In one of his post-election interviews, U.S. President Donald Trump attributed the success his presidential campaign to effective use of social media. “It is a great form of communication,” he said, adding that he’s going to continue using the potent tool in the future.
There’s no denying the fact that Trump did use social media highly effectively and in the process successfully navigated his way around traditional media. His “tell it like it is” strategy was certainly one of the major reasons behind his surprise victory, appealing to a select group of voters.
Agree or disagree with the way Trump used social media, we can all agree that there are certainly a few powerful lessons for new brands and entrepreneurs. Here are 7 of the most valuable takeaways from Trump’s social media strategy for brands.
Brands can stand up for themselves
Donald Trump stood up for himself and his (often quite radical) viewpoints. Brands can follow in his footsteps (maybe tone it down a bit) by standing behind their message. Don’t fear negative criticism or feedback from media or customers.
Stay sure-footed on your own values and points-of-view. Social media can be a great help in staying transparent to your intended audience.
Donald Trump gives credit for his economical election campaign to social media. You can do the same to cut your marketing expenses significantly by engaging your audience on social media platforms on a regular basis and providing them valuable information when they need it the most.
JetBlue uses the strategy of maintaining informal and friendly communications with their audience on social media. It helps them win their trust and cut marketing costs in the process.
— JetBlue Airways (@JetBlue) March 20, 2017
Keep a close watch on social media indicators
Social media has a powerful analytical capability that can indicate your brand’s performance and progress in the market. Tools like Google Trends did the same for Donald Trump by indicating his probable victory based on the Google searches and Facebook and Twitter mentions about him. His online popularity was three times more than Clinton.
Social media and other online indicators show the opinions and inclinations of the real masses which are a more dependable way to predict present and future performance – be it a political party or a brand.
Social media gives you the power of real-time communication with your audience. Donald Trump used social platforms like Twitter to instantly react to people’s remarks and to defend or clarify his viewpoints on different topics. Your brand too can use this power to connect with your customers in real time and instantly resolve issues or conflicts.
Oreo sensed the big opportunity when there was power outage at the Superdome during Super Bowl XLVII and within just 10 minutes responded with a clever ad that literally flooded Facebook and Twitter with the brand’s messages.
Build an honest and trustworthy image
Media advertising is no longer as appealing as in the past. Customers trust social media more as it has a vibe of authenticity and genuineness. This helps create trust and goodwill.
Despite his controversial viewpoints, Trump successfully managed to stay true to his message on social media and in person. His audience ate it up, as they viewed his willingness to say virtually anything as refreshing and open. An effective strategy your brand too can use while building a trustworthy brand image.
Let positive reinforcement work
It’s human nature to get swayed by strong and constantly repeated messages and opinions. This works the same in politics as well as in the business world. This is the reason why endorsements work well for brands as the positive opinion of a third-party agent or an influencer can have a positive effect on audience’s mind and behavior. Negative feedback works in much the same way.
Social media can help you create this positive buzz around your brand by reinforcing the positive aspects continuously on social platforms.
Get your followers to leverage your brand
Social media has this uncanny ability to let your fans, supporters, and followers promote your brand without you even asking them to do so. You can use this power by offering actionable content, links, videos, etc. which people can share, forward or retweet on social platforms offering your brand greater visibility and popularity.
This is how Trump uses Twitter and posts around 11 tweets every day in order to stay on top of the Twitter promotion game. During the elections, Trump was retweeted 3.5 million times by his follower, which gave him free media exposure worth a whopping $3.4 billion in a period of just 12 months.
To sum it all up, just like Donald Trump, finding out which social platforms work best for your particular brand and using them on a consistent basis to connect and engage with your audience is important for success. Through all the chaos that was the 2016 US election, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from Trump’s social media tactics, so pay attention and try applying a few to your brand.
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