On Friday morning, President Obama asked the American people to “tweet” their representatives in Congress about the debt ceiling crisis. His re-election campaign quickly tweeted out:
“The time for putting party first is over. If you want to see a bipartisan #compromise, let Congress know. Call. Email. Tweet. —BO”
By signing the tweet “BO” the campaign was reiterating that this message was coming directly from the President himself. The Daily Caller suggested that the #compromise hashtag was actually in direct response to a New York Times reporter’s suggestion.
For the rest of the day, Obama’s re-election campaign tweeted the Twitter handles of all the Republican members of Congress. The strategy might have backfired.
"Bam's spam? President Barack Obama takes debt battle to Twitter, loses more than 33,000 followers," the Twitter account @whitehousepresscorps tweeted as of 6pm Friday.
Mashable thinks the number is closer to 37,000 lost followers.
This of course begs the question, can social media engagement be detrimental to a candidate? Obama’s campaign claims that the unsubscribe rate was expected. However, given that most political pundits expected the GOP to not #compromise, was the social media strategy an unnecessary loss of followers?