Becoming the 45th president of the United States of America should have encouraged Donald Trump to give his tweeting a rest, right?
He may only have an average approval rating of 38 percent, but he has 48,759,984 Twitter followers.
So what makes him so influential on social media?
Yes, he has a lot of followers. And yes, the content of his posts probably has a lot to do with it as well. His tweets range from petty and rude to hostile and untrue. They spark controversy on a daily basis and are a regular topic on the evening news. But there is so much more to it than just the offensive nature of his tweets.
Connectivity vs. Activity
On what seems like a never-ending quest to obtain more social media followers, we must also remember that connectivity isn’t everything when it comes to being effective on social media.
Trump has over 48 million Twitter followers, but what may be even more important than his number of followers is the number of tweets he has posted.
On the list of the top 100 people and brands with the most Twitter followers, Trump ranks 20th, compared to Katy Perry, who comes in at number one with 108,808,851 followers. However, while Perry only has 8,859 tweets, Trump has 37,086.
Why does this matter?
In the world of social media marketing, people who have a lot of followers are called “hubs.” Take Taylor Swift as an example—she has 85 million Twitter followers. Because she has so many connections, it would make sense for a business to choose her as someone to promote its brand, wouldn’t it?
Not exactly. In a study done by Stukent, it was found that for many Twitter users, increasing their follower count actually resulted in them posting less frequently. Not surprisingly, Swift has only tweeted 86 times.
A “pump,” on the other hand, is someone who doesn’t have a ton of followers, but has very high activity, which means they are constantly posting on social media and engaging with their followers. In another study done by Stukent, they looked at 20,000 pieces of content and found no correlation between how many connections the initial sharer had and how many times others shared the piece of content. They did, however, find a positive correlation between how active the initial user was and the number of times the content was shared.
Activity—rather than connectivity—seemed to be the differentiating factor when it came to how likely people were to share content.
An important reason why pumps can be so effective is because their social media accounts are perceived as being more personal than someone who has millions of followers, but barely interacts with them.
This is why Trump is so influential on social media—he is a hub and a pump. While his tweets may be crude, aggressive, and brash, it is the fact that he shows his personal feelings and emotions through his posts that makes his followers feel like they know the @realDonaldTrump.
So what can we as business professionals learn from Trump’s social media?
When it comes to social media marketing, hiring influencers to promote a brand can be extremely effective—but only if we know how to choose the right ones.
The number of followers that someone has is not always the most important aspect of their social media. It’s vital to find someone who has a personal nature to their account and who is constantly active and engaging with their followers.
While there are some obvious reasons why Donald Trump may not be the best choice when it comes time to actually pick an influencer, we should still remember what makes him so effective and take that into consideration when trying to find the perfect promoter for the brands we are working for.
GIFs provided by giphy.