The Most Important Twitter Lessons Trump Should Learn From Obama

Photo: Dennis Van Tine/AP Images.
Seeing a president or presidential candidate take to Twitter is a relatively new phenomenon. After all, the social media platform was only founded in March 2006, just a little under a year before Barack Obama announced he would run for president of the United States.

Throughout his eight years in office, Obama established himself as the first social media president, showcasing his dad jokes on Twitter and posting sweet photos with Michelle on Instagram. In a few days, we will not only see the official transfer of power as President-Elect Donald Trump takes the oath of office, but also a transfer of Twitter accounts as @realDonaldTrump will become @POTUS.

Whether or not you supported all of Obama's policies, it's hard to deny that he established a strong precedent for all future presidents on Twitter. In 140 characters or less, he consistently spoke with dignity, grace, and humor. His tweets, even ones that advocated for specific policies, used words meant to unify, rather than divide, the nation.

Trump, on the other hand, has been called the "Cyberbully in Chief," a title based on his habit of using Twitter to attack others, defend himself, and disrespect anyone who disagrees with a word he says, whether it's a Hollywood actress or political pundit. "A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons," Hillary Clinton repeatedly said throughout her campaign. She might have lost, but her point remains valid. A president's actions on Twitter can speak volumes and, in our new digital world, take on even greater significance.

With this in mind, here are a few Twitter lessons @realDonaldTrump can and should take from the current @POTUS if he wants to change widespread public opinion and bring the nation together. If not, well, we're in for an interesting four years.
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Prepare A Tweet In The Same Way You Might Prepare For A State Of The Union Address

Instead of impulsively firing off an attack at an opponent, choose your words carefully. Obama's tweets are well-crafted, present both sides of an issue, and feel like thought-out statements, rather than petty arguments.
Photo: via @POTUS.

Double Check Someone's Handle Before You Tag Them

All it takes is a simple Google search. Luckily, this wrongfully tagged Ivanka took the tweet from the President-elect in stride. He may not be so fortunate next time.
Photo: via @ivanka.

Make Your Point In 140 Characters Or Less

If you follow Trump's Twitter account, you know he loves using ellipses when calling out an individual, media organization, or other opponent. Voicing your opinion succinctly in one tweet is more powerful — and presidential — than a rambling address.
Photo: via @POTUS.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.

Be An Advocate For Women

Obama consistently spoke of his admiration for women and his belief in equality for all. President-elect Trump has consistently used Twitter to demean women for their looks.
Photo: via @POTUS.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.

Use Powerful Words For Emphasis, Not Exclamation Points And Capital Letters

Actions speak louder than words, but words are more effective when they aren't in ALL CAPS and accompanied by multiple exclamation points!!!
Photo: via @POTUS.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.

If You Send A Message To The Country, Make It About The People, Not Your Personal Victories

Obama's Twitter feed is humble and gracious. Trump's is boastful and brash. It's clear which attitude is appropriate for a president.
Photo: via @POTUS.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.

Show A Relatable Sense Of Humor

You can call it dad humor, but Obama excelled at his ability to relate to the country on non-political issues. Whether serving up space puns, cheering on his favorite sports teams, or expressing his love for traditional guacamole, he showed that he, too, could have some fun.
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Photo: via @POTUS.

Above All Else, Speak To Everyone With Compassion — Not Just Your Supporters

If we are going to overcome the current partisan divide, it will require recognition of people from both political parties. Oh, and good grammar helps, too.
Photo: via @POTUS.
Photo: via @realDonaldTrump.
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