Isko, Pacquiao ‘most influential’ bets in social media

Published July 11, 2021, 10:32 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Manila Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso and Senator Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao are the most politically influential among personalities perceived to either be running as president or vice president next year, a social media analytics report said.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno and Senator Manny Pacquiao (Facebook/Top Rank)

WR Numero Research (WRN Research), which released the first ever Social Media Political Influence Report, used big data analytics to reveal who among the political personalities on social media have a high engagement and positive sentiments.

“Among personalities studied, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso (+39 percent) and Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao (+37 percent) are the most influential political personalities in Facebook. They both have highly active personal Facebook pages and are regularly talked about in both mainstream and alternative media,” the report said.

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is the least influential among the candidates with an overall influence share of -6.69 percent. This meant that his engagements on social media “are consistently received negatively by the online public.”

Although former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, former Senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos, Senator Grace Poe, and Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III have “positive influence share,” they “have comparatively little social media footprint which translates to either comparatively low net positive or low net negative social media political influence.”

Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, who has been topping pre-election surveys for president, has a +0.05 percent influence share.

The report said her influence share “is just a little above zero because the numerous negative sentiments cancel out the equally numerous positive sentiments.”

Vice President Leni Robredo has a -0.53 percent net influence share while Senator Christopher “Bong” Go also has a negative influence share of -2.58 percent.

WRN Research clarified that the report “is not a survey.” Rather, it is big data analytics that measure public opinion using “sentiment analysis and natural language processing methods.”

The report measured the engagements and sentiments across three categories: the candidates’ official Facebook pages, mainstream media, and alternative media.

It admitted to counting “trolls” and fake accounts because “the clout that they are creating has a bandwagon effect towards organic social media users.”

In the breakdown of the overall influence share, Moreno was shown to have positive engagements and sentiments across the three sources of news on social media: personal Facebook page, mainstream media, and alternative media.

Pacquiao has a negative share of influence on mainstream media, but has a positive share of influence on his official page and alternative media pages.

Duterte-Carpio has a positive influence share on her official page (2.56 percent) and alternative media (2.98 percent) while Robredo also has a positive influence share on her official page (5.27 percent).

Pacquiao has the highest influence on alternative media with 42 percent while Moreno has 15 percent, Marcos has 1.67 percent, Cayetano has 1.02 percent, and Sotto has 0.68 percent.

Among perceived senatorial candidates, Public Works Secretary Mark Villar has the most engagement and positive sentiments with +34 percent followed by Senator Risa Hontiveros with +15 percent and Cayetano with +10.33 percent.

The least influential among the senatorial candidates are Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador “Sal” Panelo with -4.96 percent and Representative Mike Defensor with -1.80 percent.

WRN Research said the report is important because political campaigns have shifted to the digital age.

“The impact one makes online is easily amplified beyond the digital world as trends are regularly picked up by print and broadcast media. The connected users then spread their trends and information to other users and communities involved in their everyday conversations,” it added.

Different analysts predict that the 2022 campaign “will be waged in a mostly digital landscape with first-tech strategies,” the report said, adding that “maintaining an online presence is no longer sufficient in the current era, as gaining digital political influence is the key to developing broad public support and trust.”