(Photo by Flickr user Gage Skidmore, used under a Creative Commons license)
With President Donald Trump having reached the 100-day mark in his time in office, there have been plenty of appraisals of his tenure thus far from political pundits. But Brooklyn-based digital agency Huge recently took an alternative approach toward its own evaluation of the president, as Adweek recently reported. President Trump’s formidable presence on Twitter is well known, so a team of analysts in Huge’s D.C. office decided to investigate the following question: how have his likes, replies, and retweets held up?
The answer, according to a post by Mike May, Huge’s vice-president of strategy: not so well.
Though President Trump has gained 8 million followers since assuming office, the average engagement per Trump tweet has fallen 66 percent. Huge’s analysts initially conjectured that the decline might be due to the president’s ardent opponents becoming weary of arguing with him on Twitter. But as it turns out, his support has also slacked off, at least in terms of people clicking the “like” button on his tweets.
May, in his post, suggests that the ultimate culprit might be a change in the president’s Twitter “voice.” Notably, there’s been a gradual decline in the number of pointed, aggressive tweets that have become his trademark. Accordingly, there’s been an increase in the number of blander, PR-style tweets — which are most likely written by his staff rather than the president himself. That shift may be a canny strategy to avert huge communications blunders (which, for the most part, have occurred offline rather than online), but it may be costing Trump in other ways, May wrote:
In social media, nothing alienates a core audience faster than an inauthentic voice. Watering down the president’s Twitter account with static and predictable prepared tweets has chipped away at its authenticity, giving its fans and followers license to look away. In effect, it turns down the volume on his Twitter account and saves staffers from potential damage control—at least during business hours.
Whether this altered timbre and its striking suppression of engagement is evidence of an internal power struggle or simply the growing pains of a brand in transition, the outcome is the same: the power of the president’s Twitter account to directly reach and engage his fans and other followers is waning.
The notion of authentic voice is quite applicable to companies and individual professionals alike, which makes this post worth a read.