What’s Trending? 📈 Happy and sad at the same time

This piece was originally published in the July 23, 2021 edition of CAP Action’s weekly newsletter, What’s Trending? Subscribe to What’s Trending? here.

Hey, y’all.

This week we’re doing a deep dive into five critical areas of President Biden’s economic plan to see which aspects resonate the most on Facebook.

But first! Did you miss our latest edition of What’s Trending? Don’t worry — you can read it here.

WHAT’S TRENDING THIS WEEK

  • Climate crisis: Between devastating flooding in Europe, wildfires raging in the western United States, and lingering smoke polluting air across the rest of the country, one thing is clear: The climate crisis is here, and it’s impacting lives across the globe.

WHAT WE’RE HEARING ON SOCIAL

This past week, top conservative posts scorned vaccines and criticized Texas House Democrats who traveled to D.C. in their fight to protect voting rights. They also criticized members of the U.S women’s national soccer team who knelt for the national anthem at their first Olympic game to protest racism. Candace Owens secured the top spot for conservatives for the second week in a row with a tweet screenshot.

On the left side of the below chart, you’ll see President Biden secured the top spot with a photo marking National Ice Cream Day. He and President Obama also promoted the Build Back Together agenda in several top posts.

Top 20 best-performing political Facebook posts by interactions, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top 10 best-performing political Facebook posts on the left and right for the weeks of July 8 and 15 by interactions, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top ten Facebook posts from progressive pages over the last week, according to data from NewsWhip.
Top ten Facebook posts from conservative pages over the last week, according to data from NewsWhip.

DEEP DIVE

For this week’s deep dive, we broke out five critical areas of President Biden’s economic plan and tracked relevant keywords on Facebook to see which aspects resonate the most.

Climate was the clear winner. The topic received a high number of interactions, especially shares, and appeared to be received positively with a significant spike in Love reactions last week. This was due in large part to positive reactions to content promoting President Biden’s Build Back Better climate plan, as well as a viral post from Senator Bernie Sanders calling for bold action on climate.

Total daily shares (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.
Total daily “Love” interactions (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.

More good news for progressives: Inflation isn’t dominating the economic conversation on Facebook as much as many fear, but we can see evidence of a vocal conservative minority pushing the narrative with a massive spike in Angry reactions and shares around July 13, centered around this CNBC piece.

Taxing the rich also saw a significant spike on July 20, coinciding with Jeff Bezos’ space launch. Senator Elizabeth Warren led the fight, criticizing Bezos for a speech in which he thanked Amazon workers and customers for paying for his flight.

Total daily “Angry” interactions (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.

Overall, physical infrastructure received more interactions than we expected, but posts explicitly referencing the “Build Back Better” agenda did not receive much traction. These interactions can almost exclusively be attributed to President Biden and the White House.

Total daily interactions (U.S. only) with Facebook posts matching topic keywords, according to data from NewsWhip.

Thanks for reading,

Alex

P.S. Please do forward along to your friends who are interested or encourage them to sign up here.

This newsletter is written by me, Alex Witt (@alexandriajwitt), a progressive political strategist and Dolly Parton enthusiast (she/her). I’ve managed social media programs for presidential candidates, political committees, progressive advocacy organizations, and more.

Hard-hitting news + analysis paired with action on the issues that matter most. Working alongside @AmProg.