Posts tagged "status updates"

Is this the Facebook and YouTube election?

We are at an interesting junction in history right now, and it is fascinating to see how social media is shaping the political landscape in this election cycle.  Remember, in 2004 Facebook had just launched and was open to college students only, and YouTube didn’t even exist!  These two sites alone have totally changed the game and we are now in a new era of information sharing.  The old days where politicians got away with the occasional gaffe as long as the media didn’t pick up on it are over.  Now, practically every second of their day is recorded and posted almost instantly on YouTube and Twitter for the world to see and hear.  And of course on Facebook, the sharing of information and personal beliefs is occurring on a staggering scale.  Friends that I would have NEVER had political discussions with are engaging on Facebook.  In fact, instead of a 2-way dialog between 2 people, Facebook enables a multi-way dialog with a vast number of people.

Take for instance the status comments.  When someone on Facebook posts an observation or political view on Facebook, his or her whole friend network has the potential to see it.  If people comment back, not only does the original person receive alerts, but also everyone who comments on it receives an alert as well.  All of the sudden, what we think about the process can be expressed and discussed more easily with much larger groups of people.  Breaking down the physical and geographic barriers has huge implications, as we are not confined to hearing the prevailing beliefs of our particular corner of the world.

I believe that we are in the midst of a major shift in how people perceive politics.  No longer is it just for the older crowd that reads the newspaper and watches 60 Minutes.  Now everyone is talking – the question is: who is paying the most attention?

What do YOU think?  Is social media going to make a difference in this election?

We are ALL media channels

You know, the frequency of social messaging is reaching a fever pitch these days, and it underscores the fact that any brand that is going to flourish has to get in the mix somehow.  Not a day goes by that I don’t get a stream of updates from my friends and business associates on what’s going on in their worlds.  Funny enough, I actually pay a lot of attention to these, as they provide a unique opportunity to keep up with people that I might otherwise lose touch with.  I’m one of millions of people that have embraced this aspect of social media and I see myself paying more and more attention to it with each passing day.

What I find interesting are the players that are out in front using emerging media channels to spread the word and encourage wild viral spread.  Take the political candidates and political action committees for instance.  Man, let me tell you – these guys are pushing some serious messaging online and even dabbling a bit in the mobile space.  The speeches are barely done before status updates, videos, blog entries, etc. start flying.  And of course, on the topic of engagement, I can’t think of a better example of how these tools enable a level of engagement that we could only dream about just a few years ago.  I see the passion coming out of people who I would never expect to be so engaged!

Everyday people are realizing the power they have to spread the word about things they care most about, and this has really turned the Marketing and PR worlds on their heads.  The two functions are highly intertwined now more than ever, and it’s critical that brands think about how to reach consumers directly and give them the capability to be evangelists.  The tools are there, but they have to be used and continually fine-tuned.

The next time you read a status update from a friend or click on a link that someone you know has posted, think about the implications of this messaging.  Is your brand in the mix?  If not, the time for second-guessing has long since passed.    Sink or swim – right now!

BTW, here are some supporting materials on ‘Direct-to-Consumer PR’ and ‘Status Updates’ to check out.  Enjoy!