The Medium is The Message: Building Trust In A New Age

Time has selected Barack Obama as their person of the year, bringing us another step toward a more perfect union.

The noteworthy difference in the Obama organization was disciplined, data-centric analysis. Emails and phone calls were carefully crafted and targeted, events were created on the basis of statistics, and even a Facebook page of likes becomes a useful resource.

obama photo tweet

The best example of their success was the photo selected on the eve of the election by Laura Olin, a social media strategist for the Obama campaign. She knew people responded positively to images that showed the President at his most human, as a relatable person. A picture of the First Couple hugging would show the joy and relief that everyone who had voted for this president was feeling.

Look at the photo. There’s intensity in that hug that we rarely see in politicians. Barack’s expression radiates loving gratitude. It’s priceless-really priceless.

The campaign posted the photograph, to Facebook and Twitter late Tuesday moments after several news agencies projected his re-election over GOP challenger Mitt Romney with the accompanying message “Four more years”. By Thursday the photo had been re-tweeted more than 785,000 times making it the most popular message in Twitter’s history the most tweeted event in US political history. It also has received more than 550,000 shares and 3.9 million likes on Facebook.

The lesson here is how the invaluable use of data combines with an understanding of the human experience to produce a significant result. Obama would have never done it without his geeks and their combination of care and skill even brought tears to his eyes creating another viral YouTube sensation when he thanked them after the election.

Social media has rapidly integrated itself into almost every aspect of our personal and professional lives. It accounts for 18 percent of all the time we spend online, and more than half of people in the U.S. now have a social media profile, up from less than a quarter in 2008.

Obama understood the influence of social media. That’s why he’s continues to be our President for four more years and that’s why I’m going to start taking my twitter account a little more seriously.

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