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How to Survive the Election on Social Media

Congratulations! Other than a painstaking few more weeks, you’ve almost survived Election 2016 on social media.

After a video of Donald Trump making lewd comments was released on Friday, some people also reported this election had triggered unpleasant old memories and caused more stress.

Here are a few easy tricks to help you survive this election season.

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The WORST Twitter Fails Blamed On Interns And Aides

Turns out that if you outsource your Twitter and Facebook status updates to people you pay very little to, and probably treat like crap, they’ll eventually turn on you. Who could see that coming?! Seriously, social media is an extension of your PR or marketing department. It’s not for some intern.

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Gangs move between streets and social media

For monitoring gang activity, police have a free intelligence-gathering tool at their disposal: social media. This is just one example from Newport Virginia.

“The graffiti of old is now Facebook,” said Sgt. L.W. Spencer, who leads the gang enforcement unit at Newport Police Department. “They’re trying to portray a certain image in everything that they’re doing on Facebook.”

The communication and activities that play out on the streets have been extended to the Internet and sites like Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, said Executive Director George Knox of the National Gang Crime Research Center, which supplies research to police. Gangs have long maintained a presence on the Internet, and the popularity of smartphones just makes it easier.

“From the perspective of police investigators, this is an intelligence gold mine because this is open source information,” Knox said. “It’s due diligence for any police department to take that stuff seriously.”

For instance, police made connections between several of the “Dump Squad” gang members in Newport News from a rap video they produced and released on YouTube more than two years ago, Spencer said, watching the video and pointing to the young men that were arrested. Group photos on Facebook show youth displaying gang hand signs and wearing gang colors or other symbols. Young people use Twitter like “walkie talkies” to alert each other to police presence in the area, Spencer said.

In April 2011, 11 men were charged in federal court with different gang-related crimes as members would identify their West Coast Bloods affiliation through Twitter, Facebook and MySpace photos, videos and posts, according to the indictment. The accused members of the Portsmouth-based gang have since been found guilty on various counts, with one man sentenced to life in prison on two counts of murder, according to online court records.

But social media alone doesn’t finish the investigation, as police have to corroborate and confirm any information, Spencer said. To use Facebook information in court, police also need to file search warrants.

“That’s just a piece of the puzzle,” said Sgt. Jason Price, a spokesman for the Hampton Police Division. “It just confirms what we already know.”

Newport News has about 60 active gangs, Spencer said. Hampton has about 10, said Sgt. Derrick Woolaston, supervisor of the police gang unit in Hampton.

The gangs may be as few as three people and are usually a neighborhood group claiming affiliation with either the Bloods or Crips, Spencer said. Often, police aren’t dealing with rival gang fighting so much as infighting, Spencer explained. However, what makes it difficult to accurately tally the number of Peninsula gangs, comprised mostly of youth, is that members switch from one gang to another, and even to supposedly rival gangs, Spencer said.

This is evident in Newport News police seeing more “amateur-like” graffiti combining symbols, Spencer said. Hampton is seeing less “tagging” and the graffiti there is also filled with mistakes, Woolaston said. Local gangs aren’t organized as portrayed on TV, and youth will join and switch gangs for acceptance or protection, Woolaston explained.

“There’s less criminality and more socialization,” Woolaston said, adding Hampton police are seeing fewer gang-related crimes compared to five years ago.

Youth continue to be influenced by the glamorization of the gang lifestyle as it appears in movies and music, police said.

The people committing the crimes would do so whether they were in a gang or not, Woolaston explained. Even so, proving gang affiliation in court can tack on more time for sentencing and make it easier for police to prosecute a gang’s future criminal activities, police said. Spencer said the streets in Newport News are safer than 15 years ago although police continue to monitor gang hot spots in the Southeast community, like 23rd and Chestnut Avenue, and 33rd Street and Roanoke Avenue.

As far as how gang members use social media, each person or gang member is different. Spencer said youth seem to use it to portray an image of “money, power and respect,” although some use it as an intimidation tool. Knox said gang members will post or message witnesses to keep them from testifying. Spencer said he hasn’t heard of gangs recruiting through social media in Newport News, although Knox said this happens across the country. In 2008, Hampton police charged a 15-year-old boy with making gang threats and recruitment of persons for a criminal street gang through MySpace.

