They, alongside thousands of their followers and supporters, have engaged in virulent discussions on every topic imaginable. But just how often do Trump’s and Clinton’s followers engage with them? How often do they like or retweet their content?
We wanted to find out how they, alongside the Green Party’s Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) and the Libertarian Party’s Gary Johnson (@GovGaryJohnson) compare in how much of their Twitter’s audience actually engage with their tweets. For fun, we threw in the popular Democratic primary candidate Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) to see how he compares with all of the presidential candidates.
Everyone has an opinion on which presidential candidate is winning the Twitter battle. We are only looking to show you the numbers. Please keep in mind the majority of Twitter users are 18-44 so this does in no way reflect all Americans. With that in mind, let’s jump right in.
Trump has the most followers at 11.6 million, with Clinton not far behind at 8.9 million. Sanders gained a large following during his time in the primaries and remains third at 3.4 million, while Johnson and Stein maintain an admirable following at 326.9 thousand and 227.3 thousand, respectively.
However, active Twitter users know that followers are not everything. Fake accounts and bots are prevalent on the platform, making it more difficult to gauge how many real people are actually following you.
That’s where engagement comes in. On Twitter, engagement is measured primarily through likes and retweets. We took a look at the last month of tweets and added up how many retweets and favorites each candidate received during that time.
As you can see, in the last thirty days of tweets Trump received the highest amounts of retweets and likes. This is not a large surprise since he has the largest following. What ended up being a surprise, though, was how much greater his audience’s engagement was proportionately. It turns out that Donald Trump has 4.2 times more favorites and 3.2 times more retweets than Clinton; he has only 1.3 times as many followers. In comparison, Hillary Clinton receives 1.7 times more favorites and 1.8 times more retweets than Bernie Sanders, but with 2.6 times as many followers.
However, this engagement chart is not fair to the candidates with smaller followings. What we did next was look at the amount of engagement they receive compared to the size of their following. The results completely change.
Compared to the amount of accounts following them, Dr. Stein has the highest amount of engagement on her Twitter. Her followers are about 1.43 times more engaging than Johnson’s followers, 1.55 times more engaging than Trump’s followers, 2.95 times more engaging than Sanders’ followers, and 4.31 times more engaging than Clinton’s Twitter followers.
What may be the most interesting aspect of all of this is what percentage of their audience actually engages with these candidates. For every account listed, all of them receive less than 1% of their entire following actively engaging with them on Twitter. We have found this to be standard across the industry with the largest accounts on Twitter; for most users with hundreds of thousands or millions of followers, 99% of their audience does not actively like or retweet their content.
If you want to look at how much of your audience engages with your Twitter (or YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, blog, or Vine account), sign up for free at Social Bluebook.