How Social Media Won The Election

Election night has come and gone, but there’s a still a lot to learn from the race about how Millennials were involved in making it the most social election ever! Besides election night breaking a record with 20 million tweets, young people have taken to the Web the past few months, sharing political memes, gifs, status updates, and more. Most Millennials will tell you that their newsfeeds have been flooded with election information, and their generation has used Facebook as a forum to express their views via status updates and comments. They’ve been much more involved in the election than they’re given credit for, and in surveying 367 Millennials this past weekend, this became especially clear. Most of all, Gen Y made their interactions around the election social, engaging their peers in political information in accessible and often entertaining ways.

We asked Millennials about their political habits on social media leading up to the election and found that they were most active on Facebook. One-third (35%) said they posted a Facebook status about the election in the past two months and 4 in 10 (41%) commented on someone’s Facebook status about the election. Moreover, a quarter (24%) tweeted about the election and a close percentage (26%) replied to or retweeted someone else’s tweet about the election. Obviously these numbers jumped dramatically on Election Day with nearly 30% of Millennials informing their network who they voted for and millions sharing their thoughts on the outcome. Apparently taking pictures of, or Instagramming your ballot, is illegal in some states, but this idea itself reflects a very Millennial mindset of wanting to document their experiences and excitement about the election across social media.

Moreover, much of the political information among peers has…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“There are alleys with street art that I've walked out of my way to take pictures of to share on Snapchat/Facebook.”
—Female, 32, IL

Mattel’s new toy franchise Enchantimals is inspired by Instagram and Snapchat filters. The new line of 14 dolls are all half-animal—think the bunny and deer filters—and each “shares a ritual trait with her animal friend.” Their origin and the YouTube series starring the girls are no doubt a part of Mattel’s “five-pillar strategic plan” to be a more digital brand. Appealing to Millennial parents and their kids has been a tough sell for Mattel, but they’re making moves like changing up Barbie’s body type and asking kids to pick the next big toy on TV to keep up with the next generation. (Kidscreen)

Harry Potter fans, raise your butterbeers up, because this franchise and its fandom will never die. Two more books from the Harry Potter universe are hitting shelves this fall—though they aren’t actually written by J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter: A History of Magic and Harry Potter: A Journey Through A History of Magic are instead both written by the British Library, to coincide with an exhibition dedicated to celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the first book. The two new works will include “exclusive manuscripts, sketches and illustrations from the Harry Potter archive,” to delight serious fans of the series. (USA Today, New York Times)

Restaurants are being designed with Instagrammability in mind. From unicorn foods to neon signs and tile floors with hidden messages, restaurateurs aren’t just tolerating Instagrammers, they’re intentionally acting as “Instagram bait” to earn some free press. And it doesn’t end at Instagrammable design touches. Many restaurants stress having perfect lighting, and one even provides “Instagram packs” at customer request, consisting of “a portable LED light, multi-device charger, clip-on wide-angle lens, tripod, and a selfie stick.” (The Verge, Grub Street)

Some student loan debt is getting “wiped away” in court because of missing paperwork. Students defaulting on their private loans are getting taken to court by aggressive creditors, but as it turns out, many don’t have the required documents to make them pay up. National Collegiate is at the center of many of these trials—one lawyer in Iowa represented 30 cases brought on by them, and 27 were dismissed because of “critical omissions or flaws” in the paperwork. Some Millennials prioritizing paying back debt might just catch a lucky break. (New York Times)

Millennials want older generations to know why they stand by political correctness. While some may despair the overly PC state of the world, many young consumers see political correctness as protection from prejudice, and a show of respect. What some may view as an over-sensitivity epidemic, many Millennials see as “being morally minded.” Ypulse’s PC Police trend tackled this topic, and found half of 13-33-year-olds would describe political correctness as treating others with respect, and 66% agree that political correctness is one way to make culture kinder and more inclusive. (Business Insider)

 “I’m too lazy to exercise on purpose. Too much work…If I can't get it with my dog, my job, or my nightlife, it ain't happening.”
—Female, 23, CA

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