Spencer advises parents to know what their kids are doing online, to pay attention to who “friends” them on Facebook and to be wary when their children don’t accept their friendship.

 via dailypress

How Social Media Propelled Fallon’s Tonight Show Take-Over

Comedians Jimmy Fallon and Jay Leno arrive in the press room at the Golden Globes awards ceremony in Beverly Hills on January 13, 2013.

As news began to surface this week that a promotion was in the works, Jimmy Fallon read through a series of tweets on-air at Late Night. The tweets were part of his recurring bit themed around a particular hashtag in this case,  #WhyDontTheyMa keThat . (A personal favorite: A ‘nobody cares’ button on Facebook ).

Ideas like Late Night Hashtags demonstrate Fallon’s unrivaled ability to connect with fans to create show material. His rise to the top of late-night offers a lesson for those expecting to make it in the content business: If you can’t find ways to engage people in program creation, you might be dismissed for someone who can.

Ed Bark at CNN suggests that Twitter was the ace card that propelled Fallon into The Tonight Show chair, adding:

“if this indeed is Fallon’s time, it may be in large part because we live in very different times. The Internet-driven ‘social media’ didn’t exist during Carson’s storied 30-year reign. He simply had to deliver a conventional TV audience. He did so year after year against a variety of competitors in a much less crowded late-night field.”

If you look closer, Fallon’s rise is not only about Twitter, and goes beyond using social media tactics to amass a fan base. In Fallon’s case, similar to Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Kimmel, contributions from fans are core to their creative strategy. Social currency is baked directly into the material.

Is the late-night format dead as Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post now suggests? In a sense, yes – the standalone, traditional model is no longer viable. But is that new? Fallon and his late-night contemporaries have optimized content for social engagement for years. They produce show material in multiple formats. They distribute content across many platforms. Because it’s good, their content shared widely across social networks. Tune-in may not sustain the franchise. NBC is betting multiplatform distribution and access to compelling content will.

Which brings us back to the product itself. Every week, Fallon challenges his eight million followers to come up with ideas based on games he creates (e.g., #howigotfired#awkwarddate). These bits become global trending topics, some as quickly as in twelve minutes .

Think about that approach in contrast to Leno’s world and the previous generation of late-night ringleaders. Audiences like to engage with the hosts of programs they watch, and have easy means to do so. To meet that demand, NBC has elevated the socially-savviest of them all, one who surely bring a fresh, contemporary style to The Tonight Show.

via Forbes – Image credit: AFP/Getty Images via @daylife

The Social Media #Fail of the Mark Sanford Race

The GOP primary in South Carolina’s first congressional district was almost completely unsurprising. Pundits expected Mark Sanford to ride name recognition into a runoff berth, then to have the advantage in the runoff itself. He did. The only surprise along the way was the defeat of State Sen. Larry Grooms at the hands of Curtis Bostic, a social conservative who edged him for the right to go mano-a-mano contra Sanford.

The only botched prediction I could find, really, was this one.

An independent analysis by political observer Laughton Chandler has predicted a GOP winner of Tuesday’s runoff election: Curtis Bostic.

The prediction was made by analyzing social media. According to the data, Bostic will win with more than 55 percent of the vote. His rival would earn more than 44 percent of the vote.

What in the what? The actual result was 25 points off that: Sanford 57, Bostic 43. Why was a “social media analysis” so wrong?

Simple: The Bostic campaign bet late on social media without really understanding its relevance. In the short two-week stretch of the runoff, the campaign hired roving new media guru Ali Akbar to beef up its presence. Akbar bought the web domain “TrustCurtis.com,” and hashtagged the slogan. Rick Santorum, whose PAC has co-sponsored Akbar’s CPAC “Blog Bash” parties for two years running, flew down to South Carolina for one day of campaign events with Bostic. On Twitter, certainly, mentions of Bostic surged from nothing to something. ViralRead.com, a news site co-founded by Akbar in 2012, became a one-stop shop for #SC01 news, with a jaundiced view of Sanford.

Sanford’s allies responded with LOLs. Wes Donohue, a media strategist for Sanford, repeatedly mocked the Bostic strategy with tweets. “#trustcurtis to hire the same bloggers who were paid to smear Mitt Romney,” he wrote. “#trustbostic to fund an out-of-state blogger to smear a South Carolinian.”

The Sanfordites didn’t really understand the play. The April 2 election was going to be low-turnout. In 2010, for example, the runoff that started Tim Scott’s ascent to Congress saw 68,000 votes cast. The April 2 election turnout was around 47,000. What difference did it make if bloggers outside the district suddenly cared about Bostic?

