Obama – A case study Dec 05
Truly, social media has effectively turned into something more than keeping up with college friends or latest gossip in town. Let’s take world politics for an instance. Social channels like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and blogging are massively used by leaders and candidates in order to connect with the electorate at local, state, and national level. If this is a new path to the politicians, we can easily crown US President Barack Obama for being the path finder.
Hope, Change, and Action – These are the main mantra of President Obama when he jumped into the social media bandwagon. The main focus of Obama’s campaign was Obama himself. The idea was simply to connect with the individual. And this is the essence of his social media success. People connected with Obama, the person first, and then evaluated his credentials as the future President. And by the onset of presidential election 2008, Obama was everywhere, be it Twitter or Facebook. One of the major mile-stones in Obama’s campaign 2008 was Dinner With Barack videos. The videos were shared by all prominent bloggers and went viral in no time.
In other words, Barack Obama had shown that the physical world can also be changed by riding on social media. He has made a history and is expected to do something even more effective for the coming 2012 Presidential Elections. However, the year of 2011 has been quite eventful for the US president, online. First, there was Twitter Townhall and secondly, a wrong campaign that made him lose almost 40,000 followers on Twitter.
Twitter Townhall was arranged in the second week of July, 2011 in order to interact with Obama’s followers directly. Here, he would discuss topics ranged from debt ceiling to current economic status of the country. #askobama was used to filter the conversations. Obama answered 18 questions in total, in which New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof and House Speaker John Boehner’s questions were also included.
A few days after Twitter Townhall took place, Obama lost more than 40,000 Twitter followers, followed by his attempt to bring the debt battle to the micro-blogging site. For the first time, he had been accused of spreading spams on his followers’s inbox. People were talking about his spamming with the debt partisan, and they also created @BarackObamaUnfollow community on Twitter. By the end of Friday July 29, 2011, Obama’s follower count decreased to 9,402,898 from 9,362,880.
However, the wise person is the one, who learns from his own mistakes. Obama too rectified his slip-up and bounced back, once again. Today, President Obama has 10,875,776 follower and still the third-most followed person on earth.
Quite an inspiring story, isn’t it?