If you don’t entice (social media users) by making them WANT to interact with your brand, you run the risk of being treated like a mop salesman knocking on someone’s front door.
Obama’s campaign sure got it right through social media. As Obama adviser Scott Goodstein said: “Some people only go to MySpace. It’s where they’re on all day. Some only go to LinkedIn. Our goal is to make sure that each supporter online, regardless of where they are, has a connection with Obama.” Obama had profiles on more than 15 social networks, including Facebook and MySpace. The count for this success: 3 million online donors, 5 million “friends” across 15 social network platforms (3 million on Facebook alone), nearly 2 000 official YouTube videos watched more than 80 million times, with 135 000 subscribers and 442 000 user-generated videos on YouTube. The list goes on.
Probably the most important thing to remember in a social media environment: people, want to connect with people … to tap into this extended, unpaid sales force … simply communicate, don’t sell.
Underlying Obama’s success in generating tremendous grassroots support is his understanding of the need for an evolving communications strategy and a willingness to experiment with new communications tools. Goodstein pointed out that President John F Kennedy made the jump to television, while President Ronald Reagan was feted as the “great communicator”, in part for harnessing the power of television to communicate his messages.
This was why Obama began using YouTube for daily broadcasts, while his media aides sought to ‘evolve’ the campaign’s website.
“Why were people coming to our website? What information did they want? How could we be more consumer-friendly? All these questions we needed to answer,” says Goodstein.
“How do we make sure that when we set up a social network, that it is truly an embassy of our actual campaign?”
Goodstein also says the campaign managers realised that their social networks on platforms such as MySpace and Facebook should be able to provide information and respond to their supporters who wanted their queries answered, “as if they were sitting down and writing an old-fashioned snail mail letter to the campaign.”
Washington, DC – July 3, 2009 — In honor of our nation’s Independence, mobile communications and new media veterans from President Obama’s campaign are launching a new company this weekend – Revolution Messaging, LLC. Revolution Messaging will provide a portfolio of mobile communications, social media, and lifestyle marketing services to progressive and non-profit clientele. Revolution Messaging is staffed by veterans of digital outreach, grassroots organizing, new media consulting, and fundraising:
Scott Goodstein: Goodstein was External Online Director for Obama for America and developed its social networking platforms. He built the campaign’s lifestyle marketing strategy and developed the “street team” materials used in battleground states. Goodstein also created and implemented Obama Mobile, an advanced communication strategy that included text messaging, downloads, interactive voice response communication, a mobile web site (WAP), and even an iPhone application.
Doug Busk: With over 10 years’ experience in high tech fields, ranging from interactive marketing to wireless strategy, Busk brings a diverse background to Revolution Messaging. He acted as technology advisor on Obama Mobile from its inception. Busk leverages his extensive background in wireless technology and product development at AT&T and Verizon Wireless to support Revolution’s platform build-out, vendor partnerships and outreach to the mobile marketing community.
Keegan Goudiss: Goudiss comes to Revolution Messaging with over five years experience in managing new media efforts for Democratic campaigns and starting his own consulting firm, Vox-P Media. While at Vox-P Media he designed a social media tracking process and search engine marketing strategy for both political and non-profit organizations.
James Hupp: Hupp has been involved in new media organizing for more than four years. James was the Online Organizing Fundraising Manager for Obama for America, overseeing the My.BarackObama.Com personal fundraising program and leading an effort to give grassroots fundraisers the kind of support that traditional campaigns left them without.
When asked about the creation of Revolution Messaging, founder Scott Goodstein said, “Thomas Jefferson clearly stated that every generation needs a new revolution. I believe, for us, that a revolution is happening through social media and mobile communications. It’s time for us to better adapt and organize using these evolving technologies.” Goodstein continued, “This 4th of July, our time to begin the revolution is now!”
About Revolution Messaging, LLC:
Revolution Messaging supplies its clientele with much more than the tools for the next generation of outreach, but the experience and guidance to leverage them built on a foundation of over 25 years of political and non-profit experience. For more information please visit Revolution Messaging’s new website at revolutionmessaging.com. You can also follow the Revolution on Twitter at twitter.com/revmsg.
During a panel on mobile politicking later in the afternoon, CREDO Mobile’s political director, Becky Bond, said using mobile devices was simply common sense in an age where people are constantly using their phones and are connected to their social networks by their phones.
Mass texting, for example, can be useful for community organizers trying to rally people to take action, whether that be voting, donating to a cause or assembling for an event. CREDO Mobile helped people assemble for protests against Proposition 8 in California: People texted a shortcode with their zip code and received a message in return about the nearest rally in their area.
Although it’s still more popular outside the United States in political campaigns, said Scott Goodstein, who launched Obama’s mobile strategy, politicking techniques involving text messaging and smartphone apps are growing stateside.