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SEOSocial MediaBarack Obama

What can we learn for the Barack Obama?

Changing the Way Businesses Communicate

Obama has already succeeded in changing the way strategists think about engineering electoral victory. But, the lessons learned from his campaign won’t just be applied to future elections. By combining social media and micro-targeting in the manner that it did, the campaign revealed force multipliers that are already being adopted by groups pushing their own issue agendas.

Smart businesses will embrace this public engagement model as well, particularly in how they ladder engagement among natural allies such as customers, employees and suppliers. Otherwise, businesses will be at a significant tactical and strategic disadvantage when their critics and competitors create a groundswell of their own

By examining the social media success of Obama’s campaign and understanding the ways that groups are incorporating these lessons into their own engagement programs, businesses can learn what is required to remain relevant in this new environment by retooling their communications efforts to successfully leverage social media.


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 your goals

Integrate online advocacy into every element of your campaign

Obama vs. McCain - The Result

Obama McCain


Lessons from Obama’s Social Media Campaign

Laddering support through tiers of engagement –

As TechPresident noted, the goal was to “provide opportunities for the most casual supporters to stay involved, while also providing more strenuous opportunities for the smaller core of activists.

Personal – You could start by friending Obama on a social network.

Social – Once invested, you may post a comment to a friend’s profile, telling them why Obama was the right candidate for them

Advocate – To drive interest in the group, you may post pictures, write blog posts or create a video declaring your support

Empowering super users -

These super users could create social media pages and blogs

Providing source materials for user-generated content

Going where the people are

While 60 percent of adults in the United States belong to a social network, most do not belong to more than one. If you want to reach them, you have to know where they are and connect with them there. It is also important to note that Obama was not on every social network: he selected the most significant and important platforms in which to participate.

Using tools people are familiar with

These days, there is a social network for every distinct social niche. There also are umbrella networks that span all interests. Facebook has 150 million members; MySpace has 110 million; LinkedIn is approaching 50 million.

Ensuring that people can find your content

If your content is posted but nobody can find it, does it exist? Can you convert anybody with it? No. According to Google, 90 percent of people find a Web site through a search engine click on a result from page one of the search results. Therefore you have to be on page one or you will not be found.

Mobilizing through mobile devices

Harnessing analytics to constantly improve engagement activities

Management consultants call it kaizen – the concept of constant improvement. Obama’s campaign tracked the success of every e-mail, text message and Web site visit, capitalizing on the analytics that are inherent in digital communications.

Building the online operation to scale

In February 2007, Obama met with Netscape founder and Facebook board member Marc Andreessen to learn how social media could power the campaign.

Choosing the right team

Long before the intensity of the 2008 campaign kicked in, Obama was already planning his online strategy.