What Donald Trump has Taught Us

It’s been widely reported that Donald Trump will pivot from a losing presidential bid to the introduction of “Trump Media”.  Standing to the right of Fox News, this new media outlet will feed the existing Trump following estimated at 18 million or more registered voters and possibly as many as 39 million people in the US.  It’s a significant number.  But what’s really impressive is how it got so big.  By most accounts the Trump campaign has not been well managed, has had no clear ‘ground’ strategy over time, and suffers from comparatively little traditional media ad budget.   So how did this ground swell grow so big so fast?  The answer is forty characters at a time.  The answer is social media, specifically Twitter.  What Twitter and other social media networks have allowed news makers to do is manage their own message without the help of the mainstream media.  Professional athletes and celebrities already know, as do those who participated and led the “Arab Spring”, that they can address their fans and critics directly without going through a publicist or a major media outlet. What you may not know is that managing your own message through social media and various online resources like blogs and newsletters has a name.  It’s called “native advertising”. What Donald Trump has taught us is that social media is an ‘end-around’ to unfavorable press.  “The Donald” is his own media company even without a media company.  In fact, during the third debate ‘Trump’ was Tweeting while debating. Now of course he wasn’t actually Tweeting but someone with access to his account was. In other words, Trump was stoking the fire and engaging with his fan base through social media during the very moments when they were most apt to be engaged, the debate itself.  What does this mean?  It means that whether or not you are a supporter of Trump, he used social media to build his own soapbox.  Then he stood up on the box and Tweeted statements, replies, and accusations all the while major media was in many cases not even on the air, like 3am EST.  And if he can do it so can you.  We may not be able to tell you how to gain more customers, but we can tell you where they are and put your message in front of them.  Then we can measure the effectiveness of your message and tweak it until your customer base responds. It’s important to know that this window to connect with these potential customers won’t be open forever.  That’s because your competitors will figure this out pretty quickly too if they’re not already pushing their ‘native message’ through social media.  It’s time to build your own soapbox and get your message out.

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