One surprisingly successful user of #Social media over the last 12 months has been controversial US Republican candidate Donald Trump. His success has in part been attributed to a well-run social media campaign that has engaged with his followers. The numbers don’t lie either – Trump’s social media accounts have exploded since this time last year, as his number of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers have all quadrupled in size.
Of course this isn’t the first time that politicians have tried to use social media to carry favour, so what has Trump done differently to those that have gone before him? We take a look here at a few key points from his social media campaign.
Use a slogan or hashtag
“The people cannot be all, and always, well informed.” – Thomas Jefferson
If you are looking to tap into a demographic that values that succinct over the substantial, you are going to need a slogan. Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan is pervasive in its narrative about a country that has seen better days and clearly speaks to a population of vehemently patriotic citizens.
It would seem obvious in party politics, given that previous successful campaigns have had slogans that resonate with the populations – such as Obama’s “Yes We Can” – but many of the other candidates have failed to transfer any existing slogans to their social media networks.
Write your own story
“Denial and self-deception are part of being human.” – Stanley Cohen
The best thing that Trump has done on social media is to accept that he is never going to win everyone over. Trump has instead created a myth of himself, whereby he is “unstumpable” and that nothing will slow him down.
In doing this, he also created an engaging narrative, in which he is the hero and everyone else is the villain. Calling past competitors such as Ted Cruz names like “Lyin’ Ted” may seem childish, but by writing his own story he has created a world that he owns and through which his supporters will judge the rest of society.
Don’t be afraid of the backlash
“A sweeping statement is the only statement worth listening to.” – Patrick Kavanagh
“DO NOT TRUST THE MEDIA!” blasts the foghorn of his Facebook page. Trump’s generalising has allowed him to break the mould of the traditional safe social media user who painstakingly irons out every detail of every last tweet to make sure it cannot be misinterpreted.
Too often on social media we see accounts that attempt to be all loving, whilst ignoring the key group that they are looking to engage with. Trump is trying to tap into a particular set of people who are disenfranchised with the current system and his no holds barred attitude is a breath of fresh air to those tired of political babble.
Whether Trump’s tactics prove successful remains to be seen, but his canny use of social media to support his campaign is sure to change the way politicians use it in the future. #Internet #Government