How Trump is Trumping Twitter
By Kiefer Casamore, Account Director at Lexis Agency
Love him or hate him, the President-Elect Donald Trump’s Twitter is a true powerhouse and with just a few days until he’s sworn into the oval office, let’s look at how he harnessed the platform’s capabilities to make it one of the most read and re-shared Twitter accounts in the world.
Some may argue that Trump uses the channel to lambast what he views as unfavourable media coverage and to challenge celebrity naysayers – but look a little closer, and you’ll see purposeful messages that make for quick, shareable content.
For example, the four-letter slogan ‘Make America Great Again’ has successfully connected with millions of voters. Speaking and tweeting in short bursts of easy-to-read text has proven to not only reach a massive audience but more importantly, resonates.
This thinking applies to brand messages. The simpler they are to articulate and understand, the more powerful and memorable the branding becomes, allowing people to immediately connect with it.
In 2016, Trump averaged 375 tweets a month through to the end of November, according to TrumpTwitterArchive.com, a searchable database dedicated to cataloguing all of Mr Trump’s tweets, making him the most prolific presidential candidate tweeter ever.
Trump clearly knows that there is no time for rest – and brands should take note. There isn’t a strategy to tweet more on weekdays vs. weekends, or only from nine to five. For him, it’s an always-on approach that never backs down from a chance to respond in real-time.
Arguably one of the most famous examples of real-time marketing was when the lights went out in the New Orleans Super Dome during Super Bowl in 2013; Oreo’s social media team quickly tweeted “Power out? No problem”, accompanied by an image featuring an Oreo, followed by “You can still dunk in the dark.” It was sheer creative brilliance with impact to match.
Put simply, Twitter allows your brand to get its message out there and take control of the conversation quicker than any other channel.
Breaking the rules
Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump breaks all the rules when it comes to common social media etiquette. He constantly says negative things about the competition and his sheer willingness to offend others and not apologise goes against all convention.
Whilst this not a suggested tactic for brands, there is a good argument to suggest that brands should play it less safe. With Trump, it has allowed him to receive huge amounts of free publicity every day from media outlets willing to broadcast and scrutinise his latest controversial comments.
Paddy Power is an example of a brand that isn’t afraid to put themselves out there and play it less safe on Twitter. Its regular use of provocative content to promote, entertain and engage has built them 613k followers on Twitter, making it the most popular UK betting site on the channel.
Finally, Donald Trump stood out from the other Republicans because he didn’t sound or act like the other politicians – this was also reflective of his Twitter. Brands should look to be entertaining in a way that’s distinctive, but also relevant by aligning interesting content with the needs of the industry space they play in.
Ultimately, if you aren’t entertaining your followers or adding genuine value to their everyday lives, they will look elsewhere.