Trump Gains Thousands of New Social-Media Followers at Democratic Debate

Donald Trump
The Associated Press

Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders both dominated Hillary Clinton in social media growth during Sunday night’s Democratic debate — even though Trump wasn’t even participating or tweeting about the debate.

The Democratic National Committee’s attempt to hide Clinton on a Sunday night may have concealed her from public view, but it did not keep people from flocking to Sanders’ and Trump’s social-media pages.

Sanders beat Clinton in follower growth on both Facebook and Twitter during the debate and also defeated her in total social media engagement, according to statistics compiled by Engagement Labs.

Sanders picked up 9,388 new Facebook fans and 14,711 new Twitter followers, against Clinton’s 6,254 new Facebook fans and 10,918 new Twitter followers.

Sanders’ most-liked Facebook post during the debate picked up 49,000 Likes and 19,900 shares, while Clinton’s top Facebook post – plugging her gun control policy – only got a little bit more than 8,200 Likes.

On Twitter, Sanders’ biggest tweet got 6,900 Likes and 4,900 re-tweets, while Clinton’s most popular tweet only picked up 2,300 Likes and 1,500 re-tweets.

But the real winner of the debate, apparently, was Donald Trump.

Trump amassed 10,170 new Facebook fans and 13,069 new followers on Twitter, which was more than Clinton and way ahead of Ted Cruz, who took in a little more than 5,000 new followers across the two platforms.

The debate in South Carolina was a joint production of NBC News and Youtube. The Youtube viewership numbers – available on the bottom of the screen during the broadcast – were paltry.

When the debate started at 9 PM Easter, less than 300,000 people were tuned in.

By 10:20 PM, there were 349,015 people watching.

Immediately after the debate ended at 11 PM and the post-game analysis started, only 214,713 people were still tuned in.

Youtube promoted the livestream on its homepage throughout the broadcast, and made it a “Featured LiveStream.”

By comparison, Youtube‘s live stream in June of the Electronic Entertainment Expo notched eight million views in just twelve hours on the site.