Tag Archives: twitter

Trust, Joy, Sadness And Fear. Primary Election Emotions In 2016

Picture of Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders


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I decided it might be interesting to analyze the tweets of the main political players in the run-up to Super Tuesday. The methodology was simple, follow their official twitter accounts and then analyze the tweets for emotional word content. 1029 tweets from official twitter accounts for Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were collected. The collection started on February 23rd and continued through to midnight February 29th, the day before Super Tuesday. A breakdown of the volume of tweets per politician is shown on the right.

Obviously, there were a huge amount of other tweets relating to the individual politicians but I wanted to see what their core message was in terms of the use of emotionally related words. It’s of note that Cruz , the youngest of all the candidates analyzed , sent out the most number of tweets, followed by Sanders. Cruz was also the only one to use no capital letters in his screen name “tedcruz”.

Words were categorized using 8 types of emotion, which could overlap. The types were fear, anger, sadness, disgust, anticipation, surprise, joy and trust. It’s an approach which treats text as a “bag of words”, no attempt is made to parse the text for grammatical constructions in this case.

As an example I searched for the word “food” in a collection of 1.5 million random tweets. The search revealed 7319 tweets with the word “food” in them, the analysis of these tweets for emotional content is shown below:


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This ring is like a pie chart, except its thickness is in proportion to the numbers of words which could be classed as emotional out of all the words in a tweet. The percentage in the center is the value for this, so 33% shows that 33% of words in the tweets with the word “food” in them could be put into one of our emotional types. This is a measure of how emotionally expressive the tweets were. The circle on the lower right shows the percentage of emotional words that are either classed as positive or negative within all the words classed as emotional. Blue means positive, red means negative. In way of contrast a search for the word “death” shows a very different result:

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For our candidates, we see some subtle differences. Both Trump and Cruz share the same level of “positivity”, with a score of 59% but it would be useful to remember nothing is exact with any analysis of language.


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Cruz uses fewer words that are classed as emotional words in total, yet with more tweets overall.

Turning to Clinton and Sanders we see this:


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Here we see a different pattern. Levels of positivity are slightly above those of Cruz and Trump at 64% for both candidates with Clinton using less emotional words overall in a similar way to Cruz.

The top three emotional categories for Clinton and Sanders are trust, anticipation and joy. For Cruz the top two are trust and anticipation. In contrast, Trumps’ top two categories are trust and joy. Trump and Cruz also differ in the third highest. For Trump, his third category is sadness, for Cruz fear.

Bag of words approaches to text analysis are well established in the realm of content analysis of huge text collections. It’s interesting to see that they might have some application to smaller problems. The key point to remember is that this is one way of looking at text, there are many more. None of them can be said to be correct, it all depends how useful the results are.


Andrew Jeavons is Founder and CEO of Mass Cognition – a company that specializes in helping clients understand the deeper meanings in text and social media data.  He was previously the CEO of Survey Analytics, a major survey software vendor serving Fortune 500 customers and the international community.  He was one of the founders of e-tabs and has a (too) long history in the market research technology industry. He is a well-known award winning speaker and blogger.

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Taming the Social Media Monster: How Companies Can Use Social Media

There’s no doubt about it, social media has turned the business world on its head and revolutionized the ways in which companies interact with consumers. Social networks give brands access to an unprecedented volume and variety of consumers, and those consumers aren’t just young people. 27.5 million users over the age of 55 engage in social media, according to a study by qSample. It’s become an integral part of people’s lives. Even on the go, people need to check their profiles, with 60% of millenials having said they use their smartphones for social networking. The power of word-of-mouth and the consumer voice has been magnified to compete on the same level as traditional advertising, and people freely give more information than any marketer could have dreamed of collecting 20 years ago. With so many new options available, many companies are left without a clue where to start, and some even reject social media marketing entirely instead of working to perfect their campaign. Taming the social media monster can be challenging, but it’s well worth the effort. Whether B2C or B2B, there’s more to social media than simply having a profile.

The most important aspect of social media is communication. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn provide companies with direct access to consumers and clients, but people aren’t satisfied with one-sided conversations anymore. They have thoughts and ideas that they want to be heard, and social media provides a platform for that happen. Businesses can take advantage of this by collecting feedback and ideas to cater their products to what consumers actually want. Social media allows brands to test and perfect ideas through consumer feedback at extremely low cost, but research and development isn’t the only department that has benefited greatly from the advent of social media, PR has as well. In the event of a crisis, social media provides companies with a place to keep consumers informed and allow them to answer questions. In addition to this, it allows companies to control the messages sent to consumers, which avoids the negative perspectives given by news outlets.

Communication is one aspect of engagement marketing, but there are many others that can also be used. Consumers want to be involved, and social media is the perfect place to do that. One of the best ways to allow people to participate is through crowdsourcing. Contests that ask consumers to design a new logo, or even film their own commercial for a product are an example that can cut costs for a business while empowering consumers and building loyalty. Encouraging shares, likes, and other digital word-of-mouth advertising is cheap and creates a sense of community around the brand as well. By aligning the company’s goals with what the consumer wants, everyone involved can benefit.

Taming the Social Media Monster

Social media sites collect an incredible amount of data on consumers. Most people don’t realize just how much information ey give out online. Name, age, and birthdates are obvious, but even simply liking a page or post can give marketers an extraordinary insight into people’s lives. It’s not uncommon for addresses, marital statuses, and even current locations to be given by users. For businesses, social media can provide insights on known target demographics, or even help a company identify potential new targets.

The digital age is here, traditional marketing has become antiquated, and businesses must adapt by joining social media sites. Consumers demand more than a one-sided conversation. They want to be involved, and social media is the perfect place for engagement marketing. The variety of users and their willingness to give useful information can provide marketers with insights and data collection tools that would have seemed unbelievable only a few years ago. Whether it’s B2B or B2C, social media is the place to be.

qSample offers many great panels for data collection and analysis. In addition to large segments of general consumers, qSample cultivates high-quality specialty panels. Those panels include:
Mobile Users, Gamers, Voters, Contractors, Home Owners, Students, Baby Boomers, Veterinarians, and Pet Owners.
You can find more information by clicking on the “Panels” tab above, or contact qSample here