Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Obama and Facebook: Why so successful?

As Jeff talked about in his last post, Obama changed the face of campaigning forever. No matter your political affiliation, we can all learn from Obama's campaigning techniques. One of the places Obama has a huge presence is Facebook. If you're not familiar with Facebook, click here to read about what it is and how to set it up.

Facebook is a free service that allows people to create personal profiles about themselves and join groups that interest them. You can then read other people's profiles and add them to your friend list. As of 1:30pm today, Obama has 3,167,461 friends and McCain has 608,657. How can Obama possibly have 5 times more friends than McCain? Check out both of their pages. The McCain page reads more like an advertisement and doesn't seem to be very dynamic. Also, his page only seems to be updated with new info (videos, messages, etc) about once a month. Obama, on the other hand, has turned his page into a place where people can come to see new posts almost daily. There are posts on his page from a few days before the election asking people to change their Facebook picture to an Obama graphic to encourage people to vote. McCain's page is static. If you saw it 3 months ago and not again until today, not much will have changed. Obama took his page to a level where people could visit daily and read new articles, see new videos, and read notes from Obama.

How did Obama's page become so dynamic and important to his campaigning strategy? He hired one of the original founder's of Facebook, Chris Hughes, to maintain his new-media presence. In an article in the NY Times, Obama credits the Internet’s social networking tools as a “big part” of his primary season success. He has also said that "there’s no more powerful tool for grass roots organizing than the Internet.”

Is Facebook a good advertising tool for your business? Because Facebook is free to use, I believe that developing a page for your business wouldn't hurt. To get people to your page (and create a buzz about your business), you need to keep your page dynamic. You don't need a Chris Hughes on staff to do this. All you need to do is keep people interested!

1 comment:

Bryan Ollendyke said...

Linkedin, myspace, facebook, and all places like them are good places to get buzz generated about a business. Having a website with an easy to read domain (like can also help search engines find you.

You need a "foot in the door" all over the internet because you never know when one or two random people will connect you to a whole new group of customers who would never have known about you or your company.