Love him or not (and a lot of people feel strongly one way or the other), you can’t deny that Donald Trump used Twitter (TWTR) during his campaign unlike any politician in history. And there’s no arguing that he has a very large personality.
According to the incoming White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, the president-elect will continue spouting those 140 characters during his presidency.
“I think that his use of social media in particular … is going to be something that’s never been seen before. He has this direct pipeline to the American people … And I think that allows him to add an element of a conversation that has never occurred. He can put his thoughts out and hear what they’re thinking in a way that no one’s ever been able to do before.”
On Oct. 25, we told you why we expect Washington’s PR machine will play a bigger role in the next administration. In that post, we called the presidential campaign the War of the Tweets.
At that time, Trump had racked up more than 12 million followers since he joined in March 2009.
Where does he stand now on the Twittersphere scale?
As of this writing, over 18 million eagerly wait for Trump’s next message.
Source: Twitter Counter
His tweetin’ hasn’t slowed down since Nov. 8 … the daily average is four. At the same time, he’s attracting 74,000 new followers each day.
Twitter predicts that at that rate, @realDonaldTrump will have almost 25 million followers in the next three months … and over 45 million in one year!
Could that explain why Trump’s favorability has risen, too? Hard to tell. But a recent poll found that 51% of U.S. voters have a favorable opinion of him, while 47% view him unfavorably.
Indeed, that’s an improvement from the negative image he had last January when Gallup posted that only 33% of Americans viewed the GOP front-runner favorably and 60% unfavorably.
Where will all that tweetin’ lead us?
Media pundits are sorting that one out.
However, there are experts who are concerned that some of Trump’s tweets could be taken the wrong way … even threaten our nation’s security.
For instance, it took the Department of Defense one year to compile its 64-page Nuclear Posture Review Report on our nation’s nuclear weapons policy. Trump summed it up with one tweet:
Analysts are asking, does that mean:
Developing faster or more-powerful delivery systems, like cruise missiles?
The world must accept America as the primary nuclear power?
The U.S. will match any Russian upgrade?
Or something else?
As Trump, his supporters, and his detractors continue tweetin’ as fast as they can over the next four years, how can you profit?
First, let’s look at Twitter (TWTR) …
Twitter was frozen out of the president-elect’s summit with other major tech players that included Apple’s Tim Cook, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, and Tesla’s Elon Musk.
The reason …
Top management refused to bend to Trump’s request to allow an emoji version of the hashtag #CrookedHillary. It would have shown small bags of money being given away or stolen.
Trump’s director of digital advertising, Gary Coby, responded,
“We told them it was BS and what they were doing with a public platform was incredibly reckless and dangerous.”
Even with all of that, Trump’s favorite bully pulpit could be worth a close look. TWTR shares are going for around $16.60 and on the upswing from the 52-week low of $13.73 back in May.
Facebook (FB) could benefit from Trump’s words of wit, too. This summer he had fewer than 10 million fans. Now he has more than 16 million who see him as a voice of reason. That comes out to 25,000 new followers per day!
More followers = more potential revenue for Facebook.
Facebook also owns Instagram, where our incoming president has 4.5 million followers.
“The authenticity of a tweet or Facebook post, whether by a citizen or lawmaker, has the inescapable power to change minds.”
Where else is Trump telling his story?
In September, Trump turned to Snapchat with a debate-day advertisement that called his rival “Crooked Hillary.” Result: 80 million views.
You can’t buy shares of Snapchat … yet. The company is preparing for a March IPO that may value the popular messaging platform at as much as $25 billion, a major step toward what would be one of the highest-profile stock debuts in recent years.
However, it’s likely that Snapchat will be included in the Global X Social Media Index (SOCL) and the Sprott Buzz Social Media Insights ETF (BUZ). These ETFs are designed to give investors exposure to the Facebooks, Twitters and other buzz-worthy social media-focused stocks of our time.
Another way to play IPOs without buying their stocks directly is to invest in IPO-focused ETFs like the First Trust U.S. IPO Index Fund (FPX) or the Renaissance IPO ETF (IPO), which our favorite ETF expert Grant Wasylik wrote about recently over at our sister newsletter Uncommon Wisdom Daily.
As you can see, the potential for social media stocks to skyrocket with Trump at the keyboard 24/7 is huge.
But if TWTR, FB, and others like them aren’t your cup of tea, don’t cast their platforms aside …
… because they can give you a terrific way to get a message to your elected officials in Washington!
A survey by the Congressional Management Foundation found that 76% of the congressional staff who participated said social media allowed their offices to have more meaningful interactions with constituents.
Bradford Fitch, a co-author of the report, said:
“The authenticity of a tweet or Facebook post, whether by a citizen or lawmaker, has the inescapable power to change minds. It opens a window into the perceptions and motivations of how social media influences public policy decisions on Capitol Hill.”
The survey also found that 70% said platforms like Twitter and Facebook made their house member or senator “more accountable” to the people they are representing while in Washington.
And no one can deny that more accountability is sorely needed in Washington.
Consider what just happened this week …
The 115th Congress convened Tuesday morning on Capitol Hill. But before that, on Monday night, the House Republican Conference voted to weaken the Congressional Ethics Office’s power — and to move this independent body under the House Ethics Committee.
In other words, the group wanted to put lawmakers in charge of the Office — which was created to keep an eye on lawmakers in the first place.
This move was part of a broader package that the full body would vote on after it elected a speaker. (Paul Ryan was re-elected as House Speaker yesterday.)
The news swept traditional and social media channels. And as a result, the Congressional switchboard lit up and so did many senators’ and representatives’ social-media feeds. Ultimately, the House Republicans called an emergency meeting to reverse the change. And the Congressional Ethics Office, for now at least, remains an independent body.
Whether it was the reported flood of calls, tweets and posts that alerted congressional staffers’ offices that their constituents were unhappy, one thing is clear. They are working for you, and they have to listen to you. So be sure you know how to easily find your representative and contact your senators so that you can make your voice heard, every time they need to hear it.
The Sound Dollar Campaign