Obama likes Face­book’s Time­line photo for­mat

The Washington Times Daily - - Politics - BY TIM DE­VANEY

It’s Face­book of­fi­cial: Pres­i­dent Obama on Thurs­day be­came the most re­cent can­di­date in the 2012 elec­tion to switch to Time­line.

The new Face­book lay­out will play a big role in the pres­i­dent’s so­cial­me­dia ef­forts. He al­ready is con­nect­ing with sup­port­ers on sites in­clud­ing Twit­ter, Linkedin, Google+ and Spo­tify.

“Ev­ery­one knows that Pres­i­dent Obama has a very savvy so­cial-me­dia team,” said Francesca Cham­bers, ed­i­tor and so­cial-me­dia man­ager at Red Alert Pol­i­tics. “That’s why he won in 2008, be­cause he had one of the best so­cial-me­dia cam­paigns that pol­i­tics has ever seen. And that’s very much re­flected in his new Face­book Time­line.”

Face­book Time­line of­fers a more visu­ally friendly lay­out. It in­cludes a cover photo in ad­di­tion to the tra­di­tional pro­file picture, and that helps at­tract view­ers. It also makes it eas­ier to nav­i­gate through a can­di­date’s his­tory in re­verse chrono­log­i­cal or­der.

Mr. Obama used the cover photo to dis­play a graphic of his record on job cre­ation.

“I think they did a re­ally good job us­ing the cover photo,” Ms. Cham­bers said. “It fo­cuses on the is­sue that most Amer­i­cans are con­cerned about: jobs.”

What’s more, “Pres­i­dent Obama can switch his cover photo to match rel­e­vant is­sues he’s push­ing along the cam­paign trail,” said Steph Parker, com­mu­nity man­ager for so­cial me­dia at Neiman, a mar­ket­ing firm.

Mr. Obama also can use Face­book Time­line to post images from the cam­paign trail. It’s a smart po­lit­i­cal move that will cap­ture the at­ten­tion of young vot­ers who would rather look at a photo or watch a video than read a sta­tus up­date, Ms. Cham­bers ex­plained.

“The whole point of Time­line is the pic­tures,” she said, “be­cause pic­tures are worth a thou­sand words.”

Face­book Time­line also makes it eas­ier for Mr. Obama to tell the story of his cam­paign. He points out sig­nif­i­cant mo­ments in his pres­i­dency, such as when he signed the health care bill, re­pealed the “don’t ask, don’t tell” pol­icy on gays in the armed forces and pulled the U.S. mil­i­tary out of Iraq.

The pres­i­dent takes a dig at “birther” con­spir­acy the­o­rists by cel­e­brat­ing his birth on Aug. 4, 1961 with a picture of a cof­fee mug that dis­plays his birth certificate and reads “Made in the USA.”

“It’s not ex­actly sub­tle,” said Brad Tid­well, founder of In­frared Pro­duc­tions, a new-me­dia com­pany that cre­ates Face­book pages, “but it’s a good use of Time­line.”

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