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How Being President Has Changed Trump’s Tweeting Habits Politics

By Gemma Joyce on February 2nd 2017

President Donald Trump’s tweeting habits have arguably given more weight to 140 characters punched into a tiny keyboard than anyone before him.

Not only can he send stock prices tumbling, he can strike both fear and hope into a divided nation with just a few, sometimes clumsy, taps on his smartphone.

But has being President changed his tweeting habits? After all, he now has access to both his longrunning “personal” Twitter account (@realdonaldtrump) as well as the official Presidential account (@POTUS).

The Brandwatch React team decided to delve into the data on his use of the two accounts, and how people use them to address him.

While @POTUS tweets are generally penned by , Trump signs off his tweets as DJT. In this article we have examined tweets both signed off from Trump and not.

SAD!

While he appears to have refrained from his late night Twitter posts (generally remaining quiet between 1am and 6am), he has kept some of his tweeting habits from the campaign.

Trump is known for his use of capital letters and exclamation points on his personal account, but have his distinctive methods of literary emphasis been replicated on his new @POTUS Twitter account?

Well, yes and no.

We scanned his tweets on both accounts between Inauguration day (20th) and the 31st of January, not including the collection of tweets Barack Obama posted on the 20th when he still owned the @POTUS account.

This data includes retweets, and ‘CAPS’ data excludes abbreviations (we included phrases like “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN” and “TRAITOR” but excluded “GOP”, “#MAGA”, “SCOTUS” etc.).

His volume and percentage of tweets including exclamation points and capitalized words was much higher on his original account, though many of the instances on his @POTUS account came from retweeting his personal tweets from @realdonaldtrump.

trump tweeting habits

F. Scott Fitzgerald once said “an exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.” Meanwhile, Earnest Hemingway’s Pullitzer winning book ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ used just one exclamation point.

11 days into being President, Donald Trump had tweeted 70 of them (mostly from @realdonaldtrump).

In one case, Trump actually deleted a tweet he had posted in order to add capital letters and switch his exclamation point positioning.

Here were two tweets we recorded, authored by @realdonaldtrump on 24th January.

trump tweeting habits

The bottom tweet is no longer available but the top one remains (at the time of writing).

Retweeting yourself = repeating yourself?

Based on tweets between 20th and 31st Jan, @realdonaldtrump is far less likely than @POTUS to retweet another account, with just one recorded retweet by @realdonaldtrump in the period we measured.

His @POTUS account has retweeted a selection of accounts, but his favorite account to retweet is @realdonaldtrump.

We ran @POTUS tweets through wordcounter.com to identify the top mentioned words, finding RT and @realdonaldtrump were the most common.

Word Frequency
rt 45
@realdonaldtrump 34
gorsuch 9
#scotus 9
supreme 8
@vp 8

 

While the President is a fan of retweeting himself, he may not necessarily be repeating himself to his different sets of followers.

At the time of writing, @POTUS has 14.8 million followers while @realdonaldtrump has 23.3 million. Within those followers, there are sure to be plenty who follow one but not the other.

Different conversations

@POTUS tweets slightly more than @realdonaldtrump, but seems to be gaining around a 50/50 split in volume of @ mentions for each account.

We were keen to see how people interacted with the two accounts and studied a 10% sample of mentions of each between 25th and 31st January.

We were slightly surprised to find more people tweeting #MAGA or “Make America Great Again” while @ mentioning @POTUS as opposed to @realdonaldtrump, since @POTUS is a newer account for Trump that you might not expect to attract so many pro-Trump hashtags.

(The following volumes have not been scaled up to a 100% estimate based on sample)

Account @ mentioned Frequency of #MAGA messages
@POTUS 13,998
@realdonaldtrump 6,354

Of course, not all people who tweet #MAGA are fans of Trump, but it could be an interesting indicator to keep an eye on which account is getting more support.

Looking at the top mentioned words and phrases directed at each account there was no obvious difference; in both cases we found mentions of his policies and people associated with him.

Four years of data to collect

Trump’s Twitter presence is a controversial but fascinating part of his Presidency. It looks like our blog will have plenty of political data to cover over the next four years.

Are you a journalist looking to cover our data? We have plenty more. Email us at react@brandwatch.com for more information.


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Gemma Joyce

@GLJoyce

Gemma is the social data journalist heading up Brandwatch React. As well as being first with pop culture news, Gemma loves pizza, politics, and Angry Birds.