A Republican digital consultant has launched a website to deliver Donald Trump's tweets to subscribers' inboxes.
The service, dubbed simply Get Trump Tweets, highlights a looming challenge for digital consultants. Following the incoming president's Twitter feed will be a top priority as consultants chart digital strategy and messaging in the rapid-fire Trump era. Moreover, the website’s nascent popularity demonstrates that despite the growth in social media users, many people, even business executives and campaign practitioners, still prefer email as their top method of communication.
“It became apparent after the election that Trump was going to keep tweeting and it’s having real, tangible effects on publicly traded companies," said Ryan Cassin, CEO of Texas-based digital firm Beast Digital. “For those who don’t live on Twitter it would make a lot of sense for them to get those messages within a minute of him posting it.”
That’s the time it takes gettrumptweets.com to scrape the president-elect’s feed and get the results to subscribers in an email.
Cassin said his team developed the site “hackathon style” just recently and then started promoting it just through word of mouth. It now boasts a couple hundred users, according to Cassin, who said he may use the site down the road to highlight data from Trump’s twitter feed. He has no plans to monetize the service. “It’s purely a passion project,” he said.
Now, Twitter was expected to get a "Trump bump" from the Republican's win in November. But user growth continues to slow and unique visitors to the site fell 7 percent year over year in October and 5 percent in November, according to the Wall Street Journal, which cited research firm MoffettNathanson. In fact, those drops increased from September when there was a 3 percent decline.
This slowing comes as Trump has credited Twitter with helping him win a surprise victory over Hillary Clinton in November. “I think that social media has more power than the money they spent, and I think maybe to a certain extent I proved that,” Trump said in a post-election interview with “60 Minutes.”
He’s subsequently kept his account active during the transition and plans to continue using it after he’s sworn in. "Look, I don't like tweeting. I have other things I could be doing. But I get very dishonest media, very dishonest press. And it's my only way that I can counteract,” Trump told Fox News in an interview broadcast Wednesday.
Cassin agrees that Twitter is useful for elected officials, but warns it has limitations. “I think it’s still a great way to break news and a great way to interact, but it’s not part of everyday internet life for a lot of users.”
Still, he said some candidates can take a lesson from Trump’s feed, particularly its authentic voice. “His attitude, his approach, his language on Twitter, it’s exactly what you get from him at a press conference or a rally and I think that’s to his advantage,” Cassin said. “Fundamentally you have to be true to yourself and that takes some work.
People should not try to create an internet persona. That’s a little bit outmoded.”