A Presidential Take on Social Media
Earlier this week, on March 11, President Barack Obama became the first sitting President and First Lady, Michelle Obama, the first First Lady to participate in the thirty-year long tradition of the South by Southwest festival.
The South by Southwest festival began in 1987 in Austin, Texas and remains an annual film, interactive media, and music festival and conference taking place mid-March. Much like Activ8Media, the conference seeks to bring people of all creative disciplines together, in a forward thinking movement focused especially on cutting-edge technology and digital creativity this year.
As the lead keynote speaker, President Obama discussed the importance of technology and staying connected in today’s world. Referring to the crash in the early stages of his Affordable Care Act website (healthcare.gov), Obama mentioned how embarrassed he was considering he was “the cool, early adapter president and [his] entire campaign had been premised on having really cool technology, and social media”. And “the cool, early adapter president, he was.
Having a similar effect in drawing in young voters as President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats had on drawing in panicked, American citizens, President Obama is a pioneer for candidates in the social media world. The two men knew what the American public wanted/needed and took the liberty to gift their citizens with such familiarity. Commandeering 71,198,793 followers on Twitter, Mr. Obama is the fourth most followed user behind Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Taylor Swift. The only sitting president to make it to The Tonight show with Jay Leno and the president with the most television appearances and social media followers, has had a clear effect on polls during both of his 2008 and 2012 elections. The 2008 election specifically, gained 2.2 million young American voters compared to its previous 2004 election.
Sweeping Mitt Romney in followers, views, subscribers, and friends in his 2012 campaign, Obama is the prime example of the importance of a strong social media campaign. As the founding father of such a method, we see Obama’s leading example reflected in the current presidential race. It has become virtually impossible for young voters to escape politics, every candidate with an attempt to appeal to millennials from #BernieisBae to stunts like Trump’s take over of JebBush.com, social media has taken over the 2016 elections. Any future that can be seen from here is a future in social media.
Activ8Media is an industry-leading digital marketing agency specializing in brand activation, sports marketing, UFC advertising and social media for businesses, athletes and entertainers.