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Elected Official Profile – Barack Obama

27 July 2009

(1) WHY this site?

Barack Obama was extremely active on Twitter during the campaign and is considered a very advanced politician when it comes to social media.  While I don’t think he does a good job on Twitter, I think it is important to analyize his use of the site.

(2) Screen shot


(3) Data on tweets

Obama’s Tweets have a very official tone.  During the campaign they primarily focused on updates about where Obama was going to be.  In general, he is not very active on Twitter.

(4) “Fill In The Blank” stats

Date data downloaded : 27 July 2009
Industry sector : Politics

Twitter ID : @barackobama
Followers : 1,841,316
Following : 767,864
Ratio followers/following : 2.38

Number posts : 308
Account created : 29 April 2007
First post : 29 April 2007

44th President of the United States

Twitter :
Bio link :
Facebook :

Barack Obama is currently the president of the United States.  His campaign took advantage of many social media tools and was especially successful with sites like  He has pushed the White House to use more social media, particularly YouTube and Facebook.

(5) Analysis

A. General – B-
(A.1) Background – A little boring.  Obama’s face is faded and looks a bit like a ghost.  I would expect stronger imagery than they have.  B-

(A.2) Avatar – Obama has his logo as his Avatar instead of his face.  This seemed like a good idea branding-wise when Twitter was young, but I think it would be beneficial to actually show Obama rather than his campaign logo.  B-

(A.3) Bio – Obama’s bio tells you his current position, but lacks anything insightful.  A call to action would be nice in the spot as well.  C+
(A.4) Transparency – The account is verified, which is nice, but the Tweets really look like they are being posted by a staff member.  None of them are very personal.  It also doesn’t make clear who is making these updates, which makes me question the transparency of the account.  C
(A.5) Bio Link – The link goes to his site, which is good.  A

B. Tweets – C-
(B.1) Replies – 3/100
(B.2) ReTweets – 1/100
(B.3) DM requests – 0
(B.4) Hashtags – 15
(B.5) (favorite tweets?) – 0
(B.6) Narrative summary – Obama promotes his own hashtags, but doesn’t really engage in other hashtags.  His replies are also to places like the Whitehouse instead of Twitter users, which means he really isn’t engaging in conversation.  In general, Obama broadcasts news rather than engaging in conversation.

C. Questions/Suggestions
(C.1) Questions unearthed during analysis – My big question is why Obama doesn’t take advantage of Twitter more.  He does a great job with other social media services, but is pretty poor with Twitter.  For a populist president looking to “hear from the public,” I’m pretty dissapointed.
(C.2) Suggestions for improvement – I would suggest Obama’s team rethink their Twitter strategy.  With so many followers, they have potential to do a lot, but haven’t really done anything.

D. Analytic Services (to come next week)

E. Conclusion
(E.1) Narrative – Obama’s team gets a lot of credit for social media, but fails pretty miserably at Twitter.  He really needs to rethink his use of it.  Having over a million followers could mean a lot of influence, but currently it is being squandered.
(E.2) Scorecard Summary

  • General: B-
  • Tweets: C-
  • Overall: C
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