Barack Obama’s 21-month-long presidential campaign got off to a lively start, owing much to students who used Facebook — among other social networks — to raise awareness and build a coalition. The McCain campaign (as well as every other campaign) struggled but all fell short in attempts to embrace and embolden the millions of social media loving youth to their advantage.
It was easy for Obama. At an early campaign rally, he went on and on about the Students for Barack Obama group on Facebook and how it helped get his campaign off to a running start. This was in Los Angeles in February 2007 and I was there shooting video:
Last week, Obama’s online team went live with an integration of MyBarackObama.com and Facebook via Facebook Connect.
Tonight I was welcomed to Facebook with a notification asking me whether or not I had voted yet. The greeting came from the Obama app which I had installed months ago. In Facebook — as in much of the online world — Obama beats McCain in a landslide. Messages from campaigns on online networks *could* get annoying if frequent, but in Obama’s case, frequency was not necessary for the messaging to be effective. Facebook users are more aware of social media etiquette than most. Perhaps that’s why they’re so quick to call out the bullshitters and fear-mongers — as much of the online media world is at this point in the campaign (see my previous post).
How has the Obama campaign used social networks and leveraged social media so wisely, even getting up and running on Facebook Connect a month before its official launch? Obama discovered the power of Facebook early on in his campaign and, well, he’s got Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes working on his online strategy team.
See also: Obama Dominates Content Sharing as Election Approaches at Mashable.