How Trump Taught Me to Tweet

By Matias Jaramillo, Director of Digital Initiatives

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to have any political position. It is neither about the pros nor cons against any political figure since I do not and cannot participate in American politics.

This article started one day when trying to answer the question we always get from clients; “How should I do/use Twitter?”

To me, Twitter, as a paid media platform, has always been the toughest of them all. And by tough I do not mean bad. In fact, as of right now, I believe that it is right there next to YouTube in the podium of important social media platforms.

However, I do not see Twitter as a great platform for the traditional ads that we are now used to seeing on social media. Instead, I have seen how Twitter can be a great platform for the consumer. It is also an excellent platform for brands that have the C-suite blogging and putting opinions forward. But I have always had an issue with brands using it as an advertising platform.

And this is the part of the story where President Trump comes in. Next time that I get asked, “how should we use Twitter for our/a brand?” I will most likely suggest that they look to the current POTUS and learn from him. Trump, as a brand, fascinates me and he is without a doubt one of the most effective “brands” on Twitter.

But why?

There are two things that President Trump does that works very well on Twitter:

  1. He has a really well-defined personality
  2. He has a unique opinion and is not afraid to voice it

That is what Twitter is all about. It is about having a clear and well-defined personality and about having an opinion.

Let’s take a look at these two key factors with a little more depth.

President Trump has had for a long time now a defined personality due largely in part to his background in entertainment. Look at how reality TV uses very well-defined characters – every one of these programs always has the treacherous one, the one that has suffered all kinds of tragedies, the agreeable one. Remember that the President also used to regularly visit his entertainment pals at the WWE. Wrestling is a form of entertainment that defines characters in a very basic way: the good guys and the bad guys.

This is where brands struggle.

Many have been unable to define their personality, to decide what character they will portray on stage. After all, what is social media if not one big stage? (Note to self: write an article about social media being a large Broadway play.)

Once that personality is built for an entertainment environment (aka social media), brands must then be opinionated. President Trump speaks often, he is not worried about what he calls “political correctness,” and he shares his opinions on the state of the world.

This is what Twitter is really about. It is a place to have OPINIONS. Opinions about chickens, about diabetes, about automobile tires, about laws or about white shirts. And while we’re talking about Trump and opinions… Kanye West is another well-defined personality with often polarizing opinions. While Kanye West’s brand is different from Trump’s, his recent return to Twitter demonstrates a formulaic use of outrage that transforms into engagement (in fact, his return and co-sign of President Trump has been met with a follower growth of approximately 300K more people).

The beauty of it all is that brands may no longer have to use Twitter as a paid platform (my friends at Twitter will probably curse me for saying this). Brands should instead repurpose those resources into a person dedicated to Twitter, a Twitter copywriter/screenwriter if you will. A person assigned to the channel and to the opinion the brand will pursue. The result will be new followers who connect with the brand in a deep and emotional way; they will engage more frequently and be strong advocates for the brand.

I want to dedicate this post to @RauliuxRaulix and @rga for showing me that opinions and brands can coexist in one single place.


Photo in by Gage Skidmore on Flickr with modification / CC BY-SA 2.0

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