Today, President Obama hosted his first-ever Facebook Town Hall. Hosted on the White House Facebook page, Obama discussed the economy, recovery funds, and answered questions that people submitted directly to the Facebook wall as well as to Whitehouse.gov.
Over 25,000 people RSVPed for the event. Today, the Facebook page goes directly to the Townhall tab. Interestingly, the page has nearly one million fans. I wonder how many would have RSVPed if the page had invited all of its fans?
I was quite glad to hear that President Obama would continue to innovate and find ways to communicate with new audiences. Even though many still think of Facebook as a site for young people, the numbers say that the average age of a Facebook user is age 38, and then the even-older demographic is the fastest growing group.
This is not the first time that Facebook and the White House have joined together to make a splash. Last month, they promoted a PSA about the importance of fighting cyberbullying on exclusively Facebook in order to raise awareness of the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention.
Now that social media is so clearly essential to campaigning (especially versus Obama), I am quite interested to see how his competitors will use it. I think that if they don’t integrate digital into each and every piece of their campaign, they will find it difficult to compete with a group who has it ingrained into its strategy.
If you’re especially interested in the topic, I would suggested this Wall Street Journal article: Facebook Seeking Friends in Beltway.