Election 2016: Donald Trump’s Posts Draw the Most Responses (Study)

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders (at the time) and Donald Trump posted to Facebook and Twitter at roughly the same rate from May 1 through June 15, but Trump’s posts drew the most responses.

Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders (at the time) and Donald Trump posted to Facebook and Twitter at roughly the same rate from May 1 through June 15, but Trump’s posts drew the most responses.

Pew Research Center analyzed the candidates’ official websites and Facebook and Twitter accounts from May 1 through June 15 in two separate studies, and it found that while Clinton, Sanders and Trump held steady at roughly five to seven Facebook posts and 11 to 12 tweets per day, Trump drew much greater response, with Pew nothing that Trump’s tweets were retweeted an average of 6,000 times, compared with nearly 2,500 for Sanders and more than 1,500 for Clinton.

Pew added that the three candidates posted at a greater rate than Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential campaign, but nowhere near as often as Barack Obama, who averaged 29 tweets during that campaign.

Other findings by Pew included:

  • Trump relied heavily on links to news articles during the time period studied by Pew, while Sanders featured a mix of links to news articles and original content, and Clinton relied mostly on original content.
  • Trump highlighted public posts far more than the other two candidates, while Sanders was the only one to offer customized scripts for supporters who wanted to make phone calls on his behalf.
  • Only Clinton and Sanders posted in Spanish during the time period examined by Pew, and neither did so frequently—15 percent of Facebook posts and 6 percent of tweets for Clinton, compared with 4 percent and 5 percent, respectively, for Sanders.
  • Clinton embraced video more than the other candidates, posting about five per day on Facebook and Twitter, while Trump only averaged one, and just 2 percent of his tweets featured videos.
  • Trump and Clinton mentioned each other frequently in posts, with each doing so in about three out of every 10 posts. Clinton’s posts mentioning Trump did so using the Facebook mention function, which gave users a direct link to Trump’s page. Trump, on the other hand, did not use the Facebook mention function, and referred to Clinton as “Crooked Hillary” during most of his mentions.

Readers: What are your thoughts on Pew’s findings?

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