Just when everyone in the world never thought it would happen, it happened. In a year when a country mourned the death of a gorilla, repeatedly cracked jokes at a self-made billionaire and continued to preach the improbable outcome that such a candidate could ever become the 45th President of the United States, Donald John Trump has pulled off the most shocking upset in American politics.
This isn't about which candidate you voted for or what your political beliefs are. This isn't about the deficiencies of both Hillary Clinton or Trump—there were plenty. This is about a man who, according to Bloomberg, raised nearly half as much as his candidate and repeatedly sent the message that he could make America great again.
So what was Trump's media strategy? Social media—and every single one of his 13.2 million Twitter followers, and plenty more, bought into it.
For those who paid attention throughout this election process, Trump's outlandish personality won over those who rely on social media for entertainment. He maneuvered his way to get his points across in 140 short characters, taking aim at anyone who opposed his beliefs and, quite spectacularly, understanding that people have a short memory. What better place than Twitter to express his opinions and have them sink to the bottom of his feed just hours later? It really was ingenious.
When analyzing the role that social media played in this election, sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and to a lesser extent Periscope, gave Trump a platform that past Presidential candidates never had the luxury of utilizing. Of course, he—as well as Clinton—often played the cyber bully, disrespecting his candidate, while successfully convincing the nation that his misfortunes and questionable past were less of a concern than hers. But many believed that that was Trump the entertainer, not Trump the Presidential candidate.
And boy were we all entertained.
In an age when the majority of the United States shows a guilty pleasure for things like the Kardashian-Jenner family, spend time analyzing sub-tweets and all find satisfaction in someone "Liking" one of their personal opinions, America's next President proved to be better than anyone else utilizing that system—and it took him all the way to The White House.
While mainstream media outlets continued to denounce the seriousness of Trump's candidacy, it was his social presence that stuck a dagger in all those who repeatedly cast him as the underdog. What Donald Trump was capable of pulling off tonight is simply incredible. His legacy to many Americans has long been the guy from The Apprentice, and whether it was that recognition, popularity, familiarity or otherwise, it proved to be his biggest strength.
Trump, who is, arguably, the most unique social media presence on the planet, just captured The White House with no political or military background—a first. He posted quick, office-based videos on Instagram in place of traditional campaign ads on television—a first. He used Periscope to stream weekly Q&A sessions—a first. He was available to supporters, haters and those who were indifferent, and it was that accessibility that may have single-handedly won him the undecided votes, because, quite frankly, he made himself to be more likable than Hillary Clinton.
While we often preach the phrase, "Think before you post," to athletes, entertainers and everyday people, stressing the consequential negativity that may incur, Donald Trump never once thought before he posted. He was blunt, brash, bothersome and bullying. Yet , here America is, ready to announce him as it's next President—The Social Media President—a first for anyone who will reside at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.