German chancellor Angela Merkel outperformed her adversary Peer
Steinbrück in May on two accounts. She continues to be ahead in terms of
buzz – and she is also doing better in terms of how people are talking about
her (“tonality”), reveals the second round of the social media chancellor
duel. As part of its cooperation with pr magazine, UNICEPTA – a leading
European media information and research service provider – is keeping an
eye on both the quantitative and qualitative dimension of posts on social
With 11 percent of positive posts each, Merkel and Steinbrück are level in the
comment columns of high-reach online media and on influential blogs. However,
the challenger is losing when it comes to the proportion of negative posts, which in
his case account for 67 percent of total posts. This figure is 10 percentage points
higher than the corresponding figure for Merkel.
It is clear from looking at the individual topics that Steinbrück is still unable to
positively occupy the (SPD) topic of “social justice.” This is also the case for
“transport policy”, despite Merkel being negatively linked to “Stuttgart 21” for a long period of time. The chancellor, for her part, is struggling to positively boost her
profile when it comes to the topic of “energy/environment.” However, Steinbrück
has not yet been able to capitalize on this.
As was the case in the previous month, the chancellor manages to outperform her
rival in the “Twitter barometer”, one of the components of the chancellor duel. On
only four occasions did Steinbrück manage to generate more buzz on Twitter than
Merkel: his calls for separate PE lessons for boys and girls, his reaction on ARD’s
“Morgenmagazin” show to a critical question about the SPD’s slogan for its election campaign “Das Wir entscheidet” (loosely translated as “We as a collective decide”, to which he replied “should’ve, would’ve, could’ve”), his appearance at the SPD party conference in Augsburg (“tame capitalism”, “social justice”) and his accusation that new party Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) is populist.
“Based on the social media content, no representative predictions can be made for
the German general election,” notes Theres Essmann, Managing Director at
UNICEPTA. This is because the general population and social media users are not
one and the same, she points out. One of the exciting issues regarding the chancellor duel is finding out to what extent conclusions or even predictions can be made.
The mood on Twitter at a glance: Follow the latest developments of UNICEPTA
and pr magazin’s “Twitter barometer.” It measures how much the two candidates
are being “talked” about. Head to http://www.prmagazin.de/meinung-analyse/hintergrund/taegliches-twitter-barometer.html