Who you are plays a big role in what you can, and cannot, get away with on social media. This past weekend, Judy Mozes , the wife of Israeli Interior Minister, tweeted a racist joke about President Obama. The tweet caused uproar across Twitter and across both countries. People objected to both the racism of the tweet and the potential damage it could do to US-Israeli relations. Mozes’ tweet and the reaction to it highlight several potential social media pitfalls.
Romania has a problem. They have a large population of elderly people, 40%, living alone. So Vodafone, via McCann Erickson Bucharest, created a marketing campaign around two Romanian widows who were still in the habit of cooking enough food for a full family dinner.
Thanks to social media, we can scrutinize candidates in ways never before imagined. In an earlier post, I explored how the first four candidates used Twitter to enhance their announcements . Now, USA Today is analyzing the candidates’ first day impact on Facebook. In what promises to be an interesting series of articles, especially given the never-ending list of new candidates launching campaigns for the GOP presidential nomination, Paul Singer explores which states generated the biggest Facebook buzz for each candidate on the day of their announcement , as well as other articles exploring the relationship between Facebook buzz and electoral popularity . These analyses offer a great opportunity to compare outreach strategy for each candidate AND the response to it.
It is long past time that we stop talking about which social networks to use for this campaign or that. When it comes to targeting audiences, what matters more than which networks people use is how they use them in combination and to what end.
Before the Greek Gods ascended to Mount Olympus, the Titans ruled the heavens. Among them was Prometheus, who gave humanity the power of fire. And with fire, humans became masters of their own destiny… to some degree. When it comes to the world of digital democracy, where the “gods” include Facebook, Twitter, Capwiz , Salsa, Care2 and Change.org, the Titans that preceded them included Daniel Bennett (@CitizenContact) and Steve Clift (@Democracy) . These “Titans of Digital Democracy” were responsible for creating the foundations that citizens and government use to engage with each other online. And with these foundations, we have become the masters of our own political destiny… to some degree.
The long presidential campaign season is upon us and the media is filling up with stories about how social media is changing politics. And perhaps because bad news always seems to sell better, many of these stories take a dim view of the impact. They focus on the risks candidates face from getting caught saying bad things on video and how those videos can spread like wildfire through social media. They point out how social media may be trivializing politics. But few of these articles talk about the potential for social media to increase political efficacy. And that is something the media should consider covering.
We now have four official candidates for the 2016 presidential nomination, three Republicans and one Democrat. Each of them used Twitter to promote their announcements. How they used it varies tremendously among them. It is too soon to tell if their initial Twitter splash ( twash ?) is indicative of things to come, but the contrasts in tactics and results are striking.
I spent this past weekend at the opening of the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival . Among the many films screening there are documentaries advocating for some official policy action. One of these films is a short documentary by Jet Wintzer about all of the statues, elementary schools and parks named after Albert Pike. Wintzer makes a strong case in the film, National Scars: The Albert Pike Monuments , that we should not be using Pike’s name on these nor should we use public funds to maintain them. The film is good, but there is more that can be done to advance the director’s cause.
This past week, the White House’s social media team reinvented the twitterbomb with a tweet slyly directed at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu. By repurposing Netanyahu’s now famous bomb infographic used for Bibi’s 2012 speech at the United Nations, the Obama Administration simultaneously promoted its recent framework agreement with Iran over its nuclear program, created some highly “snackable” social media content and (indirectly) engaged Netanyahu via Twitter.
Did you tweet something in the past that might cause you to lose your job? Will you tweet something tomorrow that will do that? These are the questions of the week. And the answers are affecting political candidates’ ability to hire social media strategists. Controversial tweets also created heat for Jon Stewart’s successor on The Daily Show , Trevor Noah. But just how serious an issue is this?