Monday, September 28, 2015

Twitter Use: Carly Fiorina and Ricky Gervais

Considering the approach of US Presidential Election 2016, I decided that it would be interesting to analyze one of the presidential candidates and their Twitter use. I decide to look at Carly Fiorina, a Republican candidate. While I was analyzing Carly Fiorina’s Twitter account, I noticed that her tweets are not personal and as such do contain less personal messages; rather, they are more information based. Even though Fiorina’s posts are mainly written on the 1st person, most of her posts ask for mobilization or are activity oriented; that is, they show where Fiorina is or is going to be at a certain date and time. As a result, I did not get the impression that I had a connection and I was engaged because her arguments where lost among all the activity posts. The tweets are broad so that they appeal to multiple audiences: “It is critically important that America lead again in the world.” Further, the tone is serious and easy to understand and numbers are rarely used to support her arguments. Another noticeable detail is that the use of hashtags is small, besides the #Carly2016. I believe that if hashtags were to be used more along with her arguments, people would feel as if she is inviting them to debate and engage rather than just making a plain statement. Further, an increase in the number of tweets that are not activity-related would engage and inspire the followers more.

After I analyzed Fiorina’s Twitter account, I went on to see how Ricky Gervais, a comedian, uses Twitter and what the main differences are. The first thing you notice is of course the tone. Gervais uses informal language and often is funny and controversial. His posts are personal and less informing, different from Fiorina. Further, he tends to use more hashtags than Fiorina and as such his followers are more engaged. He also posts videos of himself as a way of engaging people more. I found his posts to be more attention grabbing than Fiorina’s. However, considering that he is a comedian rather than a politician who is a presidential candidate, he does not have to make sure all the time that his information is backed by data and is accurate; as such, the goal of his tweets is different. Another difference, is that you see less posts about his activities, which is predictable considering that he s not meeting his followers in person as Fiorina has to do during her campaign. Nonetheless, similar to Fiorina, Gervais asks for mobilization (animal rights) and writes in 1st person. Overall, I found his posts to be more engaging and inspiring than Fiorina's; but then again, one is a comedian and the other a presidential candidate.

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