Which GOP Candidates Made the Biggest Gains on Social After the First Debate?

While Donald Trump managed to draw headlines, other candidates were able to make significant gains on social.

Which GOP Candidates Made the Biggest Gains on Social After the First Debate?

If you’re reading this then you already know: Donald Trump is running for President of the United States. But it just so happens that roughly 100 other people are too. Last week’s GOP debate offered Mr. Trump another opportunity to do what he does, but other candidates – specifically Gov. Scott Walker and Dr. Ben Carson – got solid post-debate social media bumps.

Of course, every Republican candidate has a lot of catching up to do on social as long as Donald Trump remains in the race, but social can also be the great equalizer. Dr. Ben Carson was a relatively unknown candidate until the debate, but, according to Socialbakers data, he managed to add nearly 58,000 Twitter followers and more than a quarter of a million (!) new Facebook Fans in the following 24 hours. Fan and Follower counts aren’t everything, to be sure, but politics is a game of attention and the more eyes the candidates have on their social profiles the more their message gets out there (for better or worse).

We tracked the five candidates for the Republican nomination who were ahead in the polls prior to the debate to see what kind of impact their performance had on their social media pages over the following 24 hours.

On Facebook, Dr. Ben Carson led the way in Page interactions – Likes, Comments, and Shares on his Page’s posts – with nearly 1.5 million.

Dr. Ben Carson eclipsed nearly every other candidate on Facebook in picking up nearly a quarter of a million new Fans. Donald Trump placed second with nearly 100,000 new Fans. Number of Fans aren’t everything, and shouldn’t be measured in isolation, but Dr. Ben Carson’s surge speaks to the impact he made with viewers of the debate.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Donald Trump maintained his dominance of the Twitter platform, growing his Followers by nearly 115,000.

Donald Trump also led the way in Twitter interactions – Favorites and Retweets – by a more than comfortable margin, nearly five times that of the closest candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.

However, when we look at Twitter interactions per 1000 Followers – a metric that allows one to compare the engagement levels of social accounts of different sizes – it is interesting to note that Donald Trump actually trailed both Gov. Scott Walker and Dr. Ben Carson. Could it be that a significant portion of Donald Trump’s Twitter Followers are more interested in tracking the controversy around the candidate rather than showing an interest in his political platform?

Chief Editor @zachprague

Get Started With Socialbakers

See how the Socialbakers platform will help your business succeed on social media. Our experts will provide you with a personalized walkthrough tailored to your business objectives.