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How Deep Social Media Listening Predicted the 2016 Election Results [+ Infographic]

Social Media Analytics, Social Media Listening

How Deep Social Media Listening Predicted the 2016 Election Results [+ Infographic]

The real winner in this past election was not who, but what.

Social media (and more specifically, deep social listening across the broadest channels) is the “what” and was the key differentiator in anyone’s ability to predict the election results.

Polls missed it. Pundits missed it. But deep, unbiased social listening never misses anything. (Tweet this!)

The fact that so many people predicted the results incorrectly suggested something very flawed in the way we’re using data to make predictions.

The key lesson learned, and the one big finding that you can apply to your organization, is that social media listening — when tracked in all its splendor and glorious detail — has the power to teach you about the biggest trends in your industry faster than your competitors who aren’t prioritizing social listening data.

It’s the one big differentiator that most companies aren’t prioritizing, so the question is … what are you waiting for?

At Tracx, deep listening across the broadest social channels is our business. So we began tracking the election and debate data on September 1. After the first two debates alone we had nearly broken our “data bank” due to the large volume of data generated by record-breaking social media activity. In fact, I learned that 79% of American voters now engage in political activities on social media, a huge jump from years past (see the infographic for more),

A close look at the data trends from the first two debates showed an interesting phenomena which also played out on Election Day. And that is, Trump dominated from a volume standpoint (negative and positive) on all social channels, and on the nights of the debates he garnered nearly double or triple the mentions.

Here are some of the other top social listening highlights:

  • During the six weeks we tracked the election data (9/1–10/12), Trump led Clinton with more conversations, posts, mentions, and reach; Clinton had more individual interactions and engagement.
  • The top campaign hashtags had similar volumes of activity, until the day of the debates when Trump’s mentions nearly doubled Clinton’s.
  • During the first debate, nearly 5 million messages were launched on Twitter, of which 62% focused on Trump and 38% on Hillary.
  • The social network with the largest worldwide audience was Facebook, where Trump dominated with 79% of all posts. YouTube was second, followed by Twitter. In the US alone, Twitter was second.
  • Pro-Trump hashtags outperformed and outnumbered pro-Clinton hashtags six to two out of the top eight.
  • Similar trends played out in the Swing States where Trump pulled in nearly four times as much volume as Clinton.
  • We tracked 24 million social interactions during the second debate, with females edging out males 51% to 48%; and the 25-34 year old demographic posting the most activity.
  • Overall sentiment analysis was similar for both candidates — the social media chatter tended to be mostly neutral with similar amounts of negative sentiment for both candidates.

We compiled these findings and more into the below infographic. See why we were #surprisednotsurprised when all was said and done, and learn more about Tracx’s platform by requesting a demo here.

Political Infographic

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