Yes he can.
He can hire the best minds in Social Media and Internet Marketing and they can make a difference. And he did. With former Facebook employees, CNN producer's and more, the Social Media All-Star Team was put to the test.
The Washington Post has a great article on the collective and how they used the Web, a Social Network, leveraged other Social Networks, text messages and online video to take a guy many never heard of and turned him into a superstar and one of 2 people that has the opportunity to become the next president of the United States.
Why this matters?
It matters because it shows that Social Media can be used and leveraged in a way to position and brand businesses that has never been done before. It shows that YouTube is not just a fad for teenagers and text messages are mainstream.
How did it happen?
They took chances. The article depicts how the text message plan came about even with heavy doubts from inside the camp. They tried it, it worked and now the Presidential running mate is going to be announced via text to the world any day now. This does 2 great things for the campaign:
- Creates an enormous amount of press (Google Blog Search)
- Gets a whole lot of new sign-ups for his text message alerts.
Everyone I know in Social Media and Internet Marketing is a "stat fiend." I used to be this way. Now I gauge stats by the level of engagement I have created in my campaign.
- If I Tweet a question, how many replies do I get?
- When I post a blog, how many comments do I get?
- How many links?
- Any Digg's, Stumbles?
- Are people talking about it on Twitter or FriendFeed?
"Here, we don't worry about how many views our videos get. That's not the priority. One of our goals is to get people talking about what's going on in their lives and why they're supporting Barack -- and hopefully not only will they watch the videos but also comment on them and forward them to relatives and friends and co-workers."While stats still play a major role, look at engagement and action as a factor to determine if a campaign is really working. I was always a fan of quality traffic over quantity of traffic and maybe that's why I don't write for Digg or the SERPS, but why I write for the readers and the reactions that I want to receive.
Leveraging off of your fans
By getting videos from supporters, and showcasing them on the Obama YouTube account, it is empowering the fans and letting them spread the message through their own network. Give your fans "your voice" and see what songs they come up with.
Leveraging off other Social Networks
Knowing how other Social Networks work and finding niche sites can be a huge boost. While some niche socnets might not have the numbers of Facebook or Myspace, they have dedicated users who are all interested in the subject of the site. Barack has made pages on sites ranging from AsianAve.com, MiGente.com and BlackPlanet.com. He has 50 profiles on BlackPlanet. One for each state. His team found a way to connect with the sites' users and now they have leveraged a whole army broken down by state. Way to go Barack.
How to put it all together
I won't say whether I support Barack or not (I really don't know the positions of either candidate, but I know we need a change) but I will say that his team of Social Media superstars and Internet Marketers are hitting a home run.
When putting together campaigns of your own, look to get on the level of the people that you are trying to break through to. Send your message and respond on their terms. By not using a certain medium, you are alienating people that can become advocates and with the affordability and easy of use of the Internet, there are no excuses not to be anywhere. Why sell on exclusively on iTunes when half of your fans buy from Amazon or BestBuy. Not having a Twitter account or mailing list or RSS feed is simply not excusable anymore.
When a Presidential nominee can get his head around using Twitter, YouTube and social networks and in real time, I think its time that everyone else joins the party.
(for anyone into hip-hop, is the support of Jay-Z, Nas, Jeezy and others hurting his campaign? Check out an article from MTV to find out more)