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Social Media in diplomacy

by on April 11, 2014

Nowadays, Internet is an increasingly important part in our daily lives. We use it for multiple purposes : contact email, search for information, research the news , contact relatives and many other things. Beyond web pages “classic ” social networks also gain immense popularity. Facebook , Twitter , Tumblr, Linkdin , Google+ or Instagram actually gather every day new followers.
The political class is no exception to this rapid expansion of the Internet . Indeed , politicians are using it more and more to display their programs and promote their campaigns. They do this through personal websites , as well as through that of their party, but also through social networks. A growing number of politicians having a profile on one or more networks are observed. The most interesting example is the President of the United States, Barack Obama. It relies heavily in its communication plan on the use of these networks and has a team involved in maintaining its different virtual profiles. Obama has used it during his two election campaigns and continues tirelessly during the year of its mandate. It is present in nearly 15 social networks and even some dedicated to specific communities in order to reach the widest possible audience.
In addition to simply being popular , Obama’s presence on social networks is very valuable politically ; it happens through it to be closer to its citizens , and beyond since U.S. policy is followed outside its borders, and to promote his ideas quickly and easily .
On the morning of his first election , Barack Obama had accumulated 32’425’737 fans on Facebook, followers on 22’364’640 Twittervi and more 1’656’000 subscribers on Instagram . The presence of Barack Obama on Facebook , Twitter or YouTubeX it has intensified , aware of the advantage he could shoot. Indeed , social networks give voters the opportunity not only to follow the campaign, but also to participate. The fact , for example, retweet a post from Barack Obama helps to spread this message , the user becomes an active member of the campaign. This far exceeds the mouth because the community of social networking is huge. His communication is mainly based on simple messages, photos and graphics showing the main axes of its policy. Personal profile on

Barack Obama on Facebook

Facebook, and that of the White House are updated daily . One can find different content ranging from casual pictures of the president for political information, or videos of his speeches , through messages of support to his fellow citizens . His Twitter, Tumblr , Instagram or Google+ accounts show the same type of items .

Hold its constantly updated profiles allows Obama to account for its activities and thus to give a very active image; a way to remind his constituents that they had reason to trust him. However, if the use of social networks has been a huge success for Obama ( some studies suggest even he would probably never have been elected without this communication strategy ), it is not always successful for all men policies. In France , for example , the results were not very convincing for Francois Hollande or Nicolas Sarkozy .




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  1. This post poses some interesting issues. Perhaps you could explore in a bit more depth the last of these, namely why some social media campaigns succeed while others fail.

    However, I don’t think you do enough to demonstrate how this post is relevant to the module, which has a global or international focus. Despite the title of your post, there is no mention of diplomacy, let alone public diplomacy, and the only international aspect is the references to Obama’s international followers.

    Should you chose to include this post in your reflective portfolio for assessment, please do more to:

    – address one or more of the central themes and issues of the module;
    – link your discussion to some of the concepts and theories in the academic literature.

  2. Inhigsts like this liven things up around here.

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