Nothing infuriates me more than people who don’t understand social media and trespass into the space only to boost their marketing efforts. Sadly, Obama gets a thumbs down from me regarding his Twitter account. He has a few opportunities to salvage his brand equity.
Brand equity is the value that others have built in you; not your company, your status, but of your overall contributions. I’ll explain this into more detail in upcoming entries. Obama has an incredible amount of brand equity and he’s letting it drain, especially when he needs it most. He went silent from Twitter.
It appears that Obama apparently used social media (Twitter) as just another checkbox in his political campaign. This isn’t good, especially for someone with nearly 130,000 followers on a growing social network.
Unfortunately, the President-Elect doesn’t quite understand the impact he has on Twitter and further, social media. If you didn’t know, Barack Obama became the most popular person to be followed on the micro-blogging service, Twitter. As many might guess, his public relations team tweeted under his name. Normally, this might be appropriate for publications which aren’t intimate like magazines, quotes, or whatever. But not in social media.
I’m going to have to call bullshit here. It pisses me off when I see “power users” blatantly abuse social media for their own benefit.
Unlike dying platforms like television, radio and print media; social media is about you (and) your message, not only your message. People have an unstoppable need to connect and identify with others. Twitter helps facilitate authentic relationships with passionate followers. Oh, and it also helps people communicate, too.
People need to realize that you can’t just hustle and pimp out social media without actually caring about it themselves. Social media reminds me of those hair-raising spikes in controlled parking lots. People who participate in social media can’t simply back out without risking damage to their tires [reputation].
What should Obama do?
Tweet (post a message on Twitter) about WHAT HE IS DOING FROM HIS BLACKBERRY. That’s all. Here are a few possible ideas which people are surprisingly interested in:
- Where is he?
- TwitPic images of his location — like in the White House, perhaps?
- Responses to tough questions from reporters…
- Questions to his supporters, like “What are you hoping for?”
- Announcements of his newly-built administration
- What he’s eating for dinner.
- Moments of rest with reason: “Going to sleep, just balanced the 2009 US Budget.”
- What he’s reading (books, mags, news, etc.)
- What he’s watching (movies, TV, etc.)
These aren’t only what the President-Elect can Tweet about. Of course, I can imagine that the White House Press Corps would love to engage with the president directly through Twitter, too. Imagine that. A real utility, eh?
So, I decided to search Twitter for others who have noticed the silence from Obama’s half-engagement with Twitter. Here are several Tweets on his abandonment of Twitter:
- schristopheraz: @JoeManna he got what he wanted…you expect anything else?
- nilofer: @BarackObama Few days of silence. The promise of social networking is an **ongoing** relationship, not a one-way army serving ones’ needs.
- matthewburton: No tweets in the last 51 hrs from @BarackObama. Twitter isn’t essential. But the post-election silence might be a portend.
- xenijardin:@eurekadejavu, 2 ways to look @barackobama silence since 11/5: 1) lame + unweb2.0 of him 2) A President has better things to do than tweet.
- CurtMonash: @barackobama http://tinyurl.com/6aq2gn is right. Your latest Twitter behavior is wrongful.
- timoreilly: Maybe @barackobama is listening on twitter, but I doubt it. Good to take this GM/rail/too big to fail discussion to change.gov
- skwp: @BarackObama stopped updating twitter on the day after the election. He could suffer a twitter backlash if this was just a campaign strategy
- marshallk: RT @somewhatfrank @BarackObama u haven’t updated Twitter since 11/5? I hope you didn’t just use Twitter as a campaign strategy
- johnbattelle: Memo to Barack on Twitter: Very bad time to stop tweeting. http://twitter.com/barackobama
- ch1v4lry: @BarackObama you should totally continue updating Twitter as President. That would be fresh.
- MackCollier: @JoeManna You sayin’ his interns are slackin?
- Darrin_Mish: @JoeManna I think there was an implied promise from Obama to continue to use Twitter after he got the vote. Typical politician…………..
Now, I’m not one-sided in the aspiration that social media has to be used all the time. I know Obama has a tough job ahead of himself, which includes long days and probably will be operating in crisis-management all the time. It would be nice to read what’s on the president’s mind.
I only expect him to at least sign off of Twitter if he can’t commit to one message a day. Maybe the president is not ready for social media; nevertheless, social media is ready for the president. Can’t deny that.
What do you think?