President Barack Obama’s campaign posted a photograph of him embracing his wife, first lady Michelle Obama, to Facebook and Twitter late Tuesday after him winning another term as U.S. President. The tweet simply reads, “Four more years.” The photo almost immediately went viral, garnering hundreds of thousands of likes, shares and retweets on both social media platforms, making it the most popular tweet on Twitter and most “liked” post on Facebook of all time (source).
I first found this information on Twitter via @BBCNewsUS and it immediately reminded me of the first blog post I wrote for this class: “LIKE ME! TWEET ME! VOTE 4 ME!” where I discussed the outlook of the partnership between politics and SNS. Towards the end of the article, I wrote:
As the use of social media accelerates, it’s important to remember that social media, like any of its media predecessors, is just another tool that can be used between the communication of the government and its people. It cannot replace the parliament, nor can it represent the entire population. Social media is the “hot babe” of this era that everyone is trying to get. But it doesn’t mean you need to follow the trend and use it for anything and everything. I say use it, but use it wisely.
Use it, but use it wisely… In the recent election, President Obama, with no doubt, used his social media VERY wisely. With the President and the first lady locked in a warm embrace, framed against a cloudy sky as if the storm just ended and the sun is about to break through, the President is put aside what Hugo Liu would call in his article, the “prestige performance”, and went for a more “authentic performance”. Four more years… short, crisp, casual, with a lingering taste. That’s what a good tweet should be like. No wonder why it got more than half a million retweets in such a short period of time. The President sure had mastered Twitter.
Before President Obama took the stage to address the nation after his re-election, he first shared his thanks to the voters, the heartfelt embracing photo, and an inspirational personal tweet. While on the other hand, @MittRomney did not post anything until four days after and has stopped tweeting since Nov. 10th.
The series of popular posts Obama’s Campaign put up during the pivotal moments of the election reaffirmed the preeminence of social media as a crucial communications platform in the 2012 presidential race and hence the future. In a research done by Wallaroo Media, which is shown below, the infographic compared the social media presence of both presidential candidates on various popular social networking sites.
If the election was held on SNS, Mr. Obama would be the winner with his tens of millions of fans on Facebook, followers on Twitter, and subscribers on YouTube. In the evening of the election day after the result came out, the blog updated its post, saying: “It appears that Obama has been re-elected. Do you think our infographic about the candidates’ social media profiles predicted that? We think so!”
And then a thought occurred to me: if FDR is considered our first Radio President and JFK our first Television President, then we can probably say that Barack Obama is our nation’s first Social Media President!
“NOT BAD!” says Mr. President. (note: a meme term he humorously referred to in a response during his Reddit Q&A session).