Ted Cruz, Bernie Sanders Gain Engagement Ground (Study)

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are still trailing in the polls, but they made big engagement moves on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

Ted Cruz and Bernie Sanders are still trailing in the polls, but they made big engagement moves on Facebook and Twitter, respectively.

Data, analytics and insights provider Engagement Labs released its eValue social media measurement tool data for the presidential candidates in April, and its findings included:

  • Cruz bypassed front-runner Donald Trump in Facebook engagement, but Trump added the most likes in April, more than 347,000.
  • Sanders also added some 315,000 new Facebook likes.
  • On Twitter, Sanders generated the most retweets, likes and mentions per 1,000 followers.
  • Hillary Clinton topped Sanders in new followers, with some 209,500.
  • Trump added the most followers in April, about 412,500.

Engagement Labs CEO Bryan Segal said in a release announcing the results:

As the U.S. presidential race inches closer to naming an official nominee for each party, the candidates’ social media performances are reflecting the changes seen on the campaign trail. The Democratic Party saw Bernie Sanders gain extensive ground with younger voters, while Republican candidate Donald Trump continues to gain the most followers month-after-month, even with increased competition from Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich. With a decrease in debates and an increased focus on the primaries, candidates are moving to social media to engage voters in their campaigns for upcoming electoral events.

Trump has consistently used his social media platforms to voice his opinions on hot-topic issues, which has solidified his high engagement scores throughout the race. As the competition heats up and other candidates rise in popularity, using social channels simply for this purpose won’t be enough. Cruz’s election momentum is being translated online, enabling him to surpass Trump on Facebook. In addition, Kasich is doing extremely well on Twitter, using the platform to engage directly with citizens. Voters are looking for relatable candidates who post relevant content addressing their concerns and also take the time to communicate with their voters.

With his platform resonating well with younger voters, who are known to be active users on social media, Sanders is seeing his brand soar online. Clinton’s campaign must focus on the content it is posting to expand its connection with audiences. While Clinton has a robust following, the content she’s sharing is not as engaging and relevant as Sanders’ content, causing her to lag on social media.

Readers: Do you follow any of the presidential candidates on Facebook or Twitter?


Photos courtesy of Ted Cruz Facebook page, Bernie Sanders Facebook page, respectively.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.