President Obama is trying to drum up support on Twitter for his bid to raise taxes for the wealthy as negotiations over the so-called fiscal cliff get under way.
"Call your members of Congress. Write them an email,” the President tweeted at 12:13 p.m. on Wednesday. “Tweet it using the hashtag #My2K."
The Twitter appeal is just one piece of a broader campaign to take the fiscal-cliff negotiations out from behind closed doors, which includes planned public appearances with affected families and a new section of the official White House website that asks visitors to share “what $2,000 means to you and your family.”
The Twitter-verse responded almost instantaneously, making #My2K a trending topic on the social-media network. The hashtag refers to the estimated $2,200 increase in taxes coming to the average family if the automatic increases take effect on Jan. 1.
House Speaker John Boehner joined the fray with the tweet, "FYI @WhiteHouse: House GOP voted to stop #my2k tax rate hikes & defend #smallbiz jobs. What spending will Dems cut to stop #fiscalcliff?"
This isn't the first time Boehner has tried to co-opt a White House hashtag, said Don Seymour, the speaker's digital director. "We're encouraging other Repubican offices to similarly use the #My2K hashtag to highlight our plan, and to point out that we're the only ones who have already voted to stop all of the fiscal-cliff tax hikes," Seymour told National Journal in an e-mail.
The Heritage Foundation also got in on the game, keying an ad to the #My2K hashtag. People who clicked on the hashtag or searched for #My2K saw a tweet from the group at the top of the results.
Twitter search ads are bought on an auction basis, much like Google ads. Advertisers bid on terms, and they are charged when users engage with their content. It's a less expensive buy than the Promoted Trend, which is a 24-hour slot on the Trending Topics slot, which costs about $130,000 per day, or a Promoted Tweet ad, which puts a selected tweet in the top of the feed of all of the purchaser's Twitter followers.
Ericka Andersen, who does digital communications for Heritage, said, "We chose to buy the #My2k hashtag in order to capitalize on a conversation that was trending in real time. We know individuals who are interested in that hashtag care about economic policy, something the Heritage Foundation has a lot to say about."