We already know that this year, social media is a bigger part of the election than ever before. During the Republican National Convention, 4 million tweets were generated about the event. That number more than doubled the amount of tweets sent globally on election day 2008 - concerning all topics. A week later, the Democratic National Convention saw over 9.5 million tweets generated. Last week's Presidential debate saw more than 10 million tweets (it was the most tweeted event in the history of U.S. politics). Generally, people are more politically engaged on social media this year and candidates are trying harder to reach voters via the medium.
Now, a new study from Twitter and data analytics firm Compete suggests that developing a Twitter strategy is not just about reaching people to change their minds or lock in a vote. Twitter interaction with voters can actually drive campaign donations in a meaningful way, according to the company.
According to the study, simply being a Twitter user increases a person's likelihood of visiting a campaign donation page, by 68%. But it's exposure on Twitter that really ups the chances.
"This likelihood increases when Twitter users are exposed to political Tweets either from political handles they follow, retweets by users they follow, Promoted Product campaigns by a political handle, or searches on political terms. Twitter users exposed to any of these kinds of political Tweets are almost twice as likely (97%) as other Twitter users to visit an online political donation page," says Twitter in a blog post.
Amount of exposure to political materials on Twitter also plays a big role in donation likelihood. A user exposed to political tweets, promoted tweets, or retweets on 3-7 successive days saw a 31% spike in their likelihood of visiting a donation page (on top of that of a single exposed user); if the user was exposed on 8+ straight days, that chance increased another 76%. Persistence is apparently the right course of action for campaigns - at least on social media.
According to the study, these "lifts" in donation likelihood did not vary red to blue. Among users, party lines had no impact on the stats.
Whether or not these Twitter users are actually making donations once they get to the campaign page is unknown. But getting them there is half the battle, right?