Why Donald Trump is a social media champion

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Why Donald Trump is a social media champion

How Donald Trump navigated his road to the White House through a successful social media campaign.

By Web Team

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Published: Thu 10 Nov 2016, 12:10 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2016, 12:21 PM

Donald Trump is an A-list social media star. He has an army of 13.4 million (and growing) Twitter followers, and whether for good or bad, he's on the trending list more often than not.
Several news organisations have commented on Trump's social media savvy and how that boosted his odds in this fiercely fought election campaign.
TV news anchor Ann Curry goes so far as to say: "Trump is not just an instant ratings/circulation/clicks gold mine; he's the motherlode." 
The statistics don't lie.
Trump knows he's a Twitter Tzar, calling himself "the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters".
Social media has done for Trump what TV did for Franklin D. Roosevelt's popularity in the 1930s and 40s in America
Between Hillary and Trump, the latter is clearly the winner when it comes to leveraging the power of social media tools such as Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and so on.
From creating trending hashtags to his exceptional usage of Facebook's live streaming tools, Trump trumped Hillary on video engagement.
And that shows in his significantly larger Facebook following - 11.8m versus Clinton's 7.7m page likes. He also has a presence across YouTube, Vine, Instagram and Periscope, though he primarily uses Facebook and Twitter - and to great effect.
How did Donald Trump show his mastery of Social Media?
There are two kinds of people in this world of web - ones who get social media and others who don't. Trump belongs to the latter - much smaller - group of people, and his use of short, effective videos to get his point across has been key to his success.
-New Media Director
Most of Trump's social media strategy comes from his 29-year-old director of new media, Justin McConney. Now, McConney joined Trump's team five years ago in February 2011. Way back then, Trump had only 300,000 followers. "Justin has taken Trump's instinct to Tweet and developed it into an effective way to communicate with voters and fellow candidates," said Nick Pacilio, a spokesman for Twitter's government team said to Politico.
-Short Videos
He posts the short clips on Instagram, Vine, Twitter and Facebook. Even the Guardian acknowledged his social media game, saying: "Most of the clips consist of him yelling into a camera, flecks of spittle hitting the lens. Costing nothing to produce, lo-fi, short and to the point, the spots are often picked up and run across mainstream TV networks."
-Live tweeting
He has live tweeted everything from the 2012 GOP debate, to the Oscars, Celebrity Apprentice and the 2012 Democratic debate where he attacked Hillary Clinton for showing up late after the interval after she was caught in a queue for the bathroom. He's tweeted about the election being rigged or Hillary Clinton being crooked, her FBI trial, Brexit, all topics of the moment engaging with his audience.
-The ugly side of social media
If you're a regular on Twitter then it's safe to say you've encountered some trolls. Trump is a troll. Trump has even gone so far as to troll members of his own party. Remember "Low Energy Jeb" and "Lyin' Ted"?
If you still don't agree, here are the facts: Trump has tweeted insults, defended his manhood's size, made racially-tinged comments towards Mexicans, black people, Muslims, and women, all which was masterminded for the click-bait web.
In a move that sets him apart from previous presidential candidates, the Trump campaign spent $17.3 million on election ads, according to data from NBC partner Advertising Analytics. Meanwhile, over at the Clinton camp, they spent an estimated $96.4 million up until September in general election ads, and yet lost the vote.
This is a president-elect who replaced ad spends with Twitter trends and created more than $2 billion in earned media value - that is, he didn't have to pay a penny for the kilometers of column space devoted to him in newspapers and online journals.
It's fair to say, then, that social media has really been Donald's Trump card in these elections.

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