The potential power of social media platforms such as Twitter could not have been more obvious in 2016 as Trump successfully utilised the medium to rally populist support behind his presidential campaign. Trump showed that Twitter can be a hugely effective strategy for mobilising an alienated electorate. However, having successfully helped place him in the highest office in the Western World - his social media presence now has observers worried that this image of “the man who can move markets with his Twitter page” could ultimately derail him as his personal opinions become visibly and increasingly disconnected to that of his party.
The dangers of this disconnected and casual approach to social media strategy were shown in a nutshell last week by Purplebricks, the next generation estate agency, as they experienced the surprising power of a social media mishap on a listed company.
Having nonchalantly celebrated January being a “record-breaking month for valuations & instructions” on Thursday, on the back of its soaring share price the company had to issue an RNS on Friday stating that it “notes the recent strong increase in the share price and confirms that it is not aware of any reason for the movement.”
This was followed by a further RNS this morning emphasising that “the Board confirms that, as expected with the start to the calendar year, the Company has seen record monthly valuations and instructions activity in January (as mentioned in a tweet by the Company on 26 January).” As interesting as it is that something can escalate so quickly from a blasé comment made in under 140 characters, it is worth taking heed of the potential positive and negative impacts of social media’s place within a communications strategy.