President Barack Obama set a fine example of how embracing social media and the entire digital landscape can win you the White House. Now his team is hoping to prove it once again by further expanding his reach across social media platforms to win him a second term in office.
Obama is believe by many to be the first candidate to use social media, but that’s a stretch. Other presidents and candidates have turne dto the latest technology to win voters. Ross Perot was ahead of his time when he used his vast resources to buy time on television to present his flip cards and charts and demonstrate how he would right the economi ills plaguing America in the 1980’s. it didn’t work (for Perot) but it certainly made some folks sit up and take notice.
As we enter the next cycle of American politics, gearing up for the 2012 presidential race, it comes as no surprise to learn Obama’s team is looking to expand his reach as far into the social media realm as it can possibly go. In these tumultuous days, the incumbent, no matter how popular he may be, needs every bit of help he can get.
White House communications staffers are investigating using social media sites beyond Facebook and Twitter to broaden the Obama administration’s public engagement and, perhaps, to communicate in different ways, a White House aide said Tuesday.
That investigation is driven partly by a belief that social media changes so rapidly the government must be willing to experiment with new platforms, and because outside advisers to the administration are already using newer platforms, White House New Media Director Macon Phillips said.
For example, former America Online CEO Steve Case, who serves on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, uses Quora.com, an online question-and-answer site, Phillips said.
Phillips was speaking at a panel discussion on social media and civic participation hosted by the Brookings Institution.
As Twitter grows and develops, White House staff has noted that users tend to favor tweets from individuals over institutions, Phillips said, even when an individual is tweeting in his or her role as an agency or corporate official.
The White House still intends to send the majority of its tweets from its official Twitter account, Phillips said, but is looking closely at the trend as more officials and staff begin Tweeting.
Phillips didn’t say whether that observation was related to Obama’s decision to begin authoring the occasional personal tweet as part of his reelection campaign. Phillips explained he isn’t working on the campaign and doesn’t know how the decision was made.
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