Hats off and thanks to Scott Schweitzer from The Strategy Group for Media for passing along a recent Washington Post article entitled: Obama's Wide Web; From YouTube to Text Messaging, Candidate's Team Connects to Voters.
I'm always very cautious when brining up politics. But regardless of where your political affiliations lie, no one can argue that the Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign has paid significant attention to social media as a cornerstone of their strategy.
More than that, his interactive division, branded as Triple O, has done very innovative work in applying, and integrating a variety of online tactics that are new to the political arena including social networking, SEO/SEM social media marketing, SMS, affiliate groups, banner advertisements, viral video, etc. - all leading back to a well designed lead capture form placed on the hompage of his official campaign website, BarakObama.com.
To me this is a hell of an online presence. Fostering peer-to-peer communication in the political arena simply makes sense - Marshall McLuhan's ideas behind his 1967 book: The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects holds ever more true when you take into consideration how much the present day media landscape has evolved. Triple O has embraced the online medium as both a tool and message.
So whats the message of the medium? Here are some of what I take away from his approach.
- "Obama is hip and understands my generation."
- "Obama is a forward thinker and understands emerging technology"
- "Obama cares about what I have to say, and provides me with ways to voice my opinion"
- "Obama is on the front lines and recognizes my needs and interests"
- "Jeez, I feel like I really know this guy"
A common myth is that social media only draws or younger demographics of users, savvy marketers and techno-geeks. But, the reality couldn't be farther from the truth. We know now that all audiences are online to a certain extent. One thing that stands out in the article revolves around the campaign's focus on creating presences on smaller, more targeted ethnic communities such as AsianAve.com, MiGente.com, BlackPlanet.com.
I encourage you to read through this very interesting article on your own and keep an eye on this campaign. The political arena has always had a major hand in driving new uses of media. In my opinion, we're watching a new chapter in the art of influence and communication unfold.