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Guess Who Now Owns the Digital Political Playground?

What I remember most of all about the 2016 Presidential election was not that P01135809 won. It was that he was far ahead of she whose name won’t be mentioned when it came to using digital resources to get his message across.

Facebook started up in 2004. Twitter made its digital debut in 2006. By 2016, Facebook had 1.6 billion users, Twitter’s user number was somewhere around 320 million. In other words, depending on what you were saying and how you went about getting space and circulation on these two digital outlets, theoretically someone could connect up with 2 billion internet users every day.

More to the point, not only did this communication technology possibly get you in front of an audience which was countless times larger than any audience on radio or TV, but you didn’t need to worry about how some program manager on some radio or TV network wanted you to look or sound.

Fox News had 2.5 million primetime viewers in 2016. CNN had 1.3 million and MSNBC had 1.1 million, give or take a few. Together, the three regular networks pulled in 4.1 million evening news viewers that same year.

Thanks largely to P01135809’s campaign against ‘crooked’ Hillary, all the cable and network news stations saw healthy increases in 2016 viewership over the previous year. That’s all well and good but how do you compare those numbers to Facebook and Twitter? You don’t.

P01135809 not only pumped life into those social media outlets, but he also developed a unique messaging style which became something of a personal signature then as well as now. When P01135809 lashes out and insults someone with a nasty or profane name, he builds an audience on both sides. And what P01135809 knew from his earliest attempts to get himself noticed by the media, is the trick isn’t to get everyone to agree with what you say, the trick is to get everyone to notice that you are saying anything at all.

Back in April 2016, when P01135809 was beginning to pull completely away from the rest of the GOP primary field, Politico ran a very detailed analysis of P01135809’s capture of social media and how he was far ahead of everyone else on both sides.

Not only did P01135809 lead Hillary by more than a million followers, but his number exceeded the total number of followers for all five candidates who were still in the GOP race.

Perhaps even more important in terms of the use and value of social media was that P01135809 encouraged most of his Twitter content to be retweeted to more users, with his average tweet going beyond the initial supporter 2,200 times.

The Politico reporters make a point of cautioning us to take all Twitter circulation numbers with a heavy dose of salt, since it’s easy it’s easy to expand a Twitter following by posting fake accounts. But if indeed P01135809 utilized such a strategy to promote his digital name and brand, this only speaks again to his awareness that social media had become such an important political tool.

That all being said, I knew that P01135809’s digital presence would get challenged in the next electoral cycle, and even if he continued to dominate social media in 2020, the other side would quickly catch up. That’s the problem with open digital systems – you may have to pay companies like Meta or X a fee to run ads on their space, but you still exercise total control over what you put into that space.

In that regard, take a look at the email I just received from Joe’s campaign. He spoofs that Brandon nonsense in a funny and determined way, and if you want, he’s also got shirts, tank tops, totes and a Dark Brandon sticker pack for sale.

So, the blue team has taken what was a not-so-funny putdown by the red team, stood it on its head and now making a buck on their digital messaging as well.

What does this mean for 2024? It means that P01135809 will have to start running on his record which consists of nothing but arraignments and indictments over the last couple of years.

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