Red, White and Blue

Obama, Romney campaigns use Twitter to analyze debate feedback, says social media expert

CREATED Oct 17, 2012 - UPDATED: Oct 17, 2012

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MILWAUKEE- Nothing can inundated your Twitter feed quite like politics.

Tuesday's second presidential debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney was no exception.

According to Twitter, over seven million Tweets were sent out between 8 p.m. CST and 9:39 p.m CST -- the time frame of the second presidential debate.

Based on the volume and variety of Tweets, social media experts like Jason Ibarra say that Twitter isn't just an indicator of who is winning or losing the debate.

"It (Twitter) could also be an indicator for the candidates themselves to get a read on the audience and see what topics they are hot on," says Ibarra of Exult Internet Marketing to Newsradio 620 WTMJ's "Wisconsin's Afternoon News with John Mercure."

Twitter says the most-discussed topic during the debate was the economy with 28 percent of all the Tweets. The subject of taxes racked up 17 percent of Tweets; 16 percent focused on foreign policy, 13 percent on energy and the environment, and eight percent on immigration.

Ibarra says that Obama and Romney's campaigns keep an eye on the Twitter traffic.

"I wholeheartedly believe that both of them monitor it very closely to get a read on the audience."

Ibarra says that based on how Twitter is set up, the political campaigns have tools to identify the locations of the Tweets and the sentiment of those Tweets.  He adds that both political campaigns have a social media management platform customly built for campaign managers to analyze data.

"These softwares analyze not only the Tweets and the frequency of certain topics, but the words surrounding the quotes."

Twitter says the terms "binder" and "pension" rose to Twitter infamy during the debate.

John Mercure says that when he covered presidential debates before the boom of Twitter, immediate debate reaction would happen in "spin rooms" by officials from both political parities.

But Ibarra says that Twitter has changed the role of those traditional spin rooms.

"I believe it (Twitter) is the modern day spin room."