Conservative First

January 10, 2009

Obama’s Campaign and Social Media

Barack Obama has 165,414 followers in Twitter, 19,837 friends on MySpace, 3,697,613 supporters on Facebook, 500+ connections on LinkedIn, and about 2,000 members in groups supporting him in Second Life.  He was elected president.

Was Obama elected president because he acquired so much support on social media sites?  Or was he elected president and acquired so much support on social media sites because people wanted to feel good about electing a black man and because the Republican candidate was Democrat light?

Just because there is a correlation between two pieces of information does not mean that one is the cause of the other.  They could both be effects of the same cause.

Before conservatives and Republicans in general spend too much more time and effort on developing networks on social media services, we need to decide what we are trying to accomplish there.  Are we building morale, networking, communicating, organizing, training, educating, converting independents and Democrats? 

Also, how exactly did Obama’s campaign use social media, and what were the results?  Would similar tactics and tools work with the Republican Party’s current and potential audience?

Once we’ve decided what our purpose and audience are, then we can determine which tools will help us meet our goals.


  1. The first thing the GOP needs is a message. It won’t matter how you market a bad message. Conservatives had no representation in the last election.

    Comment by Bill E Thompson — January 10, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  2. I agree that there were few conservative candidates running in the election and if the Republican Party wants to win, it needs to move back to the right.

    However, I think a big part of the problem with American politics today is that it’s being run by marketing people. We need to be educating citizens not trying to sell them something.

    Comment by Elizabeth — January 11, 2009 @ 9:04 am

  3. Social media is an accelerant. If you have a clear and compelling message, like Bill suggests, social media can make it “viral”, to use an overused term. Social media is highly efficient and cost effective when properly utilized. Obama’s Hope and Change messages caught fire, specifically with younger voters who are native to social media. For the time being, social media has a lot to do with reaching, organizing, and inspiring younger voters. The GOP needs to reach out to this demographic in a big way, and social media is the best way to do that. It’s for naught, however, if you don’t have a message. So there’s a lot of work to do there. But the #TCOT group on Twitter is a good start in terms of mobilizing.

    A new social media tool for politics is launching on January 20th: You should definitely check it out and get involved.

    Comment by maxgladwell — January 11, 2009 @ 12:13 pm

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