U.S. President Barack Obama’s team has launched a social media firestorm with a simple question posted on the White House’s Facebook page and on Twitter yesterday: “What does $40 mean to you?”
The campaign intends to highlight Congress’ failure to extend the payroll tax cut, which Democrats claim is the fault of House Republicans.
While many in Congress have de-camped for the holidays, congressional leadership is still in Washington to negotiate a deal.
The cuts expire on December 31 and $40 is the amount families would save each week if the payroll tax cut was extended.
On Facebook, three posts that asked the $40 question has generated more than 4,800 comments, 1,725 likes, and has been shared 565 times.
A senior White House official gave a rundown on the numbers the social media blitz has generated so far to POLITICO:
- #40dollars, the White House hashtag representing the average weekly value of the tax cut, was trending worldwide on Twitter yesterday afternoon and evening.
- More than 10,000 submissions generated through a form on Whitehouse.gov, averaging over 2,000 an hour and coming in from every state in the nation.
- By 4:40 p.m. Eastern Time, the hashtag #40dollars was trending on Twitter, not just nationwide, but worldwide.
- Through the official White House Twitter account (@WhiteHouse has 2.6 million followers), the White House retweeted stories from Americans across the country.
- Data is still incomplete, but #40dollars has been used in over 1,000 Tweets that so far have , and that so far have generated 5.7 million impressions and reached an audience of nearly 3 million people, according to Hashtracking.com.
Today, a random selection of 100 people who submitted their stories will be invited to a conference call with Brian Deese, special assistant to the President and deputy director of the National Economic Council to further discuss how not extending the payroll tax cut will impact them.
Some pundits are claiming this impasse with House Republicans could boost President Obama’s re-election chances. The debate has certainly helped the president’s Facebook fan count.
According to our Election Tracker, the president has added 3,318 fans today and 29,400 fans in the past week.
What do you think of the White House’s social media campaign over the tax cuts?