Dearest Obama

I have about 9 blog posts to write tonight… and I just dropped them all to rampage on President Obama’s social media team.

30 minutes ago I received a direct message on Twitter from @BarackObama. The notification came through my iPhone and I was like — whoa!!! I read the first line… ‘Twitter influence’… then I saw ‘follow/retweet’… and then fire shot straight through my veins.

Dearest Obama, 

Why the hell are you sending me an auto-DM?


Your #1 fan {except for tonight}, Jillian

I remember when everyone was sending auto-DM’s. EVERYONE. Some slimy message would arrive in your inbox that pleading for you to subscribe  to their list, read their newsletter, check out their website, blah blah blah.

About a year ago {maybe longer}, people started calling out people who used auto-DM’s. Why? They were impersonal. They were spammy. And lastly, no one wanted them.

Fun fact… people don’t really want to be sold to on Twitter. Whoaaaaa! ;) People want you to help them, educate them, share knowledge with them, interact with them etc.

Twitter is insanely powerful at building relationships {especially with people you wouldn’t normally be able to access in your day to day}.

If you are doing good work, providing good content, building your brand, super legit at what you do… people will buy from you. You don’t need to do any of the begging, cold-calling, $1.99 for 10 packs of gum, spammy selling on Twitter. It’s not the marketing platform for it.

Anyways, back to Obama fueling my fire…

3 issues with Obama’s private message:

  1. “Use your Twitter influence” … Yuck. Really Obama Twitter team? REALLY? What even determines Twitter influence? Did you use Klout to determine influence? Did you send this auto-DM based on follower count? Did you send it to all your 21 million followers and just write “Twitter influence” to make people feel they’re cool?  Pretty sure if we were talking “Twitter influence” for this online campaign {and you were wanting to send a nasty auto-DM}, you should have sent this private message to AMERICANS who are of voting age in the youth market {I think that’s who you’re trying to target!}. You may have even targeted youth in specific states you are concerned are voting Romney.
  2. “Follow/Retweet @Obama2012” … People will follow you if they’re interested in your content. People will Retweet you if they want to. Don’t beg. Ever. Blah.
  3. “Join the Twitter team” … What the hell is a Twitter team? Anyways, I clicked on the link because I was curious. FOR REAL OBAMA? “Retweet! Retweet! Retweeet!” Ick. What do you want people to do again? “Join the Twitter team” to Retweet the crap that comes from the @Obama2012 account? Why don’t you create an online discussion forum where people can chat politics? Why not support online conversation and get people talking about why they are voting Obama? Why not unite people over your #Obama2012 hashtag that already exists and track reach and engagement through analytics?

    “Join the Twitter Team” – Obama 2012 Campaign

I presume I’m not the only Canadian who was sent this auto-DM by Obama… not only can I not vote in the American election, but I also cannot join the “2012 Twitter Team” as I don’t live in a state {it’s not a mandatory field, but you know what I’m saying}.

What did I get out of this auto-DM?

A total social media headache. And maybe a little less faith in Obama’s social media team.

Well done team, well done! :P

Another fun fact to end this post. President Obama signs his tweets “-bo”. Kinda cute. :) @BarackObama‘s Twitter account states:

This account is run by #Obama2012 campaign staff. Tweets from the President are signed -bo.

Pssst… Twitter is about relationships and community.

If Obama’s social media team was wanting to beg for retweets via this slimy auto-DM, they could have at least got the President onboard with a “-bo” so that people would feel a tad more special and maybe go along with the game. Heh. ;)

I will stop now.


Not a social media expert. 

PS – If you’re on Obama’s social media team and reading this post… {hiii!}, please stop by the library and pick up The Thank You Economy by Gary Vaynerchuck. Fantastic read on building community in the digital world.