“This campaign needed delegation and a solid field plan if they didn’t have the funds to build rapid name-ID against a candidate with negative name recognition,” Akbar told me this morning, before heading back home from the district. “The Bostic campaign had neither. But it did have a candidate of extreme integrity. If we had one more week, we could’ve got in on fate and momentum.”

via slate.com

SEC clears up ‘confusion’ over social media rules

Companies can use social media such as Facebook and Twitter to unveil key information about their operations as long as they’ve told investors where to look for it, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday.

The decision averts a showdown between the SEC and Netflix. The Internet video streaming service got into trouble with the agency last year after chief executive Reed Hastings used his personal Facebook account to boast that his company had streamed more than 1 billion hours of content in June.
The SEC told Netflix that the July posting may have run afoul of a rule that requires companies to distribute important information broadly to the public, and avoid feeding it to a select group of shareholders who could trade on it ahead of other investors.

When the SEC warned that Netflix may face enforcement action, the agency was widely mocked as a plodding regulator unable to keep up with evolving technology.

The SEC said that its disclosure rule allows for such changes.

In 2008, the agency determined that companies can use Web sites to distribute material information as long as they’ve alerted investors that the sites would be used for the purpose. On Tuesday, the SEC issued guidance making it clear that the same principles apply to social media.

“Most social media are perfectly suitable methods for communicating with investors, but not if the access is restricted or if investors don’t know that’s where they need to turn to get the latest news,” George Canellos, acting director of the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement.

The SEC said it came to realize during the Netflix investigation that there was confusion about how the fair-disclosure rules apply to social media, so it decided not take legal action against Netflix.

But it also pointed out that Hastings had not previously used his Facebook page to announce company news, and Netflix never notified investors that Hastings’ personal Facebook page might be used to disseminate information about the company.

In a company filing, Hastings had said that the information he relayed on Facebook was not “material.” But the SEC suggested that it was, citing a rise in the share price, which jumped from $70.45 at the time of the Facebook posting to $81.72 at the close of trading the following day.

A Netflix spokesman said the company appreciated “the SEC’s careful consideration and resolution of this matter.”

Eugene Goldman, a former senior counsel in the SEC’s enforcement division, said in a statement that the SEC had cleared up the confusion about the use of social media. “Next time material information is disclosed on an executive’s Facebook page without the company alerting all shareholders to look there for information, the matter will likely be met with an SEC lawsuit,” said Goldman, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery.

via washingtonpost.com

Top Tips from Social Media Award Winning Auto Dealers

Most dealerships are learning the hard way that there is more to success online than simply getting people to “like” you on Facebook. If your social media strategy isn’t engaging or interesting to your target, it will get “blocked” or “disliked” pretty quickly.

Dealerships need to find unexpected and engaging ways to get audiences involved with their business. Only the campaigns that drive loyalty and interest will start to take on a life of their own and become successful social media campaigns. Here are some creative campaign ideas you can try from just a few of the 2012 Automotive Social Media Award-winning dealers…

Rich Ford’s “New Year’s Resolution Campaign,” which won the Most Creative Facebook Ad Campaign Award, took advantage of the New Year by challenging their Facebook fans to come up with the most compelling way that a 500 dollar gift card would help them realize their New Year’s resolutions. Submissions by Facebook fans were then voted on by other Facebook users, and the entry that got the most “likes” won the gift card. The contest was heavily promoted in the local market with Facebook Ads. This campaign drove 687 new “likes” and had a viral reach of 272,300.

Tempe Chrysler Dodge Jeep, winner of the Best Facebook Contest & Ad Campaign Award, gave away four VIP tickets to the Phoenix Open and also donated 10 dollars for every new Facebook Liker to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The three week contest was promoted heavily in the local market using Facebook Ads and Sponsored Posts. This campaign increased liker count by 1308 and Tempe was able to collect 1081 in market leads that included email addresses. They had an amazing 6,340 clicks with a 61 percent custom audience match rate. The numbers speak for themselves!

Having a solid strategy for reputation management is also a big part of social media marketing. A study of more than 1,600 car buyers and 600 dealerships found that nearly 70 percent of recent car buyers said review sites influenced where they shopped. Many buyers were also willing to drive long distances to purchase vehicles from dealers with positive reviews. Your dealership’s reputation is crucial to driving sales and loyalty. Norm Reeves Honda, winner of the Best Online Reputation Award, is a high-volume dealer located in Cerritos, CA (LA metro area). They have done an outstanding job generating high volumes of positive reviews nicely distributed across the most important review sites in their market, and they are benefitting from significant traffic to their website. How did they do it? They started tracking customer reviews just like they do sales and challenged their staff to get their happy customers to go online and leave reviews. They also regularly survey their customers to fix any issues and ensure excellent service. Norm Reeves Honda generated 305 positive reviews, well distributed across the top five sites* with a 4.4 star average for 2012 which resulted in 2470 website referrals from these top 5 review sites.

