The current President is using Twitter more than any of his predecessors, but do companies and industries actually need to be worried?
President Trump is using Twitter more than any of his predecessors, both during the campaign and now from the White House. Companies are hiring expensive firms and gaming different scenarios in the event that one of the President’s tweets criticizes them, but how at risk is your company? Data analysis from the three months before and after election night reveals a series of insights useful for government affairs professionals, corporate leaders, and industry associations to understand their level of risk and potential opportunity.
Companies are right to show concern—President Trump has been tweeting about companies more frequently than Candidate Trump. In the three months leading up to the election, when his focus was on Hillary Clinton and other campaign targets, he only tweeted about companies or industries twice.
However, the tweets are generally more positive in nature than negative. 21 of the tweets were positive or congratulatory in nature, while only 8 were negative or hostile. 4 tweets were neutral (no overt stance directed at the company or companies), 2 of which came from the official @POTUS Twitter handle.
Immediately following the election, the majority of positive tweets were related to: (1) keeping jobs in the United States; (2) creating jobs in the United States (particularly domestic manufacturing jobs); or (3) meetings directly with CEOs (all prior to the fall-out of the CEO-led White councils).
Regardless of the topic, one trend emerged—the key to receiving praise from President Trump on Twitter was giving him direct credit for the keeping/growing domestic jobs or having a high-powered meeting with an executive.
That said, most organizations have been planning for the negative outcome—a Tweet criticising an organization or individual connected to the organization. Despite the potential ramifications, either real or perceived, most organizations are likely at low risk for being tweeted about.
Negative tweets tend to fall into three categories that closely map to positions and behaviors originating on the campaign trail: (1) eliminating or moving US jobs (in direct juxtaposition to the cause of positive mentions); (2) excessive government spending; and (3) personal or political offenses. Unless your organization has currently, or has near-term plans, to appear on the President’s radar for one of these reasons then you are likely not at immediate risk.