Whitman and Brown: Taking Politics to Facebook

Increased Social Media Efforts
If you’ve seen/heard TV, radio and online ads, you’ll know that the political race in California is heating up between Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown. An article in the LA Times shows that Meg is launching “A New California” campaign on Facebook. On the site, she’ll ask fans to vote about issues that they think are important. Meg will then address the winning issue in a video that will be shared on Facebook. This clever Facebook campaign will bring Meg more fans and raise awareness on her platforms. Meanwhile, Team Jerry Brown has dismissed these “gimmicks” and says that “Meg Whitman even has to buy her friends.”

No matter what political party you’re affiliated with, it’s time to look at these campaign strategies for its effectiveness. Pretend you know nothing about politics or parties for a second…

Comparing Facebook Pages
The first look at Meg Whitman’s Facebook shows a welcoming statement and her vision for a “new” California on the landing page. Meg’s wall also predominantly features her stance on relevant issues, encourages fans to join her efforts and showcases recent appearances. Meg has a professional looking “Donate” tab for easy access and also has an Events tab reminding fans to vote for her on November 2nd.

In comparison, Jerry Brown’s Facebook is visually unappealing. The landing page tab features a list of different things from something about Green jobs to fighting political corruption. The title of the tab isn’t even completely readable, what exactly is “Fighting fo…”? Isn’t someone in charge of looking out for these things? There’s also a “Join Jerry:” tab. Again, what exactly are people signing up for – news about Jerry Brown or is their information going to be sold? If it seems simple enough, do it. A small blurb would help. On the bright side, Jerry’s Facebook wall is filled with updates about community members showcasing their support. It’s always a plus to showcase fans and show them appreciation.

Who Has What it Takes?

Meg’s Facebook approach is cohesive and interesting to her supporters. Jerry’s approach seems a little more cluttered and could use a stronger focus. But in the end, it’s not the Facebook fans that matter but the actual number of voters for each candidate. So, how well will social media work to help increase the votes? Meg Whitman is serious in her Facebook efforts and spending cash to do so. Will Jerry Brown have what it takes to catch up? Social media has given politicians a new chance for outreach but many of them still seem to be behind on the times. We’ll see what happens in November!

Are You Feeling the Pain of Social Media Promotion?

Nowadays, a blog here and there just isn’t enough to get your content out there. It can be hard to go that extra step but the effort is worth it. Promotion with social media doesn’t have to be a painful process for writers and bloggers. Many people see social media as a medium for personal relationships, so why can’t you apply that concept to engage your readers?

Add a Personal Touch
It’s easier than it seems but fans will appreciate it when you add a personal touch to your social media efforts. Instead of just linking a news story or site, give them a good reason to read and click. People aren’t just interested if you’re throwing a URL out at them. Give your opinion or a different spin on the subject. Here are some examples:

  • Have a sense of humor. Being genuine and funny is one of the best ways to get a response or RT on Twitter. Also, don’t be afraid to ask!
  • Give people shout outs. On Twitter and Facebook, you can use the @ tag to show your fans and followers appreciation.
  • Retweet others and comment. The best way to engage is to start with outreaching others. Remember, it’s not all about pushing your URL.

Simple is Always Best
It helps to stay simple and you can start with your content. Unless you’re focusing on a niche topic or doing some technical writing, more people will be able to connect with a simple subject. Reading other blogs and articles can help give you ideas and also improve your writing. These are simple steps you can take for inspiration and learning more about your area of expertise. Simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy and it takes practice. Just think about it, what’s more difficult: writing a concise one sentence summary or writing a summary paragraph?

Bloggers often focus on consistently coming up with new ideas and writing the content. After the writing process, it can be tedious to promote your work on different social media channels. Try to force yourself to do so by following a few of these tips. Remember that in the end, you get what you put in but you can always work to change the outcome. No pain = no gain!

Thoughts from Prince & Kenny G: Is the Internet Dead?

Prince Slams the Interwebz
In a recent interview, Prince talks about how he has turned his back on using the internet and iTunes to promote his music. Instead, Prince is opting to give the UK’s Daily Mirror readers FREE copies of his new album. The interview also shows that Prince has shut down his own official website. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me, coming from a man who shut down his biggest fan site a couple years back. But what exactly is his logic behind this? This is what he has to say:

“The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else.”
“The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated.”
“Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can’t be good for you.”

Kenny G Loves the Internet
Don’t worry, Kenny G is ready to stand up for the internet. Like Prince, he’s also promoting a new album but admits that he isn’t too “Internet and download savvy”. In a short interview with the sax master, Kenny states:

if the Internet is dead “then I must be dead, too, ’cause I use it all the time.”

So, whose side are you own? I don’t really get why Prince is alienating what’s left of his fan base… You can’t just completely blast the entire internet and say that it’s no good. That’s like people who claim that they don’t watch TV or read books. Really? With all the choices out there? I doubt that Prince will do any backpedaling now but we’ll see how his new album does.

PS) Did you know that Kenny G was one of the original investors of Starbucks?

What Do You Think of Facebook Marketing Solutions?

