Obama's data scientists and social media team made very intelligent use of Facebook and Twitter fans during the 2012 election campaign for him.

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Social media marketing has gained a lot of traction in recent days. Advertisers can’t resist it given the fact that millions of users are hooked to social media sites. During elections, Obama’s social media team made use of Facebook to campaign for him, but it deployed a very intelligent marketing technique.


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Riyad Ghani was the Chief Scientist of ‘Obama for America’ campaign and his team was tasked with managing the Facebook page of the campaign. Whereas his team was able to attract millions of users, it wasn’t just having the users that he looked forward to – rather, Ghani says, he wanted to prompt these fans to do something positive to support the campaign.

Rather than using generic Facebook ads for every user, Ghani reveals that his team utilized intelligent methods to determine what audience will see those ads. The target was to reach out to the friends of such users who were already Obama supporters.

To do so, they would try to determine which of these friends were likely to go on a walk, make a donation or indulge in any pro-Obama activity. The social media team would then target these contacts with the specific ads based on their interests, thus trying to make its advertisement customized for individual users.

The best part is that the team reached out to new users through existing fans. Fans of the page would reach out to their friends which, Ghani says, is a more trusted medium than reaching out new fans on their own.

According to him, the election campaign this year was hugely different from the last one. This time, the conventional modes of communications have proved futile in the face of growing social media. A huge portion of the youth can no longer be reached through landline but they are there on the social media.

The major problem that Ghani and his team faced was to reach out to these users. And reach out they did, by intelligently expanding their scope through the existing fans, a strategy which proved very successful in the long run.

Courtesy: GigaOm

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  On December 10, 2012(1 year, 11 months ago.)

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