GOP Debate and Massive Twitter Impact

Social media is increasingly playing a part in politics in the U.S. and we’ve recently told for example, about the White House on Facebook, how Weinergate has led to Congress members tweeting less and how presidential bids have been launched using social media, from Newt Gingrich for instance. The GOP debate hosted on CNN last night received heavy social media promotion and now we have news of the massive Twitter impact to the presidential debate.

CNN really pushed the social media angle to the debate and issued an official #CNNDebate hashtag in a bid to engage with the public and make this a social event. This was a big hit and we have some interesting details about just how successful this promotion was. According to Jolie O’Dell over on Mashable, the official hashtag was the top trending topic globally on Twitter (non-promoted) by 9pm ET. CNN had said that posts from Twitter and also Facebook could be used in the debate and it certainly seems as though people made the most of having their say.

Trendistic followed tweets about the debate and apparently 90 minutes in, the #CNNDebate term was present in 1.5% of all tweets. That’s some going! As far as engagement goes people involved in the debate at home were able to add their own opinions and questions about what was being said as the debate was live-tweeted and were also able to see pictures and videos from New Hampshire, from journalists such as Anderson Cooper via Twitter.

It seems as though CNN’s idea to mirror the 2012 campaign trail by using social media went down extremely well with the general public and no doubt we’ll find social media presence in campaigning even more evident in future. We’d like to know if you were engaged with the debate through Twitter and how it added to the event for you, so please send us your comments.