“Make Sure You Instagram It”

Today I noticed an email that landed in my yahoo account (one of my two low-priority email accounts I check only periodically) and noticed the White House had notified me of three things. 1. I had access before-the-fact content related to the State of the Union address. 2.  I could participate in social media surrounding the State of the Union.   3. I could stream the president’s speech through whitehouse.gov, described as the “very best place to watch.”

So this evening I thought, “Why not?”

I streamed the broadcast of president’s speech at whitehouse.gov through my iPad and have included a few screen shots here. Opportunities to post and to read others’ posts were plentiful. And even though I didn’t tweet about the speech, I definitely knew the hashtag to use. #sotu

In part, I decided to watch the stream because of an upcoming business case study about President Obama’s use of social media in his campaigns. I wanted to have a bit more real-time experience to put the case study in context. And here’s something I found amusing: when the President announced astronaut Scott Kelly would spend a full year in space, Obama’s concluding remark to Mr. Kelly was “Make Sure You Instagram It.”

Perhaps the president was nudging governmental bodies to focus on social media to keep our youth involved in affairs of the government?  I’m sure there are plenty of marketing professionals out there nudging some “older professionals” to do the same. But if you post it, will they necessarily follow? And if they follow, will they share?  I guess that’s what we’re learning in this course. Also, in terms of persuading government and agencies to change the way they reach the masses (or more specifically, our youth), it seems the president was putting a few of Cialdini’s powers of influence to use: appeal to authority (the president is telling you), likability (the president is highlighting you), reciprocity (the president is highlighting you), commitment/consistency (just get a foot in the door with the first Instagram post). Okay, maybe he was just trying to be hip.

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One thought on ““Make Sure You Instagram It”

  1. It’s funny that both Obama and his foes have had the same intuition (see Tracey’s post below). It’s interesting to think about which version of tapping into social media and sharing is more effective. I’m also glad you brought up the case–it was written with the 2008 campaign in mind, but that team has been through another campaign and 6 years of governance since. We’ll definitely talk about whether the same rules apply and what they’ve done to stay in step with the times.

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