The White House and the Big Cheese of Hashtags
This past Tuesday, January 12, President Obama gave his final State of the Union Address. The president covered strenuous topics ranging from gun control to tax cuts and the Affordable Care Act. This event often leaves people asking questions, especially with such controversial topics that affect people in many different ways. With this in mind, the following day the White House invited Cabinet officials, members of Congress, Senior White House Officials, and special guests for a 24-hour questionnaire called “Big Block of Cheese Day”. What’s with the cheese? We were stumped too.
“Big Block of Cheese Day” was inspired by President Andrew Jackson’s 1837 open house featuring… you guessed it, a big block of cheese. 1,400 pounds to be exact! But still, why use a block of cheese to motivate people to ask questions? There are a variety of tactics that the White House could have used to go about this daylong Q & A, but they decided on social media, or more specifically, the hashtag #BigBlockofCheeseDay.
The White House dominated social media platforms with the hashtag #BigBlockofCheeseDay. People could ask questions on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, and even Instagram by using the hashtag. No matter which social media platform you favor, you were sure to see #BigBlockofCheeseDay. So why did the White House go as far as to create a trending hashtag in order to get your questions answered? The answer: millennials!
Relevance Is Key
The White House’s use of social media and the big block of cheese targets a population that is often tough to reach, especially concerning political agendas. Younger generations often feel unheard and irrelevant when it comes to politics and in turn, there are dramatically small amounts of votes coming from young people between the ages of 18 and 29. Yet 88% of millennials get news from social media. That’s 88% of the population between the ages of 18-29 who saw #BigBlockofCheeseDay! Thus, Big Block of Cheese Day was a brilliant opportunity for the White House to connect to young voters and for these voters to have their voices heard.
Big Block of Cheese Day was an event for the public to get their toughest questions answered by the people in charge themselves. The White House made it easy to engage by using a fun hashtag that sparked your interest, even without knowledge of what it was about. The hashtag stood out, making it impossible for you to ignore it or even disregard it. Even if a vast majority of millennials decided to opt out of asking questions, they were sure to be exposed to the many questions being asked and were sure to learn something that they didn’t already know. The #BigBlockofCheeseDay event is undoubtedly one of the most fun and accessible engagements we’ve seen from the White House and they used the perfect platforms for the audience they were wishing to engage.
The more young people know about politics, the more likely they will feel inclined to vote; this was proven in President Obama’s 2008 election which made history for its effective use of social media as a campaign strategy. Proven once again by #BigBlockofCheeseDay, social media is just too strong of a force to not use to a marketing advantage!
With a clever hashtag and some fun marketing, people can stay “in the know” about what is happening in politics and how it affects their lives, which is the ultimate goal of the White House. Whether we wanted to or not, we’ve all taken a bite out of this Big Block of Cheese!