Which Presidential Candidate Is More Popular on Social Media?

Dash Hudson is getting political.

Just kidding.

But with this election season having been hailed as unprecedented and brutal, among other things, we deemed it would be irresponsible of us to not pit the two candidates against each other in the race that truly matters: the Instagram one.

Because, let's face it, that's the real world.

Those were the days.

Never in the history of televised debates has a presidential face-off been as anticipated as the one that aired last night. It was also likely the first time organizers had "crowd control" at the top of their checklist. Even Obama didn't throw down like that amidst the celebrity status claims.

Did you watch? If so, you hopefully had the right cocktail in hand.

It's been quite the race thus far... Never mind the fact that the two main players are both incredibly fascinating and highly disliked. Cue mayhem in the political arena, delight at SNL, and divisiveness across the general population.

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You

With D-Day now only 42 days away, it's time to get down to business. Social media has played an unprecedented role in this election cycle. Snapchat did not exist four years ago, while Instagram has seriously evolved and is now operating in the big boy leagues.

Twitter might be the platform preferred by writers and news outlets, but Instagram makes the brand journey tangible. Millennials are an important part of this election, and not speaking their language can pretty much guarantee a presidential hopeful's demise. And where does that generational vernacular develop? Spoiler alert: mainly on Insta.

So whether you lean left or you lean right, it's time to get objective: a president Selina is never going to happen, sorry. It is therefore time to determine if the candidates are doing enough to reach the American people on the 'gram. Because if it's the right thing to do for brands, it's the right thing to do on the road to the White House.

No matter who you think won last night, a clear Instagram champ will be crowned at the end of this post. It's time to find out how Trump and Hillary measure up on the darling social media platform.

Data Don't Lie

  1. First up: @realDonaldTrump.

How is the Republican candidate faring on Insta? Besides the unequivocal support he's receiving from his fans, the Donald may be seen as the obvious front-runner on social given his pre-race celebrity status. Also, his media-handling prowess is undeniable!

What does this all boil down to? Let's start with the basic stats:

Total number of followers (at current time): 2,538,777
Average engagement rate: 3.37%
Average posts per week: 7
Average likes per post: 71,215

Sure, both candidates get their fair share of hateful comments, but those comments sure make those engagement rates rise! His top two most engaged-around posts from last night's debate come in at 5.15% and 5.14%, surpassing his average by a landslide.
Donal Trump highest engagement Instagram metric debate night Donal Trump highest engagement Instagram metric debate night

The @realDonalTrump account had a staggering growth spike yesterday, aka debate day. He added 17,828 new followers in just 24 hours, while his regular daily average is 6,999.
Donald Trump new Instagram followers metric

He also received a ton of exposure through UGC during the debate: almost 15 million impressions came via earned content. Supporters are showing the love.
@realdonaldtrump organic impressions UGC Instagram metric

Trump might have started his campaign with the Make America Great Again slogan, but the #TrumpTrain hashtag is what's taken off on Instagram. In the past 7 days, it received 24,373,824 organic impressions, with 6,794,623 of them happening on debate night. People be onboard that train!
Donald Trump #TrumpTrain hashtag organic reach Instagram metric

When it comes to who follows him, Trump might not have Hillary's pull with celebrity endorsements, but who needs any of that when you ARE a celebrity? #RhetoricalQuestion. He still has his share of star followers, like @djkhaled, @steveaoki, @therealswizzz (so many DJs!), a Jonas Brother and an Indonesian singer (rad!).
Donald Trump most influential celebrity followers on Instagram

Now, how is the other side doing?

  1. @HillaryClinton, your turn, sister.

One of Hillary's early campaign woes was criticism for not being able to connect with people, especially the younger generation (aka why a lot of folks felt the Bern). Lucky for Hillz, social media - Instagram in particular - is a place to put personality and character on display to better establish contact with supporters. Did she succeed?

Her basic stats go as such:

Total number of followers (at current time): 2,246,987
Average engagement rate: 3.13%
Average posts per week: 11
Average likes per post: 53,416

As for her top 2 most engaged-around posts from the debate, they come in at 10% and 8.45%. Quite staggering indeed.
Hillary Clinton highest engagement Instagram metric debate night Hillary Clinton highest engagement Instagram metric debate night

Hillary's account also experienced a major audience growth spurt on debate day, adding 29,045 followers in 24 hours. Her daily average is 7,362 new followers.
Hillary Clinton new Instagram followers metric

It goes without saying that the @hillaryclinton Instagram account would also receive a ton of organic impressions through UGC on debate night. She had a reach of 39,259,848 in one single day. Talked about, much?
@hillaryclinton organic impressions UGC Instagram metric

Hillary's hashtag, #ImWithHer, also picked up steam. While it received 42,345,731 impressions in the last 7 days, 30,190,024 of them were generated on debate day. That's a lot of people showing their support.
Hillary Clinton #imwithher hashtag organic reach Instagram metric

It's no secret to anyone that Hillz wins when it comes to getting Hollywood's vote. No surprise then that her followers are the crème de la crème of influence. Beyond the list below, we also found that @katehudson, @emmaroberts, @johnlegend, @nicolerichie and @nickcannon have hit follow for miz Clinton. Also spotted: Kevin and Steve again!
Hillary Clinton most influential celebrity followers on Instagram

Ok, so we might have lied earlier (just keeping the political theme going!) - there may not be a clear Instagram winner: the Donald and Hillz both have their strengths when it comes to 'gramming. Trump has more followers and a higher engagement rate, but Hillary's account is growing at a faster pace.

Hillary is seeing more impressions through her catchy hashtag, reaches a higher number of users through UGC, and has a lot more superstar followers, but she still needs to catch up to Trump when it comes to account size.

Only thing left to do now is keep an eye on this Instagram showdown.

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