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Jan 26 2011
Last night, President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address to the United States population where an estimated 48 million people tuned into the event. With social media being the new phenomenon of social interaction, it’s no surprise that the White House took advantage of this opportunity to connect with the over 85,000,000 social media users in the United States alone.
The State of the Union is no longer an annual event where Americans sit on their couch and watch the speech on their new flat screen, hi-definition television. The State of the Union address has now gone viral through the Internet, social media and even mobile mediums. The White House estimated that an estimated 1.3 million people tuned into the live streaming video made available on the White House website during the time of the speech. There is also a White House app available on the iPhone where users can follow the latest news, blogs and videos streaming live from their phone.
From the start of the president’s annual speech, the White House Twitter account was on rapid fire with a play-by-play rundown of President Obama’s address to the country. This method of following the speech allowed for users to replay with questions and comments that were sent to a panel of White House officials (@whitehouse) for LIVE answers during the speech. To watch this Twitter account explode with tweets from its nearly 2 million followers, I assume, would be like watching live stock market charts at Nasdaq. Tweets were probably rolling in by the second!
The White House Facebook account also posted a play-by-play of the president’s speech that attracted more than 50,000 participants with questions for White House officials. This direct interaction with the country’s government is an unbelievably difficult task to take on with over 800,000 fans and 50,000 comments within an hour! However, it does show how much involvement the government works to have in this direct communication with the public.
President Obama and senior administration officials have created a number of online events in order to response to the millions of questions and feedback the White House has received over the past 24 hours since the speech. On the White House website, they provide an events calendar with the listings of online events for answering the questions provided from the American audience through Facebook, President Obama’s YouTube channel and live feedback from Press Secretary’s Twitter account.
In your social media strategy, make yourself available. The United States government present themselves in a way that encourages interaction and traffic to their social network pages. What do people want to know about your company or service? Provide information that people will want to hear about. The White House Twitter and Facebook provided information on the points delivered throughout the speech because that’s what people wanted to hear. While your company may not be as big and worldwide as the United States government, you still want to give your fans, readers and potential followers something interesting to engage in and possibly participate.
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