The Love-Hate Relationship Between President Trump and The Media

Chances are if you're on social media - you've been seeing a lot of President Trump. To further understand the Trump fever on social media, we analyzed how dropping the billion dollar name has impacted the performance of Media Profiles on Twitter.


We analyzed over 1,650 international media profiles on Twitter over the past four months. Collectively, they Tweeted 8.5 million times, and we discovered that 7% of these Tweets mentioned “Trump” at least once during the selected time period. Conversations around the American President have been a hot topic lately on social media (even we're getting in on the discussion!). Media Profiles on Twitter have given Trump enormous coverage - and are rewarded in terms of interactions (Retweets, Likes and Replies). In fact, Tweets that include the word, "Trump" receive an average of 2.85x more interactions.


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The average number of interactions per Tweet experienced a peak at the end of January. Unsurprisingly this spike occurred during Trump's controversial executive order on immigration. In terms of interactions, this week outperformed all other major events such as: the presidential debates, election, and even the inauguration. It seems as though the Trump topic is gaining momentum instead of dying down.

Naturally, the American media mentioned Trump the most - with 12% of their Tweets relating to Trump. Though Putin is making headlines in the United States, Tweets about Trump in Russia account for 5%. Out of the six countries that were analyzed, Russian media Tweet more often on average than those in Great Britain and Germany.

When it comes to number of Trump mentions, Post Politics comes on top with more than half of their Tweets mentioning the American President. Many other media outlets follow suit, as you can see below with 20 of the largest US media Profiles by audience size. Even the largest media such as Fox News, CNN, and The New York Times have fallen ill with the Trump fever. This shows that regardless of where media leans politically, or even size, all media channels are using the magic word on a “biggly” level.

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Taking into consideration that Trump-related Tweets receive more interactions on average, it’s no wonder that Trump is dominating Twitter feeds. For instance, in the first two weeks of October (prior to the election), Trump’s tape scandal surfaced. This also happens to be the time that 64.5% of NYT Politics Tweets mentioned Trump, which earned 78% of their total share of Twitter interactions. 

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Following shortly after the US Presidential Inauguration (January 21st - 27th), CNN Politics, The New York Times Politics, and Fox News Politics mentioned Trump in 65% of their Tweets, helping them generate 81% of total interactions. Coincidentally, the media profiles that earn the most interactions from their Trump Tweets are also the profiles that Trump himself mentions the most on his Twitter handle. Out of President Trump's 283 mentions, 34% name a news outlet. He Tweets about The New York Times most often (9%), closely followed by CNN (8%) and Fox News (6%). Donald Trump has been has been openly singling out The New York Times and CNN, labeling these outlets as "fake news", so it's no surprise that they make it into Trump's top Tweets with mentions. 

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The Takeaway 

Clearly Trump has been driving the engagement of media profiles for the last several months. Due to the clear interest and high emotional reactions, it's very likely that we will be seeing a lot more of the American president. According to Pew Research, 62% of Americans are getting their news from social media. 

It's possible that the over-tweeting of Trump content can paint a distorted view of world events. Not to mention fake news which we've seen become a heated topic of discussion across social media during the 2016 US Presidential elections. Find out why it became so important recently, what it looks like, and what platforms are doing to address the problem. 

Media are supposed to act as the gatekeeper - bringing people news that informs. We can see that media are sticking to the age-old concept "if it bleeds it leads," reserving their social media platforms to promote stories that entertain rather than educate. This poses an extreme danger for society, if people will continue to solely rely on social media as a news source, they will only be exposed to information that corresponds with their past Likes. Even more concerning is the possibility that media may swap an article about a serious issue for a Trump story because they want to give people what they Like as opposed to what they need. 

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