May 16, 2018 By Zak Mehan
You may remember that back in March it was announced that Brad Parscale – the digital media director for President Trump’s 2016 campaign, seen by some as a visionary and by others as a meticulous instruction-follower – will be the campaign for the President’s reelection bid in 2020.
Axios got a first look into the campaign strategy slowly coming together in the basement at the Republican National Committee. It will be digital (duh), it will be systematic and it will look more like a marketing machine than any campaign in history.
One interesting note was the challenge of being systemic and methodical with a president and campaigner who is often seen as anything but.
Our bet will be a powerful ground game – with individual states already coming into the crosshairs for Parscale and his team – focusing in on localized efforts and micro-level targeting while the candidate revs up the nation-level coverage.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on the action as it begins to pick up pace in the coming years. The 2016 election awakened the public to the powerful information distribution tools that social media channels have become and the power of the data they collect.
2020 campaign efforts could be an effective litmus test of how deep their skepticism runs.
Now it only seems fitting to talk about one of the most influential social media channels in that election (although hardly the one with the harshest spotlight on it since): Twitter.
Twitter is a favorite among the news and political crowd but for the general public it is also a breeding ground for the less savory types of social media users, most predominantly “trolls”.
Trolls can be poisonous on social media channels, degrading conversations and other users alike. These kinds of bad actors are seen to have taken a role in lowering political discourse and scaring users from the platforms as they seek to avoid abuse.
Twitter is now unveiling a tool to thwart their malevolent efforts to detract from conversations. The platform will start hiding comments from certain accounts that it deems to be systemic detractors.
This is a big difference from other social networks, which might condense a high volume of replies or individual replies based on their content. In this case, all of a user’s posts will be muted except to their followers.
There will likely be problems with this approach, as Twitter has had issues with how it has designated accounts for suspension in the past. For now, though, it could become another tool in the belt of community managers seeking to keep branded Twitter pages clean and troll-free.
We want you to consider this piece as a bit of a public safety announcement.
Recent scandals involving the use of data and digital platforms have companies running scared. As mentioned in the story above on the 2020 presidential campaign, users are waking up to how companies are using their data, and they aren’t wild about it.
This is becoming a major thorn in companies’ sides. Just this week, major cell carriers were embroiled in a furor over LocationSmart, a company that obtains (and sells) real-time access to phone location data. (Somewhat poetically, the situation came to light after a prison technology company was found to be using the technology. Are we all just captives to technology, man?)
Issues like this raise red flags, and, tied to other brand safety issues associated with digital channels, can scare off marketing and communications teams. When talking about using data there are often questions of legality or characterization as snooping.
Do not be afraid. The power of data and digital channels is worth the trouble (you’ll see much more from us on this in the future) as long as you use it responsibly and source your data ethically.
Many companies are, rightfully, auditing data usage procedures. We suggest they consider communications planning as well, both proactively to frame how they plan to collect/use data with stakeholders and reactively to account for any issues identified.
Goodbye, Klout: Social media measuring power quietly disappears ZDNet
Hearst Magazines Digital Media is launching a 20-person data studio Digiday
The extremist approach to GDPR: Some US publishers consider blocking European visitors Digiday
Facebook suspends ~200 suspicious apps out of “thousands” reviewed so far TechCrunch
So which is it: Yanny or Laurel?