Politics 2.0-Donald Trump

Donald Trump. A name recognized internationally, and as of recent, the 45th president of The United States. A businessman with no previous political experience, it is almost baffling that he was able to win such an esteemed position. Some may wonder how it was possible, and I can confidently say it is largely a result of social media.

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Politics 2.0 emphasizes the importance of social media for candidates, in order to reach their audience and send a message. We see it originally used in the Obama campaign, where he focused mainly on the use of Facebook and Twitter to reach voters. Facebook is a legitimate platform used for communication. Advantages include its’ global reach, its’ transparency, the connections it creates, and the citizen participation it offers.

Donald Trump used a similar technique for his campaign, focusing heavily on Twitter updates as well as Facebook to his advantage. However, Donald Trump’s messages were much different than that of former President Barack Obama. Obama can be quoted using messages that further supported his brand image-Hope. Mr. Trump received the same attention but mostly as a result of his bold statements, often delivered via Twitter and Facebook. The attention he was given because of this, along with the ridiculous Facebook articles on him, further put him in people’s minds-exactly what he wanted, and ultimately what lead to his success. 28 million followers, can in fact, do a lot.

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The advertising and awareness he had simply through social media is extraordinary. An article by the verge, “Donald trump says Facebook and Twitter ‘helped me win'”, further expands on this. Mr. Trump was quoted during his talk on CBS’ 60 minutes, saying, the services he uses such as Facebook and Twitter “are great forms of communication…I’m not saying I love it, but it does get the word out.” And that’s evident, he continued, “The fact that I have so much power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. I think it helped me win the races where they’re spending so much more money than I spent.” He didn’t spend nearly as much on advertising, both digitally and traditionally, as his opponent, Hilary Clinton, stating “I think that social media has more power than the money they spent.”

Although not all that was heard about Mr. Trump was positive, he even used the negative to his benefit, as a way to “fight back” from an inaccurate, or bad story. Hence, the articles posted on Facebook, or more commonly known the “fake news.” This had such a profound effect that Facebook, specifically the founder, Mark Zuckerberg is taking steps to make sure all the news reported on his site is in fact, accurate. What a concept! We shall see how that goes.

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Uncertainty still evidently remains on that issue, however, what is clear is the immense role that Twitter and Facebook did play in fact play in this campaign. It is interesting to wonder if the results would have been the same if social media was not used. Food for thought!

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Viral Marketing-Ashton Kutcher

Advertising is everywhere, where you’re aware of it or not, and marketing and advertising has certainly come a long way in its’ lifetime. With the development of technology, advertising and marketing has developed as well to match that of the currently used product. The recent creation of portable laptops, iPads, tablets, and cell phones with internet capabilities, advertising has now reached all through various forms of social media.Viral-Marketing

With the development of these devices and social media, so has the concept of viral marketing. Viral marketing is “any marketing technique that induces websites or users to pass on a marketing message to other sites or users, creating a potentially exponential growth in the message’s visibility and effect.” Essentially, viral marketing takes advantage of the immense use of social media nowadays to further translate and transmit their messages, or brand.

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There are six types of viral marketing including 1. “Send it” or direct messages to consumers such as a text message, 2. Viral, or Incentive Marketing where a consumer gets money or some type of reward for sharing information with a friend; for example, if you get your friend to download the Lyft App, you yourself will get a $5.00 credit to your account. The third is masked marketing, which takes advantage of consumers curiosity by sending a mysterious or ambiguous message which makes the consumer want to learn more. A store may send you an e-mail with nothing more than a simple line such as “get the best deal of your life today!”-we, as consumers, are curious to find out what this deal is and therefore respond by clinking on the link and visiting the website. The fourth is known as rumor marketing, and one I find particularly interesting because I had never been made aware of this technique before taking my Journalism class this semester. Essentially, we will hear wild, interesting rumors about something or someone involved in a product or service right before it comes out. For example, actors may do something to get everyone talking about them before a movie of them comes out. The fifth is social database which is a service that offers a data base so companies can get contacts and lastly, invitations which are usually from companies like Google.

And now we look at the absolute star of Viral Marketing-Ashton Kutcher.

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Originating as an actor in Hollywood, Ashton Kutcher has used his wide public reach to start one of the most important media companies in the United States. Through the use of viral marketing techniques, A+ has become one of the most visited news websites in the world, far passing TMZ and Fox News in monthly visits.

Ashton knew that in order to reach people he had to create noise. He did this first by  promoting A+ through his millions of followers and fans he already had. With his 18 million likes on Facebook, along with his 16.7 million Twitter followers, there was already an audience waiting for him. In addition, he used his connections to get other celebrities to endorse his brand. He brought in celebrities such as Lil Wayne, and Nicki Minaj to further spread A+. Among other celebrities, Lil Wayne would tweet links to A+ stories with intriguing captions such as “You don’t see this everyday.”

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Ashton was bold in his approach. Originally stating his goal was to tell “stories that make a difference and create positive change“, it quickly changed to wild interesting stories that would get a lot of attention. “Lets put the wild stuff on the wall, let’s do it all, let’s deal with the backlash as we go!” was Kutcher’s attitude, according to one.” was accordingly Ashton’s attitude according to one of his staff members.

Evidently, this attitude led to literal word-for-word plagirization from other news sources, which A+ would copy and post to their site. In August of 2014 the company  experimented with a piece of technology “”that would identify content that was going viral from around the web.”” It would then automatically rip the article’s content and put it in a queue to be rewritten by a team of freelancers, before being added to the site.“” However, the last step of the rewrites from freelancers never occurred and instead were posted to A+ exactly as they were found. As a result, the company made headlines, and although it wasn’t positive, they used this news attention to demonstrate that yes, they had made a mistake but they were rebuilding and coming back better than ever-and most importantly they had people talking about them. They brilliantly used viral marketing techniques such as masked marketing,  rumor marketing, and of course Ashton Kutcher’s already immense fan base and connections, to create one of the top 50 most popular websites in The United States. And that was in just one year alone. I’m sure there is much more to come.

