Democrats, Republicans Approach Facebook Differently


By Becky Hogan

Looking at Facebook data since November of last year, we found that potential 2016 GOP presidential candidates are pushing out a variety of content on the social networking site—some are predominately sharing videos or statuses, while others are more often posting links or photos.

But each GOP lawmaker has his own style—and no two are alike.

By contrast, top Democrats have a clear strategy for Facebook engagement. To them, a picture is worth a thousand words.  Data shows that they favor posting photos on Facebook more than any other type of content.

What are the 2016 GOP Candidates doing on FB_

(Click to enlarge)

A version of this chart was featured in U.S. News and World Report earlier this week.

Every Monday, U.S. News and WorldReport’s “Washington Whispers” blog will feature a piece of Trendpo’s data on the political social media landscape.

Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—both of whom top the list for 2016 Democratic ticket– are following President Obama’s shoes.  And it’s no secret that Obama has used social media more effectively than any politician in the last two presidential campaigns, so are Biden and Clinton on to his strategy?

Recently re-elected New Jersey Governor Chris Christie primarily posts videos.  And this is probably very intentional—Christie’s no-nonsense approach has bolstered his national presence giving him credibility on both sides of the aisle; he’s taking advantage of the fact that his style resonates best on video.

Just last week he posted a video of a press conference he gave in Union City, New Jersey a day after he was re-elected. Christie talks about his strategy for winning the Latino vote—something the Republican party has struggled to do.  In his speech, he says “You have to show up.”

For Ted Cruz, the vast majority of his content features statuses and links, though he uses a variety of different mediums and this strategy seems to be working for him.  He’s survived to the final rounds of TrendPo’s social media competition, #SenateSweeps.  He’s best known for his efforts to repeal Obamacare and the recent posts on his Facebook page reiterate his message.

This week was no exception:

Cruz

This post was shared 5,100 times and Liked by over 24,000 times–Cruz’s messaging strategy is resonating with his Facebook audience.

Sixty-three percent of Representative Paul Ryan’s Facebook posts are photos, whereas Florida Senator Marco Rubio uses the least amount of photos of any of the possible GOP front runners.

Lately, Paul has been more ‘talked about’ on Facebook than any of his Republican colleagues due to budget discussions in Congress–and his photo-centric approach is getting him a lot of buzz on the social network.

FB Talked Abouts_5

Once these potential candidates are in campaign mode, will their Facebook content feature more photos and videos? We’ll be watching the data to see if their social media strategies change over time.

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3 thoughts on “Democrats, Republicans Approach Facebook Differently

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