Sona 2014 gets the social media treatment

Helen Zille's tongue-in-cheek Sona tweet reached 379 733 people. (David Harrison, M&G)

Helen Zille's tongue-in-cheek Sona tweet reached 379 733 people. (David Harrison, M&G)

Social media exposed South Africa's election year State of the Nation address (Sona) to more than 300-million internet users, according to data from local online media monitoring and marketing company​ BrandsEye.

Sona bears more weight in election year than any other. And following recent criticism of government on major corruption allegations and the ANC's failure to address serious economic issues, Sona 2014 had to be a critical success for the ruling party.

BrandsEye tracked how the South African public used social media to express its views regarding President Jacob Zuma’s key address and its exposure not only to local voices, but also to the international online community. 

According to BrandsEye's #SONA report, the overall spike in online conversation rose by 2 857% from February 12 to February 13. This indicated that 91% of online conversation about Sona took place on the day, highlighting the "live" quality online communication brings to topical issues. 

Twitter was clearly the preferred platform to share concise public opinion with the lion's share of online conversation.

The site generated 95% of all Sona activity, including leading local voices such as Khaya Dlanga, an influential media figure. 

Dlanga's tweet reached 122 215 people.

DA leader Helen Zille remained tongue-in-cheek with her tweet. It reached 379 733 people.

The overall number of Sona online conversations was up by 27% from last year to 62 943. This exposed Sona to a potential international audience of more than 300-million online users. –

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