17 Aug / The Real Donald Trump Dominance on Twitter


Sometimes how the media covers social media and politics really irks me. Take this story from Forbes about a recent Macromeasures’ study, which tells us to downgrade Donald Trump because he has a significantly lower percentage of eligible voters among his Twitter followers than his competition.


donald trump twitter


Here is how the writer, Abigail Tracy, puts it:

The study, conducted by audience analytics company Macromeasures, found that Trump trails his GOP rivals in a handful of crucial metrics in terms of his Twitter TWTR +3.45% following. Macromeasures compared Trump’s social audience to those of Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina. The most glaring discovery was that of Trump’s Twitter following, a mere 39.4 percent were actually eligible to vote — the lowest of any GOP candidate analyzed. To put this in perspective, 95.7 percent of Fiorina’s following could cast a ballot.

Let’s put this into REAL perspective. 40 percent of Donald Trump’s 3.4 MILLION followers are eligible to vote. That means he has nearly 1.4 MILLION followers who are eligible to vote.

Meanwhile, 95.7 percent of Carly Fiorina’s 384,000+ followers are eligible to vote. That means she has about 368,000 eligible followers in her Twitter audience.

Now that is perspective you can take to the ballot box.

In fact, the GOP candidate with the second most Twitter followers is Marco Rubio, clocking in at 773,000+. Even with his high 92.1 percent rate of eligible voters, he has only about 712,000. That is still only about half of the number of eligible voters following Trump.

Even when we look at the other criteria by which Macromeasures uses to downgrade Trump, the total numbers tell the opposite story. No matter how you slice the data, Trump’s audience “ain’t peanuts.”

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Our approach at turner4D is to use analytics data to tell the whole story. It is never enough to rely on the easy data to collect. You have to dig for the data that tells the story of what is really going on. And you have to process that data into a more usable form. In this case, we started with follower numbers from Twitter, added the percentages from Macromeaures and then calculated the total numbers for each demographic group. Only then were we able to tell the real story.

So before you get all “oooh and ahhh” over the data in Forbes article, think about the absolute numbers. When you do, Trump is still dominating.

And that is perspective you can take to the bank.

Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. is Sr. VP of Digital Strategy at turner4D.  


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