How to Turn Trump’s Twitter Account Against Him In 10 Seconds or Less

(And gain a lot of Twitter followers in the process.)

Our nation has been divided by cable TV and radio shows, by fake news, political propaganda and Facebook filter bubbles.

Everyone has their own group, their own contexts and their own set of facts. It’s easy to reach people in your own bubble, and very hard to reach people in a different bubble.

President elect Donald Trump has a rabid fan base that seems unreachable. The reason is that Trump has inoculated them against facts.

He’s done this by boosting the credibility of tabloid journalism, fake news, conspiracy theories and Russian dictators.

More astonishingly, he’s discredited (in the minds of his followers) our best newspapers, our best journalists, our best fact-checking organizations and even the institutions of media and fact-checking themselves.

So among Trump followers, the lunatic rantings of whack-job Alex Jones are true. Detailed reports, backed up by data and great sources are false.

In the Trump bubble, any report that benefits Trump is true. Any report that does not benefit Trump is false.

Meanwhile, Trump is bypassing the very institutions that would keep his lies in check by going straight to Twitter and speaking to the masses without challenge, filter or context.

And therein lies the opportunity for anyone who opposes Trump.

Trump’s fans, semi-fans, journalists, and even his staunch opposition read not only Trump’s tweets, but the first few dozen comments to those tweets.

I discovered this by accident.

I follow the president elect’s @RealDonaldTrump account on Twitter. I also use TweetBot on my desktop. So I see tweets instantly.

A few days ago, Trump tweeted this:

I responded by tweeting this as a reply:

I did it quickly, too. Within 10 seconds of his tweet.

That comment got more engagement than anything I’ve ever posted on Twitter. It got over 800,000 impressions and 24,000 engagements.

That means 800,000 people got my take on Trump’s tweet. Not bad!

Also, in the 24 hours after that comment, my Twitter following grew by more than 300 people.

Of course, after such tweets I get flooded with thousands of replies, many of them nasty, illiterate and hateful.

The bottom line is that the 10 seconds following any Trump tweet represents a rare window of opportunity to reach the people who are paying attention to Trump.

Think about that.

Here’s my guide to turning Trump’s own Twitter popularity against him, and gaining a few extra followers in the process:

* Use a Twitter streamer (like TweetBot) so you see Trump’s tweets instantly.

* The most effective comment is one directly related to Trump’s tweet that fact-checks or contextualizes what he is saying in a substantive and intelligent way.

* Block every abusive or trollish person who replies. (Trolls waste your time and aren’t your target audience anyway. Block them so you don’t have to hear from them next time.)

* Just keep doing this.

A quick note about blocking trolls: Look for the following characteristics that reveal somebody is a pro-Trump troll, hater or phony. Look for a fake or egg profile pic, a fake name, a tiny number of followers and giveaways like the use of “deplorable” in the name or general illiteracy.

Yes, Trump’s Twitter account is a megaphone that enables him to spread self-serving misinformation to everyone who’s paying attention to him.

But Trump’s Twitter account is also your megaphone to reach the same people.

Twitter immediacy is a sword that cuts both ways.