The Role Social Networking Played in the Success Of The Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign.

by Calvin Cox on October 9, 2008

obama-yes-we-can-poster-with-michellePart 2 of the Series – Arguably The Most Effective Branding Campaign Ever Social networking has become the frontier of internet marketing, a tool used by internet users to connect with friends and family, to budding  entrepreneurs just starting  their design businesses and to large established companies looking to secure their turf.  But what’s not so common was the use of social networking when it came to campaigning for the presidency of a country.  This type of campaign is unprecedented lending its efforts to raising an astonishing amount of donations ever received by political campaign – The Barack Obama Campaign for the Presidency of the United States was able to raise close to half a billion dollars in campaign contributions largely due to their social media presence.   We all know the basics of social media marketing by now, That being said, I’d like to go right into the numbers, comparing John McCain’s  campaigning efforts to that of Barack Obama’s campaign.

Social Media Site Barack-Obama-Logo John-McCain-Logo
Facebook (Supporters) 2,001,827 556,845
Twitter (Followers) 91,497 2,160
MySpace (Friends) 658,293 156,001
DIGG (Fans or Friends) 24,512 3,338
LinkedIn (Group Members) 14,877 2,957
YouTube (Subscribers) 94,592 / 16,723,349 views 23,527 /  1,657,884 views
Flickr (Contacts) 7,168 No Account Found
Eventful (People Demanding) 127,757 No Account Found
BlackPlanet (Friends) 490,854 No Account Found
AsianAve (Friends) 2,762 No Account Found
DNC Partybuilder (Friends) 1,530 No Account Found
Faithbase (Friends) 2,979 No Account Found
Eons (Friends) 379 No Account Found
MiGente (Friends) 53,161 No Account Found
MyBatanga (Friends) 170 No Account Found

So what do these numbers mean?  Quite frankly, it means that the Obama Campaign can potentially solicit campaign volunteers and donations from roughly  3. 6 million people compared to  less than  ¾  million people for the McCain Campaign, ultimately expanding their resources through obama-social-media-sitestheir social media efforts.  Many factors obviously play a role in the difference in numbers including but not limited to:  The Barack Obama Campaign truly reaching out to their targeted demographics, most of which are young voters – young people are all over the social media.  The language the campaign uses are phrases like ‘join the movement’, ‘change you can believe in’ and  ‘it’s not about me, it’s about you’.  All phases that  motivate and mobilize people.  These techniques are not rocket science.  What seems to be rocket science is the confusion of critics to the level in which it worked.  One thing worth noting, and again there are many, but simply having a list of social media networks you’re involved with prominently displayed on your website will prompt your visitors to join [your company’s movement].

Here’s a thought:  Just maybe your site visitors would rather communicate with you on their turf.  It’s okay to do so.  You should go where your demographics are ‘hanging out’ and talk their language, that’s how you connect, don’t force them to visit your website when they  would rather meet you on Facebook or LinkedIn.   Part 3 of this series will be on  Branding and Logo Design – The techniques and strategies used to effectively brand Senator Barack Obama as the “CHANGE” Candidate.


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