January 25th, 2009

An Open White House?

Obama has been lauded for his use of social media during his campaign.  And now many are anxious to see how it will transition that use into the working presidency.  According to an article in the latest issue of Wired magazine, he has many bureaucratic challenges ahead of him.  But Obama’s public has high expectations of transparency while he is in office.  They have become used to seeing him on YouTube (currently 20+ million views), reading his tweets (currently 144,000 followers) and staying updated through his Facebook page (currently 4.4+ million supporters).  And they don’t mind getting emails and text messages from him when the message is timely.  The power of social media on his being elected was evident.  Allowing Americans this same acces to him while in office can also have a powerful effect: engaging and educating more people in the work of government.  I hope that his office is able to overcome the challenges and share as much about the work of the president as possible.  If they can achieve this, we will have a more educated voter pool in four years.

Companies can learn from Obama’s successful foray in the world of social media.  It is where the people are, and they are there to listen and learn.  If you have something worthwhile to say, they will listen and share it with their friends.  It takes dedication and a lot of work.  And you have to experiement with all the channels to find the combination that works for your brand messages.

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