As the preeminent figure-to-date in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, Hillary Clinton has had a very memorable beginning to her campaign on social media. Across Facebook and Twitter, she’s certainly attracted a lot of attention. But interestingly enough, she hasn’t followed the same path that some other politicians have when it comes to her social strategy. Let’s take a look at what Hillary’s been doing.
Hillary’s beginnings on Facebook
The way in which Hillary announced her campaign on Facebook is noteworthy. She, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul all announced their campaigns using a native video post on social media. Rubio and Paul both posted videos under 10 seconds, and neither of their videos included footage of them themselves. In addition, their posts included a call to action to join as donors to their campaigns. Interestingly, Hillary’s video was much longer and ran like a preview of her overall political platform. It included footage of her and didn’t have a call to action in the same way as Rubio and Paul’s.
Considering how ideal a time this is for Hillary to rally support across a wide spectrum of likely voters, it’s not surprising that she has officially announced her candidacy. But it is surprising that, until the day of her launch, Hillary’s official Facebook page was totally private. An earlier iteration of the page had received nearly half a million likes, but by turning the page public again just in time for her announcement, her team already had a solid base of Fans.
Clinton’s launch-week engagement data on her Facebook page didn’t blow any other candidate out of the water, but she did attract a flood of interactions on Facebook. We calculated that she had just short of 150,000 interactions (likes, comments, and shares) on her launch-day posts, beating only Rubio’s 100,000. Paul led the way consistently and had the best single-day page performance of any of the four candidates (191,823 on his launch day), but Ted Cruz also sustained great engagement in the days immediately before and after his campaign launch, ending on the best note of any candidate.
It’s interesting to think that Hillary might have seen different momentum had she opened up her page earlier instead attempting for a huge opening day.
Twitter is sweet music for Hillary
The Clinton campaign began by posting her launch video on Twitter, and Hillary received great gains on the platform. Here, we see that her campaign is attracting a lot more attention than those of Rubio, Cruz, and Paul.
On the day of her launch, we tracked that Hillary gained over 150,000 new followers. According to our data, Cruz, the next-biggest gainer, counted fewer than 20,000 new followers at the end of his launch day. Hillary also had that momentum gaining before her announcement, and kept leading the other candidates in the days after she announced her campaign.
In terms of engagement numbers, it was a clean sweep in favor of Hillary. We took a look at the number of retweets, favorites, and replies each candidate received on their tweets during their campaign launch on Twitter. Hillary pulled in nearly four times the interactions that did Paul, the next-most engaged candidate.
User buzz around Hillary skyrocketed, too. Twitter users mentioned her user name, @HillaryClinton, almost 200,000 times on her launch day — about three times as much as the other candidates’ Twitter user names were mentioned on the platform.
While all the politicians publicly campaigning thus far have made a splash on social media, the beginning of Hillary’s campaign there has been quite different. As the campaigns heat up and more announcements are made, we’ll be tracking the success each politician is seeing. It’s clear already that the social campaigns in the upcoming presidential election won’t look too uniform.