Who Won the #DemDebate on Social?

Published on Oct 15th, 2015

On October 13, the Democratic presidential candidates took the stage to put a new spin on the debates after the GOP candidates’ squared off in August and September. So who was the stand out social performer during the first Democratic debate? Hillary Clinton…and Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton captured 377K total social actions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram between October 13 and 14—123% more engagement than the next best performing Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders. In addition, Clinton saw the most social growth of any presidential candidate in the hours following any debate, with her engagement swelling by 97% compared to Sanders’ 3% growth on social.



Trump, still ahead with more engagement among any presidential candidate, scored a 24% increase in social actions in the hours following the debate due to his live-tweeting during the evening. Dr. Ben Carson, who was the third top performing candidate on social, was the only candidate in the Top 4 to see a decline in the hours proceeding the debate.






Overall, the Democratic presidential candidates saw an average 55% growth in total social actions between October 13 and 14, while Republican presidential candidates saw an average 32% decrease in total actions. By contrast, during the FOX News GOP Debate on August 6, Clinton stole her share of social spotlight with a 115% spike in engagement .

Hillary Clinton also dominated on Instagram, capturing 205% more social actions on the platform than any other candidate. She also scored the top Instagram posts published by any U.S. brand, media property, or public figure on the night of the debate. The top performing post below, showing her preparation before the debate, garnered more than 25K social actions.





Bernie Sanders captured the highest Twitter engagement of any Democratic presidential candidate during the debate, with 125K total actions on the platform—a 121% increase. Sanders’ top tweet, promoting his #DebateWithBernie hashtag, was a pre-debate video showing showing archived footage of him “fighting for liberal causes” and included a link to where voters could find a debate party to attend.

On the media side, CNN’s post promoting Sanders and Clinton’s face-off was the top #DemDebate post on Facebook, and was the top performing social post of the night across all social networks with nearly 97K total actions.



Explore the Shareablee’s Social Best Practices from H1 2015 presentation and find out which strategies drove top brands’ social success.

Photo attribution: @hillaryclinton

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