“It took an entire decade for people to understand that the internet is fundamentally a platform of human conversation… And it’s about participating.”– Jason Goldman, White House Chief Digital Officer
One of our favorite articles about social media from this past year comes from The Verge,
and their exclusive interview with First Lady, Michelle Obama. You may not think that one of our best examples in social media strategies would come from the White House, but over the past few years, the First Lady and her close team of social secretaries have really set the precedent for how a presidential family should interact over Twitter, Facebook, Vine, and other platforms.
Michelle Obama has been able to bring up issues of child obesity, education reform for women, and other issues in society through these channels in an authentic, yet exciting way. One quote from The Verge’s interview reads,
“We knew long ago [that] any time we’re doing any sort of communications for the First Lady there needs to be a digital component,” says Caroline Adler, the First Lady’s communications director. “Increasingly, there’s no real way to connect directly with audiences except digitally.”
It is so important for businesses, non-profits, organizations, and influencers to all engage in social media if they wish to be relevant to the upcoming generation. Social media is not an easy thing to manage however. While it may be easy to sign up for a Twitter account, what you say, retweet, share, and do on that platform is entirely public, and therefore has immediate consequences for any missteps. A carefully planned social media strategy must be implemented and followed these days; and this is exactly what the First Lady and her team have mastered.
Michelle Obama’s team tightly manages and measures each social post. They always asks the question, “will a piece of media land? Will people engage and participate in the message it’s sending?”
Sometimes, a post which they anticipated would take off, never does, sometimes it has amazing success and impact. The internet and social media in general can be very hard to predict, so that is why staying relevant and updated has helped Michelle Obama succeed. Her team’s efforts have shifted conversations on the internet towards the social issues of today, and her national influence hasn’t just remained centered at the White House, but has also branched out to other upcoming influencers.
Michelle will often partner with other popular social media influencers to spread her reach. The Verge writes,
“Mrs. Obama’s team recognizes that while she may be one of the most influential people on the planet, she still needs help reaching certain audiences. For example, the First Lady’s YouTube channel for Let’s Move! has just 15,691 followers. So she’ll partner with millennial flypaper like CollegeHumor and Funny Or Die to film shorts about the so-called ‘Snackpocalypse’ featuring stars Chloë Grace Moretz and Tyler Posey to promote healthy eating; or do an off-the-cuff interview with Tyler Oakley, who has more than eight million YouTube subscribers, to talk education.”
Regardless of your political affiliations, your personal preferences, or voting history, you cannot deny that Michelle Obama’s mastery of social media has really had an impact on today’s culture, and that she and her office have truly defined both how to master social media, and what a digital Presidential family should look like.