Donald Trump, the man we are learning to loathe for his lies and hate-filled messaging has proven his mastery social media to generate press. His infamous Twitter tirades have played a key role in generating more than $3B in free media exposure, and of course, they keep his core audience engaged and enraged.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s content is consistent in tone and approach
He attacks others and their failures. He enables his base—often the disenfranchised—by empowering them to blame the government for their problems rather than taking responsibility for their troubles. He may allude to what he, as president, will bring to the office, but there is never any platform. Let’s face it—he’s interested in winning—not in the job of President.
Donald Trump’s style is simple, emotional and unsubstantiated. His ability to engage and rally supporters has significantly helped him throughout the campaign, and it will be remembered for its mastery of social media in drumming up press. Choosing Twitter as the platform of choice was deliberate–it’s a favorite of journalists, PR reps, campaign operatives and political junkies.
Hillary Clinton, a seasoned political veteran who immerses herself in policy
Hillary leverages the data-driven marketing capabilities of social media platforms; she wants to understand the metrics of her reach. Clinton’s Twitter approach is based on short, direct sentences that her audience finds engaging. Her social media campaign was more traditional and included paid Facebook ads that took advantage of the large audience and precision targeting capabilities to reach donors and voters and increase her email subscriber list.
When the Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, was reintroduced during the first presidential debate at the end of September, it exploded and became a social media talking point. Another important strategy for Clinton has been using social media to tell a story—many of these are little case studies or human interest stories that reach people on a very human and emotional level. Clinton been extremely successful sharing compelling stories via YouTube.
Trump’s support remained stable, but stable isn’t where you want to be
A significant difference between the Clinton and Trump social media presences is their support over the course of the campaign. Trump had the larger social media presence, but his trend remained stable. Anyone who works in social media knows that stable is not where you want to be. Clinton’s social presence, on the other hand, trended up and grew over time, and social engagement spiked in response to major campaign events like debates or breaking scandals.
No correlation between social media and winning
Keep in mind that social media, no matter how good it is, doesn’t necessarily correlate with success. Rather, social campaigns are worthwhile when they are able to drive desired action from the audience.
A lesson to be learned from Trump and his campaign
Trump broke all the rules. He kept the race tight without adhering to any of the conventional wisdom about how a campaign is supposed to be run. He exploited PR to transmit his message to a large, global audience. Regardless of how we might feel about the prospect of Donald Trump as President of the United States, he owned the news media in a way that we have never seen before. Many of us hope we never see anything like this again in our lifetimes.
I’ve been preaching for years about the importance of using visual keys to making your blogs, articles and other messaging more accessible.
You only have a few seconds to seduce your audience
You need to give then a reason to keep reading. When people look at a paragraph that’s taking up six inches of their computer screens, there’s little chance of their reading this. But if you break it into smaller, more manageable information bites, make good use of clever, attention-getting subheads that provide a window into what they’re going to learn, it becomes accessible. By using bullet points whenever possible, you’re making your content even more approachable.
Strategic bullet points keep people reading
Something to keep in mind: People scan content to decide if they want to keep reading, but it’s also a way to justify not reading. There are a few different kinds of bullet points; used properly, they can significantly enhance your content.
1. External fascinations. Usually found in sales copy for information products and membership sites, functioning like headlines that prompt a purchase or other action. Also known as blind bullets, they hint at the content of a product or service and create curiosity without revealing the actual substance. These are generally slick, promotional bullet points about a product
2. Internal fascinations. Pretty much identical to external, except they’re designed to persuade people to continue reading the content they’re currently reading. These are the teasers. For example: By reading this article you’ll learn:
3 counterintuitive activities that will improve your business
How to turn your process into a product you can sell
3. Bullet chunking. Extracting bullets out of compound sentences helps you drive home a point while also increasing the usability of your content. Attention spans are short; make it easy for your readers. Maintain parallel construction for your bullet points. An example:
Fascinating bullet points are great for:
Drawing people back into the copy they skimmed
Prompting the download of a free offer
Causing the click of a link
4. Authority bullets. Use these to recite data, providing support for your argument. Authority bullets bolster the credibility of your content and your level of authority as a subject matter expert. Try to turn dry, factual information into interesting reading, if possible. An example:
Don’t believe me when I say reading is an uncommon activity? Check these facts:
58% of the U.S. adult population never reads another book after high school
42% of college graduates never read another book
80% of U.S. families did not buy or read a book last year
5. Cliffhanger bullets. Tease and foreshadow what’s coming up next or in the near future. Entice your readers to read next week’s blog by using a few cliffhanger bullets to let them know what they can expect.