Last week I had a bit of free time on my hands and thought: “Hey, it’s been a while since I last wrote a blog for the ChatterBlast website—let’s fire up the MacBook and bang one out. It’s what the people want.”
After a bit of inspiration I chose something I thought would be the perfect topic: how hilariously bad Donald Trump is at Twitter. Seems that way right? I know I’m not the only one that sees and subsequently rolls my eyes at a tweet of his that pops up in my timeline what seems like every other day.
It’s straightforward, it’s funny, it’s relevant, and I get to poke fun at The Donald in the process. Sounds easy enough, right?
After I got to Googling and spending a bit of time perusing the Celebrity Apprentice star’s Twitter feed, I had what I can only describe as a conflicted revelation: Donald Trump is actually really good at Twitter. Really, really good. He’s like the King of Twitter.
I’m being completely serious and I can only explain why in these seven points.
He wins the numbers game
Aside from his exceptional I.Q. in comparison to the losers and haters, Trump has more Twitter followers than any other presidential candidate with a strong 4.67 million. When it comes to fellow Republican candidates, no one even comes close (Rubio 914K, Carson 812K, Cruz 546K, Bush 351K).
Up until earlier this month, Trump trailed Hillary Clinton in followers just barely at 4.36 million to 4.39 million. With far more mentions, and frankly interesting content, he quickly surpassed Clinton, who currently has roughly 4.56 million followers.
A few weeks ago, the New York Times reported that in a couple of months, he has been mentioned in 6.3 million conversations. That’s eight times as many as Rubio, Carson, and Fiorina. Three times as many as Clinton and nearly four times as many as Bernie Sanders. They also noted that he is retweeted more than twice as often as Clinton and about 13 times more frequently than Jeb Bush. Sheesh.
Although this could technically fall under the numbers game, it’s important enough to this argument to stand alone. To say that Trump tweets by far more than other candidates would be a drastic understatement. Trump has nearly 29K tweets. That averages out to roughly 12 tweets a day since joining the platform in 2009. Number of tweets for other candidates: Clinton 2K, Sanders 4K, Rubio 4K, Carson 2K, Fiorina 4K. The closest candidate is Ted Cruz with 11K. It almost looks like the others are late to the party while Trump has been here for a long time. These aren’t tweets that are going unnoticed. As I’m writing this, the average number of retweets per tweet in Trump’s last 12 tweets is roughly 1,500. Again—far more reach than any of the others.
Twitter Trumps debates
Contrary to what he may tweet—Donald Trump has been pretty awful at the debates. You know—you probably watched it for giggles like I did. He is typically (and admittedly) unprepared. He avoids lots of the questions by rambling on about being rich, building a wall, and how scared we should all be. The debates are not a strength of his campaign and it’s amazing how little it matters because of how well he performs on Twitter where he talks to people all day, every day. The way he uses Twitter as a campaign tool is unprecedented. Rather than focusing on one two-hour chance to communicate to the public on television over a couple of months, he’s doing it genuinely twelve times a day, everyday. Twitter isn’t just a tool for Trump—it’s the focal point of his campaign.
“He’s just like us!”
This is really where he excels. The whole theme of Trumps presidential campaign is: “I say what I want. I don’t care if I sound stupid and arrogant. That’s what politics needs—a guy like me who tells it like it really is. Political correctness is my enemy.” It’s done well for him so far. Of course it’s gotten to the point where he’s lost major support from the likes of Univision, NBCUniversal and Macy’s—but there’s a surprisingly large number of Americans who are actually intrigued by this, so he’s gained a lot of voter support as well. This theme has carried over to his Twitter game.
It’s just genuine. It’s seems clear that Trump doesn’t necessarily have a team of people running his social media sites. If he does, they’re doing a really good job of creating content that sounds like it’s coming from Trump himself.
These are the things that Trump’s supporters respect above all else: genuineness, authenticity, no nonsense/filter, audacity. His Twitter account caters to that.
His engagement is next level
Half of the time, Trump doesn’t even need to come up with tweets on his own. His supporters are so loyal that he can simply let them do the job for him. Sure he gets a lot of hate-tweets and jokes, but he gets an equal amount of mentions about the great job he’s doing and what a great president he would be. A lot of what he does is go through his mentions, quote the positive tweets, and add a “Thanks!,” “Great!,” or “Wow!” Why waste time coming up with interesting content that makes you look good when you already have thousands of people doing it for you on a daily basis, right? The only problem here is that, sometimes, he doesn’t pay attention to who exactly he’s engaging with: Whoops.
Hot take culture
With the age of technology came the age of the hot take. A “hot take” has been defined as “a piece of deliberately provocative commentary that is based almost entirely on shallow moralizing.” It’s a really quick, hard, not-so-thought out stance on a hot topic. In 2015, the Internet loves hot takes. New media thrives on hot takes.
It happens with every current event. If someone kills Cecil the Lion—someone writes a hot take about it. If the Eagles have a losing record—someone writes a hot take about Chip Kelly going back to college. If Donald Trump says something stupid again—someone writes a hot take about it. The Internet loves it. Your engagement is going to go through the roof.
Donald Trump is a walking, talking hot take factory. He has hard opinions on current events and, to my knowledge, he’s never shied away from firing off a tweet. The Internet loves it, even when they hate it.
This is one of few tweets he has deleted and that’s only because there accidentally happened to be Nazi soldiers in the bottom right corner of the picture.
Otherwise, all of the ridiculous things he tweets are still out there—alive, retweetable, and continuing to pop up in my timeline regularly. Whereas many campaign managers would urge a candidate to take such hard opinions and offensive statements down, Trump’s apparently just really doesn’t care. You kind of have to respect the conviction to what he’s saying.
The big point here is this: you might not necessarily agree with the content of what Trump has to say in his tweets, but the strategy is really on point.
I can’t believe I just wrote all of this.