The Trump Story — How Social Media Triumphed Over Traditional Media in the Most Shocking Election in Political History
Donald Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States, a stunning achievement for a complete beginner to governing whose campaign was mocked by almost everyone other than the trump supporters. Defeating Hillary Clinton, the first female presidential nominee of a major party and a former first lady, senator from New York and secretary of state, Mr. Trump went on to win at least 289 electoral college votes.
A few of his campaign statements include banning Muslims from entering the US homeland, build a wall on the nation’s southern border with Mexico, shred trade deals and longstanding diplomatic agreements, soften policy on Russia and conduct a ruthless war against Islamists across the Middle East.
Hillary Clinton raised around $513 million and spent $450 on campaigning.The Trump campaign raised around $255 million and spent $239 million.
Most of that money was spent on media campaigns devoted to television, radio, print, digital ads and social media.
The Social Media Genius
Trump has once called himself “the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters” implying that he understands social media better than anyone ever.
Donald Trump has amassed over 10.7 million followers and sent over 32,000 tweets. That’s 25% more followers than Hillary’s 8.1 million and more than four times her number of tweets.
Trump has once called himself “the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters” implying that he understands social media better than anyone ever. Looking at the poll results, it has proven to be quite true. Though Mrs. Clinton has outspent Mr. Trump by more than 60% in terms of campaign expenditure, the latter has outspent the former in social media marketing.
This include creating thousands of automated fake accounts to spread stories. According to an Oxford professor, these so-called bots accounted for about 1.8 million pro-Trump tweets, making it hard to infer public opinion by this method. However, these bots , whose design goal was to influence social media sentiment among trump, clearly served their purpose.
Social Media vs Traditional Media
While we cannot prove that the social media influence of Mr.Trump had a direct causation to his victory, the co-relation, however, is high. Mr. Trump amassed a huge audience via his twitter feed by posting controversial and negative content. Though often ridiculed, they spread like wildfire, riding on the concept of virality.
While Mrs. Clinton was talking about facts, Mr. Trump’s goal was to exploit the emotions of the american people through social media. Most of his posts touched controversial subjects and rode on people’s sentiments, thereby creating an illusion that he has a solution to their every problem. Even better, he invented problems like immigrants stealing away american jobs and used the fear factor to gain followers including the minority groups on which Mr. Trump has even passed negative statements.
The ‘Weapon’ called Social Media
The telegraph called social media “Trump’s most powerful weapon”. In their article, the telegraph explains how social media played an integral part in ensuring the candidate’s victory. During January and June 2016, Mr. Trump was mentioned in over 130 million conversations, while his opponent Mrs. Clinton was mentioned in a mere 37 million conversations.
Mr. Trump’s tweets often spark hours of debates millions of articles on blogosphere. This also enabled Mr. Trump to amass $3.4 billion worth of free media coverage in an year.
Here is a video by telegraph, summing up Mr. Trump’s social media strategy:
By tweeting around 12 times a day, and retweeted / shared by around 11 million followers, Mr. Trump established his dominance in the political conversation space on social media, which was crucial to making him the leader of the world’s most powerful country.
Here is a video of The Hub capturing Trump’s social media influence over Hillary during the third debate:
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