President's Social Media Team Goes After Obama Debt Rivals On Twitter

President Obama's social media team unleashed a torrent of tweets today, specifically calling out Republicans opposing his debt ceiling plan.

Obama with laptop

President Obama's social media team unleashed a hailstorm of tweets today, galvanizing his followers to support a bipartisan debt ceiling compromise. The Presidential tweets were also aimed directly at his opponents, mostly Republicans, on Twitter. [At the time of publication, @BarackObama was still putting forth updates.]

The President's previous call to action over debt issues via social media crashed the congressional website, according to widespread reports. That initiative was aimed more generally at U.S. citizens.

Today's effort garnered a similarly impressive response. CBS News reported: "The Capital call center alerted House offices Friday that the high level of incoming calls [following the Twitter campaign] put the House phone circuits near capacity."

The Presidential tweets today shined a spotlight on Republicans' Twitter accounts, which could lead them to gain more social media followers ironically. 

Even though Obama's social media following includes over 9 million on Twitter and a staggering 22 million on Facebook, independent reports via Politifact and researcher Mark Senak find Republican congressmen surpass their democratic counterparts in social media, in terms of raw follower count and number of @replys (even when excluding [PDF] @SenatorJohnMcCain's 1.7 million followers).

There's much to learn about how social media influences policy and elections. In the 2010 midterm election, many members of contentious races won despite poor social media count, such as Harry Reid, who was easily outmatched on Twitter by newcomer, Sharon Angle--yet, Reid kept his seat (with a safe electoral cushion).

And according to an official statement by YouTube, Republican 2012 presidential contender Tim Pawlenty holds the crown for most views of a candidate on the video platform, yet is near the bottom of the polls (via RealClearPolitics).

The President used Facebook aggressively and effectively in the 2008 election. Today his team only posted one update there about debt issues. They remained silent on Google+, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. (Where's the love for Foursquare, Diaspora, and Instagram? Maybe the next campaign.)

Follow Greg Ferenstein on Twitter and Google+. Also, follow Fast Company on Twitter.

[Image: Flickr user Geoff Livingston]

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3 Comments

  • Stephen R

    Obama is an intelligent man doing his best within a broken system polarized by two equally inane modes of self interest.  Social media may, over time, begin to reveal this more glaringly - and that's a good thing.  May be too late, though, for this adolescent Nation to start acting like an adult.

  • Gman

    Basically the President will veto anything that the Republicans come up with unless its exactly what he wants, whatever that maybe.

  • hemidude

    Wow, the President uses twitter - so his idiotic mismanagement style can be shared instantly!

    The article states that he thinks republicans should be part of the bi-partisan plan, but he has no plan, and there is no bi-partisan plan. 

    So maybe our dear President and the author need to review what honesty is all about, as spreading drivel over twitter is just as dumb as using facebook, myspace, or a megaphone.