This year, the White House ventured to make the President's State of the Union address more interactive and engaging than ever before. This ranged from a fully "responsive" page optimized for desktop, tablet, and mobile, where we streamed an "enhanced" version of the speech featuring charts, images, and infographics, to unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the speechwriting process through exclusive videos. On Instagram, White House staff "took over" our account to take you "Inside SOTU," and then, after the speech, dozens of administration officials (including President Obama) answered your questions.
There was a little something for everyone, and you responded like never before. Here's a look at some of the numbers behind SOTU 2014 – and follow along in the year to come to make sure you don’t miss out on upcoming behind-the-scenes content, explanations of White House policy proposals, and the occasional picture of Sunny or Bo.
The "Enhanced" State of the Union Address
- The Speech: The "enhanced" version of this year's State of the Union address featured 132 graphics, charts, and images, up from 104 last year. And you tuned in like never before, as we registered more than 1.4 million views of the stream, a 38% increase over 2013.
- Mobile: This year, 34% of visitors to WH.gov/SOTU were using a mobile device, up from 23% in 2013 and 12% in 2012.
- Real-Time Slide Sharing: For the first time, we gave viewers the ability to share the “enhanced” SOTU slides with their networks in real-time on Twitter. Over the course of the speech, this interactive feature was used nearly 11,000 times for more than 40 slides.
- Email: The week of the State of the Union, our email list grew by seven times the normal rate and drove 87% more traffic to WhiteHouse.gov than over the same period in 2013. If you haven’t already, subscribe now to receive this exclusive content moving forward.
SOTU on Social Media
- @Whitehouse: During the speech, the @WhiteHouse account posted 142 tweets, garnering more than 78,000 retweets and replies. 41 of the 142 tweets featured social-optimized versions of the same "enhanced" SOTU slides to add to the real-time experience.
- #SOTU: A total of 1,193,366 tweets used the hashtag #SOTU during the speech. Here are some of the top moments:
- Calls for equal pay for women increasing the minimum wage led to the most dramatic response, with more than 20,000 tweets per minute between 9:47 and 9:48 PM
- Health insurance drew approximately 15,000 tweets per minute 9:56 and 10:01 PM
- The President’s statement that climate change is a fact led to over 14,000 tweets at 9:35 PM
- Twitter users also responded strongly to the President’s closing, with about 13,000 tweets per minute between 10:18 and 10:22 PM
- "Day in the Life" Instagram Takeover: In the week leading up to the State of the Union, the White House kicked off a “Day in the Life” series featuring White House Chief Speechwriter Cody Keenan, Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz, Press Secretary Jay Carney, and Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer who provided followers with a behind-the-scenes look into the State of the Union process. The Instagram posts garnered 163,734 total likes and the White House Instagram account gained over 20,000 followers.
- Virtual "Big Block of Cheese Day": The day after the speech, over 30 Obama Administration officials (including four Cabinet Secretaries, President Obama, and the First Lady) took to social media and answered hundreds of questions from everyday Americans during a day-long "open house" on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, and Google+. Nearly 20,000 questions were submitted using the hashtag #AsktheWH, which trended nationwide during the event.
- Google+ Virtual Road Trip with President Obama: On Friday, January 31st, the President went on a virtual "Road Trip" via Google+ and joined three different hangouts with Americans across the country to answer questions about his address. This event has been viewed nearly 500,000 times, and during the event, the hashtag #POTUSRoadTrip trended nationwide.
- White House SOTU Social: This year marked our third State of the Union Social event during which social media followers are invited to join in-person to watch the Enhanced State of the Union address. More than 2,000 citizens applied, and 60 guests from 21 states and the District of Columbia were selected to attend. Following the speech, the guests participated in a live Open for Questions event with administration officials, including a surprise visit from Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, who responded to questions both from the live audience and from Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag #SOTUChat. The Open for Questions event was carried on the livestream on WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU immediately following the speech and retained more than 210,000 views.