Five ways President Trump takes advantage of social media

I didn’t vote for him last November. There was no way this registered Democrat from the blue state of Massachusetts would check that box. But I have to give him props for his tweets.

How a 70-year-old-man who just so happens to be the President of the United States uses Twitter more effectively than many businesses, brands and marketing professionals, I’ll never understand.

It’s true, though. Not that he isn’t sometimes impulsive and insulting on social media, but the President is using these channels – mainly Twitter, but also Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat – the way they’re supposed to be used.

Yup. If nothing else, President Trump has got it all going on when it comes to social media.

He’s conveying his honest feelings, like them or not, directly to the public and frequently dropping names. He’s also sharing news, information and opinions in a transparent and authentic fashion, often on the spot.

Donald Trump's Twitter account, @realdonaldtrump.

Few filters, if any. Light editing. No red tape. That’s what I imagine it looks like behind the scenes of the President’s social stream. Like a golfer on the tee, he’s swinging for it all. And like a gallery on the sidelines, all his followers and foes alike can do is watch in awe.

Who knew so many marketers would be schooled by the nation’s commander-in-chief?

Authenticity. Transparency. Immediacy. That’s what it’s all about in general on social media. Minus the braggadocio, bombast and bluster, that’s how we all should be doing it on these channels. Keeping it real keeps your audience coming back for more of what you have to show and tell.

Opining in real-time about your area of expertise and who you are as a person, not only as a professional, can go a long way toward building loyalty among your constituency.

Let me be clear. I would never even think of espousing a lot of what the President says on social media, never mind how he says it. He often crosses the line. But the energy and frequency with which his messages are being delivered makes them tailor-made for today’s new world order of communications.

I mean, his tweets are making headlines practically every day. You can’t buy that kind of exposure. It’s one huge, perfect publicity storm for him and his administration, if ever there was one.

Here are five ways President Trump is using social media to capture his audience’s undivided attention, especially that of the mainstream media, and drive his agenda forward.

1. Live-streaming video

Congratulations to our new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson!

Posted by President Donald J. Trump on Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Anything you do on the job – within reason – is fodder for visual content on social media, especially if it’s a capstone moment deemed relevant to your branding and outreach. Live-stream a special event or take people behind the scenes for a peak at your operations. Video in any shape or form is the next best thing to being there.

2. Candid opinions

How do you differentiate yourself among all the competition and clutter? Put yourself out there. You don’t have to be a contrarian or a critic to offer an alternative solution, though. Give them a piece of your mind, but don’t forget the golden rule. Don’t say anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in front of your own mother.

 

3. Shameless self-promotion

As much as you want to show the human side of your brand on social media, you can’t forget why you’re there in the first place. Business. You’re not the President of the United States, but you do have the attention of your followers, fans and friends. Use this platform to your advantage, but don’t go overboard. Promote what you have to offer, but don’t cross the line.

4. Engaging conversations

This is the social in social media, where the rubber meets the road when it comes to commanding attention among your constituents. The less you automate your updates and the more you interact with others, the more you will reap the benefits of your time spent here.

Avoid controversy and always take the high road. But don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Tagging and naming others in your content shows your willingness to actually engage in the conversation.

5. Fearless experimentation

So many businesses, brands and executives are quick to dismiss social media, claiming their audience doesn’t spend any time there. They say it’s just not their thing. Like the President working the crowd on Snapchat, though, I say they’re missing a great opportunity to establish an alternative outpost where their fan base could possibly grow.

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