WEB & TECH / JUN. 04, 2014
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How To Replicate The Success Of Obama's Online Campaign

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Twitter is the foundation of a political digital campaign. In order for you to reach out to as much people as possible, you need to look at the data.

Don’t believe me?

Obama’s “Four more years” tweet was short and simple. It was shared over 660,000 times. These numbers are a sign that digital campaigns are just as important as public campaigns for candidates who want to extend their impact and presence.

Still not sure about the role that social media plays in politics?

During the US elections, Twitter received an average of 327,000 tweets per minute about various political topics. This means that there’s a lot of online land to conquer and people who want to talk about the political standing of key candidates.

In particular, Obama’s social media campaign was successful. Many candidates use his digital campaign as a standard for their online presence. What did Obama do to win over his online followers?

Personal engagement is a must

A quick look at his Twitter account and you will see that it is filled with engagement. The posts are clearly out to make a personal connection. It is not automated, which is what people online dislike the most. His top posts invoke feelings and emotions.

Political social media campaigns are an investment

How much did Obama spend on his campaign? 47 million dollars. You don’t have to spend that much to reach your demographic, but you do need quality and dedicated people on your team. In most cases, that comes with a price tag. Hiring knowledgeable staff can help you work on other parts of the campaign, while they take care of the back end.

What works online?

A one-sided campaign is boring. People will get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. Did Obama’s campaign use memes? Yes. Were there funny posts in between very serious call to action articles? Of course. These variations played an essential factor that showed his human side that people can relate to.

While a long introduction can win over a large crowd during public talks, the exact opposite can be said about online message delivery. The attention span of an online audience is very short. You can still tell a story, but it won’t work as a hook. It is best to first establish your message before providing the details. This means avoiding fillers, added words and waffly text.

Another strategy for delivering long messages is to cut it into different parts and post them as a series. This works very well because your audience can jump in any time and feel that they didn’t miss out on the other parts of the message.

Keeping it simple also means providing your demographic with what they want and only what they want. Sometimes this requires content from other sources. Lastly, when interacting with your audience, it is best to reply in a timely manner. Marketing campaigns that fail to interact with their followers properly are losing opportunities in delivering their message on a personal level.

Working the plan

Obama’s political digital campaign had a solid framework. Each post, uploaded content and link had significance. There were no flaws; he didn’t have to make any apologies for random tweets. More importantly, his team stuck to the plan, which made him very successful. I’ve seen many digital campaigns start of with a clear plan, but failed because it wasn’t implemented well. Don’t be one of those people.

What did you like most about Obama’s political digital campaign? Let us know what you think below.

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