Siliconcowboy's Blog

Technology, journalism, social media and social responsibility

The President Gets His Social On

President Barack Obama visited Facebook’s headquarters on Page Mill Road in Palo Alto today, ostensibly to make a pitch for higher education, raising taxes for the wealthy and encouraging homegrown innovation.

One couldn’t help but notice that it was also a reunion of two men who had attained extraordinary success at relatively young ages. Just as important, both can point directly to Facebook as having played an enormous role in their achievements.

As a KCBS political pundit pointed out earlier in the day, Obama essentially ran away with the Presidential election three years ago by using social media in ways that were almost unheard of at the time. And with 19 million Facebook friends, Obama now has four times as many fans on the social networking site as all the front-running Republican candidates for the 2012 presidential election combined.

Does Obama need to chum with Zuckerberg?

Oh yes, yes he does. In fact, now that he has done so, he’s pretty much stolen away the opportunity for any other candidate to be perceived as that closely tied in to social media.  He’s the social media presidential candidate, hands down. Heck, he could start a new political party and he wouldn’t even have to print handbills…posters, that is.

By contrast, many other presidential contenders are still trying to figure out whether FOX and cable TV are threats or allies.

Meanwhile Twitter was lighting up over every word the two spoke today.

Certainly, the entire exchange should quash the idea that anyone could question the ROI of social media. Zuckerberg, who is just 26 years old, is worth over $13 billion thanks to the social platform he helped create.  Obama is the leader of the free world thanks in large part to the network of young people who backed him using social media to spread his messages.

What other proof points do you need?

For a Facebook Livestream archive of the event, please see here.

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This entry was posted on April 20, 2011 by in Art of Communication and tagged , , , , , .
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