Monday, July 7, 2008

Obama's social media strategy

Interesting piece in the Times today about the former Facebook starter who jumped shipped to help Obama and his assault on social media.

I would stop short at calling Barack a genius. Maybe he has smart people around him who are in tune with social media, but their strategy is simple:

- lots of conversations happen online
- you can motivate people through the internet easier than in person, especially the younger voters
- it's a cost effective effort more so than jumping on buses and shaking hands (especially with the rising cost of gas)
- you're dealing with an audience that craves the interaction
- you're bringing a menu of conversations for them to jump in on, making it easier for supporters to pick off their favorite discussion points without having to dive deep into the rabbit hole to find something that resonates with them

As the article pointed out:

The centerpiece of it all is, where supporters can join local groups, create events, sign up for updates and set up personal fund-raising pages.

It's a smart idea that companies need to adopt if they are looking for real support from customers. Building unique social networks is where it's at. in this case, it connected people with similar interests, provided them with a tool to recruit other supporters and all the while they are working for you, Mr. Obama, for free AND raising money for your campaign. The kicker is that they are enjoying themselves and it empowers them to be part of the conversation and contribute to it versus being spoken to. That's what social networks are all about.

The cost of some servers, IT support and a staff to manage the site is small potatoes compared to what Obama's raked in through his social media efforts.

Brilliant? No. Smart? Yes.


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