Latest in Culture

Image credit:

Trump's Facebook focus helped him win the election

Ads and fundraising on the social network may have made a big difference.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
November 15, 2016
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Despite Facebook's arguments to the contrary, its social network helped Donald Trump win the US election... if not for the reasons you'd suspect. Wired has learned that the Trump campaign focused very heavily on its Facebook strategy, eclipsing a Clinton campaign that (while definitely digital-savvy) still devoted a lot of its attention to TV. Most of Trump's $250 million in fundraising came from supporters on Facebook, and it was extremely aggressive in running and refining ads. Trump's digital team ran between 40,000 to 50,000 variants of its promos per day, endlessly figuring out which strategies worked best. They knew if subtitles would help, or if a video was more effective than a still image.

Combine this with Trump's fondness for Twitter and it's clear that the campaign was constantly reaching out to the internet, making sure that anyone receptive to its ideas could interact. Contrast that with the relatively insular Clinton campaign. While her team certainly made an effort to influence undecided voters, its unofficial online support included massive private Facebook groups that served as echo chambers. Simply speaking, undecided voters more likely to hear from Trump while skimming their social feeds. This suggests that future American political candidates may have to emphasize Facebook if they want to win -- they can't just treat it as one part of a larger plan.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

Put Bernie Sanders almost anywhere with this Google Street View app

View
The first big 'Cyberpunk 2077' patch has arrived

The first big 'Cyberpunk 2077' patch has arrived

View
The Morning After: The Galaxy S21 reviews are in

The Morning After: The Galaxy S21 reviews are in

View
NBC is shutting down its sports cable channel as the bundle contracts

NBC is shutting down its sports cable channel as the bundle contracts

View
President Biden appoints 'world-class' cybersecurity team in wake of hacks

President Biden appoints 'world-class' cybersecurity team in wake of hacks

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr