Tag Archives: twitter for marketing

“2.0 Politik: Do Democratic Candidates Make the Grade?”

“Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickrThe Hillary/Big Brother Mashup Video from last year ushered in a new era for political campaigns. No longer content with televised debates, citizens everywhere raised their mouses in unison and called for a technological perestroika. 2.0 Politik was born, giving citizens direct access to politicians…Ok, maybe not, but candidates not hooked up with social media are missing out on influential demographics.

On Wednesday, socialTNT gave you the 4-1-1 on Republican social media campaigns. Today, socialTNT directs our browser to the Dems to find out who makes the grade and who gets held back.

Barack Obama, Most Likely To Succeed (Overall Grade: A+)

  • Online Video—At time of writing, there are 572 videos on Barack’s YouTube channel full of debate clips, campaign stops, direct conversations with the camera. On the site, you can find BarackTV, a really pretty player integrated by Brightcove . Don’t miss the interesting, YouTube-meets-digg-style “citizen generated campaign” called YouBarack. Chris was let down at the lack of streaming video. [UPDATE: Obama does stream some campaign stops through ustream.tv] Grade: A-
  • BloggingActive blog with some posts receiving an impressive 1000+ comments, but our reviewers couldn’t find any posts older than Jan. 31st. The “older posts” link took us nowhere, and no archive–what?! Mad props for asking for feedback from readers. Extra credit for allowing citizen blogs hosted through my.obama.com community. Grade: A-
  • Social NetworksObama’s Facebook profile supposedly has the more friends than any other candidate, but his Wall is full of teeny-boppers spouting racial epithets (Where are the chaperones community managers?). Surprisingly, his MySpace has a clean look with more commenters actually adding to the dialog. Oh, and widgets for everybody! Flickr is current. Extra credit: With LinkedIn, MiGente, Eons (Boomer SocNet), AsianAve, and BlackPlanet, he has all his demographic bases covered Grade: A+
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the blog. No RSS for Press Releases or coverage, and what about an Events RSS?: B+
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Ok, so he’s got a Twitter profile that gets updated every coupla days. That’s worth something, right?

Hillary Clinton, Most Studious (Overall Grade: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, has a YouTube channel with a so-so 232 videos at time of writing. There is also a clunky looking player with Hillary commercials videos called HillaryTV. Most interesting attempt to seem human: The videos section link to “The Hillary I Know,” a Web 2.0-style site with video interviews of friends of Hill Grade: B+
  • BloggingHillary’s blog seems to serve as a news room, with mosts post consisting of news round-ups. Unlike Obama’s blog, the comments are pretty low, with most posts receiving 30-100. Clinton’s team should try to make it more about conversation, less about messaging. Grade: B-
  • Social Networks—If I were trying to guess messages based strictly on social network membership, Hill is looking to win over the college age and boomer voters. MySpace, Facebook and Eons pages are all pretty standard, but we do love the behind-the-scenes, not super-produced flickr page. Grade: B+
  • RSS—The blog has its own RSS feed and–gasp!–so does the news room. No feed for HillaryTV, but we’re still in shock about Newsroom RSS! Grade: A
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—There is a Twitter page, but “Hillary” isn’t following anyone…shame!

Now that John Edwards and his ustream.tv are out of the race, the Dems aren’t quite as cutting edge. But how can any hip Dem hit the town without an Obama ringtone?If you could give a piece of social media advice to the candidates, what would it be? What is your primary source for political news? TV? Friends? Blogs?

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[The above photo, “Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner” by indi.ca on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]



Filed under 2.0 Politik, Democracy and Media, Future of Media, Marketing, New Media, Politics, Public Relations 2.0, Social Media

“2.0 Politik: Do Republican Candidates Make the Grade?”

Today’s post was written by socialTNT Contributing Writer, Marie Williams. I promise we’ll get personalized bylines showing soon. 🙂

“vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr

With Rudy Giuliani’s withdrawal from the Republican presidential campaign yesterday evening, the competition for the Republican nomination is heating up. Social media tactics have the possibility to tip the balance, but which candidates are using social media to their advantage and which are missing the boat? Today, socialTNT separates the cool kids from the amateurs.

Ron Paul, Class Valedictorian (Overall Grade: A)

  • Online Video—up-to-date and frequently refreshed YouTube channel, a Justin.TV channel (although that hasn’t been updated for two months), and Mogulus Live Streaming Video. Impressive, Ron! Grade: A+
  • Blogging—There’s a hidden bloggish section called “daily updates” (click here and scroll down to below the Flash-animated banner to find it) and a very difficult-to-find blog called The Daily Dose campaign HQ blog. While not very aptly placed, both blogs are well updated and contain some good, meaty posts. Grade: A-
  • Social Networks—Very active Facebook profile updated with hundreds of posted items and notes pertaining to Paul’s campaign. While his MySpace page is definitely not as snazzy as his competitors with all the bells and whistles, it is very personal and includes all pertinent links to more information on campaign activities. Grade: A
  • RSS—You can subscribe to the daily updates blog, as well as The Daily Dose, although the newsroom sections don’t have RSS feeds available. Grade: A-
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Unlike all the other Republican candidates, Ron has an official Twitter page.

Mitt Romney, Second in Class (Overall: B+)

  • Online Video—Of course, Mitt has the token YouTube channel, but the Mitt TV section of Mitt’s site is what sets it apart in terms of visual online content. The section is incredibly well-organized and catalogs videos by category, including events, interviews, news, and even a section for “fun” videos. Grade: A+
  • Blogging—Mitt’s “Five Brothers” blog, which includes posts from Mitt, his wife Ann and five sons, is updated on a regular basis, sometimes more than once a day. The posts are often made by Mitt’s sons (Mitt himself hasn’t updated since 9/11 of last year), and add a great personal element to the blog even if Mitt isn’t the one posting. Grade: A
  • Social Networks—Facebook profile? Check, and it’s well fleshed out and updated with news and videos to boot. MySpace page? Check, and also very well-organized with personal profile info, a video welcome, and Slide photo show. Mitt also has a Meetup page and a Flickr account that includes photos from the campaign trail. Grade: A-
  • RSS—While the “Five Brothers” blog does have separate RSS feeds for all authors (click here and see lefthand corner), there’s no RSS feed for Mitt TV and no RSS feed for the news section. Bummer! Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope! But if Mitt decides to jump on the Twitter bandwagon, someone’s already parked the MittRomney username and has 34 followers (no updates to speak of).

Mike Huckabee, Average Abe (Overall: B)

  • Online Video—Typical YouTube Channel and a video archive in the newsroom. Nothing special, nothing innovative. *Yawn* Grade: B-
  • BloggingMike has a very consistently updated blog that runs the gamut from video posts to general news announcements to calls to action. Also includes a great, incredibly lengthy blogroll of other blogs supporting Huckabee’s campaign. Extra credit for some cool blog widgets for supporters to load on their own blogs. Grade: A+
  • Social Networks—Very basic Facebook profile, but brownie points for the active discussion boards. Standard MySpace profile with a video welcome as a nice personal touch. Mike goes for the basics but could stretch his social networking skills much farther. Grade: B-
  • RSSRSS for the blog, but nothing else. Eh for minimal effort to syndicate content. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—No dice. Not even a parked page for this one.

John McCain, Barely Passing (Grade: C)

  • Online VideoYouTube channel and some videos on MySpace. Blase, much? Grade: C+
  • Blogging—The blog is a very basic set of general updates and video posts with little to no personality. Grade: C
  • Social Networks—Blah Facebook profile, although his MySpace page boasts some multimedia facets and a few videos. Overall pretty weak. Grade: C
  • RSSFeeds are available for the blog but there’s no feeds for the newsroom or any other part of the site. Grade: B
  • Extra Credit: Twitter—Nope, but as with Romney, someone’s parked the JohnMcCain username and already has 28 followers (no updates to speak of).

And that’s a wrap. No doubt as the race for Republican nominee continues to heighten in intensity, candidates will consider additional social media tactics as a way to boost their visibility among their wavering constituents.

But don’t worry Dems, we haven’t forgotten about you. socialTNT will be posting on the Democratic candidate reviews this week. In the meantime, tell us how you’re following the presidential race using social media technologies. Is it Twitter? Blogs? Online video? Let us know in the comments!

