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President Barack Obama officially began his second term on January 20, 2013 as Inauguration Day 2013 descended on Washington.  The President’s second inauguration, only the 17th in US history, has lit up social media with tremendous amounts of conversation.  With the President having now recited the oath of office and addressed the nation, let’s take a look at what social media users have had to say about yesterday’s big event.

Over 2 million Conversations in 14 hours

As of 2pm EST, Monday mentions of the Presidential Inauguration across social media had reached over 2,049,000 total mentions.  That’s 146,000 conversations per hour!

Marriage Equality and the Environment Lead the Conversation

Looking at several sub-topics made up of many of today’s relevant political topics, we see that energy and the environment skyrocketed to the top of the most mentioned subjects list on Inauguration Day. Gun Control led the pre-Inauguration speech chatter but as the President finished his address, his clear statements on addressing climate change and marriage equality seemed to be the resonating takeaways for social media commentators.

A look at Pre-Inauguration day chatter (January 19-20) sees Gun Control and the Debt Ceiling as the most mentioned sub-topics in conjunction with Inauguration conversations.  The environment and marriage equality did not even crack the top five.

Looking at conversations from Monday alone, however, we see Energy/Environment firmly nearing the top spot. Marriage Equality soars to the top of the pack on Inauguration Day as the president made mention of the Stonewall Riots of the 1960′s.

The President himself made it clear in his own social media use that the environment was an issue he wants the country discussing (hence Energy/Environment spikes sharply)


Women Lead the Buzz and Demographics Skew younger

Women lead the social media chatter surrounding the Inauguration by a few percentage points.  Females account for 60% of the conversation to males’ 40%.   25-44 year olds dominate the conversation with the younger demographics , particularly 21-24 year olds making a strong showing as well.  Good news for the President as young people are still considered a big part of his support base.


The sudden and very sharp rise in both Environmental and Marriage Equality themed mentions demonstrates just how quickly a conversation can change across social media.  One minute, the world is focused on one issue (e.g. gun legislation) and with one speech, the conversation can and will shift dramatically.  All it takes is one influential voice with a strong following to get social media platforms buzzing with conversation.

As the President sets in place his agenda for the nation as a whole, brands should pay attention to what broader topics are resonating with the public.  As an example, if climate change and environmental concerns are to be brought to the forefront of public debate, it may be wise to see how your brand is faring in say, the green energy or environmental responsibility conversations.  And if you’re not part of that conversation, how can you join?


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