney had clearly changed the narrative and took a commanding lead in social mentions.
More concerning for the Obama team might be the sentiment scores from last night’s debate. Obama’s sentiment scores had been trending more positive since the Libyan Consulate attack, culminating with a large part of the country having positive sentiment prior to last night’s debate.
Now compare that to this morning…

We have three debates to go, one Vice Presidential debate next week and two Presidential debates where we will dissect the data to see how each candidate performed.

The First Social Data Driven Election

Welcome to AddThis’ coverage of the 2012 Election where we are analyzing data around the clock to bring you the top social insights leading up to Election Day on November 6th.  Following the social insights work we did starting with the Super Bowl in February through to the Olympics in July, we want to help you understand the impact social is having on determining who will be the next President of the United States.

Here are the types of coverage you can expect to find on this page:

  • Live coverage starting tonight of the debate via our Twitter account @AddThis
  • Re-caps of each debate the next day
  • Data analysis down to each county in the US to understand how battleground states like Ohio and Florida will play out for each candidate.

To get a taste of the kind of data we are talking about, here is a look at which counties are mentioning which candidate more from yesterday, October 2nd.
To keep up to date with our latest data analysis on the election be sure to bookmark this page.

Streaming vs. Tape Delay is not an #NBCFail

NBC has taken a lot of heat in their coverage of the Olympics.  Inspiring a trending Twitter hashtag known as #NBCFail.  Four days ago the hashtag did not even exist but it burst onto the scene on Sunday.

This hashtag inspired criticism in the mainstream media from across the globe.  Here are a sample of top social content talking about the coverage and hashtag.

More #NBCFail Olympics: “Live Streams” Are Not Live – Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic

#NBCFail: Na era das mídias sociais, críticos se unem no Twitter para reclamar da cobertura atrasada das Olimpíadas | Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas

Amerikanen uiten frustratie over vertraagd uitzenden van de Spelen: #NBCFail – Internet & Media – VK

But, is the problem as large as it seems for NBC?  TV Ratings are up 10% over the 2008 Beijing games.  Is the tape delayed coverage and posting of results live hurting social activity of the events?  Not according to what we see in this chart monitoring social mentions of NBCFail, which shows people are not complaining during work, they are complaining while watching the games at home.

We analyzed the Women’s Gymnastics Team Final a few nights ago, which is arguably the most popular event here in the United States to see if social mentions were impacted by people watching the live stream.
The answer may surprise you.  Despite the uproar that NBC is failing or no one is watching the Games because media outlets are leaking the results, the fact that last night the Women’s Gymnastics final saw almost a 1000% spike in mentions in prime time during the tape delay.

Even on an average Olympic day, people are more engaged socially in the evening with the Olympics despite knowing the results and having access to the live stream during the day.

Welcome to the Games of the XXX Olympiad

The 2012 London Olympics promise to be the most social Olympic event ever as ten thousand athletes from 204 nations gather to compete in over 300 events. The athletes won’t be the only ones competing, however. Dozens of brands will also compete for the attention of billions tuning in to watch the games online and on TV, and AddThis will provide insight into both competitions.

We’re creating an Olympics Daily Scorecard to give you the scoop on what will unfold in London. Even if you can’t be there in person or watch the events live, you’ll still be able to get real-time insights into the games.

Olympics Tag Cloud

Trending Content
Catch up each day on the top trending content about the Olympics across the web. Compare which stories are most popular in the United Kingdom where the Olympics are being held versus the United States and the rest of the world.

Brand Scorecard
We’ll be handing out daily medals to brands who are excelling at getting their message out. The Brand Scorecard will unveil day-to-day changes in things like social mentions, social advocates and other metrics.

Daily Wrap-ups
Each day we’ll also take a closer look at trends that emerge as the Games progress. These daily wrap-ups will use real-time data from across the AddThis network to explore the unexpected events and individual athletic performances that make the Olympics so exciting.

We wish all of the nations, athletes, and brands luck as they compete for the gold.

Engage Users and Recirculate Traffic – Trending Content Box is at Your Service

A common challenge among all site owners – bloggers, brands and large publishers alike – is getting their users to consume more content and stay engaged. Let’s be honest, the internet has made us all ADD and our focus drifts easily.  This is why we’ve launched a new plugin called the Trending content box — an easy-to-grab feed that pulls in your most popular content and begs for the wandering eye to CLICK, CLICK, CLICK.

