Posts Tagged twitter
Colin Delany’s Learning From Obama: Lessons for Online Communicators in 2009 & Beyond is a great insider’s look at the success stories that came out of the Obama campaign.
The following tools are identified as key elements to the success of the online component of his campaign:
- Multichannel Online Outreach (i.e., YouTube, Facebook, Google Ads)
- Grassroots Outreach/Data Collection
- Text Messaging/Cell Phones
Personally, I am most interested to see how to mobile component of campaigning will continue to evolve. As more and more Americans get smart phones, whether they be personal or for work, a whole new realm of communication opens up. People normally have their phones at all times, so if urgent access is necessary, that’s likely the best way to reach them. The fact that the Obama campaign had a list of roughly 1 million cell phone users is mindblowing— and I believe that those who can reach smart phone users in a creative way will continue to see success (this goes not just for politicians, but for organizations and brands as well).
It’s important to remember what Delany states on pg 11, that “plenty of people not named Barack Obama and not boosted by a vibrant and extensive network of active supporters also won on November 4th.” Despite the fact that going online and “viral” are now recognized as of the utmost importance, that online works when they complement a solid offline campaign. Delany points out that, “Even for online “movements” at the presidential level, the overall results are mixed: Obama may have won, but Dean didn’t in 2004 — and neither did Ron Paul in 2008.”
I loved reading about the structure of the team, which was “separate and equal, but also integrated.” I definitely think this was part of what led to success- not just the individuals, but how they worked as a team and within a larger structure played into it. Also, the emphasis on online/offline integration really spoke to me. This morning, I attended an event where a hashtag was prominently posted throughout the room. Because those who were tweeting were aware of the hashtag, they were able to connect online and expand the conversation. If the hashtag had not been posted, the tweets would not be connected and not be quite as valuable.
At the end of the day, for politicians, real-life supporters mean more than Twitter pundits who aren’t even constituents. But when those Twitter pundits have the reach to influence constituents— that’s when the magic happens.
I always enjoy seeing familiar names in the media, so it was interesting to see Andrew Noyes quoted in the New York Times article I was reading with this blog post in mind. Noyes recently spoke at an Ogilvy Exchange held at my work about Gov 2.0.
In Ethical Quandary for Social Sites, Jennifer Preston looks at something that recent events (covered in a few previous blog posts) have called into question: “whether a company should maintain its commitment to remain neutral about content, even when politicized content could offend users or even put people in danger.” Most sites with social aspects have terms of service that they can turn to in cases of questionable content, but the article points out that Flickr does not always enforce its own rules.
Andrew Noyes of Facebook sums up the view of many sites— “We want Facebook to be a place where people can openly discuss ideas and express their views, while respecting the rights and feelings of others.” In other words, they want to serve as a forum for their uses to communicate much like they would in other parts of their lives— what is said via text, email, and spoken word can also be communicated on Facebook (and on Twitter, on Flickr, and YouTube, to name a few).
Clearly Mark Zuckerburg never thought that by creating the next “hot or not” he would enter into a situation where the Israeli government has big asks— but now that is the case. While a strict terms of service can help to justify removal of posts that incite violence, or of users who are not using their full names, if it is not always enforced (although realistically, that is not possible), isn’t it stifling to enforce the T.O.S. only in the controversial cases?
I don’t think that this article demonstrates the “end” of this issue in the social media realm— but if a site takes down a page at the request of a government/organization, it becomes a slippery slope— who is to say that the next person to request removal of a page does not deserve their wishes granted, as well? And what role does a social media site play in these ethical/political/social struggles?
Lately, it seems that social media has converged with current events more than ever before. But as much as the media is covering uprisings in the Middle East that are using social networks to mobilize, they are covering embarrassing gaffes by people who should know better.
For example, an employee of New Media Strategies (the workplace of a friend of mine) accidentally tweeted from the account of a client, @ChryslerAutos; “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to fucking drive.” Clearly, the Tweet was meant to be sent from a personal account, but it was not deleted before some of the account’s nearly 9,000 followers retweeted the tweet— making actual deletion impossible. The employee was fired, and the firm is enduring even more backlash, with Chrysler refusing to renew their contract. The tweet was covered far and wide, from The New York Times to Mashable.
While the New Media Strategies/Chrysler incident was embarrassing and the employee should have never tweeted (even from a personal account) something that could be perceived so negatively by the client, clearly it was a mistake. What’s even more damaging for reputations is when Twitter reveals that people held in high-regard are just ignorant racists. For example, Cappie Pondexter, (@cappa23) a WNBA star with the New York Liberty tweeted that the earthquake and tsunami in Japan probably happened because “they did pearl harbor so u can’t expect anything less,” and stated that “What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes.” Not only do these remarks make her look racist—they make her look just plain stupid and insensitive.
A final incident that caught recent media attention was at the expense of Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian of Aflac duck-voice fame. He also tweeted (@RealGilbert) disparaging remarks about the earthquake/tsunami in Japan— one of Aflac’s largest markets. Aflac let him go and pulled all commercials with his voice.
In an era where media interviews are no longer the only way to connect with the public, are politicians and other public figures more at risk than ever of committing gaffes that hurt their reputations? Or is there so much clamor that no one even notices everything but the big stuff? I think that this just reinforces the necessity for proofreading. It is essential for people to remember that tone does not come across well online— so a backhanded remark meant to be funny can actually be quite damaging (i.e., Kenneth Cole’s tweet about uproar in Cairo).
Yesterday, Politico reported that Rahm Emanuel met his Twitter imposter and, with a $5,000 charitable donation, claimed the Twitter account @MayorEmanuel. Dan Sinker, the man who created the account, racked up more than 40,000 followers and Tweeted nearly 2,000 times, parody-style.
Driving around in Axelrod’s Civic, doing loops around the block outside Chico’s offices, my ass hanging out of the missing window, laughing.
This emphasizes the need for brands (including politicians) to embrace social media platforms and, at the very least, secure a presence on them. Hopefully, this does not lead organizations to jump the gun on strategizing before actually launching a plan— just because they’ve registered a Twitter account doesn’t mean they are ready to jump in with both feet and start Tweeting. Not taking the time to think things through would be a major misstep.
Actually, this week has brought a great example of major missteps and lack of strategy on Twitter. This week, Charlie Sheen launched his verified Twitter handle @CharlieSheen and broke a Guinness World Record for the fastest amount of time to reach 1 million followers. Though he’s an easy target and an extreme example, his rambling tweets perfectly demonstrate lack of an effective PR strategy.
Face it folks, you just feel better when you say it. #WINNING
So, the moral of these stories is that while it’s important to secure usernames and presences across popular platforms, just because you sign up does not mean you need to start engaging and participating immediately. In fact, just listening for a while could do nothing but help to prepare for solid engagement.