Barack Obama Follows Robert Plank on Twitter!

You know you're popular when one of two Presidential candidates personally goes out of his way to add you as a friend on Twitter...

Okay, just kidding. Senator Obama is following 70,000 people on Twitter including me... his account automatically subscribes to YOUR updates when you subscribe to his.

Twitter is a social networking site where you can provide brief, up-to-the-minute updates about yourself -- you are limited to 140 characters so that people who subscribe to you can receive updates via text message.

It sounds like a big waste of time if you use it incorrectly (just like anything else)... and lots of people leave updates like:

(8:35 am) Went to the bathroom.
(9:36 am) Waiting in line at McDonald's...
(10:59 am) Leaving to do errands...

No one cares about that but people do care if you have a relevant discussion going, if you're launching a new product they would like, you have a new blog post, you're going to a seminar, or have a quick question... Twitter is a nice and easy way to build a (non-email) list.

Just about every day his Twitter update says: "In Albuquerque, New Mexico. Discussing the need for equal pay. Watch this discussion live at (url to watch the streaming video)" ... The city, state, and topic change.

That's perfect.  You know what he's doing every day but there aren't a ton of annoying promotional messages, and there aren't any useless messages either.

My question to you:

Do you use Twitter?
Is it a waste of time?
Will spammers ruin Twitter?
What's your BEST Twitter marketing tip?

Please!  Take 27 seconds to leave your comment below so I can get the ten comments I need to keep updating this blog...

Filed in: Social Marketing
Tagged with:

Comments (36)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Uh, yeah twitter is great. Not sure why you would want to know about what B. Hussein Obama-nation is doing except for what he will do to cripple our capitalist system that allows us to have internet businesses…

    But that would be a topic for a political blog.

    Dave McKee

  2. Brian says:

    So who are you going to vote for?

  3. Dave Gammage says:

    Hi Robert!

    I do not yet use Twitter. I do see it as a potentially valuable platform – a little more direct than RSS. The trick is to use it wisely. Twitter, like any interactive platform, is susceptible to spammy activity. Fortunately it is easy to discontinue following someone. Since Twitter is designed for frequent updates, it should only take a couple of hours to determine if someone you signed up to follow is a spammer or not. One or two “Hey dudez check out this pr0n link I met my gurlfriend here” and I’m gone. 🙂

  4. Robert Plank says:

    So who are you going to vote for?

    Not telling… this isn’t a political blog. I don’t want you to think that just because I am following a political candidate’s updates on Twitter, that I am going to vote for that candidate.

  5. Pauli says:

    Now there’s a good use of Twitter. Is it easy to auto-follow your followers? Is it a built-in twitter setting, or does it take a special tool?

    One thing I’ve wondered about. How easy is it to maintain separate twitter accounts – say one for business A, one for business B, and one for your real family and friends ( who are actually interested in your plans to attend the kids’ school function, etc. )

    If you do this, how do you manage the distinct accounts?

  6. Olaina DeWalt says:

    WOW! I hate everything Barack ‘doesn’t’ stand for, but how COOL to be added to his Twitter. Kinda makes you feel important, doesn’t it?

    I, too, haven’t started using Twitter yet, and really didn’t understand the point of using it. THANKS for opening my eyes to the possibilities.

    I’ll bet if you use a great headline, like with a classified ad, you could pull in some followers. I’m getting ideas now. 🙂

    Have a good one, you celebrity, you!

  7. Donna Maher says:

    Are congrats in order, Robert? Ha… I bet he has a gazillion followers and doesn’t even do his own twittering… but I could be wrong.

    For several reasons – some mentioned here, I don’t think the script to auto-add people who add you on Twitter will be of much use.

    It does have limited potential – how often can you say something really meaningful and easy for everyone to understand in so few words?

    I’m still a bit ambivalent about it and don’t have time to twit away my hours when I feel like I should be doing something more productive with the little time we all have in a day.

    I’m curious – do you know if being on twitter adds any google-love to your links or not?

    Have a super day!


