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With the first 2016 Presidential Debate kicking off today, we figured there’s no better time than now to dissect the candidate’s’ strategy on the platform they use most – Twitter. PropheSee’s analysis of their social media strategies brings to light the fact that the Presidential Race is in fact, much tighter than what most may think, or believe.
In terms of total Followers, Donald Trump leads with a 30% higher audience base (which represents 1.8M followers – that’s ~ 2X the total population of Austin!). Similar trends can be observed on other platforms such as Facebook & Instagram where Trump leads Clinton in terms of Followers by nearly double & 22% respectively.
However, Clinton is present LinkedIn where Trump is absent & has significantly higher number of Followers on YouTube. It is, however, interesting to note that Clinton leads in terms of activity on Twitter with a posting rate that is nearly double that of Trump’s, as seen below:
Clinton shares most Tweets towards the end of the week compared to Trump’s Tweets, which are largely observed at the beginning of the week. A comparative analysis on Clinton’s & Trump’s Tweets, across hashtags used, mentions, and keywords, yielded several interesting insights, along the following:
About 50% of Trump’s Tweets analyzed used hashtags compared to only 6% of Clinton’s Tweets. This indicates a higher reach yielding strategy adopted by Trump’s team in order to drive higher impressions & get in front of more eyes.
Trump’s top used hashtags are #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, #ImWithYou and #AmericaFirst – all specific to his own campaign. On the contrary, Clinton’s limited usage of hashtags primarily mentioned events, news media and journals. For example, her top used hashtag was #NBCNewsForum.
THE TWITTER CROSS FIRE
Candidates initiated plenty of cross talk among each other given the number of times one mentioned the other’s Twitter handle or keyword (ex, ‘Donald Trump’). Analyzing the mention pattern surfaces the fact that Clinton referred to Trump directly in 33% of her Tweets compared to Trump, who mentioned Clinton in 16% of Tweets shared in the reporting period.
A contextual analysis of Trump’s Tweets indicate a more aggressive approach, one that focusses on questioning Clinton’s credibility. A majority of his Tweets about Clinton used phrases such as “Crooked Hillary”, whereas Hillary’s usage of hashtags & keywords show little to no bearing of Trump illustrating a more issue-driven approach.
WHO THE CANDIDATES MENTION
Trump mentioned 134 unique handles (users) on Twitter, most of which were news & media handles such as @CNN, @nytimes and @foxmedia that got the most attention, making up 45% of his user mentions.
Clinton, on the other hand, mentioned a total of 172 unique users in her tweets, with politicians such as Pres. Obama, Tim Kaine & Joe Biden accounting for about half (52%) and news media accounting for just 12%
Different peaks for Clinton and Trump were caused due to various interesting moments in the presidential race. Barack Obama’s comments on Donald Trump was the most searched for moment for Trump. Well, they do say some publicity (even if it’s negative) is better than no publicity, right? Some other peak drivers included Trump vs. Baby & Trump’s Statue.
News regarding Clinton’s stumble for the 9/11 event led to 8 times the search volume compared to her average search trends. Other top searches included & revolved around the general concern about Clinton’s health (body doubles & illness conspiracies). These moments also led to rise in organic user interest by 4x her daily average.
- While Trump leads in terms of social audience, Clinton is significantly more active in terms of communication & engaging with her audience.
- Clinton’s strategy on Twitter focuses on issues & centered on various events whereas Trump’s is a more aggressive approach – one that relies on questioning Clinton’s credibility (among other prominent individuals).
- Trump is Likely driving higher reach via Twitter given his increased usage of trending & other hashtags, compared to Clinton.
- Based on search trends observed, it is likely that Trump’s publicity is driven significantly by his acerbic comments towards his peers, media & other entities. Obama’s comments on trump became the most searched for moment for the candidate.
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