Yesterday was probably one of the most exciting days of this year, if not the past 4 when it comes to the possibilities of emerging media being pushed to the forefront and actually being a factor in something very important in not just our nation's history but quite possibly world history. Yes, the United States elected its first African American president, but it also elected its first president to utilize technologies beyond email or a cell phone to office to just raise campaign donations.
Barack Obama is the first "Social Media President" in history. He's the first one to understand and harness the power of sharing and communicating through social media platforms to not only get out his message, but to energize a group of Americans into action. Of course it wasn't just Barack alone, it was his campaign team that focused in and realized the power and reach utilizing different aspects of web technologies could bring them. It wasn't just one social media site used either, it was everything working in conjunction with one another, complementing each other and promoting the same singular message of the Change that can happen if people on these sites helped to elect Barack Obama president of the United States of America.
One of my sources on the inside told me that it was some of the people who were on Dean's 2004 campaign team that came in and built upon what they knew, and that doesn't surprise me in the least. Not only did they learn the power of the infamous "Dean Scream" hitting YouTube, but they learned the power of fundraising and brought that to the Obama campaign, improved on it and turned it into a finely tuned machine. So much so that the majority of Obama's donations came from donors giving $200 and under.
So what kind of technology did Obama use? Let's take a quick, deep look at what was implemented.
President-Elect Barack Obama Social Media Strategy:
- "Yes We Can" speech from Nashua, NH back in January, 2008. This speech even inspired not just the "Yes We Can" tag line to take hold, but it also inspired a song and music video produced by Will.i.am. The video's been viewed over 1.8 million times. The huge factor here, it's not just his speeches out there, it's campaign team footage of voting lines and involvement. That's engaging and sharing!
Social Networking with Barack ObamaFrom Facebook & MySpace to BlackPlanet and Asian Avenue, Barack's campaign was everywhere in social networking sites. Everyone was included, faith based networks, race based networks, age based network and even event based social networks all could participate in the conversations happening with the Barack Obama campaign on these sites.
What's Next for Barack Obama & Social Media?
Now that the campaign is over, what's next? Do all of these profiles go away? Are the abandoned because they've served their purpose? Doe Barack Obama now go off to that big white house on Pennyslvania Avenue and forget about the populous he's reached out to, energized and moved to action?
Let's hope not!
I for one would love to see his team transform these from election tools, into political communication tools to help him keep a close tab on the pulse of his constituency. This is a great place for him and his new staff to monitor the heartbeat of a ever changing America. An America that's becoming increasingly tech savvy, well educated and engaged. Maybe, just maybe, he'll have a team that works as his Social Media team, just like companies are doing with monitoring, listening and engaging customers.
We are, afterall, Barack Obama's greatest customers.