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Twitter – One Man’s Political Weapon

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few weeks you know that Donald Trump was voted President-elect of the United States, beating out Hilary Clinton in the electoral college. And unless you have been living under a rock for the past year and half, you know that this election has been anything but orthodox.

Universal Information Services Social Media Measurement Clinton Trump

Presidential Election Odds November 8, 2016

Last Tuesday around 7:30pm I checked OddsShark.com, to see what the odds were for each candidate going into the election. Odds might be helpful in case some friendly wager took place at my college fraternity’s election watch party. When I first checked, Hilary’s US odds were -700 (87% chance to win) while Trump’s US odds were +475 (about 17% chance to win), so political views aside I knew who I would be betting on. That was at 7:58pm ET. By 11:52pm Trumps odds had changed to -2000 (95% to win) and Hilary’s to +1000 (5% chance to win). Since betting on the outcome of a US election is illegal for US citizens, nobody I was with made any real bets. But a man in England will be getting a $360,000 payout for his wager. Aside from this one brave soul, how did nobody else see this coming? How could everybody have been so wrong?In a word, Twitter.

Twitter is, hands down, one of the biggest reason’s Trump won the presidential election. Similarly, President Obama won because his campaign team understood the internet better than his rivals. It is the same way with Trump and Twitter.

According to SocialBlade.com, Donald Trump blew all the other candidates out of the water with his Share of Voice, tracking followers gained and tweets per day. And oddly enough it was his rowdy behavior that apparently was the method to his madness. With Twitter, unlike print articles and television broadcasts, outrageous and somewhat crass behavior don’t loose you supporters. In fact, brash behavior on Twitter can get you followers more than a politically safe message.

More and more people are active on twitter than they were during the past presidential election. Trump recognized this and exploited the phenomenon of saying what you’re thinking without any negative repercussions. The repetitive use of nicknames for others candidates (ex. Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hilary, Little Marco…etc.) and the attention grabbing content of his tweets began to stick in people’s minds, and judging by the outcome it all worked.

What this means for you is that you must reevaluate the conventional wisdom when it comes to social media analysis. Twitter is still the future for organizations who need to monitor messages, but the prior assumptions used to deliver insight from social media must be reexamined. Twitter should be at the forefront for all your public relations tools, but know that the rules are changing… or have changed. Are you reconsidering how you can best serve your client under these new rules?

Teddy Murphy-Blogger

This has been another post by Teddy Murphy. I’m keeping my eye on what’s next.

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