How We Created a Real-Time U.S. Election Infographic

Webfront
InfographcwebThe ongoing U.S. presidential race is the hottest topic on any news website or social media (maybe except in San Francisco where everybody is talking about Giants baseball).

The one issue with this media takeover is that there is so much information, that it’s hard to make sense of it. We thought about this and a bulb went off: our Marketing Cloud product already aggregates and analyzes incredible amounts of data when it comes to commercial brands – why not apply this same treatment to a large event like the U.S. election and see what happens.

We put the Marketing Cloud analytics to work and soon we had a phenomenal collection of data, highlighting the share of conversation per candidate, top influencers, most popular topics, and much more. To make this easily sharable, we mixed in some Salesforce Platform magic and created a real-time infographic, which displays a snapshot of the latest election developments. 

Below is a still capture of the infographic and you can see the interactive version which updates in real-time on our website: http://www.salesforce.com/election12

(You can read more about how we put the infographic together once you scroll to the bottom of the image)

Updated-election-infographic


In case you are curious about the process of creating this live infographic, here is how we went about it:

1.  We used the Marketing Cloud to set up “topic profiles” – this means creating different data search profiles based on a collection of relevant keywords (eg. Romney, Obama, debate, and so on). One of the topic profiles is searching and pulling any social media mentions for the two campaigns across social and mainstream media. The other is analyzing what issues and topics that people were discussing in relation to the election – e.g. taxes, foreign policy, the economy.

2.  To avoid any bias, we made sure that each topic profile had exact the same keywords, relevant to each campaign.

3.  After we pulled the topic profiles, we decided to visualize the data in different widgets. We thought that share of conversation, top social influencers, conversations by topic, quantity of conversations for each candidate, and most popular keywords and hashtags was the way to go.

4.  The next step was integrating all this information into a “living and breathing” infographic. To do that we used the power of the Salesforce Platform, and created the app which makes API calls to Marketing Cloud, pulls the relevant information in real time for each widget and then displays each widget.

5.  Some interesting observations of the data over time:

          - If you look at the "number of conversations over time" widget, you will notice four clear conversation peaks. Those peaks are due to the 3 presidential and one vice-presidential debate.

          - If you observe the number of conversations per topic, you can see how the data shifts daily. Before the final debate for example, foreign policy was towards the bottom of the topic list and now is at the top.

This visualization of social media information can be easily applied to any event or your brand. This way you can easily follow how the social media conversation around your brand is evolving and who is influencing the discussion.

Follow @marketingcloud for more tips and case studies on social media measurement. 


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