Friday, November 4, 2011

Herman Cain: A year to build it a minute to lose it

This Monday I posted a look at the three Republican front runners using data through 10/27/11.  This post even went so far to link the changes in net sentiment to the poll numbers we are seeing from candidates (with sentiment potentially being a one month indicator of their poll numbers in the following month).  Today, I am going to show how social media can show week to week (and even day by day) what can happen when bad news strikes.

This week Herman Cain has faced allegations of sexual harassment improprieties.  In fact, it has been the major story in the news cycle this week.  And as the week has worn on, it seems that this issue has grown and grown.  What I want to show here is how social media can very quickly show his change in fortune during this issue.

I recently showed this for Netflix, so consider this showing that this process can work on any issue.  You will see that this scenario is occurring in a different area (business versus politics).

Let's take a look...

Above is a breakdown of buzz, sentiment and passion counts for Herman Cain from 10/1 to 10/27 and from 10/27 to 11/3.  In addition, I have also calculated the ratios for sentiment and passion for three periods listed.  You will see the absolutely dramatic drop in the ratio from before October, for the first 27 days of October and the last 5 days.  It is clear that Herman Cain's fortunes continue to erode (as was discussed in my previous blog post).  In fact, his sentiment ratio has gone from 5 positive to every negative over a period from July to the end of September to less than 1 to 1 in the last 5 days.  This continues the trend that was discussed this week.  In that post it was predicted that he would drop in November, but this was prior to the scandal that has plagued him this week.

Let's take a look at how this has changed his brand passion since the last post.  Below is the chart from the previous post with a new bubble for the last 7 days.  You will see a change.

It is clear that his fortunes continue to sink.  Not only that, if you look at the buzz over the last 7 days the amount generated is 89,147, a very large amount.  In just a week his sentiment has decreased 44 points from 37 to -7.

And how does this change trend over the time period.  Below is the net sentiment over time for the last 7 days.
You will see the day the news breaks and how his negatives continue to grow day by day as Herman Cain continues to change his story.  Overall, we can get a very detailed look at his day by day social media fortunes.  In addition, you can see in the word cloud beneath the trend chart the number of works that bring up the issue at hand.  Sexual harassment is the number one negative in read with other parts of the world cloud highlighting the same issue.

If we look at this same chart for the period from 10/1 to 10/27 we will see that he has a very flat net sentiment and there is no sign of this issue.  In addition, the word cloud is free of mention of the sexual harassment issue.

Now let's dig deeper and look at his likes/dislike for the period from 10/27 to 11/3. 

At this level, again we can see the issue making its way to the top.  In the likes chart, we see what one would expect.  But in the dislikes chart there are many mentions of the issue in a variety of different ways.  But what is most interesting at this level, the breakdown of the dislikes is very specific.  We see mentions of him attacking the politco report, that he got testy with reporters, and they they accuse Herman Cain.  The dislikes are going beyond the obvious issues to discuss more specific issues around the scandal.  People are very clearly mentioning ATTRIBUTES of the issue meaning they are talking about many aspects not simply that it happened.

As for the prior period 10/1 to 10/27 you will see that the dislikes show no mention of this issue as well.

I found one other surprising view here.  Below is a gender breakdown of the search over the last seven days.  As I would have expected, this story is being driven by women...only this ISN'T the case.
Actually this data is being discussed 3:1 men to women.  This is a big surprise.  One would think a sexual harassment issue would be attacked by women, but it looks like men are driving this discussion.

To give a final frame up on this issue.  Let's take the BPI chart from the previous post that looks at the previous 3 months for all the candidates and simply add in Herman Cain's last seven days for context.

Herman Cain has moved into a bad place compared to others.  He was already heading downward when he became a front runner.  But now his star on the chart is literally falling out of the sky.  The question is will he survive.  Why put all these charts?  Because it again highlights how social media is so sensitive that a single person armed with the right social media tools can study a problem easily and quickly to understand what is happening.  If Herman Cain had started this analysis on day one, he might have been armed with a wider look at the issue.  With this knowledge would he have made different decisions?  Would his star have fallen this far or would he have been able to stave off the scandal?  We can see its impact, but we can never know because he has made his bed and now he has to sleep in it.  Only time will tell if he can recover.

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