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Using Social Media in the Election

Posted by geeknews at 9:38 AM on November 5, 2008

One thing you have to hand to the Obama campaign they knew how to use Social Media effectively during the campaign. The Republicans can learn some lessons from this and so can some companies.

Many of the things the Obama camp did cost them nothing but one of their staffers time to make sure they were engaged. One instance was the utilization of Ustream.tv

As many of you know I have been using Ustream for the live portion of my podcast and while I draw small crowd in the middle of the night. The Obama team would put a live Ustream Channel at ever speaking event he went to and thousands would tune in.

This is just the tip of  the iceberg, they used blog commenters and bloggers effectively to neutralize negative commentary. With a dedicated group of staffers watching blogs they would pounce on sites almost instantly when someone had a negative thing to say and used blogs to essentially blast the competition.

Very effective use of technology was key. It made the McCain campaign look weaker as they did not use the tools that many people of all ages use today to communicate. The next person to run for president is going to have to get their social media game on.

Oh and what both camps missed, political podcasters could have been running ads as well in their podcast as they could have had a new message each day.

3 Comments

  1. From Tom Sybert at 11:29 am on November 5, 2008

    You’re right on the money with this Todd and as I look at my business I’m going to change the way we market our products.

    Having a great deal of respect for both Obama and McCain and what they went through is commendable and the road ahead is going to be a long one.

    It’s going to take some time for the Republicans to regroup and figure out how to do it better next time.

    Chicago last night was electrified last night. It was hard to sleep!

  2. From Rob Safuto at 11:50 am on November 5, 2008

    John McCain had a Ustream account and streamed just about every event live. It was embedded on their website at http://www.johnmccain.com/mccaintv/. The McCain campaign also used the KickApps service to power a social network that allowed for posting blogs, pictures, video and audio. There were also presences on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/johnmccain), MySpace, Facebook and Digg. The campaign also had their own designated blogger publishing a fact check and retort blog called The McCain Report at http://www.johnmccain.com/mccainreport/.

    So in fact the campaign did use a wide variety of social media tools while running their campaign for President.

  3. From GeekNews at 1:05 pm on November 5, 2008

    It’s pretty obvious that the Ustream people did not promote it as the only thing I ever saw on there front page was Obama streams??