Twitter and the US Election

The final talk of Innovation Week saw Rob Owers, Partnerships Manager at Twitter, talk us through the impact of the platform on the US Presidential Election. From the start of January to Super Tuesday and the Primaries, interaction on Twitter has seen a steady increase, dotted with sudden spikes of interest.

Twitter has seen two key innovations recently – Twitter Live Video and Twitter Moments. The latter is a fantastic storytelling tool, used by broadcasters to show curated stories which can be used by anyone who missed the live event.

Perhaps most notably, though, Live Video has become a worthwhile tool for the election. With each debate, viewing figures on Twitter Live Video have increased, showing just how well the platform works for this kind of meaningful occasion, with big political events proving to have more traction than, for example, NFL sporting events, which are more niche.

Making the most of Live Video, Twitter ensured that their coverage of the #DemDebate with CBS was utilised to the fullest, with branded pins, candidates’ Twitter handles and the hashtag all clearly on display. It was a huge success and secured Twitter’s place as the only social media platform for discussing the US Election.

It’s also interesting to see how Twitter has been used as a “battleground” between the candidates. This is where wit wins and fast reaction times are crucial. Whether it’s Hillary Clinton fact-checking figures or Bernie Sanders building a socio-political movement, the platform allows for timely reactive, which can be used to each candidate’s advantage when done well.

Twitter has driven so much of the news coverage around this election and has been used for important events including both Clinton and Trump launching their 2016 campaigns. We’ve also seen bold imagery and minimal text from several candidates to create eye-catching posts that, when used properly, are clean and striking, showing how images, as well as text, can cut-through to tell a story on Twitter.

It’s not just presidential candidates who are experiencing the limelight, however. Enter the man, the moustache, the sweater. Since his sudden leap into fame on social media, Ken Bone has been touring the USA, encouraging people to vote and take part in politics (go Ken!). He now has more Twitter followers than Green Party Presidential Candidate, Jill Stein. So… Ken Bone for 2020 president, anyone?


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