Whether you are in favour of Hillary Clinton’s “Stronger Together” campaign, or Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement, there is a good chance you have tuned to social media to learn more about this year’s Presidential elections.
Throughout this 2016 election, social media has played a pivotal role in influencing and presenting campaigns and candidates to voters. Earlier in the year a survey of US adults showed that 44% reported having learned about the presidential election from social media. That is nearly half of US adults that have turned to social media to obtain knowledge about their country’s election. This, not surprisingly, has dubbed the 2016 election as ‘the first true social media election’.
Facebook has around 1.7 billion monthly active users, which is up 60% from the 2012 election. The substantial growth in social users makes social media profiles imperative for candidates, due to the sheer reach at their disposal. The opportunity to effortlessly relay campaign messages to a huge portion of the American public has made this election very active, with both Clinton and Trump rarely going a day without posting.
- The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier in the year that the US public had spent collectively 1284 years reading about Donald Trump on social media. If he wanted to buy ads to get this much attention it would have cost him $380 million. Hillary Clinton alternatively has collected around $100 million in free exposure via social media activities.
- It isn’t just the candidates using social media to communicate with the public, as social media platforms themselves are actively encouraging users to get involved and register to vote. Facebook launched a 4 day nationwide user registration campaign in order to drive election awareness and user participation.
- As of November 2nd 2016 Hillary Clinton has 10,105,819 Twitter followers and Donald Trump has 12,863,900
- On YouTube alone, users have spent over 20 million hours watching the presidential debate live streams.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens tomorrow!
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