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The 2024 State of the Media Report

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The 2020 State of the Election: Special Feature from

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U.S. Election 2020: What Are People Talking About On Social?

As much as we would all like to be done and dusted with 2020, we’ve still got a few more things to look out for and get through before we move into what hopefully will be a more promising new year.

Speaking of things this year has yet to witness; the highly divisive presidential election in the United States is upon us (even if we most likely won't get results for a few days).

We’re listening

The election is a huge topic of discussion not only in the U.S. but also around the world. Thousands of news stories and social media mentions are published every day, which reach millions of voters across traditional, digital, and social media channels, to stay aware of the latest buzz (including that now-infamous fly) around the elections.

Approaching election day, the curious minds at couldn’t help but put on their virtual ears and listen to how the public is consuming and engaging with election information on social media.

About this report

Using Falcon Listen, we monitored Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for mentions of keywords around the U.S. election from October 5-October 30, 2020 to capture audience sentiment, track popular hashtags, and discover emerging trends in audience conversations.

Spoiler alert!

Before we go any further into this article, you should know that is politically unaffiliated and does not endorse any political parties, platforms, campaigns, or candidates. In this article, you can expect nonpartisan, data-first insights to understand the social conversations around the upcoming U.S. election. Yes, just that.

Let’s dive in! on the State of the Election 2020 on social media

COVID-19 takes center stage

As you can tell from the graph above, the topic that garnered the most number of mentions in the last 30 days is “COVID-19” with 2.35M social media mentions.

The United States is by far the country with the highest number of COVID-19 cases since April 11, 2020. Since the Trump Administration was (and still is) in office during the global pandemic, it comes as no surprise to find COVID-19 attached to most election-related conversations.

Trump had the highest number of mentions in conversations about COVID-19 and elections when compared to Biden and the Vice-Presidential candidates. Mentions about Trump and “COVID 19” account for more than 89% of the total mentions while mentions about Biden and “COVID 19” account for only 8%.

Using our Hashtag Tracker, we identified #COVID19, #vpdebate, and #debates2020 as the three most popular hashtags used in conversations about COVID-19 and elections.

Why is everyone talking about the SCOTUS?

Mentions about the “Supreme Court” when it comes to the election are at a close second after “COVID-19″ with over 2.12M social mentions.

Popular conversations around this topic were about Trump’s Supreme Court justice nominee Amy Coney Barrett, socialized healthcare, and Marsha Blackburn— a Republican who is running to become Tennessee’s first female senator.

Mentions about Trump and the “Supreme Court” account for more than 58% of the total mentions while mentions about Biden and the “Supreme Court” were at 41%.

To gauge the sentiment of the mentions based on whether they are positive, neutral, or negative, we used Falcon Listen to assess the emotional impact of people on this topic. We found that mentions about Kamala Harris and the “Supreme Court” and Biden and the “Supreme Court” indicated a higher rate of negative sentiment when compared to mentions about Trump and Mike Pence.

The U.S. Economy

The ongoing global outbreak of COVID-19 has caused a lot of setbacks for businesses in the United States. The rise in unemployment, a decrease in government income, the global stock market crash, and the downfall of several industries were all the attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic that adversely affected the U.S. economy (and continues to do so). This certainly raised a lot of discussions and concerns on social since the beginning of the pandemic.

As shown in the word cloud below, mentions of “jobs”, “Joe Biden”, “recession”, “stock market”, “Donald Trump”, and “taxes” were some of the most used phrases in social mentions.

Other findings

  • Mentions of “Trump” and “racial inequality” account for 72% of the total mentions in conversations about racial inequality.
  • #blacklivesmatter was one of the most used hashtags on posts related to racial inequality and elections.
  • Mentions of “Greta Thunberg” and “teen climate change activist” received 11K mentions in conversations about climate change and elections.
  • Mentions of Trump’s healthcare advisor “Dr. Scott Atlas” received nearly 6K mentions in less than 24 hours after Twitter removed his false coronavirus tweet.
  • In terms of share of voice, we found Trump to have the largest share of voice in most of these trending topics when compared to Biden. While there are many reasons for Trump to take the center stage, a lot of this has to do with the fact that Trump has a huge fan following on social media. Trump has a combined total of 139 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram while Biden has only 20 million followers (Editor's note: this does not take into account the percentage of either following that may be fake followers, or bots).

Final thoughts

Well, this is all the tea our virtual ears have gathered from listening to millions of conversations about the U.S. elections!

All data has been compiled and analyzed using Falcon Listen, a social media listening tool that draws insights from millions of sources to help brands track trends and understand brand perception.

If you want to monitor your industry or your brand as carefully as we’re monitoring the U.S. elections, you’re probably going to need a social media listening tool to do the work for you.

Create a social media strategy around listening today!

Social media listening tools can do a lot to boost your brand’s performance on social. With social media listening tools, you’re constantly in the loop of what is being said about your brand, competitors, industry, any particular keywords, or hashtags that are important to your brand.