Teddy Goff graduated from Yale and started working on the first Obama campaign more or less right away. On that campaign he wound up directing state-level digital programs; there were Digital staff on the ground in about 25 states, all reporting up to a small team he led in Chicago. From there Teddy went briefly to work on the Presidential Transition and ultimately to Blue State Digital, where he worked until the 2012 campaign got started.
For Teddy what was exciting about the rise of social is that it gives so much more power to ordinary people. He believes that businesses that don’t understand this, and don’t change the way they relate to their customers as a result, are going to find those customers not just losing faith in them, but in many cases telling their whole networks about the lousy experience they’ve had. And businesses that do understand that are going to turn their fans into the best PR engine they’ve ever had. That’s what he tried to do on the Presidential campaign: arm the supporters with information, use great content to keep them engaged and inspired, and then get them talking to their friends about their support for the President.
If Teddy could share one best practice about using social media to grow a business, it would be: “Social media’s not just about marketing. The companies that aren’t doing it well tend to think of it that way, but it’s broader than that. It’s a reflection of what kind of business you are — because now it’s so much more difficult to hide if you’re providing bad service or bad products, or have bad values as a company. People can see right through that and discuss it openly, and a well-written tweet isn’t going to solve that. So fundamentally I think all these technologies require companies not just to market better, but to be better.”
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