Donald Trump’s election campaign included an important digital asset: an army of Twitter followers.
Not only did his millions of followers promote candidate Trump’s tweets, they developed a digital media strategy similar to professional groups.
Trump’s election success, coupled with his Twitter reach, has produced a new type of digital media entity focused on supporting “America First” political candidates.
One such “agency,” if we can call it that, is run by Robert Shelton and Anita White.
Named @RobertRooms, the for-profit company touts a reach of 10 million+ followers. Services include in-house graphics creation, in-house video production and social media strategies.
While the @RobertRooms Twitter handle only has an estimated 18,000 followers, the group claims to run various invite-only Twitter rooms and private message groups. They are used to coordinate messaging and creative on Twitter and other platforms.
“The power of Social Media is unprecedented,” reads its media kit. “Social Media was responsible for 25% of President Trump’s win, and no one at headquarters ever gave input to @RobertsRooms. We stand on the belief that Donald J. Trump won the Presidency because of our developed system and efforts. Simply put, we contributed substantially to push him over the top.”
@RobertRooms claims three victories to date: Donald Trump's presidency; Greg Gianforte's win in the Montana special Congressional election; and Karen Handel's win in Georgia’s special election.
According to Politico, a number of candidates are in talks with Sheldon and White about their paid services.
“When they approached us, it was, 'Let us show you what we can do. Then we’ll talk about pricing,' ” Angel Rivera, a gubernatorial candidate in Florida, told Politico. Riviera added that in a test run, he gained an estimated 10,000 followers, with millions of views on his campaign's social-media posts.
However, there is skepticism about whether these pay-to-tweet services are quantifiable and worth hard dollars. In essence, what @RobertRooms does is drive social media engagement. That can be done effectively with the right message — and without a paid agency.
Conversely, the ability to mobilize thousands of Twitter users and reach millions of potential voters can translate into real value, as the Clinton campaign learned during the 2016 election.