What is It?
Facebook Marketing Solutions is a Page run by Facebook’s very own employees. It’s a resource page for brand marketers to share and learn about marketing on the social site. Though the Page was founded early last year, I haven’t really noticed it until it showed up in my ‘Recommended Pages’ box. The Page also some helpful tips on how to build your brand presence, engage your audience and spread your message.

An Interesting Concept
Make sure to check out the Discussions tab to see what people are asking and answering. It seems to be an interesting concept but I see that a lot of topics are overwhelmed with spam. For example, the latest discussion is titled ‘Please Like my FB page’. If this continues, I can see how it will be a lot more problematic than helpful.
Facebook is taking a stand to help marketers get a better understanding of their changing game. As far as I know, Twitter doesn’t have a resource similar to this. I’m not sure how well this would work for Twitter where spam seems to be even more prevalent. I’m noticing a lot more spam accounts that are following the emarketed profile. Schemes like: cash for gold, win a free iPad, vacation home rentals etc.

Things That Could be Improved
There are cool case studies on Coca-Cola and Starbucks but what about the little guys? I think this Page is lacking information for local business and smaller businesses that are just starting out. They seem to be taking suggestions into consideration so I hope they add more info about this in the future. I’d definitely like to see more info for small businesses and less spam.

Successful Social Media Advertising Provides Value

Most people can agree that the most effective social media advertising campaigns are the ones that provide real value. With this in mind, more companies are creating resources that solely exist to provide customers with information and help solve their problems. I came across this link on Twitter and thought that the Visual Economics site is a great example.

You’ve probably seen these infographics passed around on social media sites but did you know that it’s owned by Credit Loan?


From using ice cream to explain certificate of deposits to visual maps such as this, Visual Economics is an informative site whose sole purpose is to inform. It’s not until I went to check out their Twitter and Facebook Page that I noticed the affiliation. This is a great example of shareable content but it obviously takes a lot of time and effort to compile a whole different site for consumers.

What are some other sites that you’ve found helpful and who are they affiliated with?

New Viral Marketing Campaigns Spread Excitement

I always like to hear about the latest viral marketing campaigns and see how big brands are trying to outdo each other.

Papa John’s Pizza Mania

First off, p-i-z-z-a! Papa John’s unveiled an online contest this week asking fans to share their special recipe. The contest, dubbed “Papa’s Specialty Pizza Challenges”, encourages pizza aficionados to submit their special recipe along with a short blurb about why their pizza is so special. Ten semi-finalists will get a chance to have their recipe tested at Papa John’s HQ. From there, three finalists will have their recipe featured on the Papa John’s menu in August. But the excitement doesn’t stop there! Of the final three, Papa John’s will hand out a $1000 budget for marketing.
The recipe with the most sales will get a permanent spot on the menu! The grand prize also includes free pizza for life and an appearance in a Papa John’s TV ad. Go to Papa John’s Facebook and take a look for yourself. I never thought that people could be so excited about pizza but as fan Diane writes on the Page’s Wall, “I don’t care for American Idol. But, a pizza right now sure sounds good.”

Honeymooning with Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn also launched a campaign this week targeting newlyweds who are looking for a good deal for their honeymoon. Appealing to members of their rewards program on Twitter, Holiday Inn’s month long “Honeymoon on Us” contest will give out free prizes. With wedding season around the corner, this is the right time for the InterContinental Hotels Group to focus their efforts on vacationing couples. The grand prize is pretty great too – a complete wedding registry!

Papa John’s and Holiday Inn are just two examples of how big brands are using social media to the fullest extent. Nike also just set a record with their new viral ad. Do you have any other examples you’d like to share? It doesn’t have to be a promotion that’s currently running.

A Yelp for Help: Alleged Extortion

As a consumer, it’s only right that you can to take to the internet to share your good and bad experiences at certain establishments. Some prefer personal blogging but Yelp provides a standardized platform for consumer-based business reviews. Yelp is pretty great. I’m continually surprised by the hole in the wall restaurants and have even managed to find a new dentist. Then again, there are times when you stumble upon some horrible reviews and wonder how owners feel or react to this type of criticism. I’ve heard of lawsuits against Yelp before, but not like this.

Last week, Yelp was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging “extortion schemes”. In short, many business owners are claiming that Yelp hit them up for $$$ (so-called advertising packages) after they received bad reviews. Some claim that Yelp offered to remove the negative reviews in exchange for convenient monthly payments.

Of course, Yelp’s CEO has a different story. In the way Jeremy Stoppelman explains it, their marketing tactics are completely legal albeit, a little “weird”. Things are looking more than weird for Yelp right now as more cases are rising against their favor. Time will tell what will happen, but can Yelp’s credibility be fully restored after this case? CEO Stoppleman claims they have nothing to hide, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

There are a lot of cases where small businesses have benefited from Yelp reviews. I’ve even seen negative reviews completely reversed when owners take the time to reach out and contact the negative reviewers. Everyone deserves a second chance at correcting their mistakes but maybe, Yelp has had one too many?

What do you think about Yelp’s current dilemma?