Twitter is a microblog that allows you to send short messages to your followers. The Obama08 campaign successfully used Twitter to build a network of followers. He delivered his message to his Twitter followers and drove them to his site to sell paraphernalia, solicit donations, and further sell his candidacy.
Barack Obama joined Twitter in March 2007 and set out to increase his presence on Twitter. By Election Day, in only 19 months, he rose from no followers to the most followed person on Twitter.
The Obama 2008 U.S. Presidential Campaign didn't start out on top of Twitter. They created a plan and implemented a successful Internet marketing strategy to grow their number of followers and drive traffic to their site from Twitter.
Their Twitter strategy was simple, well executed, and consistent with their overall Internet Marketing Strategy.
- Deliver their message
- Build their brand awareness
- Increase their number of followers
- Drive traffic to their website
To help deliver their message of 'Hope and Change' they used the Status Updates feature of Twitter. Status Updates allows messages, with a 140 character text limit, to be sent to their Twitter followers.
Obama08 status updates on Twitter all had a message and a link to their website. They kept followers updated on what Barack Obama was doing and provided a link to specific pages on the barackobama.com website for further information.
With 262 status updates by Election Day, the Obama08 campaign averaged around 3.5 status updates per week. That's 1 update every other day. This is a good number because too much or too little might have been perceived as not engaging in a real conversation. This would have 'turned off' their Twitter followers.
Build Their Brand Awareness on Twitter
The Twitter profile, theme, and background image is how the Obama08 campaign redesigned their Twitter site to better reflect their brand. They added a headshot of Barack Obama to the upper left corner of the page and change the background color to match their website.
The Obama08 campaign also added a Barack Obama photo, real name, location, and website address to his Twitter profile. They further used Barack Obama's real name as the username for his Twitter account.
This is the first part of an article about how the Obama08 presidential campaign leveraged Twitter as a marketing tool. The second part of the article is about Barack Obama's Twitter followers and how he drove traffic to his web site.
As a bonus, a Twitter Action Guide is included, in the second part, to help small businesses implement the Obama08 Twitter marketing strategy.