Published on Mar 2nd, 2016
by Jack Weinstein
Bernie Sanders took a commanding share of voice lead into Super Tuesday. The Democratic presidential candidate owned a 63% to 37% engagement advantage Monday over challenger Hillary Clinton.
Given that Sanders had such a commanding lead, he was well positioned to win the Super Tuesday social engagement battle on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Republican and Democratic candidates vied for delegates in 11 states —555 for Republicans and 807 for Democrats. It was the biggest single day in the race to see which candidate will win their party’s nomination for president. We evaluated how share of voice by engagement compared with the percentage of delegates each candidate won.
Tuesday wasn’t Sanders’ day on social or at the polls.
Clinton generated more engagement on Super Tuesday, 57% to 43%. It was a similar outcome to what occurred at the polls. Clinton won seven of 11 states and captured 60% of the available delegates.
She won on social with an aggressive posting strategy. Clinton posted 57 pieces of content to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on Tuesday to Sanders’ 35, about half of what he posted Monday. Had it not been for that disparity in posted content, Sanders may have come out on top on social. His average post generated more than 24,000 actions, 37% more than Clinton’s.
Sanders did, however, publish the most-engaged single post among all candidates Tuesday. He generated more than 130,000 actions (likes, comments and shares) on Facebook and Twitter thanking voters in states where he came out on top.
Thank you messages also performed well for other candidates. Ted Cruz’s top post thanked the voters of Texas for giving him the win, one of his three on the night. And three of Trump’s top posts expressed his gratitude to the voters of Georgia , Virginia and Massachusetts , but they weren’t his most-engaged content
Clinton’s top post announced her wins in several states. Her campaign also posted a live video that generated more than half of its engagement from comments indicating that it captured the attention of her audience. Clinton didn’t even appear in the video.
Trump Wins Again, But Lost Ground on Super Tuesday
The outcome didn’t change among Republicans when social media audiences interacted with candidates to determine the share of voice winner on Super Tuesday.
Trump took a commanding of 67% share of voice lead on Monday into Super Tuesday. He came out on top Tuesday with 60% of the total social actions generated by Republicans. Cruz followed with 19%, marking the first time that a candidate other than Trump or Ben Carson finished in the top two of total engagement during a debate or primary.
Carson was next with 15% share of voice, followed by Rubio (5%) and Kasich (1%). All of the candidates’ share of voice declined on Tuesday except for Cruz. His more than doubled from 9% Monday to 19% Tuesday.
The outcome was closer at the polls. Trump captured 42% of available delegates winning seven states. Cruz won 38% of the delegates and Rubio followed with 16%.
On social, Trump dominated on all three platforms. He more than doubled the engagement generated by his next-closest challenger, though his margin of victory on Facebook saw the greatest decline from Monday to Tuesday. That's also the platform where Cruz is most successful, generating 94% of his engagement during Super Tuesday on Facebook.
Rubio generated nearly 44,000 actions on Instagram among Republicans, second only to Trump. He could gain some ground on social by posting more to the photo-sharing platform.
Among Republicans, Trump’s Facebook post asking for support with a quote from Gandhi generated the most engagement Tuesday.
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