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Social networking helped Obama to presidential victory

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Social media ‘assisted’ Obama in his campaign to become president

A key figure involved in the social media strategy of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign has claimed that use of online networking sites was central to the election win.

Obama’s operation used social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, blogs and video-sharing sites including YouTube, to spread his political views and rally supporters.

During a speech at the Ad:Tech Singapore conference, Scott Goodstein, the CEO of Washington digital marketing agency Revolution Messaging and former external online director of Obama for America, commented:

“It was an honour to work at the Obama campaign because, at that point in American history, we had the right candidate, the right message.

“Message and messenger are key. It isn’t going to work for every organisation or every start-up business if the message that you are selling isn’t resonating.”

Social media reflects campaign changes

Goodstein added that the declining audience of television networks, combined with the increase of internet users, has created a challenge for US political campaigns. “As a political campaign, it’s very difficult to make sure your message is getting heard,” he said.

Staff at Obama for America directly responded to voter questions about Obama’s policies and views through social networking sites.
Goodstein noted that people were impressed by the considerable emphasis the campaign placed on social marketing. Voters would then tell their friends, and in doing so became a ‘brand ambassador’, he said.

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