When twitter first rolled out, following and being followed was a big deal for many. It was partly many people’s day time job. What would make it even more exciting was public figure accounts that made twitter users feel closer to them; presidents, members of parliament and even celebrities. Finally, we got a grip of their personal thoughts and trends or so we thought.
With time, social media management became a blue collar job across boundaries. You see being a president, there is too much to really give a hoot about than 140 characters of expression on a social media platform. There is the economy to keep tabs on, the constitution to preserve and protect and the country to uphold generally. Public relations too is part of the top dog’s job and social media happens to be a tool so we come back to why social media managers have suddenly become relevant.
@BarackObama was among the first head of state twitter handle to exist. First launched in 2007 the initial intention of the account was to get closer to voters and make them feel more attached to the then presidential candidate. The account was however handed over to Public relations representatives to keep relevance and make you think Barack Obama is actually on the other end.
The case applies to many public figures and celebrities, who only get to give consent to content put up on ‘their’ handle even if they occasionally tweet themselves. For the case of president Obama, “@All of the president’s named social media accounts have been handed over to a non-partisan, not-for-profit group that isn’t overly concerned” wrote CNN’s Philip Bump.
Well, as of yesterday, the president decided to join few public figures managing their own accounts on twitter with the handle @POTUS (President Of The United States) his first tweet reading
Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.
— President Obama (@POTUS) May 18, 2015
The president identifies himself as Dad, Husband and the 44th president of the United States in the handle that has already attracted 1.6 M followers. Among persons the president has chosen to follow is the first lady @FLOTUS, the Vice President Joe Biden @VP and a handful of cabinet members and former presidents (Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and the U.S. government’s many departments (Homeland Security, Department of Defense, Department of Agriculture, etc.)
Also, the president is following sports teams, which he did by subscribing to Chicago’s Blackhawks, White Sox, Bulls and Bears (Sorry, @Cubs). Getting this from a joke exchanged by @billclinton and @POTUS, the handle comes with the house. His office twitter handle managed by his staff currently has 59.3M followers with 13.5K.
Well, there you have it! Follow the real Obama!