For just under six years I have had the privilege of providing bespoke social media in Lancashire. From these years of experience working on just about every social platform and working with many companies, I like to think I have learnt a thing or two about social media. One such thing is knowing when a big change is approaching. I see one heading our way in 2017.
During the past month, since Donald Trump won the US election, I have watched with interest how major media outlets have frantically gobbled up and digested his tweets. From nukes to planes and global diplomacy, he has published many opinions via Twitter. The result has been many headlines, constant news coverage and even major fluctuation in stock prices.
The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 22, 2016
What has changed?
Traditionally PR, including the personal social media profiles of Presidents or Heads of States, has been carefully run by their press office. The reason being it is often important to publish a consistent message, a message that is often risk assessed and carefully edited before release.
Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 6, 2016
Why is Trump’s PR working?
Traditional media such as newspapers and especially 24-hour TV news is struggling and it has been since social media become popular. As a reaction to disruptive social media, traditional news outlets (once fact based publishers) are now far more sensational. Trump’s tweets offer up sensation in huge quantities.
If you analyse his tweets he actually says very little. He stated a broad view and, as a result, respected news broadcasters spend 24 hours analysing, digging and often interpreting his 140 characters. In a paradox, you often find a news reporter or journalist passing their judgements as to what they think Trump means when he expresses a view on a subject via a tweet.
Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 30, 2016
How will this affect me?
I suspect this change in formal press relationships with the White House and the President of the United States will change the game for a lot of state leaders. This will then filter down to every day users.
Publishing decisive views on subjects will keep the masses entertained while the detail of what is going on remains hidden from view and generally not important to members of the public.
This strategy, deployed with great success thus far will no doubt prove a hugely powerful tool going forward for Trump, other politicians and social media users. Everyone is about to start publishing their broad opinions. Are you ready?