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@realDonaldTrump and Crisis Management

[by Howard Fencl] There’s no question every tweet President Trump sends in his ongoing Twitter micro-eruptions are micro-analyzed by media and the public alike. Trump shoots from the hip, followers knee-jerk. Supporters cheer, resisters anguish. Wall Street frets. World leaders worry – some cancel scheduled Washington meetings.

As a business mogul, Trump mastered social media to build his brand. Now, for the first time in the history of our country, we have a President using social media to talk about policy – while going around and past the media to get his messages out to a global audience. But does his massive social media audience translate back to television when Mr. Trump uses traditional media?

While he might holler that Nielsen ratings are also among the “rigged,” it’s interesting to note that his first one-on-one interview as president on ABC News on January 25 had a trove of viewers posting and tweeting, but not nearly the volume reacting to the Black Entertainment Network’s broadcast of “The New Edition Story.”  The show generated 1,502,000 social media interactions (retweets, likes, comments) about Bobby Brown being voted out, while Mr. Trump’s interview garnered 268,000 about being voted in. 644,000 people wrote brand new tweets and posts about the New Edition special, more than four times that of the ABC broadcast.

Here’s further food for thought. In addition to its daily social content report, the company also shares a weekly report (you can subscribe to them for free here). If you look at the ABC presidential interview social interactions (again, 268,000), they fall far behind social interactions for recent broadcasts of the People’s Choice Awards (809,000), Saturday Night Live (648,000), WWE Monday Night RAW (512,000), The Bachelor (464,000) and This is Us (367,000).

On the other side of the party aisle, according to Nielsen Social, Obama’s final speech as President of the United States attracted 17.97 million interactions from 7.94 million unique users across both Facebook and Twitter.” That’s after eight years in office, of course, and President Trump’s numbers reflect just a few days in the White House. He’s proved he can bring in big TV numbers with The Apprentice. He’s proved his mastery of social media. Will he grow his legion of supporters and and motivate them to amplify his messages on social media platforms going forward?

The takeaway for communicators: Social media gives audiences the ideal place to react to media coverage in real time on Facebook and Twitter. It’s your job to make sure that reaction is informed with your side of the story before a news story airs or before a single tweet is posted. Social media audiences continue growing unabated. Facebook and Twitter can no longer be an afterthought in your communication planning process.


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