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The New Form of Communication: Snapchat

Nowadays with the availability of thousands of phone applications and device services, there are countless ways to communicate and message with others; whether its’ primarily through written messages such as iMessage, text messages, email, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter, or through photo messages such as Instagram and now, Snapchat. Originally invented in September of 2011, it wasn’t until 2012 when it really began to take off. Snapchat offered a new concept, as described by Snapchat CEO’s Evan Spiegel’s in 2012, “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. Like when I think I’m good at imitating the face of a star-nosed mole, or if I want to show my friend the girl I have a crush on (it would be awkward if that got around), and when I’m away at college and miss my Mom…er…my friends.We’re building a photo app that doesn’t conform to unrealistic notions of beauty or perfection but rather creates a space to be funny, honest or whatever else you might feel like at the moment you take and share a Snap.” Spiegel and his team used Snapchat to offer a quick second, real-time photo which showed reality, not an edited, photoshopped, idealized moment that Instagram and Facebook sometimes convey.

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Although Snapchat originally debuted in 2011, it wasn’t until late 2012 that it began to take off. By November 2012, the ghost emotion app quickly became the must-have app for communicating with friends. A sharp contrast from earlier in the year in May 2012, where just 25 images were being sent per second and, “November 28, 2012 saw that users had shared over one billion photos on the Snapchat iOS app, with 20 million photos being shared per day.” The quick disappearing images were fun, fast, and created a certain security in the fact that they didn’t last forever. You couldn’t be held accountable for a 10-long second photo for it disappeared as quickly as it came in, and couldn’t be shared with others who weren’t intended to see it. For the first time, you could control who saw what you posted,and for how long. The long time idea that photos shared online lasted forever was gone and people were sending riskier, more exciting photographs to one another. Since then snapchat has expanded and taken off exponentially expanding, and by November 2016 Snapchat users were sending 6 billion videos per day. In addition, Snapchat has expanded to include text messaging, “stories” which can be shared with all Snapchat friends and “Discover Weekly” which includes current news and national events from various networks such as CNN, and even US Weekly. Although it’s uncertain what is the future holds for Snapchat, it is certain that it is not going anywhere soon.

Social Media & Traveling

It seems as of late, people spend a lot of their time creating an online identity that are idealized versions of who they really are, myself included. We use social media as a confidence boost, and measure our self worth in terms of likes, retweets, favorites, and comments we receive from our peers, and even complete strangers. When we travel, go to a concert, or any place we feel is worth telling people about, we take a picture or video, and post it to our various social media accounts. A moment is almost never fully embraced and enjoyed before someone is reaching for their cell phone to take a picture of their surroundings. We are almost never left alone with ourselves, to explore, or truly experience. Instead of focusing on ourselves and our surroundings, we think of others when something happens. How it will impress them, effect them, etc. Our first instinct is surprisingly not to grasp the moment, we think of others, how we will appear to others when we show them what we’re doing. Think look how cool people will think I am when I post this on my Instagram. Almost all outings are an opportunity to brag to the world about how great your life is. But if we really know someone, the pictures and posts on social media do not usually reflect what they themselves, or their lives are really like. We use it to hi-light impressive moments in our life and idealized versions of who we really, in hopes that people will see them, be impressed, and admire us because of it. It comes to a point where we seem to be doing things just in order to get a photo of it and share it with others. Outings are no longer for pure enjoyment, but based on imagining “how cool the pictures will be!” Just a few days ago my roommates and I were discussing travel destinations when one of them said, “Oh my god we have to go, I need to get a picture in front of The John Lennon Wall.” Going to Prague was no longer about seeing, exploring, and experiencing the city ourselves, but instead of the picture opportunity just one small spot created. Despite the thousands of things the city has to offer, her main reason for going was the opportunity it created to share with her friends and get positive feedback because of it. As enjoyable as it is to be able to share these wonderful experiences with our friends and family, in real time, these “photo opportunities” seem to be taking away from the real life experience we should be having with these places. Do you even really see where you are if you’re only looking at it through a camera lens?
Think of concerts before the invention of hand-held camera phones. It was a room or stadium of people, together, singing, dancing and enjoying, and living through music. People weren’t on their cell phones, they were present, and when the band turned the lights off and asked them to illuminate the crowd it was with lighters, not cell phones. Now, people use cell phones which are usually already in the air in hopes to capture the perfect shot of their favorite band or musician. Even going online to find pictures before and after cell phone camera inventions, you can see the transition from the class lighter photo, to the cell phone screen illuminated room. One article I found partially interesting was on CNN, written by Jarrett Bellini where the featured photo was a sign from a band called the Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs. It has been blurred out for inappropriate language, but it reads “Please do not watch the show through a screen on your smart device/camera….Put that away as a courtesy to the person behind you and Nick, Karen, and Brian. Much love and many thanks! Yeah yeah yeahs. This was just one small attempt to bring people back to reality, to really enjoy and experience the show and not be on their phones. “Be present.” is often something my parents say to me when I seem to be glued to my phone during a family trip, and as frustrating as it is to hear, they are right. It’s time to be selfish! Actually enjoy our experiences, and stop trying to capture them for others to see.

CNN Article: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/26/tech/social-media/apparently-this-matters-concert-phones/

 

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