The Land of the Tweet & the Home of the Brave
How many tweets is a lot of tweets? You might feel proud of a blog post which reaches the heady heights of 15 tweets, and you might consider an event a success if a group of your friends tweet about it into double-figures. How about 31 million tweets? Can you imagine achieving this much exposure through social media? Barack Obama can.
The Presidential election easily stole the crown for most-tweeted event in history: a clear demonstration of the extent to which the public engage with social media on the most important of days. Twitter is such an integral part of both private and public life that it is no surprise that millions of people worldwide took to this social platform both during and after the election: what better way to express your support for a candidate, celebrate a victory or bemoan a loss?
Twitter brought people together on election night in a way that politicians have long dreamed of, and the extensive use of social media throughout the election clearly demonstrates that the public are far more engaged with politics than they might seem. If social media is predominantly a younger person’s game, then 31 million tweets also indicates that young people around the world aren’t quite as disillusioned with the democratic process as they can sometimes appear.
Yes We Can (Retweet)
Barack Obama also taught us all a lesson in effective tweeting on Tuesday night. His victory tweet had been retweeted a staggering 572,264 times at the time of writing this post – yet it couldn’t really have been much simpler.
Four more years. twitter.com/BarackObama/st…
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) November 7, 2012
What did Obama (or Obama’s highly paid PR team) get so right when they hit the tweet button? This tweet successfully managed to capture the mood of celebration and sense of relief felt by both Mr and Mrs President and their supporters, using just three words and one photograph. Twitter might give you the freedom of 140 characters, but instead of squeezing every letter you can from each tweet, why not keep it simple instead? Sometimes less is more, and you never know – your simplest tweet could soon become your most popular.
Victory for #TeamObama & #TeamTwitter
The relationship between the election and social media was mutually beneficial for both Obama and Twitter. Election night offered proof, if any were needed, of the strength of Twitter and the humble tweet. With predictions that voting will move online in future, the connection between social media and the democratic process will only grow, meaning that more politicians will need to learn a few lessons from Barack if they want to win the social vote.
America might only have four more years of Barack Obama – but the influence of Twitter on the voting public is here to stay.
Take a look at John Rooney’s post here to learn how the US Presidential election campaign was like an SEO campaign.