Barack Obama’s Secret Social Media Strategy


Obama Captures Email

He’s been called the Social Media President. We marvel at his 20 million Twitter followers and 28 million Facebook fans. We credit his election victory to harnessing social media to mobilise support and funding.

So now he’s in power, now he has all the resources he needs and can employ any social media strategy, what’s he prioritised?


What? Creaky old email?

Not new whizz bang technology. Not Pinterest? Isn’t that all the rage these days.

But no. Head to the White House homepage and the first time you visit you’ll get a splash page asking if you’d like to get regular updates from Obama and other White House oficials by email.

Why has Obama chosen to focus on email rather than any of the raft of social media platforms he could try to connect with people on?

Because it works.

Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin. All exciting. All interesting to explore, chat, make friends.

But when it comes to business, email still rules the roost.

Just an opinion?

Last year CRM firm Merkle decided to get to the facts about what communications really worked for business. They published their research results in “The View from the Digital Inbox”.

As expected, they charted the rapid rise of Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. And they reported on the staggering amount of time spent on social sites each day.

But then they did something different. They asked the 3,535 respondents in their survey what their preferred personal and business communication methods were.

For all the age groups from 30+, telephone was the preferred method of personal communication. For the 18-29 age group it was text.

The second most preferred method for personal communication across the board: email.

And for business communication the results were even more stark. Across all age groups email came in as the number one preferred communication method by far, garnering 65%-78% of the vote depending on age group.

Social media not far behind?

Nope: no age age group had more than 4% of people saying they preferred social media. Direct mail and the phone all scored well above.

That’s not to decry the importance of social media. Great to make initial contact. Great to keep in touch. Great to spread the word. But when business gets serious we send an email.

It’s what Barack Obama does.

It’s what has the biggest impact.

And in the next few blog posts I’ll be sharing how to make it work for you.


So does email marketing work for you? What have your experiences been?

And what are your biggest challenges and problems with email marketing? Drop us a comment below and we’ll make sure to cover those topics in upcoming blog posts.

About the Author

  • Ian Brodie

    Ian Brodie is the author of Email Persuasion, the Amazon #1 bestseller that shows business owners and professionals how to use email marketing to captivate and engage their audience, build authority and generate more sales. He was recently named as one of the "Top 50 Global Thought Leaders in Marketing and Sales" by Top Sales World magazine, and one of the "Top 25 Global Influencers in Sales and Sales and Sales Management" by OpenView Labs. picked him as one of their "Social Business Dream Team" and named his website as one of the "Resources of the Decade" for Professional Services Marketing.


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