- The cover photo has little value for FB visitors.
- Visitors to brands are more interested in the "history of the brand"--- so "telling the story" about the brand, especially pre-Facebook days, is important.
- The "About" section is popular with FB fans, so load it up with useful links and information.
- Highlighting your most active tabs and apps is important for increased engagement.
Last Day Before NC Early Voting Ends Update
Here’s where we stand. Democrats continue to increase their numbers in early voting. So do Republicans, and Independents. However, Democrats continue to underperform from the same point in time in 2008, and Republicans and Independents continue to over perform from the same point in 2008. Over 1,083,000 Democrats have voted. But it’s about 35,000 LESS than the number of Democrats that had voted at the same time in 2008. Nearly 88,000 more Republicans have voted early in 2012, than at the same time in 2008. As in the last few days, the net swing in fewer early voters is an ominous sign for the President.
Essentially, it’s about a 123,000 swing working against the President, and the Democrats. Throw in the Independents, and the picture gets even worse for Mr. Obama. Over 71,000 more Independents have voted early this year versus 2008. With Romney carrying the Independents by almost 20 percent in recent polls, there is not much room for the President to make up his loss with base voters. With the Republicans machine working for Election Day turn out, NC looks more like it will turn RED in 4 days.
With five days to go in the 2012election, early voting is on par to outpace the historic levels set in 2008 in the Tarheel state. Here's the score, as of today. The Democrats have 914,469, Republicans have 592,706, and Independents have 368,032. The Democrats continue to do a good job of cranking out their vote. However, at this point in 2008, the Democrats had around 91,000 more early votes in the bank. The Republicans had 41,000 LESS early votes banked in 2008 with 5 days left. That’s a 132,000 net swing against the Democrats. And nearly 40,000 MORE Independents have voted early. In a state where the President only won by 14,000 votes in 2008, it does not look, at all, to be positive for him in 2012.
UPDATE: The early voting numbers were updated, and it looks like the Dems now have only a 10,353 deficit from the same time in 2008. However, the Republicans now have over 654,000 votes, a gain of over 100,000 increase from 2008. And over 70,000 more Independent voters have voted early than in 2008. Again, this is not a good sign for the Dems, or the President. His campaign schedule with five days left, which does not include a trip to NC, speaks for itself.
We’ve heard about the power of social media for years, but we finally may have some measurable proof that it can influence the political realm.
A new study highlighted in a NY Times article, found that a Facebook “message showing friends who had voted was directly responsible for 60,000 more votes nationwide and indirectly responsible for 280,000 that were spurred by friends of friends — what they called “social contagion” effect.”
Researchers were unable to determine the affiliation of these voters, but nonetheless, that social networking sites can have an impact on elections. The study is the first of it’s kind.
The findings are entirely believable, given the impact that social media has had on political and ideological mobilization for a number of causes—think about the widespread participation in Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day or social media backlash from Susan G. Komen’s decision to no longer fund Planned Parenthood.
This change in voting behavior is especially important in state and local races, where candidates can sometimes win by only a few hundred votes.
By March of 2011, Internet World Stats reported that there were 4,545,100 Facebook users in North Carolina. Political candidates should keep this in mind as they develop their strategies to win in November, and should realize that social media is here to stay.
In case you missed it, NC Republicans are out-fundraising NC Democrats—by a lot. The real question for Democrats is how to get the most bang for their buck out of their limited funds. Likewise, Republicans will have to be smart with their cash and spend it where it will make the biggest impact.
Campaigns must take an integrated approach that uses both the best of traditional communications and new online, digital forms of communications in order to be successful this fall.
Too many candidates and political consultants still don’t understand the value of an online strategy. Polling shows that the majority of Americans say they now turn to the Internet as their primary news source, presenting an enormous opportunity to utilize Google ads and interactive features offered by companies such as Time Warner Cable.
The reality is that Americans are dropping their TV subscriptions. In August, Reuters reported that DirectTV lost 52,000 subscribers, Time Warner Cable lost 169,000, while Comcast Corp lost 176,000 customers during its second quarter report.
For the time being, traditional media is still highly effective, but it’s become difficult to breakthrough the clutter on TV. This arena is dominated by our presidential and gubernatorial candidates and all of the independent expenditure groups supporting or opposing them.
So, NC candidates in 2012 will be wise to capture voters’ attention online. Posting something to social media outlets that’s interactive will encourage participation and engagement with the campaign. Getting those additional impressions online and a few extra volunteers as a result, can have a big impact in a local race where voters total in the thousands.
Regardless of the specifics, candidates will have to appeal to a wide cross section of voters using multiple platforms. The candidates that master getting their message on the “four screens”: TV, smartphones, computers and tablets will have an edge over their opponents.
North Carolina Republicans have a message for NC Democrats: game on.
Republicans in most statewide and local races are out-fundraising Democrats, which is quite a transformation considering the Democratic stronghold on the state for more than a century.
