Obama Surpasses Twitter Milestone – Tops 100 Million Followers

by Zia A., posted 22 days ago
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Last month Barack Obama received a late Valentine’s Day gift. He surpassed a major Twitter milestone, reaching 100 million followers on the social media platform that he’s leveraged like a boss since his first run for the White House in 2008. We imagine the current POTUS, @realDonaldTrump must be fuming, especially given his recent less-than-complimentary tweets about O’s administration. But what exactly is Obama doing to outpace Trump on Twitter? And how did he attract an audience of 100 million strong? Let’s take a look.

 

Trump Obama Twitter

OBAMA, THE TWITTER WHISPERER

As of the time of this drafting, Obama has 100,597,719 followers to Trump’s 48,635,020. (Just over twice as many for anyone who’s keeping track.) The 44th President of the United States ranks #3 worldwide (#1 in the Political Organization category). Trump lands at #20. Obama follows nearly 650,000 people, while Trump follows just 45. And on average, Obama:

  • gains over 33,000 followers per day,
  • stops following around 15, and,
  • recently has been averaging 0 daily tweets (much to the world’s collective chagrin).
Trump Obama Twitter

Obama’s Twitter Counter profile

 

Trump, meanwhile:

  • gains over 42,000 followers a day,
  • has been following the same 45 people for eons (mostly family, Fox News correspondents, and, a little unexpectedly, @geraldorivera), and,
  • averages around 6 tweets per day (most of them controversial).
Trump Obama Twitter

Trump’s Twitter Counter profile

 

It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that, at the current rate, Trump will eventually catch up to Obama. But, according to our Twitter Counter analytics, it will take some time (roughly another decade or so) and by then there may be a new POTUS in office and this whole discussion might be moot.

 

SO WHAT GIVES?

Yes, Barack joined Twitter in 2007 and Donald joined in 2009, so you could argue that Barack’s had a two-year head start. But we joined Twitter smack dab in the middle (10 years ago in June incidentally, HAPPY TWITTERVERSARY TO US!) and that extra year doesn’t seem to have tipped us over Trump. There must be other forces at play.

When we account for audience size, Obama’s likes and retweets are consistently higher than Trump’s. But his tweets are also generally positive.

Trump Obama Twitter

Trump Obama Twitter

Trump? Um…

Trump Obama Twitter

Trump Obama Twitter

Trump Obama Twitter

 

POTUS even took on Oprah earlier this year. I mean, Oprah, nobody hates on O!

Trump Obama Twitter

 

TWITTER AND POLITICS

If you’ve been reading the news since the Presidential campaign in 2016 (literally almost any news outlet including this, this, and this) then you know that Trump has thrust Twitter back into the spotlight as a social media platform that has the ability to shape politics on an international level. (Just look at the tweet Trump posted about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.)
Trump Obama Twitter

“It is undeniable that Twitter has been thrust into the global zeitgeist following the US Presidential Election in November 2016,” BTIG analyst Richard Greenfield wrote last month. “Trump is giving consumers a reason to learn how to use Twitter, furthering the reason for public figures etc. to put content on the platform.” But, as VOX astutely noted in this article, “before there was Trump on presidential Twitter, there was Obama.” And it was OB who pioneered the use of social media in political campaigns.

Trump may use Twitter more often, but Obama uses it more wisely. Obama is selective about when to tweet and what to say. When questioned about his Twitter strategy at an event in New Delhi, he said,

“Think before you tweet.”

It might have been a reference to the sitting President, whose Twitter strategy takes a more shotgun approach, seemingly firing off any thought that enters his head, from tax reform to Melania Trump’s choices for White House interior design.

Whatever it is, Obama’s compelling mix of positivity and pause have struck a chord with more than 100 million Twitter users, growing more every day. The self-described “Dad, husband, President, citizen,” as listed in his Twitter bio, is continuing to own the platform and set an example, even out of the Oval Office.

 

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