If you are like me, you were one of those people shocked to hear Donald Trump won the American Presidential election. Chances are – also like me — you weren’t putting as much stock into the predictions of social media analysts as you were to major media outlets and traditional election polling firms. If we had been looking at the numbers and analytics we may have been better prepared.
Phil Ross, a social media analyst at Socialbakers told Techcrunch.com “Analysts monitoring the social media activity of both campaigns on the major social media channels saw the outcome of this election coming months ago, and kept talking about the massive silent voter base that was forming around the Republican nominee. Social media analysts continually sounded the alarm that all of the polls were not reflecting the actual situation on the ground in the pre-election landscape.”
Dr. Laeeq Khan, Director of the Social Media Analytics Lab, Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University agrees saying “Trump’s campaign was more engaged with voters. He mastered Twitter by embracing immediacy (right now), transparency (unvarnished expression), and risk (rather than caution).”
Back on August 7, 2016, far-right American radio show host Alex Jones posted the video Trump Will Win By A Landslide According To Social Media Numbers to his YouTube channel.
Using the metrics we learned in Jay Baer’s slide presentation A Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics, Trump’s Consumption Metrics were significantly higher than Hillary Clinton’s and had always been. While some people may have been merely trolling Trump, they were still taking in his content.
This brings us to another metric mentioned in Baer’s presentation – Sharing. In the presentation Baer points to what he calls “some of the more prominent consumption metrics” which include: page views, video views, document views, downloads as well as social chatter. In the article Trump Won Thanks to Social Media, Laaeq Khan states “Overall, online interest in candidate Trump was three times higher than Clinton, according to Google trends analysis. Trump was the most Googled candidate, and also most mentioned on Twitter and Facebook. Trump had 4 million more Twitter followers than Clinton.”
According to the article, Analysis of social media did a better job at predicting Trump’s win than the polls, Sarah Perez says “Outside of engagement alone, other firms like SimplyMeasured saw that social media sentiment towards Donald Trump trended more positively than sentiment towards Hillary Clinton on Election Day.
Over the course of the campaign, Trump saw more mentions on social media associated with positive sentiment than his rival, as well. She closed that gap in late October and early November, but the good vibes for Trump soared once again just ahead of November 8th.”
Lessons for Others
Even if you don’t tune into the 6 o’clock news or read the newspaper daily, chances are you have at least one social media account which helps keep you connected with current events. I know personally even if I’m not initially interested in a Facebook post from a ‘friend’, if I notice the post has a large number of likes or comments, I’m going to take a look.
Social media metrics are a great barometer for what people are interested in. Having your content shared, no matter what the reason, brings more awareness. Perhaps you’re a blogger, struggling to come up with content week after week. By using analytics, it may help you to see which types of posts your readers are most interested in and help you create content around that.
Another great use for analytics is selling ad space on your website. I know when I worked at a radio station, we always kept a close eye on the analytics, page views, the amount of time people were spending on a page, etc. so we could use that when we went into the public. We could then use that traffic information to entice people to purchase ad space on the site.
Name of Organization Contact: Donald Trump, United States President
Authored by: A.D.H.
If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.
Perez, Sarah (2016, November 10) Analysis of social media did a better job at predicting Trump’s win than the polls. Retrieved on March 11, 2017 from https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/10/social-media-did-a-better-job-at-predicting-trumps-win-than-the-polls/
Khan, Laaeq (2016, November 15) Trump won thanks to social media. Retrieved on March 11, 2017 from http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/technology/306175-trump-won-thanks-to-social-media
CNN Wire (2016, November 16) Donald Trump credits social media with helping win the Presidential election. Retrieved on March 11, 2017 from http://fox43.com/2016/11/13/donald-trump-credits-social-media-with-helping-win-the-presidential-election/
Van Loon, Andre (2016, November15) Social Media Predicted Trump’s Win. Retrieved on March 11. 2017 from http://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2016/11/social-media-predicted-trumps-victory
Baer, Jay (2012, November 3) A Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics. Retrieved on March 11, 2017 from https://www.slideshare.net/jaybaer/a-field-guide-to-the-4-types-of-content-marketing-metrics