On November 5, after Obama was elected as the next President of the united States, I asked my readers if they were convinced yet as to the power of social media. While it’s debated widely if social media alone won Obama the election, it’s undeniable that his teams’ social media prowess had a positive effect on his campaign.
Commenter Cynthia wrote:
That questions is beginning to be answered by Obama’s “Transition” team. After immediately redirecting his campaign website to Change.gov, Obama’s team posted the weekly Democratic address on the new ChangeDotGov YouTube channel and wrote on the Change.gov blog:
For the first time, the weekly Democratic address has been released as a web video. It will also continue to air on the radio.
President-elect Obama plans to publish these weekly updates through the Transition and then from the White House.
In addition to regularly videotaping the radio address, officials at the transition office say the Obama White House will also conduct online Q&As and video interviews.
What’s this got to do with internet marketing? Everything.
How do you take that enthusiasm and excitement creating during a launch or buying process and meld it into continued enthusiasm and excitement for your brand as a whole?
We’re able to watch as a team of social media experts are taking the support they garnered during the election (or, in internet marketing terms, a “launch”) and move it to support of the coming administration (a product).
And what can we learn from the moves the team has made?
- Be Prepared: When the election was decided, Obama’s website was quickly redirected to Change.gov. They had it ready to go. When your product is launched, you’ll want to (obviously) provide the product to buyers, but also have a continued means of communication with them so you can continue to harness their passion for your product.
- Be Visible: Obama’s campaign (and McCain’s) had presence on all the major social media sites, from Twitter to MySpace to Facebook. You need to be able to engage people in whatever form (audio, video, text) and whatever platform (blogs, social networks, RSS, etc.) they want to consume your information. You need to be wherever your potential supporters are.
- Be Consistent: If you used a blog and a Youtube channel to launch your product and gain market visibility, you know that your new customers are accustomed to receiving communication from you in that manner. Like Obama will be continuing his internet presence as whole and his youTube presence specifically, you should continue to engage your customers via the channels you used to initially introduce them to your brand.
- Be Transparent: Aside from releasing the Weekly Address on the ChangeDotGov YouTube channel, Obama’s staff has also issued a video giving details on the coming transition and what we, as citizens (consumers) can expect from the new administration. They even used the word “transparency” in the video. While it’s a bit niaeve to think we’ll know everything about the Oval Office come Obama’s inaguration, they are making an effor to inform views as to the next steps. You too should be keeping your customers (and prospects) up to date as you make changes or improvements to your products.
- Work With the Competition: Some people liked Obama and some people liked McCain. Obama could be doing a victory dance, but instead he met today with McCain to discuss working together in the days and months ahead. The takeaway – your competition could be your biggest ally. Consider that most folks buyand/or consume multiple products within the same niche. A golf enthusiast probably reads more then one golf blog, subscribes to more then one golf magazine and owns golf equipment from multiple brands. Consider aligning yourself with your competition to enhance both of your respective brands. In most markets, there’s plenty of consumers to go around.
- And most of all, Don’t Drop ‘Em When They’re Hot: Obama’s team has moved in very quickly to maintain his social media presence after the election and in that manner, has made an effort to keep his biggest supporters connected. You too need to make sure that your customers aren’t left hanging and continue to support you – publicly – after the sale is made.
I look forward to seeing how the Transition Team and the new Administration fleshes out Obama’s social media presence as time passes. Hopefully they’ll continue to innovate the Oval Office and we’ll be able to watch and apply these lessons to our own businesses.