Why Trump Is a Twitter Genius

Donald Trump's savvy Twitter campaign is helping him win the presidential nomination.

Donald Trump has 6.51 million Twitter followers, up from 4.6 million in October. More people follow him than follow New Yorker magazine, BBC News, and the Washington Post, and he is rapidly approaching more followers than the official account of the President of the United States (@potus). His strategy for using the platform to push his political agenda, attack his opponents, and shape the conversation around his campaign is working and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon.


In an October 2015 article on Trump’s use of the medium, the New York Times recounts an interview with the would-be Republican nominee for president in which he “compared his Twitter feed to a newspaper with a single, glorious voice: his own.” In describing his presence on Twitter, Trump argues that it’s given him a voice to confront his rivals. “I have more power than they do. I can let people know that they were a fraud,” he told the Times. “I can let people know that they have no talent, that they didn’t know what they’re doing. You have a voice.”

Trump started his account in 2009 and up to this point has tweeted over 31,000 times. The New York Times reports that the most frequently used words in his tweets are: “great” (more than 700 times), “winner” or “winners” (43), and “loser” or “losers” (34). According to an examination of over 6,000 tweets from Trump’s account by the Washington Post, the 69-year-old billionaire:

  • Tweets, at minimum, 10 times a day. Some days he tweets more than 50 times.
  • Insults people. 11 percent of his tweets have been insults of or attacks on his opponents, the media, the Republican establishment and/or high-profile women.
  • Retweets praise, self-promotion, or a threat or an apology request to someone who wronged him.
  • “We’ve never seen this before in politics,” Mr. Berland, of marketing firm Edelman Berland said. “This is not just a rally that happens once in a while. This is a continuous Trump rally that happens on Twitter at all hours. He fills the Twitter stadium every day.”

    And who is he filling his Twitter stadium with? People like 53-year-old project manager Eric Popkin. “It’s like a sports team. If you are from New York, and you like the Jets or Giants and somebody is bad-mouthing your team, there is kind of knee-jerk reaction to defend them,” Mr. Popkin told the New York Times. “We have an emotional connection to him. It’s good old human nature.” Trump’s followers love his online twitter campaign. His tweets have been retweeted twice as much as Hillary Clinton’s.

    Like much of Trump’s political campaign, his social media strategy is proving effective, more so than his opponents. It’s hard to argue with six and half million followers, as so many of Trump’s political and social rivals have experienced. And to his credit, Trump has hit the mark with his messaging. His online campaign is resonating with a vast segment of the American population, one that likes vitriol, name-calling, and bullying. As one of his followers described him, Trump is “the Ernest Hemingway of a hundred and forty characters.” I’m not sure I’d go that far, but the self-styled defender of the common man certainly would like to think he is.

    How to vaccinate the world’s most vulnerable? Build global partnerships.

    Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.

    Susan Silbermann, Global President of Pfizer Vaccines, looks on as a health care worker administers a vaccine in Rwanda. Photo: Courtesy of Pfizer.
    • Community healthcare workers face many challenges in their work, including often traveling far distances to see their clients
    • Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
    • Pfizer partnered with AMP and the World Health Organization to develop a training program for healthcare workers.
    Keep reading Show less
    Sponsored

    Who believes fake news? Study identifies 3 groups of people

    Then again, maybe the study is fake news too.

    ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images
    Surprising Science
    • Recent research challenged study participants to pick real news headlines from fake ones.
    • The results showed that people prone to delusional thinking, religious fundamentalists, and dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.
    • What can you do to protect yourself and others from fake news?
    Keep reading Show less

    A new study says alcohol changes how the brain creates memories

    A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.

    Scott Barbour/Getty Images
    Mind & Brain
    • A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
    • This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
    • The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
    Keep reading Show less

    4 reasons why Apple, Facebook and other tech stocks are plunging

    The so-called FAANG companies have lost more than $700 billion in market value since October.

    (Photo credit should read BERTRAND GUAY/AFP/Getty Images)
    Politics & Current Affairs
    • The shares of major tech companies were performing exceptionally well earlier this year, but those gains got nearly erased on Monday.
    • Overvaluation, the U.S.-China trade war and recent privacy concerns surrounding tech companies are among the reasons for the drops.
    • Apple and Facebook have been hit the hardest in recent weeks, thanks in part to a few major reports from news outlets.
    Keep reading Show less