President Obama promises to usher in a new era of openness based around three priorities: communication, transparency and participation. President Obama’s theme of open communication and transparency was carried out through Facebook, SMS and Twitter updates on his campaign trail; YouTube video addresses during his transition to the Whitehouse; and user engagement post-inauguration via the new makeover of the Whitehouse.gov website. By continuing to apply a wide range of social media tools, President Obama is bypassing mainstream media channels and opting instead to reach out directly to his ardent supporters to continue engaging with them.
There’s a big takeaway in all of this for big companies and startups alike looking to build their own communities and leverage social media tools: start incorporating a digital social media strategy to accompany traditional PR efforts. For a great example, take a look at how successful Zappos.com has been with their company-wide embracement and use of Twitter as a new communication channel with their customers.
Twitter, SMS, YouTube, Facebook, blogging, Digg, Delicious, Flickr, etc. are cost-effective communication channels that are quickly becoming mainstream, enabling companies and people to reach out to their constituents and network of friends faster and farther than ever before. Social media initiatives enable companies to quickly communicate with existing customers or prospects, enhances a company’s transparency with customers, and encourages user feedback, ultimately building trust, loyalty, and goodwill.