Changing the Game: The Social Media Game

With election campaigns heating up nationwide and President Barack Obama’s tenure closer to an end, I can’t help but bring up a trend that he started for Presidents for years to come. Opinions on Obama and virtually every other president in U.S. History run the gamut from “he was good” to “he should be burned at the stake.”

As someone who works in marketing and is very familiar with social media, I’d like to mention an undeniable truth about his campaigns and presidential run. He had a really good social media team. His Facebook page was constantly filled with pictures of him and his family, shooting hoops, shots from Air Force One, etc. You could even argue inlarge part that his social media presence and ability to connect with millennials and young voters (18-24) was a prominent part in winning his first election, or even getting them to vote in the first place. This demographic voted in large numbers in 2008 at 49%, while Obama took 66% of the voters under 30.

You could also argue that, as the first president to ever utilize social media, he forever revolutionized the position by making any candidate from here forward be active and engaging on social media. And not just on bills, but to actually include the audience in their daily lives. Yes, Barack can’t take all of the credit, as his rise to power coincided with the dawn of social media, but it can’t be denied that he did it better than anyone else we could’ve foreseen.

Most candidates, and presidents for that matter, prefer to keep their personal lives private (as much as they can given the position). Barack, however, seemed to embrace it. He took it a step further, even making multiple late night talk show appearances, most notable being Jimmy Kimmel. On his multiple appearances, he talked some politics. But mostly, he just talked. In one particular bit, Kimmel rattled off questions about what it was like to be president, specifically, to live in the White House. “Does the dentist come to you?” and other questions gave an unprecedented look into the President’s daily life. One we had never been given access to, at least at this level.

Which is exactly what the people want. People want to relate to celebrities and those in power and get to know them, or at least understand them. And there is no one an American citizen wants to understand or have more access to than the leader of the free world. As the ending of Barack’s presidency nears, it’s already intriguing to think that some of the things he did because he wanted to (go on Jimmy Kimmel, start a POTUS Twitter account) are things the President will HAVE to do going forward (be active on Facebook and Twitter, make appearances outside of the norm where there is nothing to plug).

Disclaimer: I can honestly say I don’t support the Democratic or Republican party. #giveemhellbernie

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