(Disclaimer: this is not a political blog post) For those who haven’t heard, President Barack Obama sent out his first tweet from the official @POTUS Twitter account on Monday. Yes, the President of the United States will now use Twitter as a way to directly communicate with with fellow Americans. The verdict is still out on whether this is a good idea and perhaps only time will tell. Shortly after the President sent out his first light-hearted tweet, the majority of people responded with support. The supportive responses were quickly overshadowed by some pretty horrific posts and replies. The posts ranged from racial slurs to serious threats and the New York Times reported that a Minneapolis man received a visit from the Secret Service after addressing an alarming tweet to the President. This particular incident got me thinking about the pros and cons of the @POTUS account and I came up with the following list:
- Engagement. In marketing, we use Social Media as a way to engage with customers and build relationships. Will the same theory apply to President Obama on Twitter? Of course it’s unrealistic to think that the President will be able to respond to everyone’s tweets and messages but for the few that he does, I can promise it will be a big deal. It will be interesting to see just how much engagement the President commits to on Twitter.
- Quick Information. There’s no better way to send a quick, informative message than on Twitter! I doubt there will be a lot of hard news that the President breaks on Twitter but it will be exciting to see just how much he does share with us. Will we get a glimpse inside the life of Mr. Obama or will his account remain strictly business?
- Too Much of a Threat? Does a personal Twitter account leave the President over exposed? Will the Secret Service have to dedicate more of their time investigating people like the man from Minneapolis mentioned above because of Twitter? The President is already open to Internet threats and comments so is Twitter really any different?
- Archives. The Secret Service already scans the Internet for threats so Twitter is no exception but did you know that every tweet or message sent to @POTUS, or any official White House account for that matter, is permanently archived? Should this kind of information really be part of our nation’s history for our grandchildren to read in years to come?
What do you think?