To be successful on social media as an advocacy or political campaign, you have to go where your audience is. You may love MySpace (who doesn’t with all those pretty pictures and rockin’ bands), but if your target audience isn’t there it’s a waste of your time.
While last week I cautioned against using old frames of reference when discussing things that have been transformed by new technology, this week I want to highlight the exceptions, the veritable flip-side of the coin. Where in developed countries the smart phone has transformed the notion of a phone, in the least developed countries, the transformations are happening on a much slower rate. But it is happening.
If you are stuck on old notions of “being presidential” or of phones, you will inevitably find the way President Obama engages with the public and the way people use smart phones to be out of synch with your (antiquated) expectations. The world is changing around us in dramatic ways. And as technology changes how we do things and, even, what we are able to do, our preconceived notions about how the world is supposed to work must change, too.
Cameras are everywhere. Not just security cams, but fan cams at ballparks and, of course, video cams on phones. And they are changing how we live our lives and what we can expect to remain private. Ask Mitt Romney. He’ll tell you that you can expect privacy 47% of the time.
While the schoolmarms parse data over whether #JeSuisCharlie is the most popular hashtag ever, the most popular news (not sports) hashtag ever, or the most popular one-day hashtag ever, what struck me is the disparity between news hashtags and entertainment hashtags. Is this disparity further evidence of the shallowness of the masses, of a mass sense of disinterested hopelessness, or the irresistible urge to blather on Twitter? Or perhaps people have a multitude of interests that ebb and flow in their social media chatter.
Last week another hashtag went awry. In an attempt at levity, FOX & Friends launched a campaign to ring out the old year using the hashtag #Overit2014. And while many of us in the social media world already know to be wary of backfiring hashtags if you are a controversial organization, the wiz-kids at FOX & Friends apparently do not. In response to their hashtag, Twitter erupted with tweets that blasted FOX News and the conservative movement it champions (and a week later, the eruption continues, still). This prompted me to take a deeper look at the political and advocacy hashtags of 2014.
The challenge we face keeping most New Year’s resolutions is that we have to go it alone. That can be tough. There is nothing like a support network to help achieve our goals. That is why I recommend you make a more achievable resolution this year: be more social.
You created a Facebook page for your campaign or advocacy organization, you built up a decent audience that you are educating about your issue(s) and mobilizing when they are needed, but as time goes by, you seem to be reaching fewer and fewer people. Why is Facebook taking your post out of your audience’s newsfeed? Doesn’t Facebook understand that your audience wants to know what is happening with the issues you and they care so much about? Apparently not.
What caught our attention here at Social Media Today was the Twitter-Storm created when Senator Feinstein live-tweeted her rebuttal comments to CIA Director Brennan’s response to the torture report in real-time using the hashtag #ReadTheReport. I will say quite boldly that this was the greatest use of Twitter by a Member of Congress EVER!
In a world pulsating with conflict large and small, from the streets of Ferguson to Kobani and beyond, there is a need for calming voices. There is a need for voices to soothe the anger and facilitate meaningful conversations across the communities in conflict. Philosophers of the Enlightenment wrote at length that rational discourse is the surest route to good policy and the avoidance of violence.