by ‘Ifreke Inyang [@Ifreke]
Three days back, we officially welcomed the First Lady of the US, Michelle Obama to Twitter. Although the account had been registered since November 2011, the first tweet was posted recently posted. It said: “We’re excited today to launch @michelleobama as a new way for you to connect with First Lady, Michelle Obama and the President’s campaign.”
Her husband was also quick to announce the news. Tweeting from the @BarackObama account, he said, “It’s not every day we get to welcome the First Lady of the United States to Twitter – happy to have you, @michelleobama.”
Mrs Obama will not be distracted by trending topics and all that stuff, as she has stated that, “This account will be managed by campaign staff, with any tweets from the First Lady herself signed, ‘-mo’.” She however took time out to appreciate those who were following her already.
“Hi everyone, and thanks for the warm welcome. Look forward to staying in touch with you here: –mo.”
At the last check, she had 118,805 followers and was following 5 people.
It is abundantly clear that the purpose of the Twitter account is more strategic than interactive. The US presidential polls will hold later this year. And the US First Lady will be using her account to garner support for her husband who will be seeking re-election. She however showed that she will also put her issues on the front burner as she retweeted a tweet by @JoiningForces about her announcement of new commitments that will improve health care for their heroes.
One has to wonder if the First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan will follow suit. In the light of the ongoing protests against the removal of fuel subsidy, she might take to social media to not only support the move by her husband, but also explain how it will benefit Nigerians.