Obama’s Guide to Social Media (and How to Crack it)

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And now that Barrack Obama’s inauguration is being discussed all over the web, it’s important to look at how Obama weaved social media in his presidential campaign.

Here are some interesting facts about Obama’s social media campaign that will act as a benchmark for all you marketers.

Crowd-building vs. Crowdsourcing:

  • 5 million friends on social networks.
  • Nearly 2,000 official YouTube videos
  • 3 million people signed up for the text messaging program – each received 5 to 20 messages per month.
  • Mobile usage: Obama’s mobile marketing event is quantified as the largest mobile marketing event in the United States to date. (according to Nielsen).
  • Email Campaign: The campaign developed more than 7,000 customized e-mails, tailored to individual prospects, and made real-time improvements to its outreach materials. Adjustments were made daily to improve performance and conversion.
  • The Obama campaign had a core online team of 11 people with a total staff of 30.
  • Providing source materials for user-generated content – The MyBO Web site contained videos, speeches, photos and how-to guides that gave people the raw materials they needed to create their own compelling content in support of Obama. In return, supporters created more than 400,000 pro-Obama videos and posted them to YouTube. They also wrote more than 400,000 blog posts on the MyBO Web site.
Obama and Social Media

Tiers of Engagement

The Obama campaign gave prospective supporters different set of options and ensured that supporters are engaged in different stages of the campaign:

  • Personal – You could start by friending Obama on a social network. Then, you might sign up for text messages and e-mails to stay informed about the campaign. As a supporter, you may make your first donation or register to vote.

    Change.gov Tees
  • Social – Once invested, you may post a comment to a friend’s profile, telling them why Obama was the right candidate for them. Perhaps you would jump to the MyBarackObama.com Web site, where you would create an account. After getting positive feedback on the site, you might join or even create a group.
  • Advocate – To drive interest in the group, you may post pictures, write blog posts or create a video declaring your support, which you could post to YouTube.

Additionally, when the opposition created videos criticizing Obama (e.g., Reverend Wright), the campaign released videos that used the same tags so that its positive response could be found when people searched for the original.

The campaign understood that most people on YouTube use “related videos” to find what to watch. By mimicking tags, people were more likely to find the Obama response alongside the original critique.

Social media lessons from the Obama campaign

  • Start early
  • Build to scale
  • Innovate where necessary; do everything else incrementally better
  • Make it easy to find, forward and act
  • Pick where you want to play
  • Channel online enthusiasm into specific, targeted activities that further the campaign’s goals
  • Integrate online advocacy into every element of the campaign

What’s your opinion on Obama campaign? Do you think L K Advani’s attempts to go viral/online will work?

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