Oct 5, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Why Trump wants to tweet

Data: SocialFlow; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Donald Trump's post-office online engagement is hitting new lows, according to exclusive data from SocialFlow provided to Axios. It helps explain why the former president recently asked a federal judge to have Twitter restore his signature account.

Why it matters: Trump has tried press releases styled as tweets, launched his own "platform" and held campaign-style rallies, yet the numbers suggest his social media megaphone has no true replacement.

While Trump content consumption predictably went down during the winter and spring, after he left office, his profile has dropped even further in recent months.

  • Clicks to Trump content dropped 37% in August and September compared to the two months prior, according to the data. It measures clicks from social media posts referred from SocialFlow's network of publishers.
  • The decline marked a 50% dip compared to March — the first month Trump free-fell from the news after February's impeachment trial.

What's going on: The decrease is partly explained by the fact that Trump is being written about less — there were 26% fewer stories during the last two months, compared to March and April, according to exclusive data supplied to Axios by NewsWhip.

  • But interest in those Trump stories also is going down. Per article, they are averaging 28% less engagement on social media in August and September, the data shows.

The latest: Last week, Trump filed a motion asking that a federal judge force Twitter to reinstate his account, which has been banned for nine months.

  • In July, Trump filed lawsuits against the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter over censorship claims.
  • He is eligible to return to Facebook in 2023, when his two-year suspension expires.

Between the lines: Much of Trump's post-presidential interest has come from his feud with Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

  • The biggest day of Trump content consumption since February was May 12, the day Cheney was removed from House GOP leadership, according to SocialFlow data.
  • The biggest of the last couple months was Sept. 9, the day Trump endorsed Cheney's primary opponent Harriet Hageman and Cheney responded, "Bring it."
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