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How to Use Social Media Like Donald Trump

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This week will be President Donald Trump’s first full week in office — and social media played a big role in getting him there.

According to a recent Forbes interview with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and one of his top campaign strategists,Twitter and Facebook, used in combination with a variety of monitoring and metrics tools, helped the Trump campaign effectively target supporters, scale successful outreach strategies quickly, and keep staffing, advertising and other costs to a minimum. In fact, Trump ran his campaign on just $647 million, the lowest total of any major party nominee since 2008 and much less than the $1.2 billion Hillary Clinton was able to bring in, according to the latest Federal Election Commission filings.

While most advisors aren’t planning on launching a multimillion-dollar presidential campaign anytime soon, Trump’s social strategy offers some important insights for the business world. The following tips can help advisors use social media more efficiently — and with better results:

Pay a little, get a lot. The Trump team took advantage of Facebook ads and sponsored posts to target distinct demographics with messages tailored to their interests and concerns. For example, Kushner spent $160,000 to promote a series of low-tech videos featuring Trump discussing policy issues; the videos earned more than 74 million views. This same viewership via traditional TV commercials would have cost millions.

It’s a strategy that can work for advisors, too. A recent study by Putnam found that Facebook ads and sponsored posts generate median asset gains of $1.6 million and $3 million, respectively, for advisors who report using them. And they don’t cost much; according to a recent study by AdEspresso, the average cost per click of Facebook ads in 2016 was just about 28 cents. The cost per 1,000 impressions was $7.19.

(Related: Facebook Launches Business-Focused Platform)

Fail fast, scale quickly. Traditional advertising often requires a lot of lead time to account for production needs and to accommodate the schedule of the TV/radio station or print publication. These ads also provide little data on how many people they reached and whether desired actions were taken. By contrast, social media campaigns can be conceived and executed in — often — a matter of minutes and also provide information on how many people were reached and whether they clicked through on any links provided.

As such, Trump’s social media focus allowed his team to roll out new messaging quickly and, depending on the result, promote it more widely or pull it before much money was wasted. The campaign sent more than 100,000 uniquely tweaked ads to targeted voters every day. The results? A ten-fold increase in the amount of merchandise the campaign was selling and $250 million raised in just four months, mostly from small donors.

Advisors would also be wise to take advantage of social media’s nimble nature. It’s easy to track the performance of free posts and then sponsor those that do well, allowing them to reach a wider audience. Many advisors could see a greater return on investment by simply shifting some of the money they’re spending on traditional advertising into the social sphere.

Partner effectively. The Trump campaign tapped into the Republican National Committee’s data machine and hired outside companies to track voter sentiment, monitor conversations around key topics, and identify messaging opportunities. The third-party help allowed them to not only keep their campaign staff smaller, but also boost the impact of their social media efforts.

(Related: When Trump Tweets, Investors Listen)

Similarly, for busy advisors, there are plenty of tools and platforms available to help make social media management easier and more effective. Identify the areas where you need the most help: Do you need a better way to schedule posts? The ability to manage multiple platforms from one place? A way to track conversations about your company or products? Then seek out options that fill those gaps.

This year’s election made it very clear that social media is incredibly effective when it comes to reaching the right people and inspiring action, whether you’re planning to land more clients or become the next president of the United States.

— Read 3 Powerful Benefits Financial Company CEOs Realize by Getting Social on ThinkAdvisor’s TechCenter. 


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