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How social media changed the US election result

3 min read

Back to Blog

3 min read

How social media changed the US election result

Posted in Social Media on 9th November 2016 9:00 am

In light of the US presidential election, we thought it would be apt to discuss the power of social media within politics.

Today we found the result of the election was that Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States.

Whilst social media is currently rife with political opinions about the result, it is interesting to consider the impact of social media in the run up to this election.

Both candidates used a plethora of marketing tools to gain more voters than their opponent, however social media proved its enormous social impact once more.

As seen from the graphs below (Figure 1, Figure 2), both candidates gained a substantial number of followers on Facebook and Twitter over the past six months.

Figure 1. Graph detailing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page likes over the past six months.

social media US election facebook

Figure 2. Graph detailing Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s Twitter followers over the past six months.

social media US election

It currently stands that Donald Trump has approximately 13 million followers on Twitter and 12 million Facebook page likes. Hillary Clinton however, has 10 million Twitter followers and 8 million Facebook page likes.

It poses the question, what was the influence of social media on the presidential election?

Seeing as Trump won the election and had the largest social media following, its does suggest that social media has an enormous influence on votes.

It is an incredibly effective tool to reach an engage with the masses, and to enforce your opinion upon others.

Social media platforms allowed Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to engage with potential voters on a one-to-one basis, with The Telegraph stating that social media was Trumps most powerful weapon.

It meant that they could actively engage with the vast population of America in an intimate way. Having the ability to connect with potential voters in this way means that communication seems organic and unbiased from other parties.

Due to the always-on nature of social media, there reportedly was an increase in millennial participation in politics.

This generation has otherwise been uninterested in politics in previous years, with many feeling like their vote doesn’t make a difference. However, as presidential candidates have first-hand access to youth, the topic becomes more and more real and relevant, and consequently encourages engagement.

Bernie Sanders, a previous candidate who many assumed to be ‘too boring’ for millennials, gained many followers through his excellent social media campaigns. Sanders reportedly did this by portraying an authentic and honest persona which encouraged a conversation with his audience.

Do social media followers convert to political followers?

Whilst the number of social media followers are interesting statistics to consider, the number does not necessarily mean that they have more voters behind them.

However, for many people, Trump’s controversial opinions are of interest, whether they agreed with them or not.

It’s like the saying, ‘any publicity is good publicity’, and in the world of social media it is true.

This has been proven today with the controversial results of this election. It again emphasises the power of online social engagement.

The more you make your voice heard online, the more authority you will hold.

Social engagement doesn’t only have an impact within politics, it works incredibly well in the business world.

Donald Trump essentially built up his own ‘brand awareness’ using these digital tools over the course of his campaign, and look at where its got him today!

If you are interested in using social media to publicise your business, get in touch with us here to have a chat!

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