The @POTUS Twitter account is the best gift President Trump will leave Biden

By Jim James,

Founder EASTWEST PR and Host of the SPEAK|pr Podcast

CNN has reported that the @POTUS Twitter account meant for the President of the United States is going to be returned to the White House and transferred to Joe Biden’s team on the day of inauguration, which means that Donald Trump, who has used the that account quite potently, will lose that as a central part of his communications program. Then again, he also has the @realDonaldTrump as a Twitter handle. 

Making money from tweets

Photo from Adweek

A report by PCMag says that a Twitter follower is worth over $2.50 per month. Imbue Marketing created an infographic that reveals just how much a brand can benefit from a follow, like, or tweet. This is because Twitter and engagement with social media can impact the relationship an individual has with a company or brand, as it gives an indication of their buying intent. 47% of people that are following a brand’s social media account are more inclined to purchase a product if there’s a connection on social media. Another 13% will apparently most likely purchase products if they are following the brand. The question is, which comes first? Do they declare an intent to purchase before they follow, or do they follow and then have an intent to purchase? Either way, for a brand that has Twitter followers, 60% could be interested in purchasing from the company if they’re following it, which is why a Twitter follower could be worth real cash, also because there are dollars available in it as well. 

Twitter has its own advertising program, so people can promote their own tweets. Advertisers use this in the same way that one can have sponsored posts on WeChat in China. There are also some influencer marketing platforms such as Hyper and TapInfluence, and they provide a marketplace where, if you meet their criteria, they’ll add you to their database, much like an agency would for a model or influencer. 

Before you get too excited by this, Twitter engagement rates are pretty low. In fact, the average Twitter engagement rate is actually between 0.5%-1%.Twitter engagement is defined as likes, retweets, replies, mentions, follows, profile clicks, and any other action that someone takes in relationship to your Twitter. However, it is possible to be on Twitter and curating content only, like what Kris Sanchez does. He has become popular just from sharing facts on @UberFacts that his account is now worth $500,000 a year.

Popular Twitter accounts and their engagement rates 

Photo from BBC

Back to @POTUS, Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and his team have decided that the @POTUS account belongs to whoever is the President, and so Donald Trump will be passing it on to Joe Biden. The @POTUS account has 33 million followers, 0 favourites, 10,951 tweets, and 457,122 retweets with an engagement rate of 0.07%. The estimated earnings per post according to this calculator from Influencer Marketing is $246,521-$410,869 per post. For @FLOTUS or the First Lady of the United States, Melania Trump has 16 million followers, 822,392 favourites, 1,299 tweets, 223,984 retweets, an engagement level of 0.33%, and could be earning $201,175 per post. While she does not earn as much per post, her engagement rate is 4-5 times higher than that of the @POTUS account. The @realDonaldTrump account has 89 million followers, 2 million favourites, 58,583 tweets, and 562,407 retweets, but his engagement rate is less than half of @FLOTUS at 0.14%. He’s above average, but still well below Melania Trump, and his estimated earnings per post are up to $1 million. The most popular Twitter account on the internet is @BarackObama, and his tweets could be making between $933,239 to $2 million per post. Clearly, there’s an amazing opportunity to be making money just on Twitter.

@10DowningStreet, which belongs to the Prime Minister of the UK, has 6 million followers, 7,199 favourites, 15,888 tweets, 3,963 retweets, and an engagement level of 0.01%, which is pretty much negligible. The estimated earnings per post is $73,000, possibly owing to the fact that the account has a lot of followers, despite the low engagement. At the other end of the scale, Mercedes race car driver Lewis Hamilton has 6 million followers, 1 million favourites, only 934 tweets, but 94,598 retweets, and an engagement level of 0.94%. He has pretty massive engagement, and he could be earning up to $75,769 just by tweeting. @eastwestpr has an engagement rate of 0.03% and could be earning $8.75 per tweet, and while the engagement is not that great, it’s actually higher than @10DowningStreet. 

This goes to show that the value of Twitter and what you’re sharing could actually be a business in itself. If you become the new president of the United States, you’re actually inheriting a very valuable source of information. But also, if you’re inheriting an organisation that sells goods and services, if your social media helps increase the likelihood of someone buying from you by up to 60%, not only have you got a platform that could be generating real income since your following is worth money, but it could also be translating into real cash, because if you use the social media as part of your funnel, then that is a great lead magnet.

This conversation is inspired by the CNN news that the @POTUS account will go to the incoming President Joe Biden in January on his inauguration and that will leave Donald Trump earning up to a million dollars per post, which is still not bad, especially when he has tweeted 58,593 times. It could even be the most profitable part of his business empire. This is some food for thought about your Twitter account and your social engagement not just as part of publicity, but as part of building customer loyalty, interest, and brand engagement. Tweets themselves have got value, and more so in terms of the way they fulfil the brand promise and generate customer and sales leads. So if you’re tweeting, think about what those tweets could be worth.

This article is based on a transcript from my Podcast SPEAK|pr, you can listen here.

Cover Photo from Rappler

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