Home How Barack Obama Can Go Beyond A Brand Using Google+

How Barack Obama Can Go Beyond A Brand Using Google+

The President of the United States has just joined Google+. Well, sort of. This new page is actually a Google+ brand page for the Obama For America 2012 campaign. Republican presidential nominees Herman Cain, Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul had already joined Google+, and while none of them are doing anything spectacular, they did join.

There is one politician that Obama could learn a few things from: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has been using Google+ since July 14, 2011, and his presence is frank and personal. Viral videos of Bernie Sanders spread like wildfire across the Internet, especially in progressive politics circles.

The fact that Obama waited until just today to join Google+ and launched as a brand instead of a person is troubling, and further solidifies the idea that he is just that – a brand. So now that Barack’s on Google+, will he actually hangout?

Herman Cain created his user profile on October 27, more than a week before Google+ launched brand pages. His first Google+ post says: “It’s great to now be on Google+! I am excited to use this tool on the campaign trail to better connect with all of my supporters!” Rick Perry’s Google+ profile is completely blank. Mitt Romney waited until November 8, 2011, to launch his Google+ brand page with the following announcement to his fans: “One year from now, Americans will have the opportunity to choose a new president.” Gingrich participated in his first Google+ Hangout on July 6. To help politicians along, Google published Google+ for politics.

Social media helped Obama win in 2008 and fundamentally changed the way political campaigns run in the Internet age. Obama currently has more than 24 million fans on his Facebook page and more than 11 million followers on Twitter. In September, the White House (which is not yet on Google+), partnered with LinkedIn for a live town hall about putting Americans back to work.

Political figures aside, to really gain top user status on the other social network, Obama must surpass the top five Google+ users: Larry Page, Britney Spears, Snoop Dogg, Mark Zuckerberg and Tyra Banks.

That calls for a potent combination of branding and hanging out. Is the Obama For America 2012 campaign up for it?

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