With over 75% of all Americans owning a mobile device and/or smart phone it’s no secret why social media has become the new norm to access news, current events, and information. Nothing can prove that more loudly than the Presidential election and the campaigns ran by the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump. Regardless of your political views no one can argue with the range that both candidates were able to create by the use of social media. It is even mentioned by several pundits and “experts” alike that social media is the reason that Donald Trump won the election. With his confirmation today, December 19th 2016 Donald Trump will become the nation’s 45th President.
As stated above three-quarters of all Americans own a mobile phone and seeing that social media is accessible by these devices, one has to simply admire just how powerful the tool really was in helping shape the opinions and perhaps the actual decisions made by the voters this election. To truly look at the power of how social media and video was in regards to the election and ultimately lifting Donald Trump to victory, we must break down the numerical power and statistics that social media delivered during Donald Trump’s run to the oval office.
Whether you love him or you hate him, Donald Trump’s experience in creating business, running billion dollar companies, and negotiating wide ranging and expensive deals, in my opinion, gave him an unfair advantage during this presidential election. As you can see from the graph above when the election was beginning to take shape with the two main candidates, Trump owned a significant size advantage in terms of distribution through two of the most prominent social media channels utilized during the election process in Twitter and Facebook. While these numbers are staggering in size alone what it allowed Trump to do in terms of advertising, marketing, and content creation during his campaign speaks volumes to his business savvy and understanding market trends while; at the same time, allowing him to carve out a wide ranging audience and speak directly to his target audience and eventual voting base.
Fortune recently ranked Donald Trump’s social media score as 81/100 with the following categories being the basis for the overall score for Trump during the election cycle. These numbers show not only the organic reach that Trump was able to create but the power of how social media can shape opinion, promote a message, and ultimately offer the most attainable access to a certain individual at a mass quantity. Please see the below graph outlining the graded areas of Impact, Engagement, Reach, Sentiment, and Authenticity.
While President-elect Trump dominated the social media realm and took full advantage of its far reaching power, what he really did was dominate the search engines utilized by all of those would be voters, in between voters, and decided voters alike. Google is the largest search engine on the planet and according to Forbes columnist William Arruda’s article written in August that Donald Trump results when typed into Google were 228 million while Hillary Clinton’s were 145 million. Furthermore, it’s the first three spots of the Google search that everyone covets. In regards to this Trump’s businesses dominated his first three spots while Hillary’s campaign dominated her first three. This is why Trump’s presence on social media is even of more importance. He was able to take a more mass appeal approach to not only continue to get attention but to also market his political stance to a wide ranging and targeted audience. To show his strength even more the second largest search engine, YouTube, which is owned by Google also was used by Trump to bolster his online brand and digital presence. Trump’s numbers based the quality of content on YouTube showed 14.9 million entries while Hillary came in at 10.9 million entries.
Overall what stands out in terms of the usage of digital campaigning and video marketing is how much less Donald Trump had to spend on advertising in terms of his opponent Hillary Clinton. When the numbers were tallied through mid-October Trump spent approximately $239 million dollars while Hillary spent approximately $451 million dollars on advertising. Perhaps even more staggering is the suggested amount of free advertising and publicity Trump received due to social media. By some accounts it’s reported that he received an estimated $2 – $5 billion dollars worth of free advertising by utilizing social media channels and the uncanny amount of press coverage throughout the campaign. Trump even went on 60 minutes to discuss how valuable social media and its usage was in helping him win the election.
When the dust settles and smoke clears from this election it is easy to see just how important the role that social media and digital branding played in the election of Donald Trump. While the jury is still out on whether or not Trump will live up to the hype that won him the election or if he will stand firm on his promises made, what is certain is that President Trump leveraged the tools made available to him through social media, digital campaigning, and video marketing to its maximum potential which is why he will be sworn in as our 45th President of the United States of America.