How Twitter's New "Donate" Feature Performed at the 2nd Republican Debate

Monetizing Tweets for political fundraising and other campaigns.

Social commerce is about engaging your users directly on their feed, rather than redirecting them to your site. To enable users to make one-click donations or purchases right then and there, social networks such as Twitter and Facebook have adopted "contribute" and "buy" buttons.

Share Cashtags with Supporters

The first challenge to the broad adoption of social shopping or donating is driving users to initially store their payment info. How do you convert sharers to shoppers? Twitter believes it has cracked the code. By teaming up with Square, Twitter rolled out Cashtags, their new feature that embeds a contribute button directly in a tweet. They hope Cashtags will help campaigns reach a whole new audience beyond donor lists and event turnout. While we are focusing on how Twitter performed in its first at bat, it is important to note that Facebook has already become the secret to GOP Presidential Candidate Ben Carsons' fundraising success.

How This New Feature Works for Campaigns

Once a supporter clicks on the "contribute" button in a Tweet, they are prompted to input their payment info directly in the Tweet. Once stored, users will be able to donate to future charities or fundraisers in one click. This new feature was rolled out last Tuesday in preparation for the 2nd National Republican Debate. Six out of 11 Republican Presidential candidates took advantage of Twitter's free new Cashtag feature during and after the Debate to spur campaign contributions. Here's how it went.


GOP Presidential Candidate with the Most Reach?

Rand Paul's Cashtag campaign had a potential reach of nearly 11.5 million Twitter users during the debate.


GOP Presidential Candidate with the Most Cashtag Retweets?

Rand Paul received 53.9% share of the total number of Cashtag retweets during the debate.


Republican Presidential Candidate with the Most Popular Cashtag Tweet?

Carly Fiorina was the GOP candidate with the most Cashtag retweets at 182.


Presidential Candidate with the Most Popular Tweet?

The social winner was the Democratic Nominee Bernie Sanders with nearly 20,000 retweets the night of the debate.

Forecasting $uccessful $ocial

In 2015, social commerce sales are forecasted to represent 5% or $15 billion of all online retail revenue. With added convenience and exclusive offers, we expect social commerce to account for an increasingly larger share of retail sales going forward. But the benefits of social commerce go beyond the point of purchase.

Tracking the impact of social marketing to an actual donation or purchase has been difficult until now. That is why social media has been seen as a tool for brand building rather than a platform for selling. These soft metrics or intangibles are what have kept a lot of advertisers from jumping in the game. But with the market adoption of social commerce we expect to see more tangible analytics for campaigns that tie the direct sales to the success of a campaign. Expect retailers to increase their use of social metrics to measure campaigns and drive creative alike.

Jared Kinsler's picture

Jared Kinsler

Jared Kinsler is our Creative Marketing Strategist, supporting new content creation for Spredfast. He focuses on making sure the things we share are worth your time. He is a writer by day, composer by night, and Floridian by birth. Follow his visual life @kinsljar on Instagram.