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Daniel Burrus

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The Next President Must Have an Integrated Social Media Strategy

Posted: 01/16/12 03:06 PM ET

When President Obama became president, it was widely reported that he used social media and technology to help gain the momentum and the votes he needed.

Today, if we look at the Republican candidates and their use of social media, we see that each has a lopsided social media strategy at best. In other words, someone might have a lot of Facebook activity, but not much on Twitter. One might have a lot of "likes" and another one may not have any "likes" because they don't understand what "likes" do. Some of them have Facebook and Twitter, but they aren't on YouTube.

For example, let's look at frontrunner Mitt Romney. He has over 1.3 million Facebook "likes." That's powerful. But his Twitter followers are only around 200,000, and his YouTube subscribers are a measly 3,300 (as of this writing). So he's doing great in one area, but where's the rest?

The other candidates have a similar track record. They're really good at one or two things, but there's no overall, consistent social media strategy. I see the same challenge in the business community every day.

Here's an important point for everyone to consider: Many people think social media is all about Facebook and/or maybe it's all about Twitter, but it's so much more than that. Facebook is the current leader under a certain category of social media. But realize that leaders come and go. Any leader is good for a certain period of time, but then someone else takes over.  Why?  Because technology shifts.

For example, when it came to search, Yahoo was the leader of search... until Google came along.

Now let's talk social media. Social networking is a category. Who's the current leader? Facebook. But Facebook wasn't always the current leader. It used to be MySpace. You don't hear about MySpace much anymore, but they were the big one until Facebook changed the game.

So could someone change the game on Facebook? Of course. Someone can change the game on Google, too, by the way.

The point is that there's more than Facebook when it comes to social networking. Are you on the other social media sites? Do you even know what the other ones are? Here's the short list of social media categories and their current leaders: The social networking leader is Facebook. The professional networking leader is LinkedIn. The blogging leader is WordPress. The micro-blogging leader is Twitter. The video sharing leader is YouTube. The photo sharing leader is Flickr. The crowd-sourced content leader is Reddit. The geo-social networking leader is Foursquare.

As you can see, there are a number of categories. Are you looking at how you might be able to use those categories, or are you just picking the big ones in one or two categories?

Going back to the presidential candidates, it seems that none of them have a comprehensive, integrated, well-thought-through social media strategy at all. In fact, it seems they are really good at one or two social media platforms, but they haven't found how to pull it all together and integrate them all into a powerful whole.

Here's my prediction: The candidate who figures out how to create that well-rounded strategy, whether it's the Republicans or whether it's the president, will get amazing momentum and tip the scale in his favor this November. The only variable is who that person will be.

 
 
 

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