Politicians take note! Let voters do the campaigning for you!

An article from Adnews caught my eye this week; it features commentary from Obama’s director of campaign marketing and his experience using social media for political campaigning.

Social media is definitely set to redefine how politicians structure their campaigns, and as Bleaker explains social media may determine the winner of an election long before the votes are counted. This demonstrates the power of social media and how individuals become campaigners by sharing, liking and commenting on clear, simple campaign messages.

Barack Obama has undoubtedly changed the way the game is played with his campaign (heavily reliant on social media) leading him to victory in 2008 and again in 2012. Looking at his twitter feed, I’m sure our political leaders could learn a thing or two from their American political counterparts.

Obama tweets about current issues, and notably seeks engagement from his followers through a call to action. ‘Re-tweet if you agree’, video content and suggested hash tags are just a few of the tweaks from Obama and his team. Conversely, Julia seems to tweak very regularly but focuses on status updates, sometimes from ‘JG’ and sometimes from ‘TeamJG’.

If Australian politicians want to ride on the coat tails of Obama and other leaders, and if indeed future leaders will be determined by social media, it seems to me that they should be thinking more about how they can engage their audiences to share, contribute and become active within their campaigns.

One Comment

  1. Totally agree with this post Alison! Our politicians certainly got the message about getting on board with social media, but they have almost no real understanding of how to use it to their political advantage. ‘TeamJG’ have clearly made a decision to use social as a way of humanizing their leader. She loves gnocchi! Just like you and me! And when she does tweet about what could loosely be described as policy, it reads as a benign line from a media release.

    While Obama has been inspiring on many fronts, there is little argument that his best skill is his ability to inspire and connect with the power of words. One of the wisest decisions he ever made was appointing the golden scribe Jon Faverau as his speechwriter in 2005 (when Faverau was only 24 years old). And Faverau, arguably because of his age, knew the importance of being sincere, honest and bold when it came to Obama’s public voice. (Also given that he dated Rashida Jones of SNL fame for years helps with his youth cred.)

    Social allows politicians the one thing they say they want more than anything else – a platform to speak directly to their constituents without having their message diluted, twisted or compromised. Unfortunately it seems they don’t actually know how to do use it.

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