President Obama has been noted as the first president to adequately (some might say expertly) take advantage of the social media scene. We want to take a moment, highlight his efforts, and point out why they are executed so well. All hail the WOMmander in Chief!
The White House YouTube Channel has 136 videos, 47,485 subscribers, and 1,124,468 views – this is all since January. Needless to say, the White House YouTube channel is a force to be reckoned with. There are videos ranging from the “Weekly Address” to the President having a casual shoot-out with the Championship UConn Womens Basketball team. These videos give people a more personal look into the life of the president, and also bring the messages of the White House to the places that people are gathering online. By giving people exclusive content, and letting them discuss videos freely, the White House is embracing the philosophies behind good word of mouth marketing.
White House Flickr Photostream
Much like the YouTube channel, the presidential photostream gives people access to content that they wouldn’t have otherwise. They can download the pictures, share them with their friends, or just comment on them. The White House could censor comments or prevent them completely, but it seems as though there is no moderation whatsoever (see example below). I edited out some foul language – it shows how much the White House is willing to allow.
Although there are negative comments, they don’t necessarily hurt the White House. First of all, supporters are quick to reply with rebuttals. Secondly, by allowing discussions on the White House videos and pictures, it is easier to find out what people are saying and to enter the discussion if necessary.
Barack Obama’s Twitter Account
Although the account originally started as a campaigning tool, the president now uses twitter for announcements and to promote online locations. With only seven twitters since his election, I wouldn’t call it a main source of information, but with over a million followers (#5 of all Twitter users) any message that gets sent out is seen by a lot of people.
So what makes Obama an expert in social media? Let’s recap:
1. He isn’t afraid to allow comments. Less censorship = free exchange of ideas (what the internet is all about)
2. Exclusive content. From weekly addresses on YouTube to photos that we can all share, media from of the president is no longer a monopoly of…well, the media.
3. He doesn’t make us leave our comfort zone. He enters the discussion where it is already taking place.
4. He enables his passionate supporters to spread the word, with his own social network/ambassador program (don’t know what this is? shoot us a line, we’d be happy to elaborate)