SOTU: Twitter Fu From the White House Comes Home

    January 25, 2012
    Mike Tuttle
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Before the State of the Union address last night, the White House started a little discussion. And, they did it in the most ingenious way.

Last month, the 2.6 million followers of @WhiteHouse and the 11.6 million followers of @BarackObama on Twitter were asked “What does $40 mean to you?” with the hashtag #40dollars. The discussion was about the payroll tax cut being considered before Congress that would take an additional $40 a week out of workers’ paychecks.

The premise was simple enough. People posted responses to that question, hashtagging them with “#40dollars”. If you followed that hashtag on Twitter, you saw responses like:

The #40dollars hashtag started trending on Twitter, with most people unaware of what it was all about. But, they asked. And word got around.

Soon a national conversation was started.

Some simply poked fun.

The White House had seized control of the narrative in the public by priming the conversation with a Twitter hashtag.

Then, during the State of the Union address last night, President Obama brought it all home:

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