5 Things Social Media Can Tell Us About Last Night’s Election

While a winner still hasn’t been announced in the presidential election, the data showing the social media reaction to election day is already in. Here’s what you need to know about the audience reaction to Election Day. 

Insight #1. Donald Trump Dominated The Election Day Conversation On Twitter 

In the United States, there were 3,897,697 Tweets mentioning Donald Trump on November 3, 2020; which was 93% more than the 2,019,422 Tweets that mentioned Joe Biden on the day. Whatever the result of the election, the social media data indicates that it was a referendum on Donald Trump, as opposed to people focusing on Joe Biden’s qualifications.  

Social media is often a key indicator of the level of enthusiasm for a candidate. Even when the polls showed Trump behind Biden, the enthusiasm and passion that people have for Trump played out on social. When you combine that with traditional polls, we would have had a better idea of how tight this race was going to be.

Insight #2. The Social Audience Was More Anxious On Election Day Than At Any Other Point This Year   


There were 343,706 Tweets mentioning Anxiety on November 3, 2020, the single highest total for the term all year. That’s also up 80% from the 190,741 Tweets mentioning Anxiety on November 8, 2016, with the big difference being that during the last election cycle, the winner was determined the night of the election. 

Insight #3. The Audience Isn’t Threatening To Move To Canada Yet 

On November 8, 2020, there were 41,078 Tweets in the United States talking about moving to Canada. With the results still unknown, there were only 4,066 Tweets in the United States on November 3, 2020, talking about moving to Canada. 

Insight #4. Voter Fraud Was Not A Significant Storyline On Social 

While President Trump asserted in the lead up to the election that using absentee ballots would create massive voting fraud, there wasn’t substantial uptick in conversation on the topic this year compared to election day in 2016. There were 49,471 Tweets discussing Voter Fraud on November 3, 2020 in the United States; a 26% increase compared to on November 8, 2016, when there were 39,121 Tweets discussing Voter Fraud. 

Insight #5. Backlash Aimed At Pollsters


When the polling ahead of the election showing Biden with a big national lead didn’t translate to a landslide victory, the social media took pollsters to task. For instance, Nate Silver, the most prominent pollster, was mentioned in 50,643 Tweets in the United States on November 3, 2020. Sentiment around those Tweets was 38% Negative compared to 14% Positive, with 17% of the Tweets expressing the emotion of Anger.

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What Type Of Social Media Posts Are Working For Presidential Candidates 

While the pandemic might have overshadowed what would have otherwise been wall-to-wall coverage of the presidential race, there’s still going to be an election in a few months, which means it’s time for ListenFirst to break out its analytics and share insights about what type of social media posts are most effective for each presidential candidates. With Kanye West now having entered the fray, here’s what social media strategy is working best for each of the presidential candidates since Kanye’s July 4th announcement.

Abortion Appears To Be The Campaign Issue Most Associated With Kanye West 

Between July 4 – August 11, 2020 there were 143,896 Tweets mentioning both Kanye and Abortion; though sentiment around those Tweets was 44% Negative, compared to 4% Positive. Kanye had talked at a campaign rally about how they had considered aborting his now 7-year-old daughter, and how upsetting that is to him. For every Tweet praising his Pro-Life stance, there were a lot more saying things like “kanye saying abortion isn’t natural whilst having two surrogate babies is hilarious to me.” 

While Kanye’s Pro-Life message is generating more negative than positive feedback, there’s still an audience that his feelings about abortion are connecting with, and as a third-party candidate; focusing on Pro-Life messaging might be his best chance on becoming a greater part of the national conversation.

President Trump Posts Short, All Caps Tweets Because They Generate The Most Responses 


President Trump’s Tweets tend to perform the best in slogan form. For instance between July 4 – August 11, 2020; 4 of the top 10 best performing Tweets by Donald Trump said “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” and only that; with those Tweets averaging 645,662 responses. Overall, 9 of the 10 President Trump Tweets that generated the most responses in that time period were just one sentence long with “OPEN THE SCHOOLS!!!” generating 688,231 responses and only containing three words.   

During the same time period and in keeping with that less is more strategy, his top performing post on Instagram which generated 1,658,587 responses was a captionless picture of him posing with Goya products at the White House.  

‘Not Trump’ Tweets Are Performing The Best For Biden 

Generating 848,461 responses, the top performing Tweet for Joe Biden between July 4 – August 11 said “You won’t have to worry about my tweets when I’m president”. Other top performing posts included a Tweet that generated 404,892 responses saying we can’t let Donald Trump open up the Grand Canyon for uranium mining and a Tweet saying President Trump is ignoring the President Obama playbook for fighting pandemic which generated 404,702 responses. In comparison, the Tweet announcing Kamala Harris as his VP choice that didn’t mention Trump received 391,399 responses. It appears framing his Tweets as a critique of President Trump is his most effective strategy.


Just like in any other type of social media marketing; connecting with the audience around political campaigns requires having social media analytics to understand what messaging is most resonant. ListenFirst provides the insights necessary for that winning social media strategy.

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