Published on Jul 26th, 2016
It’s no surprise that GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump experienced a social engagement boost from the Republican National Convention last week in Cleveland. But how he got there is a bit uncharacteristic.
Trump generated 36% of his total social engagement from video content, 3x as much as his weekly average this year. By comparison, Democratic presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton generated about as much engagement from video (20%) as she averaged every week this year (22%).
Clinton also saw a spike in engagement last week. She generated 3.1 million social actions (likes, comments and shares) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. That’s a 20% increase from the previous week and a 41% improvement compared with her average 7-day engagement output so far this year.
Trump’s improvement was even greater. He generated 11.3 million total social actions between Monday and Friday last week. That’s a 90% increase from the week before, and a 60% improvement compared with his weekly engagement average this year.
Melania the Subject of Top Posts
But his most-engaged post was an old fashioned status update, proving that Trump is capable of generating social engagement just by saying the right thing to energize his audience. This time, it was a criticism of the media, who pointed out that part of Melania Trump’s speech was similar to Michelle Obama’s speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.
The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania's speech than the FBI spent on Hillary's emails.Posted by Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, 20 July 2016
Trump’s takedown of the media was also his most-engaged tweet of the week.
Melania Trump’s speech was also the subject of the most-engaged posts by media organizations on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . Posts about the speech accounted for nearly half of the top 10 posts by media on Facebook and Twitter. Fox News posted eight of the top 10 Instagram posts, none of which had anything to do with Melania Trump’s speech.
Speaking of FOX News, network also got a significant social engagement bump from the GOP convention. The network generated 10.6 million social actions, a 55% increase compared with the previous week. That engagement growth was second only to MSNBC among media organizations reporting the convention, which generated 115% more actions week over week. However, MSNBC only captured 447,000 total actions.
FOX News also benefited from posting video clips of convention speeches. It generated 42% more engagement from video content compared with the week before.
Trump’s Engagement Per Post Declines
While Trump continues to generate more engagement than Clinton, and close the gap in the polls his average engagement per post (actions per post per fan) on Facebook has steadily declined since it peaked in July 2015.
At that time, Trump was capturing an incredible nearly 7% average engagement per post. Compare that to Clinton’s 1% average engagement per post, which was still higher than the U.S. brand average of less than 1%.
During Trump’s campaign, that percentage has steadily declined while Clinton’s nas mostly stayed near 1%. That engagement rate converged last month, where it stayed through the GOP Convention, which means that Trump’s fans are engaging less often per post.
We’ll see whether the Democratic National Convention helps produce an engagement boost this week for Hillary Clinton and the news media as she accepts the nomination to challenge Trump for president in November.