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The Debate on Social Media

The Debate on Social Media

Posted on Sep 27, 2016 by

Last night was a big night for the United States as we get ready for new leadership in our country. The two candidates, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, answered (or what seemed like avoided) questions about their plans to improve America. For the hour and half that the debate was being broadcasted, social media sites like Twitter, were updating non-stop. Articles, fact check responses, quotes and personal opinions filled the Twitter feeds like wild fire. In this year’s debate, it seems like social media is one of the most important platforms for engagement with voters. Both candidates are looking to attract millennials, and where better to look than the few apps they spend the most time on.

Before the debate, I monitored the HMG Creative Twitter feed for some insight on how social media associates with the presidential election. Leading up to the 9pm ET (8pm CT) broadcast, news and blog sites were posting their articles on the candidates. HMG Creative even joined in on the fun and tweeted a poll on who our followers thought would win in the debate. Before the candidates took the stage, the poll indicted that 44% of our followers thought Trump would come out on top, while 18% responded to the option “No one. We are all screwed.”

As the debate went on, I kept track of the trending topics and hashtags on Twitter. #DebateNight and #Debate of course were trending the entire time, while Trumped Up Trickle Down, Hillary’s Face, FACT CHECK, Mexico & China, and sniffles were all trending at some point throughout the night. No matter how angry and heated Donald Trump got, or how many times Hillary shook her head, smiled and laughed, the voters watching were taking their reactions to their feed.

In many of the posts, people were reacting to the statements the candidates were making. From candidate quotes to comments about their demeanor, anyone not watching the debate could have easily known exactly what was going on. In our society today, constantly being updated on shows, events, debates, games, etc. is a blessing and a curse. For those of you who were not able to turn on the debate, don’t worry, your Twitter followers got your back. They will tell you all you need to know. But when it comes to sports, shows or anything that you don’t particular care about, the constant updates can be a drag. Times are changing, and they are changing fast.

Now that the presidential candidacy is rearing to an end, it’s time to seriously think about what is next for our country. Evaluate our changing times. Not only who is ruining to be our next president, but our advances in technology. For the next election, will all the political ads be over Facebook and Twitter? Or will there be a new platform that everyone is obsessed with?

That’s the real debate on social media. 


Kate Gothing

Advertising Student at UT Austin; Social Media and Marketing Intern at HMG Creative; World traveler and burger enthusiast. Follow her on Instagram @kategothing

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