Vote of Confidence
Obama also is using the new Facebook Exchange Service on his campaign website to solicit donations and other forms of support.
For example, people curious about Obama can log on to his campaign website and — if they are logged in to their Facebook accounts — they can see in the middle of Obama's homepage the names of two of their Facebook friends who "like" Obama's site. On top of that personalized message is a box labeled "Are You In?" People then have the ability to type their e-mail addresses and ZIP codes to receive even more personalized messages to donate or help get out the vote.
The ability for the Obama website to recognize the Facebook cookies embedded within users' computers so it can list specific Facebook friends who have "liked" the site might be seen as a way to excite people that their friends are supporting Obama — or it might just seem creepy and backfire as a marketing strategy, experts say.
Indeed, Facebook users report instances where they are listed as having "liked" a candidate when in fact they hadn't. One potential explanation is they could have pressed "like" on a seemingly unrelated ad on Facebook, or on another website altogether, which was then retargeted to the candidate's site using a Facebook Exchange service.
Patrick Donnelly, manager of corporate development for WCG, a global public relations and social-media engagement firm based in San Francisco, says some people might appreciate political candidates recognizing their computers and listing Facebook friends, and some people might be turned off.
"If you are an undecided voter and you want to learn about how a candidate feels about some of the issues, you can go to his or her website, and if you see that X number of your Facebook friends already support that candidate, you might be more likely to read the positions — it's almost like an endorsement," Donnelly says. "Or you may be more likely to ask your friends about how they feel about that candidate or what they think about his or her positions."