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Which 2016 Presidential Candidate is Making the Most of Social Media?

As each presidential candidate tries to drum up support, they’ve taken to numerous social networks to appeal to the public. And it makes sense, considering that it’s an easy way to stay in the spotlight, share their thoughts on a daily basis, and even trade insults with the other candidates! So who’s winning the social media game so far? Here’s the breakdown.

Facebook

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump’s Facebook page has a lot of likes. Over 6,290,000, to be specific. That’s almost double the number of Facebook likes that Bernie Sanders has– about 3,300,000. That’s also about triple Hillary Clinton’s 2,775,000 or so likes, as well as the approximately 2,000,000 likes that Ted Cruz has garnered. And then there’s Marco Rubio, bringing up the rear on Facebook with about 1,380,000 likes.

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Not surprisingly, each candidate has his or her own style of social media posts. As you might guess, Trump’s posts cut right to the point. But unlike the videos you might have seen of his speeches, his Facebook posts are unlikely to offend you, since they are mostly updates on which states he’s won so far, reasons you should vote for him, and gratitude for his supporters.

Right away, it’s clear that Rubio’s social media team is aware of the importance of images and videos on social networks, since pretty much every post on his page contains a video of an interview or speech, an inspirational picture, or a link to an article on his campaign efforts. Cruz’s Facebook page is similar, with a bit more of an emphasis on his latest endorsements.

Hillary Clinton’s page seems to focus on inspiring and offering hope to constituents, especially women. On it, you’ll find links to articles detailing how Hillary and other female leaders have helped certain groups for years, as well as images and charts comparing her policies to the other candidates’ beliefs. Bernie Sanders’ page also seeks to inspire, though there is more of an emphasis on how he’s the underdog who has managed to get more support than experts predicted.

Twitter

Ok, this is where you can see all of Trump’s offensive comments conveniently in one spot. Though many of his posts are simple updates on his campaign – as well as constant reminders of his great wealth – plenty focus on calling people losers, lightweights, phony, and nasty. Despite all this, he has 6.79 million followers on his Twitter page, and his most used hashtags include #MakeAmericaGreatAgain and #Trump2016.

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Hillary’s Twitter page has a pretty impressive 5.65 million followers who are treated to frequent bite-sized quotes from Hillary herself. Her page seems to use different hashtags every few days, depending on the event going on at the time. Examples of her hyper relevant hashtags include #DemDebate, #GOPdebate, and #SuperTuesday. Then of course there’s her well-known #ImWithHer hashtag that shows up on most retweets posted on her page.

The 1.65 million people who follow Bernie Sanders on Twitter really get a sense of who he is in 140 characters or less. His team mostly posts quotes from him, in addition to hashtags like #FeelTheBern and pictures and videos that show what he stands for. On the other hand, Marco Rubio’s page, which has 1.3 million followers, contains mostly reminders to vote, updates on primary results, and retweets of people showing their support. His hashtags include #TeamMarco, #Marcomentum, and #Rubio2016.

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Ted Cruz has just 916,000 followers on Twitter, and like his Facebook page, this account is mostly about his latest endorsements and updates on how he’s doing in the polls. His hashtags include #Cruz, #ChooseCruz, #CruzCrew, #CruzToVictory, and #OnlyCruz. So if nothing else, he might win the battle of most hashtags used by candidates on Twitter!

YouTube

Trump’s success when it comes to the number of followers on Twitter and Facebook doesn’t carry over to his YouTube channel, where he has just over 28,000 subscribers. He mostly posts videos of his stance on each issue. While they’re all short and to the point, and thus easy to understand, they don’t make for a very interesting YouTube channel for a presidential candidate.

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This is in stark contrast to Bernie’s YouTube channel, which has over 100,000 subscribers. That might be because he posts a few videos per day, and they’re all on a wide variety of topics. You can view his speeches, his stance on the issues, campaign ads, playlists, live streams, and more.

Only Hillary Clinton comes close to Bernie’s number of YouTube subscribers, and that number is pretty far down at about 40,000. On her page, you can view a few of her speeches, campaign ads, and videos by other people discussing why she should be president.

Ted Cruz’s YouTube subscriber count is pretty similar to Hillary’s, at about 36,450. It appears to be regularly updated, with a few videos posted per day. On this page, you can get a look at his speeches and videos by people endorsing him. And then just like on Facebook, Marco Rubio seems to have the fewest people following him on YouTube, with a little over 19,000 subscribers. However, it’s the most frequently updated YouTube page of all the presidential candidates, with at least five new videos posted most days. That’s got to count for something when it comes to social media, right?

Instagram

This is another social network where all the presidential candidates are pretty active on their accounts. So if you want pictures of your favorite candidate looking presidential, this is the place to be. Trump seems to be the most popular, with 1.1 million followers and nearly 600 pictures and short videos. But Bernie comes in a close second with 996,000 followers. Next is Hillary’s Instagram page, which has 928,000 followers.

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Rubio is much farther down the list, with 110,000 followers, but he does have an impressive number of posts – over 400, second only to Trump. Ted Cruz is next, with 44,000 followers who are regularly treated to pictures of this candidate giving speeches, posing with celebrities, and traveling around the country.

So Who’s Winning the Social Media Game?

If we’re looking solely at the number of followers on each platform, it looks like Trump wins on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, while Bernie dominates YouTube. But Bernie does pretty well on Instagram, too, while Hillary is not far behind Trump on Twitter.

Of course, some of the candidates use other social networks, as well. For example, Hillary is the only one on Pinterest, so she wins that one by default, but she’s not on Tumblr at all. On the other hand, Rubio does rather well on Tumblr, while Cruz is known for his amusing antics on Snapchat. But of the platforms that all of the candidates use, Trump seems to be the most popular right now, though there’s no telling just how authentic those millions of followers are. The numbers alone don’t tell us whether those people are following Trump to see a train wreck firsthand or if they are genuinely interested in his thoughts.

Whose social media pages have kept your attention so far?

  • Great article and enjoyed the details about each candidate’s social media presence. Have to say, Snapchat has certainly stepped up their campaign game this election season, with numerous dedicated stories from all the various caucus events and campaign stops. Not to mention (as was stated in the post here) that each candidate recognizes the importance (and potential power) of at least HAVING a Snapchat account. Some use it better than others, such as Sanders, Clinton and even Kasich who do a great job of showing what its like to be a part of their teams behind the scenes.