  8. Jonclaude says:

    HI Robertt,

    Good for you maybe you going be the next big Super Affiliate in the WHITE HOUSE

  9. Robert Plank says:

    Now there’s a good use of Twitter. Is it easy to auto-follow your followers? Is it a built-in twitter setting, or does it take a special tool?

    It takes a special tool — called What you do is sign up there, give them your Twitter login info, and there’s a setting to autofollow.

    NOTE: You also have to setup a rule in your e-mail to forward the notification e-mail from Twitter TO TweetLater (that someone is following you) for that to work.

    One thing I’ve wondered about. How easy is it to maintain separate twitter accounts

    Some of the desktop clients (TwitterFox and Thwirl) allow you to switch between multiple Twitter accounts pretty easily.

  10. Dale Maxwell says:

    Hi Robert,

    Pauli’s questions are the same as my questions (even the spelling)


  11. Lowell says:

    Robert –

    1. Yes I use twitter.

    2. It can be a waste of time. So can email.

    3. Twitter itself has done a pretty good job eliminating spammers. new ones all the time. They’ll be following thousands but have few followers. Easy to spot.

    4. The best marketing tip i have is not to blatantly market. Twitter is a social site. Be sociable.

    All the best,


  12. OK, so you’ve convinced me to subscribe to Twitter.

    If only to get the news out about a site under construction.

    Pity I live in Aussie so I can’t vote.

    Sorry Barack. Thanks Robert.

    The Beachcomber

  13. Hi Robert

    I’m still not completely sure about the entire ‘Twitter’ concept. Lots of people just ‘twit’, and follow someone only to build their own list of followers, not to read what this person has to say.

    I must admit, I’m still trying to find my way around the site. I guess I’ll be learning all the tricks while I go along…

  14. Paul Cowen says:

    See how Comcast used it for customer relations from link and in quotes below. I think I heard about this from Michel Fortin on his Facebook update. There are tools where you can update your blog, your facebook and your twitter all at once. Ed Dale uses it very effectively.

    You may want to follow Ed Dale and JeffWalker as you will see effective marketing using Twitter. Also Bryan Campbell did some successful launches and twitter was a big part of it.

    “Cable giant Comcast usually gets a bad rep for customer service (even I complained about it), but I have to say I am impressed with their latest efforts through an unlikely source: Twitter.

    Last night, while watching the incredible Celtics-Lakers game, I was trying to get some videos and podcasts uploaded to our site, but my Comcast internet connection was running terribly slow. A traceroute showed that the hop after my router was taking a whopping 1374ms to respond. Not good to say the least. So, I complained about it on my Twitter feed.

    A few minutes later, to my surprise, my Twhirl client pops up a message from @Comcastcares saying if I Direct Message my account phone number to them, they would look into the matter. Really? Because of a few Twitter-related issues, it took a bit for the Direct Message to happen and the slowness has subsided enough where my e-mail and uploading were decent. Still, the Comcast rep did a check of my modem as promised, reset it remotely (that explained the blip on my Outlook connection) and reported that the modem was okay and that issue was part of a wider network problem that had since been resolved, which I had verified through a much improved traceroute result. All of this was done within an hour and without me officially complaining to Comcast through phone call or direct e-mail.

    I heard of others that have complained about Comcast on Twitter only to find a Comcast rep suddenly “following” them. When I wrote about my past issue with customer service, I got calls at home from the Comcast corporate office. Never connected with them though since they were closed by the time I got home and remembered to try them back.

    For a company that seems to get bad grades for customer service, its Twitter system and embrace of Web 2.0 technology is a step in the right direction. Other companies should take notice. By using Twitter, Comcast (and others that follow the model) can assign their better troubleshooters to monitor the feed and proactively sniff out problems in the service. Instead of a the user calling and potentially getting a not-so-knowledgeable rep that gives them a run around (my issue the previous time), problems reported online through a public forum such as Twitter are getting directed straight to the most knowledgeable reps for quicker resolution. Customers don’t have to spend time with the phone glued to their ears and tech support people can be helping multiple customers at one. Seems like a “win-win” to me.”

