The Twitter feed of the candidate for President of the United States, Joe Biden, is displayed on a phone screen … [+] with the Twitter logo in the background in this illustration photo, taken on October 18, 2020 (Photo illustration by Jakub Porzycki / NurPhoto via Getty Images)

NurPhoto via Getty Images

The importance of social media to this year’s presidential race cannot be emphasized enough. Currently, 72% of voting age US citizens actively use some form of social media, while 69% of Americans of the same group only use Facebook, according to Socialbakers. The social media marketing platform found that while President Donald Trump’s use of Twitter was widely recognized and certainly had a huge impact on the outcome of the 2016 election, former Vice President Joe Biden included the President in many key metrics for exceeded the commitment.

While President Trump has roughly 87 million followers on Twitter among Vice President Biden’s 11 million followers, both candidates have seen massive and continuous increases in engagement during this election cycle.

In addition, the Socialbakers data found that Biden’s three top performing tweets had almost twice as many interactions as Trump’s respective tweets despite Biden’s drastically lower number of followers – further proof of the irrelevance of the number of followers on such a large stage.

Before and shortly after the debate between the two candidates last Thursday, social media users spent a lot of time discussing the candidates. Data from Hootsuite showed that there were a total of 6.6 million mentions of Trump and Biden from October 21-23, with Biden owning 72% of those mentions.

During the actual debate, mentions for Biden rose to 511,000 with a sentiment breakdown of 14% positive, 38% neutral, 48% negative – while mentions for Trump rose to 244,000 during the debate with a sentiment breakdown of 10% positive, 41% neutral and 49% negative.

Reach the youth vote

An extremely important consideration with social media during this election cycle is how they can reach the youth vote, which, according to additional knowledge from Study.com experts, could certainly determine the election result like never before.

While many students are of an age too young to choose, more than a third of students in grades 7-12 often learn most about a choice from their teachers, followed by 20% their political views in the social Media are shaped. This is remarkable in that many young adults of voting age now have access to social media for most of their lives.

Before these people could vote, their worldview of the candidates was already being shaped on Instagram and TikTok.

“The impact of social media on elections is well known. Study.com’s survey found that teachers also play an important role in informing younger generations about the electoral process,” said Brooke Gabbert, strategist at Study.com.

“The combination of these two influences enables students to gain information about democracy and perform one of our most important civil duties,” she added.

The influencer perspective: thematic accounts

Outside the classroom, many students, including those now of the voting age, were the first generation to largely follow “influencers” who can shape views not only about brands and products, but also political candidates. Viral Nation, an influencer marketing agency that represents a number of major brands, picked the contestants regarding social media influencers and the way Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden connected with users on social media, considered.

“Similar to beauty these days, the influence is very close and not all is what it appears to be when you examine the reports that are driving the current election,” said Jonathan Chanti, executive vice president, Viral Nation.

“Accountability does or should be a huge part of content creators, but when you look at the accounts that drive that choice, thematic accounts – the ones that have no character behind them but focus on content – play a huge role played, especially for Trump, “added Chanti.

Trump branded content has five times the reach of Biden branded content on social publishers, but this may not be enough for the president to win a second term this election cycle.

“Thematic accounts are great tools for raising awareness of topics that matter most to voters. However, there is a lack of accountability as there is no face behind the content, which removes any backlash they might have about their validity more dangerous, “remarked Chanti. “With technologies like Influsoft (marketing platform), these key results and other insights enable brands, and in this case candidates, to align with the right influencers, which becomes absolutely more important when we see their voices being used more and more in politics.”

tip of the iceberg

Influencers aren’t new to this election cycle, but their “influence” has grown significantly in recent years, and these social media power users could be a real wild card this year.

“We have never seen a poll that relied so heavily on influencers to reach audiences, and we at Viral Nation believe this is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Joe Gagliese, Viral Co-Founder and CEO Nation.

“With so much at stake for so many, we see everyone from celebrities to traditional influencers speak up, get unsolicited or paid, but we expect that trend to pick up if influencers do a lot in the future play a more strategic role in elections. ” Gagliese added. “In general, influencers are younger, so they tend to swing Biden and those who don’t. We won’t see them talk about it because of the extremely polarizing nature of this choice and the potential impact it could have on their business and branded businesses. ” . “

It is also true that former President Barrack Obama was the first candidate to really embrace social media, but Trump was quick to embrace it and also used it to his advantage. As noted, no politician has relied so heavily on Twitter to get a message across and that shouldn’t be overlooked until next week’s election day.

Social media could be the way candidates connect with these crucial undecided voters – especially since Covid-19 has limited the ability to hold the usual election stops.

“There’s a lot at stake here,” said Gagliese, “but the real impact is in the numbers and smart candidates, and her teams will be integrating influencers as an important part of their marketing mix in the future.”