Dear President Obama:
A few weeks ago I took some time to congratulate you on your decision to be involved with your own twitter account and gave you some pointers on ways to maximize the impact of your investment. I really wish I had thought to add one more paragraph before I wrapped things up back then, perhaps I could have saved you some unnecessary aggravation.
I know it has been a tough couple of days for you, so let me refresh your memory. On Friday, July 29th someone from your campaign staff (I assume with your blessing) sent close to 100 tweets from your account encouraging followers to contact those legislators active on twitter. Each tweet had a state name and a few twitter handles under the hashtag #compromise. Never before has someone made so much noise in such a short period of time to such a large audience…more than 9 million people received the tweets during the #compromise campaign.
Unfortunately 36,000 fewer people received the tweets that came afterward…because according to Mashable they quit following the @BarackObama handle. So did it work? Or was it a bad idea? This one constituent votes for the later.
Even as the leader of the free world you can annoy your twitter followers pretty quickly if you over-post. It happens all the time online – someone tweets out a half-dozen posts in a row and they get unfollowed….you sent more than one hundred.
By the way, those Republicans whose handles you provided to the populace gained 6,500 followers during the same period of time. If I were on your campaign staff, I would have to consider that a major #fail.
As you head into what will undoubtedly be the most social-media-rich campaign in history please take a lesson from this experience. Twitter is powerful – few doubt that anymore – but twitter can also backfire quickly. When someone runs a “well we’ll just tweet this and tweet that” plan past you, remember whose name comes after the @.