This US election proved that social media is a political battleground like never before. Both presidential candidates relied heavily on Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. Users across the globe utilised social media to express their support and set the tone.
Where the polls predicted Hillary Clinton to win, analysis of social media predicted a Trump victory. Self-identified Trump supporters outnumbered Hillary supporters 2-to-1 on Twitter. Donald Trump’s Facebook page garnered the most engagement, followed by Fox News and then Hillary Clinton’s Facebook page.
The sentiment was overwhelmingly positive right throughout the campaign, with supporters of both candidates choosing to use positive sentiment to discuss their preferred president rather than negative commentary against their opponent. However, overnight the sentiment of tweets has turned highly negative
In the week before Election Day, there were 43 posts to Trump’s Instagram account and 18 to Clinton’s account. Trump saw nearly a million more engagements on his Instagram content, 88,269 per post on average. However, Clinton’s 18 posts drove 160,559 average engagements per post.
On the day
As the unimaginable became the inevitable tweets that included the phrase “no words” soared. And just before Trump took out Florida mentions of the word “panic” peaked.
On Google, searches regarding ‘immigration’ and ‘abortion’ have risen rapidly. The current trending sentiment being gathered across Facebook and Twitter relates to ‘Fear’, ‘Shame’ and ‘Confusion’
Users of Twitter and Instagram across the world are protesting Trumps victory by changing their profile pictures and banners to black boxes. Media outlets across the board are running article after article on Trump and what this means for the world.
What does this mean for us and what does it mean for brands?
Traditional broadcast institutions (BBC, MTV, Sky News etc.) took to Facebook LIVE to cover the results and provide commentary from followers news feeds, undercutting their televised coverage. Instead of traditional media pitching, think of how your brand commentary could be packaged in a way that suits this medium, as it’s becoming more and more prevalent in the way outlets are reporting news stories.
Trump dominated the mass of online content, his supporters were highly engaged and despite the majority of traditional media outlets predicting a Clinton victory and once coveted media outlet endorsements all going to Clinton – Trump won. Showing more than ever that brands need to invest more in understanding their online audience on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram rather than broadsheet readers.
The 2016 Presidential Election showed that in this brave new world brands should be more willing than ever to get involved with a sphere that they have traditionally shied away from. This election has ushered in a new era, with brands being able to develop a consciousness and audiences rewarding brands with loyalty because of that. We need to be quick, nimble and timely and social is clearly the best way to do so.
“Brands need to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, loosen up their corporate lawyers and start talking to people in these raw social media environments.”
And, to lighten the mood if you’re feeling a little distraught about the result – some spicy memes