Just weeks after I wrote a piece for ERE.net about talent communities, something happened on the Internet that excited much of the tech blogs and was acknowledged by many traditional press outlets; President Barack Obama held a 30-minute “ask-me-anything” session on the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet” reddit.com. There is an important take away here for professional recruiters.
First things first.
Closer to the election, a day before in fact, the President took some time to once again drop in on redditors to ask for their votes. Contender Mitt Romney’s reddit.com appearances? Exactly two less than Mr. Obama’s.
The President invested some of his campaign time into a site like reddit because of its demographics. Google’s Double Click Ad Planner reports that reddit traffic is overwhelmingly dominated by people under the age of 35. In addition to reddit, Team Obama also spent a lot of effort on getting content broadcast on Tumblr, another social site that hosts far more under-thirty-somethings than overs. And while it is not possible to determine specifically whether or not Mr. Obama’s reddit.com investment paid off, election results sure do look like the strategy of going where the youth vote was more than likely paid off.
Not only did the President dominate the youth vote nationally (see the graphic below, click to enlarge), more importantly in critical swing states he actually improved upon his 2008 performance in the youth vote (also see the figure below), something he was unable to do nationally.
The evidence suggests that the President’s investment to meet the key youth demographic where they were digitally clearly paid off.
Now to what it means to you. keep reading…