    I think Barrack has been very savvy in making the most of the new technologies about – in the UK we know very little about most of the politicians – what they believe and what they are doing for us and why we should vote for them – the only time we hear is when they want to be elected and for many it is probably which has the nicest looking face 🙂

    Tall Paul

  15. Robert Plank says:

    It does have limited potential – how often can you say something really meaningful and easy for everyone to understand in so few words?

    People seem to make do with text messages, classified ads, AdWords ads…

    I have Twitter setup so it automatically posts if I get a new article approved at EzineArticles or make a new blog post. (I only have 48 followers right now.)

    I have the Twitter app on Facebook so that update also gets copied over to Facebook without me having to do anything (I have 231 internet marketers added on FB.)

    There’s also a service called that will update your Twitter when your RSS feed changes.

    Are congrats in order, Robert? Ha… I bet he has a gazillion followers and doesn’t even do his own twittering… but I could be wrong.

    They aren’t… that post was kind of tongue-in-cheek…

  16. Vincent says:

    Well done.
    I actually got Obama as a 1st level connection on – only 15,000 connected to him at that level, and has closed off any more invitations now.

    Not sure how I will use it – if at all- but it does provide a much bigger network of other people to mine that may be usefull.

  17. Adam Fulford says:

    LOL. Not much support for Barack Obama in these here parts. Whoever wins, it is great that at least the reign of terror of the worst president in US history is finally coming to an end.

  18. Joe Goldner says:

    He has no experience in running anything. Getting him is easy because he wants you to vote for him. Be very careful on this one.

  19. Patrick says:


    Yes, I use Twitter, but very carefully. It can be a time waster if you don’t keep it on track.

    Seems that you brought up the “political” aspect of this post by mentioning Barack “No House” Obama Bin Ladan by subscribing to his Twitter.

    I hope that doesn’t say something about where you stand for this country because, no doubt about it, “No House” is a socialist to the core.

    True liberty isn’t giving our sovereignty away as a country or allowing everyone health care or making bed mates with other socialist countries – it’s about honor, character, integrity, morality and truth.

    As the saying goes, you get the nation you deserve by the leaders you choose. I suggest that we all take a real close look and choose wisely.


  20. Robert Plank says:

    I hope that doesn’t say something about where you stand for this country because, no doubt about it, “No House” is a socialist to the core.

    Him being a politician had almost nothing to do with it. I mentioned him because he’s a public figure in the news right now who is having great success with internet marketing.

    If some actor or musician was doing a better job at twitter marketing than Obama, we’d be talking about that person instead.

    Notice how about 1 in every 4 commenters on this post sees the word “Obama” and mistakenly thinks I’m asking for an opinion on him… the discussion is Twitter, not Barack Obama.

  21. Terence says:

    Do you use Twitter?


    Is it a waste of time?


    Will spammers ruin Twitter?


    Is it a waste of time to talk about politics here?


    Am I American?


  22. I think some people are giving Obama too much credit for his supposed Internet savvy.

    The truth is that he probably has a team of techies doing this stuff for him and may not have even heard of Twitter.

    BTW, the worst President left office in 1981.

  23. Adam Fulford says:

    I was just thinking, there are computer experts among the ranks here. Check out, where there is extensive documentation of how the elections were electronically rigged to make George W. Bush, the worst and most incompetent president in American history, “win” the election. Also, watch the documentaries “Hacking Democracy” and “Uncounted” (

  24. Adam Fulford says:

    This is interesting. Is this a reflection of the demographics of internet marketers? Witnessing how strategic and well-researched Robert Plank is in his methods (that is, there is always a method to his madness), this was clearly another clever (and clearly successful) strategy to arouse curiosity and elicit more clicks. What’s next, Robert? Global warming? Immigration? Evolution? LOL

  25. Outside of the political realm, twitter makes for an excellent messaging platform between bot type programs, cell phone and pda applications, etc.

