Social Media Campaign Research Paper Sample

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Elections, Media, Campaign, Sociology, Obama, People, Politics, Platform

Pages: 5

Words: 1375

Published: 2020/11/30

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Social media campaigns are transforming the way marketing and advertisements are conducted across the globe. Nowadays, the social media platform had become one of the most utilized interactive segments around the world. It is no surprise, therefore, that politicians are also turning to social media to give them a platform to reach their political targets. American politics took a new turn in 2008 when Barrack Obama took social media as one his campaign platforms. In the elections before, no presidential candidate had ever utilized social media as a way to address the public and send out his mandate. Therefore, in 2008, politics took a new turn when he embraced social media and used it not only in his first campaign that saw him elected as the first African American president, but also the second round in 2012 (Chang & Aaker, 2010). During his 2008 campaign, social media was not established as it was in his 2012 campaign. The social media landscape was a lot different four years later when he ran for office the second time. The platform is now full of different media tools that enable one to interact with people from different social and economic classes and pass on your mandate in real quick time. There is no way such a change in consumer consumption of social media could not have played a huge role in the recent elections. The fact that almost everyone is in at least one media platform is something that pushes politicians to embrace these new ways of reaching their followers. Within four years between his first campaign and his second one, the number of adults in social media had almost doubled from 37% to 69%.
During his 2012 political campaign, Obama had a highly experienced team working for him. The team understood how social media works and how they could reach out to different people using different social media networks. During the four years in office, Obama had worked up to a great social media platform that was up and running before he began his campaign. Therefore, he already had an edge over his competitor. The team under Obama’s social media campaign knew the right chemistry to use in conducting social media campaign. They understood the need for user engagement in that would ensure measured content spread and not merely the continuous updating of status. Therefore, in order to fully understand the success of the political campaign that saw Obama re-elected to office, this article will analyze his campaign using the Dragonfly Effect Model. The model uses the four wings of a dragon fly to explain how a successful media campaign should be conducted.
The first wing is focus and it entails having a single goal that is achievable and measurable. In this case, the Obama campaign had to ensure that it addressed the five principle designs of focus according to the dragonfly effect model. The first principle is having a clear idea of the target audience that entails being humanistic in the approach used. In the case of the Obama campaign his focus was on three words that were ever present in the whole campaign. These were hope, change and action. The next aspect is putting up a plan and gearing it into action. The campaign embraced and executed this principle through their ability to put up a digital landscape. Obama worked out his plan early on before the campaign. He picked up the top bloggers in the industry and ensured that all the top communication hubs were familiar with his existence in the social media. The next principle is having clarity of the goals by being specific and the Obama campaign had only one focus to engage the democrat supporters throughout the whole campaign period. The other principle in focus is happiness that arises when goal of the campaign is meaningful to the whole process. Obama knew that psychology applies to human behavior and activities conducted online are always duplicated offline. Thereby, his whole approach was towards a single goal, to garner votes (Aaker & Smith, 2010).
The second wing of the dragonfly is to grab attention. In this case, the campaign had to catch the attention of the target population. Therefore, the approach had to be personalized that was achieved through the personalized connection that existed between the different teams working on his social media campaign. The whole process was not just some bluff that was about someone people did not know well. Authenticity was also key in this aspect. Obama made sure that there was a true portrayal of him in the different social media platforms including his favorite movies, music his family time and so no. people felt connected with the real Obama through his media profiles (Guevara, 2011).
third wing in the dragon fly model represents the need for engagement. The Obama campaign worked tirelessly to ensure that it recorded widespread information, garner support and in the process engage different people using its different social media networks. During their campaign, the Obama social media was able to engage around five million supporters using the social media. The fact that the campaign has over 15 different social media platform, ensured that it reached all the possible democrat supporters in different parts of the country. The number of supporters engaged in Obama’s social media network was around three million and this gave him the best platform to take the social media platform and use it to his advantage. Through his social media platforms, Obama was able to develop a free energy of constant communication with his supporters. This increased his and their participation in the campaign process; hence instilling a sense of purpose and enthusiasm among those in his medial platforms. His slogan was “Change we can believe in” he always ensure that he made his supporters part of the whole process of running for office (Chang & Aaker, 2010).
The fourth wing of the dragonfly effect model is take action. Here the main idea is to give others the opportunity or chance to take action. The need to ensure that the supporters do not only feel as customers, but as part of the team is what made the campaign strategy applied by Obama successful. One of the ways to do this is to ensure that the whole platform is fun, simple, tailored to the particular target group as well as remain open. All these will prompt people to take action. In the Obama campaign he made sure that even the little bit of contribution counted to his whole campaign process. For example, his $639 million dollars he raised during his campaign came majorly from contribution of less than twenty dollars from people coming from different backgrounds. In his campaign it was not about the ‘big’ people coming together in dinner parties to raise funds. However, he embraced everyone and engaged them in such a way that enabled them to take part in the campaign process in any way they could. One way he ensured everyone was part of this was his move to engage with four people from across the country to share stories and factors that affect them most.
In future, political campaigns through social media can be improved through different steps. In the case of the Obama campaign, his main focus was on his supporters. He was able to maintain constant communication with his supporters throughout the campaign period. However, one, thing that can possibly be changed is the target audience. Obama’s campaign was mostly focused on the supporters he knew he had in democrat supporters. However, I feel that the campaign strategy could have also focused on getting supporters who were not initially on his side. In this case, some of the steps to address this can start with collection of information from different platforms to aid in addressing some of the key issues and reservations of the non-Obama supporters. By so doing, the strategies employed will be in a position to address these issues directly. Collection of these data is simple as social media offers all the data and information posted daily by people who are not all up with the Obama regime. Therefore, all the concerns raised by the opponents could be addressed and their attention garnered towards supporting the Obama campaign. The next step would be engaging these people on different social media platform. This can be tricky as they can post negative things about the campaign that may result in loss of current supporters. However, by addressing their issues, they can have change of heart and join the team (Guevara, 2011).
Social media campaigns have come a long way in the past decade. Every day, there are new media platforms and people are enthusiastic in joining them. Over the years, the amount of work that can be completed online is on the rise, marketing, advertising, purchasing and paying. This has led to a transformation in how things are conducted even in the political scene (Aaker & Smith, 2010). Nowadays, politicians do not have to focus all their attention on print media and travelling across the country to address their supporters. They can do all these through social media and only make appearances to stress their points. The recent U.S elections showed clearly the role of social media in political campaigns. Obama was able to embrace and transform how campaigns will be done in future through different social media platforms. He has created a new trend in political campaigns that his successors will have to keep up. Hew utilized all the different aspects of the dragonfly model and this is most likely why he was successful. He understood where he stood and knew how to take advantage of technology.


Aaker, J. L., & Smith, A. (2010). The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, effective, and powerful ways to
use social media to drive social change. Retrieved from <>
Chang, V., & Aaker, J. (2010). Obama and the power of social media and technology. The
European Business Review, pp. 16-21.
Guevara, S. (2011). “The Dragonfly Effect: Quick, Effective, and Powerful Ways to Use Social
Media to Drive Social Change.” Foundation Review 3, (3), 79-81.

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Social Media Campaign Research Paper Sample. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 30, 2020. Accessed September 16, 2021.

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