BULLHEAD CITY, ARIZONA – OCTOBER 28: US President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally … [+]
Trends reveal something about the opinion of the population during election periods. For President Trump, there is a statistic that could prove forward-looking or slightly meaningless.
As you may know, I tend to avoid politics, but I enjoy analyzing curious statistics and trends on social media. For high profile figures and influencers, a sudden rise or fall in social media can be an indicator of other trends, especially for businesses.
You can draw your own conclusions from this statistic, but preferences for President Trump have steadily declined over the past few months on Instagram. We’re talking about a drop of over 11% this month and a free fall since around July after a sharp rise since May.
Instagram isn’t exactly the platform of choice for Trump (that would be Twitter), but it definitely shows rather popular trends.
Meanwhile, former Vice President and presidential candidate Joe Biden has seen a steady surge in Instagram likes. A new tool from Markerly shows these and many other trends. You can compare two different influencers and examine demographic data. For example, the app also shows that President Biden has around 71% more women following his Instagram feed. Trump only has 35%.
However, I’m mainly interested in the sudden drop in likes. One theory is that this is due to ongoing racial unrest. The protests began at the end of May but escalated well into summer. People may not see Trump as an advocate of racial equality and “voting” unless they “like”. You could also blame coronavirus. People may like Biden’s posts, many of which show he is wearing a mask. Meanwhile, President Trump’s feed contains only rally photos.
Sway voters are hard to predict; Social media users are even more slippery. However, I think there is a much simpler explanation for why Trump doesn’t like it.
His Instagram feed just isn’t very good.
Call it shallow thinking if you want, but people tend to like posts that have a stunning and colorful picture. Here is just a random example. The number of followers for this user has been going through the roof lately. Every photo is amazing. A college that I used to mentor also has clear and consistent images.
So let’s be honest: Trump haters don’t visit his Instagram feed. They don’t click like anything. Trump supporters see a couple of dark pictures, a thumbnail that is completely grayed out (it’s the beginning of a video that makes him look like Darth Vader). What is that supposed to mean?
Even in such a political season, image is everything. It is sad to believe that it is, but it is. We want liberal or conservative views and solid political stance to influence the vote more than a nice smiling photo of someone, right? On social media, it’s easy to forget that people don’t read what you say in a post until they first connect with the photo. Younger voters are more on Instagram than any other platform.
Instagram is all about photos. You can post a slide that is 14 pages long, but no one will read it unless it is drawn from the picture first.
In Trump’s feed, a post contains a strange photo of Air Force One. Another shows the cover of a newspaper. Boring! Whoever runs the feed for President Trump is not looking at Biden’s feed. There’s a more uniform look everywhere with bright blue. The news is better. While Trump has far more followers, Biden’s likes are rising rapidly (they are up 10% in the last month).
A sign of the future? Probably not. For some of us, this is a sign that people seem to like colorful and compelling photos.