    Example: I want to perform a deep search using rules (like the DROOLS rule engine) – using java for example, I can write a deep search bot application that sits on my powerful machine at home, activate it by sending a twitter from my phone, and get back twittered answers complete with URL’s, etc. Something like a message queues but with the internet itself as the infrastructure.

    Obviously there are a number of other similar systems, but “tweets” can take the place of some of those tiny emails that comprise perhaps 30% of all email. So there are certainly good uses for them.

    And my apologies if I riled anyone’s feathers with my first post, but I am very protective of my liberty and of capitalism is general.

    David T. McKee

  26. Bern says:

    To twitter is a synonym for whitter which means to issue forth (speak) endless, mindless, drivel. Which to my mind sums up both social networking sites and polticians.

  27. Mike Calvert says:


    Thanks for a good, clear example of Twitter being used for something other than just occupying brain cells.

    Regarding Paul Cowen’s example of big name Internet marketers making use of Twitter, I suppose Ed Dale or Jeff Walker would attract followers on Twitter. They already have a large, loyal fan base that pays huge dollars to get their hands on anything they have to say. (A fan base that I believe, for the most part, was not created using Twitter.)

    Granted, I can see where “Twittering” can have value for someone who already has celebrity status in their field. However, do you think that proper use of Twitter can convert a “nobody” into a “somebody”?


  28. Ray Johnson says:

    Hey Robert,

    I think Twitter is great! Can really let lots of other marketers see what you are planning or launching very quickly. It is easy to link up with your Internet Marketing Blog as they provide widgets.

    Also I have found it really easy to customise with your own design, to sum up twitter: it is simple but effective!

    Ray Johnson

  29. Deep Arora says:

    I use Twitter. My friends use Twitter too. I think it is good if you do not have the luxury of time to write a full blog post. You gotta update your friends/network with what you’re up to… the easiest way to do it, at least in my book, is through Twitter.

    Although, I must be honest to say that sometimes I do not like it because when I have a lot to say, I need to truncate the message to 250-words I think. Bummer.

    But you can’t have the perfect tool eh? So I just make do with what it can offer.

    It seems like a popular tool these days… I see a lot of my friends… friends friend… all on Twitter!

  30. GuruBomb says:

    I wonder Robert – why do you need these 10 comments to keep publishing your blog?

  31. Jeanette says:

    Hi Robert,

    Do you use Twitter? YES
    Is it a waste of time? NO
    Will spammers ruin Twitter? Not if you don’t follow them.
    What’s your BEST Twitter marketing tip? …

    I have to say that I was intrigued when you started following me on twitter. As an early twitter user, it is interesting to me to see the Internet marketers come out on twitter. Don’t fall into the pattern of just posting your links. You will get tweeple unfollowing, or worse, teach your list how to use twitter all wrong.

    I have several twitter accounts. My original main account as @jeanettejoy, one for bamboowomen for upcoming seminars, and one for my fiction writing. Creating accounts for events gets the community momentum going.

    You never know who is following you. I had trouble sending a broadcast to my list, and within seconds of posting my question on twitter, 1sc was right there walking me through the process. The problem was with my email account because of spam into my account freezing my server.

    Most of all, have fun on twitter! Joy~ Jeanette

  32. Mike W says:

    I use Twitter (@mikesmind) and don’t think that spam will ruin it. Why? In Twitter you decide who to follow. There have been people that I follow who started to be a little “spammy.” All I did was stop following them and the noise stopped.

  33. Mike Seddon says:

    I’ve not started using Twitter yet. I suppose I’m just too busy with all the other networks, forums etc but I feel like I really ought to give it a try sometime soon.

    I find Facebook a pain because I do keep getting silly messages like so an so is watching TV today etc….

  34. I found at least seven Twitter benefits in my first week using it.

    Now, finishing up week #2, I am completely hooked. Two chief marketing officers are now following me and I’m building relationship that otherwise would not have been possible.

    More here:

  35. Rick says:

    Bleeding edge research. Twitter may work for some. I love the ability to be in my office without any interuptions.


Leave a Reply

Back to Top