NEW YORK (Reuters) - The 2016 contenders for the White House have used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook as campaign tools to an extent not seen previously in U.S. presidential politics.
But usage and tactics vary widely across the campaigns of the 11 top Republicans and three top Democrats in the race. (Graphic: http://tmsnrt.rs/1UvTsE2)
Following are some key social media usage and engagement statistics on the major candidates' campaigns. Social media data were gathered on Republicans Donald Trump; Ben Carson; Marco Rubio; Ted Cruz; Jeb Bush; John Kasich; Chris Christie; Carly Fiorina; Rand Paul; Mike Huckabee; and Rick Santorum; and on Democrats Hillary Clinton; Bernie Sanders; and Martin O'Malley.
The 2016 presidential candidates with the most followers, in order:
1. Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
2. Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)
3. Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders)
4. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson)
5. Marco Rubio (@marcorubio)
Chris Christie (@ChrisChristie) has the fewest followers, followed by John Kasich (@JohnKasich) and Jeb Bush (@JebBush).
The 2016 presidential candidates who follow the most accounts, in order:
1. Ted Cruz
2. John Kasich
3. Marco Rubio
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump is following the fewest accounts, followed by Ben Carson and Chris Christie.
Presidential candidates with the most tweets (including retweets), in order:
1. Donald Trump
2. Ted Cruz
3. Mike Bloomberg
4. John Kasich
5. Bernie Sanders
Ben Carson has tweeted the least, followed by Chris Christie and Jeb Bush.
Presidential candidates whose campaign profiles have been on Twitter the longest, in order:
1. Marco Rubio
2. John Kasich
3. Mike Huckabee
4. Martin O'Malley
5. Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton was the last candidate to create a Twitter profile for her 2016 presidential bid, and the campaigns of Chris Christie and Ben Carson joined just months prior to the Democratic presidential front-runner.
Presidential candidates with the most "likes" on Facebook, in order:
1. Donald Trump (5,500,909 "likes" and counting)
2. Ben Carson (5,053,021 "likes" and counting)
3. Bernie Sanders (2,497,947 "likes" and counting)
4. Hillary Clinton (2,316,417 "likes" and counting)
5. Rand Paul (2,106,854 “likes” and counting)
The following 2016 presidential candidates have accounts on Snapchat, a social media platform favored by millennials:
1. Bernie Sanders (@bernie.sanders)
2. Hillary Clinton (@hillaryclinton)
3. Chris Christie (@christie.2016)
4. Ben Carson (@drbencarson)
5. Jeb Bush (@jebbush)
6. Ted Cruz (@cruz4president)
7. John Kasich (@johnkasich)
8. Marco Rubio (@marcorubio)
9. Carly Fiorina (@carlyfiorina16)
10. Martin O’Malley (@governoromalley)
11. Rand Paul (@senatorrandpaul)
Donald Trump, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee do not have Snapchat accounts, according to a Snapchat representative.
Among all millennials who are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election, about one-third (34 percent) use Snapchat and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of millennial Snapchat users are following the campaign closely, the representative said.
The Sanders, Cruz, Kasich, and Paul campaigns have all sponsored Snapchat video or geofilter ads.
(Reporting by Melissa Fares and Gina Cherelus; Editing by Dan Burns and Jonathan Oatis)
SAP is the sponsor of this coverage which is independently produced by the staff of Reuters News Agency.
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