“Link in profile” and “Follow me on Snapchat” are new words out of a President’s mouth. However, those are words that President Obama uttered. His presence on social media has been a documented success. The President’s social media resume is even mimicked a digital marketing agency. The Obama administration used Flickr, Instagram and Vine for his personal profiles. In 2015, Obama became the first sitting president to get his own Twitter feed and Facebook page. And yes, the White House even joined Snapchat.
However, I think that Obama’s recent interview on YouTube was the final example of his influence in society and how he has transitioned politics into a digital branding game. From his popular Reddit AMA to #POTUSplaylists, here is how Obama’s approach to social media changed the White House for good.
President Obama has the most liked picture on Facebook and is the most-liked world leader on Facebook, as well as on Twitter. In 2015, Obama even used a selfie stick to film an Obamacare ad with Buzzfeed. Just a few days later, the video had been viewed more than 50 million times.
Let’s back up to Obama’s YouTube interview on Friday. This is the second time that he has answered crowd-sourced questions in this format. Questions ranged from topics like police brutality, the state administered luxury tax on female goods and even his thoughts on Donald Trump. The second year of Obama’s YouTube live stream reinforced much more than his adaptability to trying new things, it identified the audience he felt was important and how to go about approaching them.
Politically, Obama’s online presence had a direct effect on fundraising and campaign support. In just four years, between the Election of 2008 and the Election of 2012, Barack Obama’s Facebook jumped from 2.3 million likes to 32.3 million likes. That is a jump of 30 million! Ultimately, Obama raised $500 million in 2008 with $403 of which was raised online. In the Election of 2012, his campaign would raise $504 million online out of a total $690 million.
We haveve seen there is an absolute need for social media when campaigning for presidency. Barack Obama’s administration has solidified a digital presence as not just a tactic to gain popularity, but a duty for the next POTUS. Which candidate do you think can carry Obama’s social media torch?