Saturday, September 24, 2016

Trump wins on social media

If you’re like me chances are you’re done with this bizarre blood sport known as the 2016 Presidential race. On one side you have the robotic, career politician whose relationship with the truth is casual at best, with her most appealing quality being that she’s a woman. And on the other side you’ve got a wealthy, brash, orange-faced reality TV star who doesn’t know what he’s going to say until he’s already said it. It’s… ‘Untrustworthy vs Unfiltered’. “I’m tired” vs “You’re fired.” “Why don’t you believe me?” vs “BUH-leve me!”
And because virtually every network, website, and newspaper has already chosen sides, we don’t get the real story. So good luck navigating the new poll that just came out which contradicts the poll that came out an hour earlier. Unless you’re dissecting every one of them with an abacus and a bullshit detector, you will be left dazed and confused… like our two main candidates.
So here’s the real story behind the race. The ‘social media’ race, that is. On Twitter in particular, Trump and Clinton are quite close in regards to their number of followers. Trump has 11.6 million and Hillary boasts 8.9 million. However, according to a recent article from new media platform Social Bluebook, what really counts is ‘engagement’, which “is measured primarily through likes and retweets”. 
In that department Trump is lapping his opponent by a huge amount. He has 4.2 times more favorites and 3.2 times more retweets than Clinton. In fact, when you add up all the favorites and retweets from Clinton, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, the Green Party’s Jill Stein, and the befallen & befuddled Bernie Sanders, the combined number still falls below Trump’s total.
In my five years working with digital influencers, the one thing that (pardon the pun) trumps talent, big budgets, and slick content is authenticity. And love him or hate him, Donald Trump is who he is -- warts and all. You’d be surprised how much that resonates with this savvy generation of millennials and others on social media. It’s also why he was the last man standing in the Republican primary. Politicians are seen as shifty, disloyal, and dishonest, while Trump is uncovered, outrageous, and real. As fresh as he can be, it’s actually refreshing, and as a result people are really paying attention. Whether it translates to votes in November is anyone’s guess, but for now on social media he is the one who’s connecting.
In addition, up until only a few years ago the mainstream media could pretty much control the entire narrative, but now Twitter and other platforms have democratized the American voice; unfiltered, from the heart, and sometimes heartless. So keep all of this in mind next time you see the next “really close” poll, and don’t be afraid to dig a little

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