What is it?

The Trending content box is built on top of AddThis’ powerful data processing capabilities to surface the top social traffic from across your site in a simple to install plugin.  When a visitor finishes reading content (or loses focus), they ask to themselves, “Ooo, what’s this?” unable to resist the top trending article on Facebook you created a few days ago.
What’s that?  It’s customizable, too?

Of course, we know nothing on the web is one size fits all, so as we do with all of our tools, we made the Trending content box completely customizable. You can jazz it up with your own design, choose the number of links to show, even set the date range of content displayed. We highly encourage you to get after it!

One of the best parts about the Trending content box is that if you own multiple sites you can cross promote the top social content from these sites.  

Other ideas for using your new favorite feature

Looking to increase engagement from off your domain?  Check out our API to embed your top social content into things like:

  • Your email newsletter
  • A Facebook brand page
  • Inside your native mobile application

Where there’s AddThis, there’s data

No matter where you integrate the Trending content box, there is a new module in your analytics dashboard that shows you how many additional pageviews this plugin is generating for you. What? Did you think we would give you an awesome new tool and not give you analytics to track against it? Give us more credit than that!

So don’t just sit there watching your exit rate with a sad face. Get your very own (or one we designed for you!) Trending content box for your site here.

Extending the Platform with New Traffic and Engagement Tools

Today is a good day because we’ve got a bunch of new features to announce!  We’re adding two new tools to our suite of social plugins: Welcome bar and Trending content box.  You already know about our Share and Follow buttons, used on over 14 million domains.  Our new Welcome bar and Trending content box are typical AddThis — easy to install, fully customizable, and backed by actionable real-time analytics.  The Welcome bar helps you optimize your site for incoming visitors, and the Trending content box helps you drive more traffic within your site.  We’ve added deeper engagement analytics for our Follow buttons, and now report on copied-text as well.  We’re giving you the broadest view of your engagement anywhere, and the tools to increase it.

Here’s a quick summary of the new stuff.

Welcome bar
The Welcome bar is all about optimizing your site for your incoming visitors. It lets you look at where your visitors are coming from, determines what type of visitor they are, and welcomes them with a specific call-to-action.  These calls-to-action are presented as a horizontal bar at the top of the page containing custom messages and action buttons.

These actions will help you optimize for specific goals such as increasing follower counts, growing registrations by rewarding loyalty, and more. For example, want to increase membership by offering a free trial to returning visitors? It’s easy.

As with all AddThis social plugins, you’ll get in-depth insights into how the Welcome bar is performing via a new module in your analytics summary.

Trending content box
When you use AddThis to power sharing for your site, our data-processing platform knows which content is working for you across your social channels.  The Trending content box is a customizable plugin that helps you surface this content to drive more traffic within your site.  Designed to fit seamlessly into your pages and automatically feature the most trending, popular, or network-specific content, the Trending content box helps to increase overall traffic and site retention.  Want to customize the look of your Trending content box? No problem – we’ve designed it to be completely configurable to match your site’s look-and-feel.

As for analytics, there’s a new module on the summary report that shows you how many additional pageviews this plugin is generating for you.

Like the Welcome bar, the Trending content box interface is fully-customizable via APIs — you can grab a great experience out of the box, or make it blend in seamlessly with the rest of your site.

Engagement Analytics
On top of the analytics we’ve added for the Welcome bar and Trending content box, you’ll notice something else the next time you log into your analytics console.  We’re now showing you copied-text data — key words and phrases your visitors are copying out of your pages. You can see which text is resonating, and which keywords might help you attract new visitors via SEO or potentially keep your visitors engaged longer.

AddThis now gives you the richest real-time view of your social lifecycle.  Building on our recently announced Follower reporting, and the full-lifecycle social analytics you already know and love (including our address bar tracking), this new copied-text reporting provides another piece of your social optimization puzzle.  And again, its not just about analytics — this data powers all of our social plugins.

We’ll be diving deeper into each of these new capabilities, and the ways in which you can use them to drive traffic and engagement, in followup posts over the coming week or two.  For now, check em out and let us know what you think!