Twitter predicts a hung Parliament but helps suggest a good future for your business

Politicians need to take note of Twitter if they want to succeed in the forthcoming General Election in the UK. A new service called “Tweetminster” is analysing all the political tweets and using that information to predict the result of the election. At the moment it is suggesting that the Labour Party will get the largest number of seats, but will fall short of an overall majority, leading to a hung Parliament. But can the information be trusted or is it just fun?

Predicted revenue compared with actual box office receipts

Predicted revenue compared with actual box office receipts

Research conducted by Hewlett Packard would suggest that the Tweetminster results are entirely accurate. In an analysis of over 3 million tweets, Dr Bernardo Huberman has been able to show that Twitter can accurately predict the box office receipts of new movies. His research (PDF) looked at 24 new cinema releases and analysed the tweets about those films. The study then predicted the box office income simply from the number, frequency and content of those Twitter messages. Then the researchers compared their findings to the published box office receipts. As you can see from the graph (right) taken from the study, the lines are almost identical. The accuracy of the prediction is remarkable.

What this research suggests is that the “Twittersphere” is entirely representative of the “real world”. It shows that the results suggested by Tweetminster are highly likely to be correct.

The HP study also means that you can rely on Twitter searches to give you a realistic snapshot of what’s going on in your marketplace. By using Twitter Search you can get an idea of the frequency, recency and the kind of tweets on any subject. These are the factors which will enable you to predict the potential for any product or service in your industry.

In other words, Twitter is no longer a plaything, a device for updating your friends on which pub you are in. This study proves that it is a serious market research tool. And on the political front it suggests you are in for months of turmoil and indecision as we are almost certain to get a hung Parliament – which in itself can’t be good for business. That means that Twitter could be even more important in predicting fluctuations in your marketplace that will be inevitable in times of political uncertainty. Effectively, if you are not using Twitter to conduct market research in the coming months, your business could seriously suffer.

Like this article?

Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on email
Share via email

Other posts that might be of interest

Internet Psychology

Is your brain back to front?

British businesses will spend this weekend on tenterhooks as they wait for Monday’s announcement from the Government about the ending of lockdowns. For the past couple of weeks, the mutterings from 10 Downing Street suggest

Read More »
blank
Internet Psychology

Can you do boring tasks?

Last week, not far from the M25 in Buckinghamshire, the biggest-ever boring machine in the UK started its slow churn through the Chiltern hills to dig a tunnel for the HS2 rail system. It will

Read More »
Fence painting
Online Business

When did you last paint your garden fence?

If you are a “big change” business, then you are like my garden fence. Leaving it unpainted for so long has created much more work, at a higher cost, than if it had been tended to every year. Ignoring reviews of your online activity for long periods also means you make more work for yourself and raise your costs.

Read More »