We all want empirical evidence that Social Media works and look often at organizations that adopt Social Media for affirmation of our own early adoption in real estate. Many chalk social media up to a water cooler or chat buddies, but many of us simply see more- I personally see it as a tool in which to rally a base, counter misinformation, and most importantly, personally connect with perception.
- Listening using streams
Barack Obama Gets It
Campaigning is simply another way in which to sell a product, in this case, (and let’s set aside our personal politics for a bit) Obama needed to sell himself, and he needed to do it in all kinds of ways. Looking at every demographic he needed in order to carry the election, you can really get a sense of just how massive his canvas had to be. He would need to address Seniors, Middle America, Urban Americans, Latinos, Women, Men, and others, and he would need to do it both on and offline.
He left no approach untouched, be it 2.0 or 1.0- Obama and his team would blend and marry both approaches and make no apologies for it. Not only did he host massive rallies, and use the internet to add to the crowd gathered by word of mouth, television, radio, and newspapers, but he had a plan for once they arrived. For your participation, you gave up your cell phone from which data was collected, emails and calls we’re made from the lists, and guess what? By the time you arrived home, there was a thank you email, and a request for a donation in your own inbox based on giving up your email when attending the rally. Consumers gave up information and made no apologies to their friends and family that also received calls, emails, and more, and what’s really interesting, was that the caller was often the list owner converted into the volunteer.
- Developed Lists (mining)
- Cold Calling/Warm Calling
- Asked for Donations
Why Can Obama Do it?
Because he built a grassroots cause. Actually, he had several. Looking at the political hurdles he had to overcome, he knocked over the hurdles and turned them into rally cries. Whether the hurdle/cause was ending the war, change (the all inclusive verb), or becoming the First African American President, you as a voter could find something to become a part of. People love to be a part of something and Obama definitely offered that. He built ground swells around simple issues, delivered a simple message, and he delivered it using every possible media- the great majority of the media was internet video, virtually costing nothing to circulate or host, and relying on the viral nature of the video itself. The popularity of pop-video and that same viral nature saved him cash and multiplied viewers when they landed on television. Remember, two years ago, Obama essentially bootstrapped his campaign with little money and little notoriety except for being the liberal Senator on the floor of the DNC in ’04. He built an entire campaign on the viral nature of pop culture.
- Developed Simple Action Verbs
- Developed a Cause
- Bootstrapped using 2.0
- Tapped Viral Video & Pop Culture
- Used the Press
He Didn’t Abandon It
Once Obama had the wind at his back in the primaries and won them, he didn’t drop social media, in fact, it seemed to become more of a focus. Twitter, and every other hot spot online was populated with Obama, and virtually millions of “FANS” to the Obama cause, Obama didn’t really have to work that hard any longer in the social stream. The current was with him; in fact, his millions of online supporters damage controlled for him, and pumped out their own information to counter other information (right or wrong) using blogs, and microblogs such as Twitter and others.
- Gave Fans a Megaphone
- Developed a Referral Base
- Developed Fans as Reputation Managers
- Used Blogs & Microblogs
- Controlled the Message
Where Did The Social Stream Lead?
It led directly back to the Obama website where you’re greeted with a landing page to make a donation with “Change” as the headline. From a marketing point of view, the word Change says so many things, and in this case, Change is a message to donate tangible change. The Obama campaign made no bones that a donation of $5, $10, or $100 or more was appreciated; it simply didn’t matter so long as whatever you had laying around could be used.
Once you turned the page from the landing, you were asked to volunteer, get a shirt, get a sign, get on the phone, email a friend, or whatever you could do, aligned right along side a blog. This blog was everything going on in the campaign on every single day and where to go that day, and where the campaign would be. An invitation was always attached, inviting you out to the current rally in your city. Like a well-oiled machine, it repeated itself and its growth in every swing state over and over again.
- Polished Landing Page 2.0 flavor, 1.0 Messages
- Used Clear and Direct Action Messages
- Data Collected
- Encouraged Referrals and Involvement
- Informed & Educated
The Obama campaign knew it would need to turn out the vote, and in order to do that, Obama began a new cause, and that cause was to get off your couch. Whether it was “Drive for Change,” or “Dial for Change,” or others, he was closing the deal with those in the stream- get out and vote and take not one friend, but your entire neighborhood. He called on average voters to door knock, call your phone list, and more, and he reminded them, that it was up to them.
- Asked for the Sale
- Asked for Referrals
- Door Knocking
- Cold Calling/Warm Calling
We all look at social media for our own businesses and wonder how we convert a political campaign into a business campaign, and it’s easy. This post is really a reminder that you cannot dump one for another, but with 2.0 a bootstrap can essentially dump high cost for free and viral pop. You can use the viral nature of social media to give your fans a megaphone, and you can turn them into a referral base. You should also throw out the first rules of 2.0 and blend your 1.0 for ultimate success.
The Obama campaign used all of these and more:
- Word of Mouth
- Cold Calling
- Asking for Referrals
- Email Marketing
- Snail Mailers (Print Marketing)
- Door Knocking
- Smart Rhetoric
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)
- Fan Managed Reputation
- Online Education (more online reputation managment)
- Viral Video
- The Press
- Fashion (Presentation)
- Social Objects (Change bracelets, T-Shirts)
- 2.0 Facing Website (presentation) with 1.0 Modeling (verbiage)
From a Sales Perspective
- Simple Message
- Action Message
- Staging (visuals that sell)
- Asked for the sale
- Asked for Referrals
- He Closed, Delivered, Rewarded
There’s a lot to cover in a campaign the size of a Presidential Campaign, and I am sure I missed a few innovative things they’ve done, but if you think about it, look at how many 1.0 things they’ve done that fly in the face of some of the new rules of 2.0 and overwhelmingly won the popular vote. It stands to reason that your campaign in sales is so much smaller in scope, some larger if you’re larger to medium broker that you two can bridge the 1.0 and 2.0.