5 Ways to Tweet Like Donald Trump

How to tweet like Donald Trump and get 20m+ followers

You can say a lot about the Donald, but one thing you have to give him credit for and that’s how he handles Twitter. The way he presents himself on this social media platform is both unique and fascinating. His use of language is remarkable, simplistic and effective. We’re not far from his inauguration, and I thought it might be time for me to analyze how the soon to be President of the Free World expresses himself on Twitter:

I scraped over 3,000 Tweets from the @realdDonaldTrump Twitter account with TwitterSearch, a Python library. (Hit me up on Twitter if you want your hands on the code.)

1. Focus on feelings, AND SHOUT A LOT!!!

Trump is master when it comes to using his speech in order to stir up a mass. But he does it very intelligently. In all his Tweets (as of 12th of January 2017), I found that he used the words “thank (you)” about 500 times — this phrase ends up in his Top 10 most used expressions. Is he very grateful towards others? Yes, sounds like it. But when we look closer, we see that for almost every Tweet, that contains a gratitude, he finds a way to pivot the message towards himself.

Another strategy of mister Trump is to write as of you’re in a pub and you’re chatting with your mates. The most effective way of reaching an audience is to SHOUT your message — the loudest people rule the world (soon to be taken very literal). This technique is very smart and he applies it in about 60% of his Tweets, even more if you take out the Tweets he retweets. He loves to use an exclamation mark! A rule of thumb if you want to be successful on Twitter is to be as unpolished in your writing as possible.

2. Have others tweet for you on your behalf (and post a lot)

Just over 43% of Tweets are sent from an Android device — Trump’s personal Samsung Galaxy. These are the messages he posts himself. About 47% come from Twitter for iOS, according to analysts these are written by his “handler.” I think that’s almost certainly true, because these messages often contain official announcements (condolences for example) or refer to Donald Trump in third person. These are the topics he lets others tweet about so he can focus on being blunt and aggressive. His official Digital Director is Brad Parscale, and most likely the one who tweets on behalf of Donald.

3. Make use of links

Referring people to something newsworthy by using a link is a well used strategy of Trump’s digital team. They only have to instruct Donald to also do this. Seventy-three percent of Tweets sent by his team contain a link. Taking only Trump’s Tweets into isolation, we see that just 6% have a URL. Some social media experts found that engagement rates, a measure of how many people who see your Tweet interact with it, go up if you use links in your Tweets. If his digital team has a KPI dashboard they will also see that of the tweets he sends out personally he only gets about 5.8k Retweets on average, whilst his team receives 8.6k. Room for improvement Donald!

4. Pick a clear enemy (or a topic)

Crooked Hillary. He uses this phrase in 248 Tweets (in my dataset). His best Tweets in terms of Retweet rate. On average he receives 21% more RTs than any of his non-Crooked Hillary Tweets. Key takeaway: focus on one topic.

His best tweet in terms of RT’s. KUTGW

5. Add sentiment to your message

One of the things Donald Trump has mastered on Twitter is emotional framing in his messages. I did a quick sentiment analysis with Textblob, a lightweight Python library for text processing, and I found that almost half of his Tweets are filled with emotion. The majority of these Tweets are critical, or negative in tone. You don’t have to be a linguist to see how Trump creates this framework of sentiment around his messages. He almost always concludes his Tweets with two or three, often all in uppercase, words that set the tone of his message. What Trump does on Twitter has more resemblances with speech than with actual writing. That’s his main secret.

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