4 ideas for covering elections using Social Media

Years ago, big political announcements were made at press conferences. Now, candidates tend to use platforms like Twitter to announce important information, including about things as important as who’ll their running mates will be. Social media is rapidly becoming a bigger player in electoral campaigns; however, there are few media outlets that manage to take full advantage of audience involvement. and get innovative about the way in which they express and interpret this content.

At Flowics, we generate inventive ideas for fresh coverage, so that your audience can feel involved and create content, thereby providing you with diverse points of view during the different stages of the electoral process.

1. Conversation Analysis on Social Media

Who is most active politician on social media? Who generates the greatest quantity of re-tweets on Twitter or receives the greatest number of comments during a debate? What are the most-used terms for each candidate?

Without a doubt, measuring interactions and their repercussions, and seeing what kind of  conversations are generated around them, helps us to gauge popularity. It’s likely that a candidate who receives few responses or doesn’t generate debate among his or her followers is not taking advantage of the digital ecosystem in the best way possible. And nowadays, this kind of content is news.

Word Clouds

It’s possible to identify the most-used terms around a candidate or campaign using a word cloud. This resource also allows us to highlight the most-used terms around the candidates in a certain electoral period.


Conversation Trends Over Time

Following a candidate’s activity allows us to understand the social-media impact and repercussion of his or her ideas, comments, and actions. This can be used to evaluate the impact of a certain day (for example, the day on which a political plan is announced, after a debate, etc.) or to track the evolution of many variables during campaign months. When there are abrupt changes in behavior (mentions, themes, etc), this allows us to analyze (and interpret) key events of the campaign.


Most-Mentioned Topics and Candidates

Tracking politicians hashtags, keywords and @ handles on social media allows us to understand which topics are generating the most conversation among citizens. Therefore, we’re able to interpret what people are worried about, their concerns, and the topics that take politicians from each party to task. We can also interpret what most concerns future voters.


Most Re-Tweeted Tweets of the Day

Analyzing candidates’ most-shared Tweets allows us to understand which topics and candidates are having the greatest impact among citizens. This allows you to enrich editorial content on your show and present the debate in a way that stimulates conversation on social media.


2. Opinion Polls

Polls allow us to create a participative activity across different digital environments (web sites, apps, social media) for the audience. It also provides relevant information that allows the media to enrich news coverage during the electoral period.

Polls During the Campaign

What are the foremost problems for the next government to solve? Which candidate has the best chance of winning the next election? Involving people via their opinions is an excellent resource for generating a back-and-forth within the audience. It also generates relevant material to display on air.


Polls Before, During and After Debates

In many countries, it is common for debates to take place in neutral spaces and for transmission signals be open to anyone who wishes to use them. This means that during a debate, all media outlets get the same material and it’s not possible to differentiate. With polls and voting, whether on social media or on a site/app, outlets can give the audience the option to demonstrate what they feel about the debate between candidates. In this way, the audience feels like it’s a part of the debate and is present in a passive way, which makes people feel represented. And, analysts can take the results as data points to consider regarding the performance of the candidates.


3. Audience Comments, Photos and Videos

Audience Comments

Whether during interviews with candidates or even during debates, you can invite your audience to send in their comments. It’s an excellent resource for providing an interactive experience, keeping your audience connected, and incrementing the volume of conversation on social media.

If you’re able to reach an agreement with debate organizers, a good option for getting the public involved is opening up the possibility of having candidates answer the audience's questions. Using a hashtag, you can moderate the different questions from the audience and allow politicians to respond.


Voting Day - People’s Photos and Videos

Voting day is a day that is full of information. However, after voting, the flow of news stories decreases and coverage stalls. Analysis and summaries of what’s happening on social media are a great way to generate original content and show how voters are experiencing the day.

On the day of the event, channels can display videos, photos and messages on air, to show how voters are experiencing the election. Delays, ballot shortages, or any other news-worthy events can be reported quickly and displayed by zone, search terms, or users.


4. Rating Candidates’ Platforms

This mechanic allows audience members to actively participate during a debate, allowing them to rate candidates based on their arguments and how they felt about certain topics during every stage of the debates. The results can be displayed on air in real time or on the channel’s digital platforms.


Client Cases

Below are some examples of how different outlets in the region have used the Flowics platform during election season.

RedeTV! - Social coverage of presidential debates


Chilevisión / CNN - Coverage of the presidential election


Grupo Imagen - Coverage of presidential debate


These are some ideas that we believe could be useful for your election coverage. If you have another idea or want us to work on one in particular, contact us and we’ll get thinking about it.

Flowics allows you to implement all of these simple ideas and more. If you’d like to learn more, contact us