It is hard for dealerships to stand-out in social media, but creative campaigns and a great online reputation can improve customer loyalty and generate more leads and sales.

view the whole article on dealermarketing.com

Ten (10) Social Media Event Promotion Techniques


#1: Create Video People Will Share

Because events take place in person, they engage the senses in a way online content can’t.

Creating a stellar video with great visuals and sound can not only help drive people to your event, it also increases the chances people will want to share it with friends.

Here are a few tips for creating a video:

  • Leverage it everywhere, including on your event page, in articles and with affiliates. 
  • Host on Vimeo and YouTube. We host the video in both places to take advantage of the flexibilities of each platform—Vimeo’s branding control and YouTube’s access to a large audience.
  • Upload to Facebook. This maximizes your exposure on Facebook.
  • Focus on the value for attendees. In the above video, you’ll notice it is all about what folks will gain by attending.

#2: Give Away Tickets to Create Buzz

Nothing motivates people more than the opportunity to win something free! So why not give away a ticket or two for your event to really amp up the buzz?

Contests provide a rapid way to generate interest in your event—especially if you have the right prizes.

Here are some tips on contests:

  • Recruit judges who will help extend the reach of the contest.
  • Keep the requirements super-easy to maximize participation. For example, a simple one-click tweet to enter is ideal.
  • Run your contest at a time that will be helpful to your sales cycle.
  • If you have a podcast, consider creating a special episode explaining the contest.

#3: Socialize Your Google Ads

Are you using Google AdWords to promote your event? Do you have a Google+ page?

If so, you can actually add social proof to your paid Google ads. This increases the credibility of your ads.

You can add social proof to your Google ads by going under Ad Extensions and selecting Social Extensions from the drop-down menu.

#4: Interview Speakers for Special Content

A main reason people attend events is to meet the presenters. And getting exposure is often why many experts speak at events.

You can create great content that is valuable for all by simply interviewing your speakers.

This works great if you have a podcast.

We did NOT talk about the event at all. Instead I focused on exploring the expertise of the presenter and creating quality content. At the end of the podcast, I mentioned that listeners could meet the interviewee live at our event.

#5: Create a “Group Tips” Blog Post

Chances are you have great insight locked inside the minds of your event speakers. Why not pool that knowledge into a great blog post?

This is where you ask experts to contribute a short writeup on their favorite tip, tool or perspective on a specific topic. These types of articles are a great way to involve the experts and they provide ongoing exposure for your presenters.

Here’s a tip: Include a mention of your event at the end of each article. Click on one of the articles above to see how we do it.

#6: Create a Special Graphic for Your Speakers

Who doesn’t love to see their face in a cool sign? Well, speakers are often very fond of this.

You can encourage presenters to place these on their blogs, in Facebook updates and much more.

In fact, you never know where those images might show up!

#7: Create a Tweet for Attendees

If people are excited about attending your event, why not ask them to click a button and tell their friends about it?

This is something easy that you can place on the “Thanks for Registering” page.

#8: Add a Twitter Widget to Your Event Page

If people are talking about your event on Twitter, why not take advantage of that social proof to encourage new site visitors to attend?

Twitter has a cool widget that scrolls all the tweets for you.

The great thing is you can include OR exclude Twitter search terms using Boolean logic.

#9: Create an Event on Facebook

A Facebook event listing provides an easy way for attendees to share your event with their friends. Each time someone shares that they are attending your event creates the potential to drive more people to your Facebook Page.

A Facebook Event Page is also a channel for asking questions, providing an alternate means of customer service. You can also @tag event names in your Facebook Page updates.

Tip: Encourage attendees to visit your Facebook Event Page and see who else is attending.

#10: Utilize Facebook’s FBX Ad Targeting

Facebook allows advertisers to remarket to people who have visited specific non-Facebook Pages using Facebook Exchange, also known as FBX ad targeting.

This means you can show event ads to Facebook users who visited your Event Page but did not purchase. This can be a very economical way to retarget possible prospects.

Check out the full post over at Social Media Examiner