Obama launches 2012 re-election campaign, begins social media strategy

4 Apr 2011

US President Barack Obama has launched his presidential re-election campaign for 2012, implementing a large social media strategy to gain supporters.

Obama’s last presidential election campaign was praised for how it utilised the web and social media to gain support. His team ran several websites and social networking accounts, gaining a huge amount of online support.

He currently has more than 18m fans on Facebook, his YouTube account has more than 203,000 subscribers and his Twitter account has more than 7m followers.

With the launch of his re-election campaign, his online and social media strategy will be closely scrutinised to see if it manages to gain the same momentum as his last campaign.

Obama’s new website

The homepage has a YouTube video for the launch, which features US citizens voicing their support for Obama. From this page, users can subscribe to his newsletter and can join his Facebook page.

The site includes a list of online groups people can join to further support the campaign. Each group is aimed at a specific audience, such as the ‘Florida Women for Obama’ group. Users can also create their own tailored groups to gain supporters.

There is a list of upcoming events, a link to donate money and a link to volunteer for the campaign. The site also has an online store to purchase apparel such as T-shirts and badges.

Growth, blogging and social media

Obama’s new-look website is a lot more minimalist than before which, according to an entry on the site’s new blog, is because they wish to “start small – online and off – and develop something new in the coming weeks and months.”

“The idea is to improve upon what’s worked for the past four years, scrap what hasn’t, and build a campaign that reflects the thoughts and experiences of the supporters who’ve powered this movement,” reads the blog.

The blog encourages users to comment and give feedback on the campaign and on Obama’s policies. It also fuses communications on numerous sites, as the second blog entry is a tweet posted from Obama’s Twitter account.

With such a strong focus on the social media sector, it seems that the user could have a bigger say in the direction of how Obama’s online campaign will grow.