Social Media

Trump and POTUS have less in common when it comes to Twitter

Donald Trump, Tweeter-in-Chief
Getty Images

Donald Trump's favorite medium to get his message out is revealing interesting insights about what kind of president he might be, said social media marketing platform Spredfast.

While the president-elect may be the first commander in chief to be so candid on Twitter, he isn't the first president to use new media to get a message to the public. For Ronald Reagan it was television; for Franklin D. Roosevelt it was fireside chats on the radio.

"This isn't the first time presidents have used the media directly," said Rod Favaron, CEO of Spredfast. "This is the first time it's an always-on technology."

It seems Trump will have a larger audience to speak to than his predecessor. The president-elect's Twitter account currently has 4.9 million more followers than the official @POTUS account. When it comes to account followers who are daily active users, he still comes out ahead by 500,000, Spredfast reported.

The company also found only 25 percent of their followers follow both accounts. This could provide Trump with a unique opportunity to speak to users who never paid attention to @POTUS before.

The White House said @POTUS will be cleared of all previous tweets and available for Trump to use on Jan. 20, while all of President Barack Obama's tweets will be preserved on @POTUS44. The National Archives and Records Administration will archive Obama's tweets with other presidential records. The same procedure will be followed for all official Obama administration official handles. A representative for Trump did not respond to a request for comment if he would take over the @POTUS account.

Trump became known for his bombastic unfiltered tweeting style, which helped him connect with voters this past election. In some ways, it mimicked the current marketer trend to find more authentic voices online to connect with consumers.

Already by tweeting about things like the "more than $4 billion" Air Force One contract with Boeing, Trump was able to impact stock prices and sway public opinion in a way other presidents have not employed, Favaron pointed out. (Boeing said in statement the current contract was for $170 million.)

"He's certainly the first president who is a natural sharer," he said. "I think he's like a 70-year-old millennial."

Trump's also mastered the ability to use Twitter to deflect the conversation from controversial topics involving his name, Favaron said. Trump tweeted about "Hamilton" the day after he settled the Trump University fraud lawsuit, and tweeted about "Saturday Night Live" the day after a New York Times article about a conflict of interest with Indian business leaders started gaming steam, Spredfast noted.

In both cases, he was able to successfully change the main topic of conversation associated with him online, the company said. His tweets around flag burning also shifted the conversation to that topic from critical reports of his choice of Steve Bannon for senior counselor and chief White House strategist.

However, he's definitely slowed his tweeting down. During the campaign, Trump averaged 33 tweets a day. This December, he was down to five.

"The bigger you become, the more conservative you have to be because of more risk of saying something inappropriate," Favaron said. "Will he get filtered?"