The Verge caught up with Michelle Obama and her team to talk about her social media success. With access to audiences former First Ladies could have only dreamed of, Madame FLOTUS has successfully harnessed the power of social media to advocate her social initiatives. Here are 7 things you could learn about social media from Michelle Obama:
1. Bypass the middleman – With social media, “People can get to know me directly. They can see that I’m kind of silly sometimes, that I care. They can feel the passion, [and] they don’t have to have it filtered through another source. And young people in particular like that,” says Mrs. Obama.
2. Be a “cool mom” – “I’ve got two Gen Zers living under my roof,” she says in reference to her two daughters. “They don’t think we’re cool at all. But I know what they’re watching on Vine, and I know what they’re giggling about.”
3. Go VIRAL – Madame FLOTUS and her social media team are always looking for content that will break new ground. Mrs. Obama states,”we always say, ‘Well, can we make it go viral? Can we make it? Is it gonna? Is it going to resonate?’”
4. Start a conversation – The First Lady wants her audience to discuss the issues she’s advocating for. It’s about getting people to participate. “[Mrs. Obama] always tries to use social media not just to speak to people, but to get them to be part of the conversation,” says Krishanti Vignarajah, Mrs. Obama’s policy director.
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5. Know where your audience is – “Of all her platforms, the First Lady truly shines on Vine, where the White House has over 436,000 followers,” according to The Verge. “And to help push her initiatives, the First Lady’s team calls on Vine superstars.”
6. Partner up – Partnerships aren’t limited to just Vine. To obtain more reach on her YouTube channel (on which she only has 15,691 followers), Mrs. Obama sought partnership from CollegeHumor and Funny Or Die to film shorts that talked about education.
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7. Be a cause for change! – Hashtags aren’t necessarily going to end childhood obesity, but addressing that it’s a problem by starting a conversation just might. “When we first came into office,” Mrs. Obama recalls, “there were people questioning whether childhood obesity was even an issue. Now we’re seeing the conversation has in fact changed.” In fact the CDC reported that in 2014 obesity fell drastically in children ages 2-5.
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