Who Won the Inauguration On Social Media?

There’s little doubt that inaugurations rank right up there with State of the Union addresses when it comes to PR and branding opportunities for newly elected presidents. In fact, we’d say inaugurations are the bigger of the two PR blowouts, because very few see the State of the Union as an excuse to party (and no, silly drinking games that we all regret in the morning do not count).

Despite being smaller than Obama’s first inauguration in every way, this year’s event predictably prompted a “social media explosion” that managed to knock the mighty Twitter out of service for a moment or two. The fact that so many more people got “social” this year than in 2009 despite the lower turnout confirms something we already knew–that social media has become an ever more integral part of public and private life over the past four years.

The White House tweeted everything from its official account and the administration’s media team created an @obamainaugural profile strictly dedicated to the event. Even the usually restrained First Lady joined the fray last week. This clip was the public’s favorite reminder of our hyper-connected society:

Now that the ceremonies are over, we thought we’d take the opportunity to quickly analyze other experts’ analysis of the themes President Obama chose to publicize during his second inauguration ceremony–and to see how they performed on the various social media channels.

Salesforce‘s Radian 6 blog shows us that social activity peaked during Obama’s 20-minute speech–and that gay rights and climate change were the topics that attracted the most attention. We’re not going to get into politics and possibilities here (we were more interested in Michelle’s new bangs), but given the fact that Obama made a clear effort to highlight these two topics as themes for his second term, we’d say his team did a good job in terms of driving the larger conversation for one day.

But in the end, the portion of the public who watched the event seemed to be in a festive mood. Despite a yawn that quickly became a meme (we’ll pretend that happened during Katy Perry‘s performance), many journalists highlighted a series of photos documenting the Obama daughters taking “selfies” as the day’s best pics. We have to agree–assuming they Instagrammed the shots for posterity.