Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential election is largely accredited to his excellent social media campaigns. The Dragonfly Effect writes that it was “the first political campaign in history to truly harness the power of social media to spread the word, garner support and get people engaged.”
When planning his first and second campaigns, Obama knew that his speeches would be better heard over new forums, like social media, as opposed to traditional political ones. He wanted to speak to the people with open ears (it’s no coincidence he has pretty big ones) and listen to what they had to say.
But how does social media, a tool used to slide into people’s DMs, win you a presidential election? Did Barack direct message his followers asking for their number? Or did he use Facebook’s transparency and ability to communicate with a large audience to win America over? Probably the former.
Syrsly tho, Obama opened his social media toolbox and hired a team of workers who knew how to use them.
Part of why Obama won is because he addressed his campaign to the people and transferred the responsibility of his victory to his voters. His website was utilized to not only share his platform, but to also allow users to create groups to share their views and opinions. Obama created a strong, loyal following by giving voters the opportunity to communicate with the candidate and involving them in the process.
The 2008 Obama Online Operation utilized seven platforms: BarackObama.com, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, Myspace, SMS/callcenters, and online advertising. In 2012 he upped his game and ditched the outdated Myspace (sorry Justin Timberlake), and used Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Youtube, Flickr, Instagram, Spotify (he’s so trendy!!), and not one, but TWO Twitter accounts! Note that his opponent, Mitt Romney, only used five social media platforms: Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Flickr, and Google +. It’s no wonder why he lost… no Twitter or Instagram = loser.
…and concluded that Obama’s campaign was way more active and thus generated a larger response from users. No shit.
Following Obama’s lead, many candidates have selected a team of social media strategists to head their campaign for the upcoming election; but without as much success as the current president.
Candidate Hillary Clinton has received a lot of criticism for trying too hard to sound hip in her attempt to communicate with the younger generation.
Who knows what the 2016 Presidential Election will bring? One thing is for sure, more hilarious tweets by Donald Trump!