We all know who’s winning the race for delegates, but what about the race for followers?

Every day at Timmermann Group we turn to data to determine how to allocate our client’s marketing dollars, measure their success, and plan for the future of their business. With hard numbers as such an important factor in our decision making process, there’s no doubt that our team doesn’t believe that a little analytics analysis can tell you a lot about some of the world’s softer sciences. As the US presidential primaries rage on, we had a burning question raise up: Can we use the digital information we rely on for our marketing strategies to shed some light on who will be this great country’s next leader?

Using social, search, and market data we unearthed some fascinating discoveries:


Clinton’s social media channels are full of branded images and videos championing her causes and distancing her from the other candidates. She even posted a live Facebook video hosted by two millennials training her followers on phone banking. Hillary appears to be campaigning to women, specifically moms. She includes videos featuring stay at home moms and mothers without family leave time and mothers who’ve lost children to police shootings on all of her social media platforms. And what would a lady president be without Pinterest? Hillary didn’t pass up this opportunity to create a new board. On her Pinterest account she shares apparel, marketing materials (custom logos), quotes, news articles and even a board dedicated to tutorials on how to be “Hillary for Halloween.” (Yes people this is the presidential race of 2016.)


Across Sanders’ social media channels there are images and videos of him with his supporters, and messages of political revolution and basic human rights. Sanders is making every effort to show off his for-us-by-us campaign message. This campaign is also leveraging professional videos calling for togetherness, hope and a better tomorrow across each of the candidate’s social media platforms. In an effort to get in front of his target audience, Sanders is the only candidate with a Tumblr page. Tumblr is most popular among young adults 18 to 29 years old.


Trump’s celebrity seems to have helped him take a commanding lead in this social media contest. Though the candidate is only using 3 social media channels, he has more Facebook fans than both of the Democratic frontrunners combined. He also appears to be managing each of his accounts himself, with frequent status updates and live tweeting. Trump also showcases endorsements from his A-list friends, with recent posts including baseball great Pete Rose and Hollywood legend Jon Voight.


Ted Cruz’s Facebook page is full of branded content and news articles from publishers like www.freedomworks.org. His Twitter and Instagram pages are full of content provided by his supporters and images of Cruz campaigning. On Instagram the uber-Conservative shares photos of his children, campaign rallies and even pictures with the cast of Duck Dynasty. Though most of the presidential hopefuls have Snapchat, Cruz has actually been using his for some creative campaigning. During the Fox debate, Cruz’s camp sponsored a geofilter mocking Trump’s absence. It featured a Rubber Ducky with the caption, “Where is Ducking Donald?”

Comparing Candidates By The Numbers


Trump leads the Facebook pack with 6.4 million followers. Bernie outshines Hillary in sheer volume of Facebook connections by 553,012 users.



Trump, once again, is the social frontrunner on the Twitter platform. However, Hillary is definitively more popular than her Democrat competitor. Cruz lags behind again.


Instagram is a narrow race for all candidates involved, except Cruz, who, to be fair, still has more followers than I do.


If the number of monthly Google searches = Success, then we have bad news for Hillary and Ted. It appears the social media front-runners are also getting typed into Google the most, i.e. social media marketing works (for the haters).

Who will be the Nominees?

If social media following and search prevalence determine who will win the nominations, the Democratic nominee will be Bernie Sanders and the Republican nod will go to Donald Trump.

So then the question becomes, how accurate is modern digital data at predicting the outcome of major contests, or what’s more, business decisions? A recent Time article suggests that it is a little too early to count on search results as the end-all-be all of understanding what the future holds. However, simply having access to the information Google and social provide puts us light-years ahead of the gut reactions that dominated consulting in a pre-Gallup society.

At Timmermann Group, we maintain that the more key performance indicators you can track, the better. While we aren’t political analysts, we are experts at interpreting user behavior and on-line sentiment surrounding specific topics and initiatives. While search and social data may not be sure-fire, there is certainly information and insights to be gathered via its analysis.

As an initial step in any of Timmermann Group’s creative work we do in-depth competitor and marketing analytics research. Similar to the primaries, there are a variety of factors that influence user preferences and behavior, but specific benchmarks can be identified as indicators of opportunities for improvement or existing successes. We use this data to inform any recommendations we make to our clients and build actionable plans around showing measurable change in critical data points. In short, we’re able to prove what we’re doing is working because we have the numbers to back it up. This style of reporting is more proactive than our candidate analysis and is an excellent chance to get AHEAD of what your ideal client wants rather than reacting to their needs as they develop. Curious about how all this works and how it could work for you then,

let’s do this.