social media and american elections banner

Our contemporary society provides us with the luxury of information at our fingertips. This technological advancement, in particular, has provided us with the ability to stay up to date on trending topics. Apart from the promptness in updates, it has also enabled direct public post interactions. Citing its popularity, the 2016 United States Elections found social media to be the most sought after promotional platform. It wasn’t just the Presidential candidates expressing their views but it also attracted mainstream media and general audiences from around the globe.

Contrary to the past, where only limited media served the audiences with news with rather delayed updates, technological advancements brought about changes with time. It was during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s electoral campaign that radio showed its dominance. Meanwhile, John F. Kennedy’s television presence at his tenure dubbed him as the TV President.

Fast forward to 2008, here the influential role of social media for presents itself at the forefront of the contest for White House. Facebook and Twitter played a dominant role during the 2008 Obama/McCain campaigns. By 2012, social media, with its catchy memes had completely changed the age-old rhythm of political campaigns.

Today, America’s newly appointed president-elect – Donald Trump – stirred the World Wide Web with an avalanche of his opinions via social media. Furthermore, the media covering the election upped the hype theorizing his case.
We have scavenged some stats that put the 2016 elections in the driver’s seat as a promotion tool.

An Online Carnival

  • In the past year, USA collectively spent more than 1,284 years reading about Donald Trump on social media.
  • The cost for similar attention would have scaled up to $380 million but he managed to amass the attention via re-tweets and shares – despite all of that content not being necessarily positive.
  • Up until Election Day, Donald Trump posted over 34 K tweets (incl. 1889 photos/videos) and gained 14 M followers – 4 times more tweets and 25% more followers than his closest competitor – Hilary Clinton.
  • From January 1st to November 6th, 2016 Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton assembled a total following of 48,986,921 across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  • On those three networks, the duo brought in 495,120,770 engagements, half a billion likes, comment, shares, re-tweets and reactions; Trump gathered more attention.
  • Twitter said that more than 75 million tweets related to the election had been sent by 3 am ET on Wednesday, the moment Trump claimed victory.
  • More than 115 million people discussed the election on Facebook, generating more than 716 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the vote.
  • According to Google, immigration, abortion and race were the three most searched issues in the US during the election.