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[The above photo, “vote for this guy” by switch_1010 on flickr, used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under 2.0 Politik, Future of Media, Politics, Social Media, Social Networking

“Twitterpated: A Twitter How-To”

I know a lot of you are looking at this post and thinking, “not another blog post about Twitter.” That’s totally acceptable. I have often thought the same thing and, for that reason, have stayed away from a Twitter post. Lately, however, people in my office have been exploring it on their own and have been curious about it’s applications.

My goal for this post is not to rehash Twitter campaign strategy (Todd Defren gives an example of a pharma Twitter campaign. I also found this post for our movie and entertainment friends from Eleven Marketing). I’d rather talk strictly about the benefits of Twitter for communications and journalism professionals, and offer a few tips on getting started.

For those who aren’t familiar with Twitter, it’s like a micro-blog with each post no larger than 140 characters. Due to the “What are you doing?” above the text box and tons of snarky coverage when it launched, many people still have the misconception that Twitter is like a status message similar to Facebook or an IM away message. Heck, I remember first hearing about Twitter and thinking it would be self-indulgent; who really needs to know what I’m doing all the time? I’ve come to realize that it’s so much more than that, it’s a community and a powerful resource.

“Check Out the Big Brain on Brad (Stone)”

Someone in the office asked me the best way to describe Twitter. For me, it’s like having a direct feed into your friends’ minds. Oh, and all your “friends” are top reporters, bloggers and industry specialists.

It’s not just a status message. People tell you what they’re reading as they read it, offer thoughts on breaking news, or share anything else that may be valuable. People debate and it’s like being in a lively discussion. Sometimes it feels like a living creature and one meme will race around Twitter. They’ll also tweet about their families while they tweet about the latest takeover.

For me, I love knowing what a certain reporter is reading; over time I can see the types of stories they like or get a sense of what they are interested in as they think it. Great for pitching. Great for tracking interest during a launch. Sometimes, reporters even look for sources with a tweet.

[UPDATE: Should have put this in the original. Reporters are using Twitter for story/lead generation. See Read/Write Web‘s Marshall Kirkpatrick’s post on his personal blog from last week.]

More than just another pitching tool, it’s also a way to build and cultivate a relationship with someone you might not be able to communicate with in real life. It’s also not as intrusive as IM or email. Just be sure it’s an exchange. You wouldn’t leave a commercial blog response, and you shouldn’t tweet like it’s all about you. It’s a community.

Speaking of community, all my favorite PR/Marketing thought leaders tweet. Sure, they also blog, but, again, this is a supplement that adds greater insight. It also really makes you feel like you are actively engaged in the discussion around PR and marketing.

“You Hear it First!”

Several blogs and news sites tweet when a new article or post comes out. It’s like an RSS feed that speaks to you. It’s a great way to see breaking news and maybe react as soon as possible. Plus, Twitter is like the modern day grapevine; someone tweets “Google just bought Jaiku” and the world knows. Since it’s faster than the news cycle, you can potentially pitch before the news breaks.

Let’s Get it Started! Uh-oh! Uh-oh!”

With Twitter, you can submit your “tweets” (posts) from the website, AIM or a text from your phone. To really take advantage of Twitter’s uses, however, you have to be able to engage in the stream more directly. For this, I recommend using one of the sidebars for your internet browser, like Twitbin or Tweetbar. You can also use more robust, stand-alone applications like Snitter or Twitterific. These are a little prettier, don’t take up precious browser space, and seem to have stronger features. Test them out. The key is finding one that feels comfortable for you.

“People, Who Need People…”

Now that you’ve got your reader set up. You’ve gotta make some friends. It’s a community and, like Facebook, it’s sad if you don’t have anyone to talk to. That doesn’t mean jump in and start following hundreds of people. Start with 15 and work up. Here are a few random samples to get you started. Take a look at who your favorites are following and add those people. It’s amazing who you can find on Twitter!



Pretty soon you’ll be following hundreds! Once you play around with it for a few days, you’ll see what a powerful resource Twitter can be. You may even become addicted.

Any Twitter tips? Submit them in the comments below!

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Filed under How To, Marketing, New Media, Product Review, Public Relations 2.0, Social Networking