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Trump, Hillary, Cruz and Sanders – Twitter battle for the White House

By Dean R. DeLisle

In the interest of social media, social teaming and all things I love about twitter I just can’t stop helping myself on consuming stats around this election. It’s like a social freak show, but it’s also cool as our curriculum at Social Jack follows Social Teaming and these politicians are practicing at a variety of levels. Let me explain as we use Twitter as the social weapon of choice and notably the most used by all candidates.

First things first – accounts and hashtags:




Sanders –  @BernieSanders@SenSanders

Social Reach 


One key element of Social Teaming is how far is your reach, to your ideal target. Well here are some stats.

Trump – has 7.2 million followers, at his announcement of the election he was at 4.35 million. His target is 45% female and either very young audience (some not old enough to vote) and the rest of the majority over 40 years of age.

Clinton – has 5.7 million followers, she started with 4.38 million at her announcement. She has 45% women, ages 18-40 make up her majority.

Cruz – he has 977 thousand followers and started with 518 thousand when he announced his candidacy.

Sanders – has 1.7 million and he started at 616 thousand on his announcement.

Summary: While Trump appears to have more, recent report state that 60% of his accounts are fake or idle accounts. Hillary has about 40% of the same. So that makes me feel like their numbers are more even than they look. Although wait till we get through some more of the evidence below and you determine.

Who they Follow 


While they all have had significant growth in their numbers, let look at who they follow. Networking and Social Networking is a two way street and let’s see how those number stack up!

Trump – only 41, mostly family, Trump companies and a few reporters, no competitors

Clinton – 643, mostly, campaign related staff and recently entertainment related people, she does not follow rivals or news reporters.

Cruz – 13.8 thousand, mostly seems to be people who have tons of followers, accounts with a background of American Flag, Confederate Flag, Bald Eagle, does not follow non-conservatives.

Sanders – 1,935, mostly news media, celebrities, labor unions and people from the entertainment industry.

Summary: this all seems pretty normal, with the exception of Cruz, who seems to working the follow back game. This means he is follow thousands of people to get the follow backs to his accounts and build up his numbers. This is an old game in the twitter play book, so this tells me his social media folks are a bit rooky and lowers my feel of authenticity. The rest are pretty normal. I am impressed with Trump only following 41 and having such a commanding lead

trumpcruz bernhill

Conversations – Tweet Activity

Trump – 31 thousand tweets, these are definitely mostly him. This is the most authentic, not sure if you like it or not but with the misspellings and rants, this is all Donald.

Clinton – with 4 thousand tweets, when Hillary tweets she uses (-H) to sign her tweets, the rest are her staff. They mostly tweet on speeches, gun control, affordable child care, causes she follows. She even tweeted her plan to defeat ISIS. She does have some Spanish tweets, impressive.

Cruz – 15.5 thousand, this feels like a social media team at work. He retweets news (mostly fox and similar) and I do applaud him as he re-tweets his supporters. Even if this is his team, great move!

Sanders – 7,681 tweets, while he has the least he feels the most connected to his followers. He has a higher re-tweet ration and plays the most.

Summary: We get the most real person (like it or not) from Trump, yet Sanders has the best connection to his followers. He engages with his followers at a much higher rate than the others. Hillary has good content, but not feeling the real person here, she is way to filtered for my liking. Cruz, is ok if you like talking to a social media team.

Final Summary

I am sure I will have more on this, however with our recent interview I promised everyone we would report on this further. As for Social Teaming, all of them has some traits and a few of the best practices. The harsh reality is that after the election, I would wager than most of these accounts will go hiatus, less the winner. That is the only sad part, building a team for a single purpose, then leaving until you need them again. This is my own personal view point, but believe it to be true, We will see after the election. Until then we can be amused by the stats and game here. So now let me give out some awards.

My votes is:

Trump: Most real, authentic

Clinton: Most newsworthy, best facts

Cruz: Most old fashioned twitter techniques

Sanders: Most engaged with his network

Hope you enjoyed this summary and found as much amusement as I did going through the numbers.

Here is a recent media interview with First AM Business with Angela Miles: video
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*Statistics came from researchers Yu Wang, Yuncheng Li, and Jeibo Luo – study can be found here: