Reblog, share, add a note, and ask questions: in yet another White House first, the president is hosting a Tumblr Q&A at 4 pm EST Tuesday.
Tumblr founder and CEO David Karp is moderating the Q&A, according to the White House blog – another connectivity strategy unique to the 44th administration – and will address "education, college affordability, and reducing student loan debt."
President Barack Obama has taken the unconventional media approach many times during his time in office, recently and probably most notably his appearance on Funny or Die’s Between Two Ferns with host Zack Galifianakis during the final weeks of open enrollment on Healthcare.gov. The White House went on to not only meet but beat its goal of seven million Affordable Care Act enrollees before the deadline.
Whether Obama’s comedic chops did the trick is up for debate, but he’s not slowing down. The White House is running the social media gamut.
The move to Tumblr proves a chance to gain exposure and engage a new audience, said Michael Bassik, president of digital operations at MDC Partners.
"Tumblr, in particular, is great for content creators and content sharers," he said, and added that the goal may be to connect with a possibly broader audience who doesn’t typically interact with the White House or might not have even gone online to look for that type of content.
While social media may no longer be just a Millennial’s game, Bassik said young people are more likely to engage on social than any other demographic.
He added that the president is trying to reach a wide swath of Millennials, be it the 18-year-old crowd that’s contemplating higher education, or individuals already out of college who are in need of refinancing their college debt.
On Monday, POTUS signed an executive order that expands the "Pay as You Earn" repayment program, which allows borrowers to cap payments at 10% of their income.
According to the White House blog, 40% of Tumblr users are between 18-24 years old. Obama doesn’t need to rally this group to sign up for something, but the president is well aware of how and where to reach this demographic. The constantly-connected Millennial is more likely to tune in to a Tumblr chat or like a photo on Instagram than attend a town hall forum or listen to a speech. (Besides, they can get the gist of that afterwards, on Twitter.)
The White House and some staffers share thoughts about the Tumblr effort on Twitter: