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Twitter is Trending, Again

Marketing on Twitter is making a comebackat least in the short run. Social media platforms normally don’t have 70-year-old white men to thank for increasing their popularity, but President Donald Trump’s outbursts on Twitter have sparked a number of Twitter-related headlines in major news outlets. And, like any good reality TV show, viewers tweeters are tuning in logging in to watch.

GM, Boeing, and New Balance are just a few of the companies that have been in the news after being attacked in less than 140-characters by Trump in recent months (sad!), but some accounts have realized they can win their own headlines by throwing shade back at the administration. Just this week, Dippin’ Dots invited Sean Spicer and the White House to an ice cream social in response to a years-long one-sided Twitter war Spicer initiated, and the Badlands National Park Twitter account “went rogue” by supporting the theory of climate change.

Twitter poses new risks to brands, their stocks included, as long as our new President’s thumb is poised over the send button. That being said, with careful execution, companies and organizations may have found a new opportunity to amplify their reach and increase brand recognition. In the three days after Dippin’ Dots tweeted to Spicer and the White House, there were 811 traditional news mentions of Dippin’ Dots. In the entire month before the tweet, there were 118 traditional news mentions total. All because of 111 characters.

But despite Trump’s Twitter takeover, you don’t have to go political to get trending. Wendy’s frosty Twitter responses show that you can respond to your critics and control the narrative at the same time. The freshness of their beef isn’t in question right now because their Twitter account is the story.

However, companies looking to tweet their way into headlines without a political angle need to be mindful of the news landscape. An unpredictable president creates unpredictable media coverage and brands looking to get noticed, especially in the next 100 days, will likely find themselves lost in a flurry of political headlines as Trump’s administration makes its first moves.

Of course, not every clever Twitter campaign will go viral, but smart companies and organizations will be exploring opportunities to increase brand awareness using social media. Examples like Dippin’ Dots and Wendy’s show us that a well-executed Twitter campaign can go further than increasing numbers of followers and engagements—it can also lead to earned media hits in top-tier outlets. It’s important to remember that that the power of social is broader than a single channel, and therefore needs to be integrated into the overall communications strategy.

What Twitter makes of this surge in popularity is anyone’s guess. Getting media attention by tweeting for free is great for a company’s advertising budget, but not so much for Twitter’s troubled bottom line. Both Trump’s legacy and how Twitter can profit off of it remain to be seen, but when it comes to digital marketing it is clear our president has Made Twitter Great Again.

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