In a recent USA Today article, “Obama goes back to his old social-media campaign playbook”, the article said:
“Mr. Obama and his aides are following up the President’s State of the Union address…by mixing traditional set-piece events – remarks at a Wisconsin factory on Wednesday – with a flurry of public outreach via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube”.
President Obama’s proactive stance with social media coincides with the return of his 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe who expertly used social media to engage young and new voters.
But is it a bit too little, too late?
One of the President’s first miss steps early on in his presidency was maintaining the social media engagement, which helps get him into office.
When David Plouffe decided not to join President’s Obama’s staff in 2009, the role of social media diminished.
The President still use YouTube for his weekly addresses and his supporters still received tweets and emails, but the level of interactive engagement part which is so crucial to social media campaigns was not embraced by most of his traditional Washington DC cabinet.
However President’s Obama’s loss was the Republican’s gain.
Scott Brown‘s win in Massachusetts, the emergence of the Tea Party, the bombastic healthcare rallies and Sarah Palin’s embrace of social networks (where she talks to her base on Facebook more so than traditional media) has allowed the Republicans to go from being social media novices in 2008 to moving past the Democrats and leading the charge in digital media politics in 2011.
If President Obama and his staff would have kept their social media engagement intact, the Republicans might not have had taken over congress in 2010.
With the 2012 election looming, it is good to see that the Obama administration has realized the importance of engaging their base.
The problem now is how many of those Facebook Fans and Twitter followers in 2008 will go back to the polls in 2012?