Thirty tweets per second had mobile screens scrolling madly during #SONA2015, according to SMG Social, which said the real media topic is the social media engagement of South Africans. While people were following and discussing #SONA2015, social media platforms went crazy. SABC certainly had the advantage when it came to viewership because it acted as the official TV station for #SONA15.
The SMG Social team found there were over 394 000 SONA mentions during the period 12 February 2015 to 16 February. Over 260 000 were just during the live telecast which, equates to about 30 tweets a second. This shows a massive increase of 63% from #SONA2014’s social media engagement.
Although there has been significant growth in social media platforms, this year there was a definite upward trend because more people tuned in to watch the expected and promised antics.
It was clear at which point of the day #SONA2015 mentions took off on Twitter. At 18h00, MPs took to the red carpet and DA members were arrested. At 18h45 #BringBackTheSignal began with over 60 000 mentions between 19h00 and 20h00 before President Jacob Zuma was interrupted by #PayBackTheMoney and the EFF was forcibly removed. At 20h00 the DA left parliament and Twitter calmed down to mentions falling in the 5000 mark.
Although not televised, the scuffle which took place while the EFF were being removed was captured mostly on cellphone cameras by delegates and journalists within parliament and within minutes had been shared on social media platforms YouTube and Twitter.
Several of the uploaded YouTube clips from the evening have received nearly 500 000 views, again demonstrating the power of social media.
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