January 25, 2012

How Twitter Helped the White House

IF YOU were trying to strike up a conversation on Twitter about the merits of extending the payroll tax cut, what hashtag would you use?

The White House New Media team considered several options last month as the debate intensified, including #notaGame, #100dollarsbuys, #40dollarsbuys, #40addsup and #40dollarsmeans.

Eventually, they settled on #40 dollars.

Speaking Monday at the What's Next D.C. conference in Washington, Kori Schulman, White House deputy director for digital strategy, said her team chose #40dollars based on a prominent White House talking point: That eliminating the tax cut would have cost a family earning $50,000 a year about $40 a paycheck.

At about 4:15 PM on Monday, December 19, as Obama made a final push for the tax cut, Schulman's team began asking the 2.6 million @WhiteHouse followers "What Does $40 Mean to You?"

By 5:00 PM, #40dollars was trending worldwide and the hashtag was generating about 6,000 tweets per hour. At the height of the push, WhiteHouse.gov received about 5,000 responses per hour to the question.

Eventually, one participant, Amber Morris was invited to sit with the first lady during the State of the Union address. And of course, the $40 dollar issue was talked about during the president's SOTU speech.

>Read more here

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