Although some people think “liberal” when they hear the word Democrat, many NC Democrats have typically been moderate, pro-business politicians. Their ability to appeal to conservative voters and to build relationships with the business community kept them in power for decades.
Former Democratic Governor Jim Hunt is widely thought to have improved North Carolina education, but was also a proponent of business-oriented measures and opposed tax increases in the early 1990s.
But a lot has happened since the Hunt days. Gov. Bev Perdue and other Democrats appear to have lost their way on a clear plan for economic growth.
Perdue has only maintained one consistent messaging strategy throughout her term: we need to do more for education. Unlike Hunt, Perdue and Democratic legislators supported extending a sales tax increase in the middle of an economic recession.
Polling data show this narrowly focused message hasn’t resonated particularly well with voters. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic polling firm, reported that Perdue is the least popular governor in the country—“59% of voters are unhappy with the job she's doing to only 30% who approve.” And Democrats in the NC General Assembly have lost out on this narrow message—Republicans control both the House and Senate, and will for the foreseeable future.
To be sure, education is still one of the most front and center issues in the North Carolina political debate. It polls fairly well among all segments of the population, but particularly with Democrats and Independents. However, convincing voters that you have the right experience and the right plan to create jobs and boost the economy will be critical to winning in November.
Moderate Republican candidate Pat McCrory’s economic plan, “The North Carolina Comeback”, provides a clear foil to the 9.6% unemployment that NC is experiencing under Gov. Perdue. His campaign finished the second quarter campaign finance reporting period with $4.4 million compared to Democratic challenger Walter Dalton’s $700,000.
McCrory has been able to provide a more convincing narrative that he’s the right leader for NC, by using a two-fold message—jobs and education. As WRAL reports, “McCrory has already published a whitepaper on education,” while Dalton has yet to release a detailed plan. And the fact that McCrory is the former mayor of Charlotte, the second largest banking center in the country, lends more credibility to his jobs message.
For the forseeable future, North Carolina Republicans will continue to control the General Assembly and dominate the fundraising game if Democrats can't portray themselves as moderate, pro-business politicians.
That's pretty simple enough to answer. It works. This recent article outlines how the President is dominating with strategic online advertising campaigns and buys. He's far out pacing Romney. But what's interesting is HOW the Obama campaign is spending its online advertising.
In 2008 Obama changed the game with online ads. They used the Internet and targeted ads to raise money, and recruit supporters. While their 2012 online ads are geared towards acquisition, the bulk of their spend appears to target specific online audiences with targeted messages. The bulk of their spend is thus used to persuade, not acquire.
In contrast, the Romney campaign, flush with cash, is spending its money with online ads to recruit supporters and raise dollars. Time will tell if they make the shift to be more competitive online with their opponent, and if they move to the persuasion model more than the acquisition model.
I came across this article recently about how major brands are having difficulty adapting to Timeline. A couple of conclusions outlined in the article:
In short, brands are finding the sweet spots for enhanced engagement using Facebook's new format. So should candidates, issue groups and organizations that want to engage supporters and others online. I believe that the new Timeline offers candidates a unique opportunity to "tell their story" ---visually--- like never before. The new format is built for video, pictures and graphics.
Candidates would be wise to take advantage of this new format. Voters want to see the human side of candidates, and Facebook delivers on this like no other social platform. Organizations, associations and issue groups can also tell their story, using maps, apps, pictures, major events, etc.
The possibilities are limitless.
We found a bunch of good articles about digital strategies and politics, issues and campaigns across the Internet this week. With that, we hope to share these and some quick thoughts about each article. So here you go. And by the way, the team at Cornerstone has been working and running online and digital campaigns since early 2006. We get it. So we want to share it...here you go!
Political Consultants Open to Inevitable Digital Future: by Kate Kaye over at Click-Z
A quick read about the changing dynamics and inevitable acceptance of digital as part of an overall campaign. Our favorite quote of the story:
"It's not a single tool. It's not just digital media. It's a combination of old school, new school, and what we don't know the next school will be."
We could not agree more.
Obama Camp On Pace to Spend $35 Million on Web Ads by Kate Kaye over at Click-Z
All we can say about this is: "gulp". When you have almost a billion to spend, you can do this. But in reality, all campaigns need to step up their efforts in online ads to educate, motivate and mobilize voters. It should be an integral part of your communications strategy.
Top Ten Signs a Social Media Expert Isn’t by Colin Delany over at e.politics.com
A little humor goes a long way in this world. This piece is funny, and true. Thanks Collin Delany for keeping it humorous, and real!
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer (Source)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
After $100,000 in total contributions, dozens of attack ads, cellphone robo-calls and a lawsuit, District 5 looks exactly like it has for the past 12 years.
Bill Moss survived the toughest re-election of his career, defeating attorney Dodger Arp for a seventh term on the commission, ultimately by a comfortable margin. In a much-less contested race in District 1, appointed Commissioner Sylvia Moffett earned her first full-term, defeating 22-year-old bank teller Sean Jackson and write-in candidate Paul McCullough.
Under commission term limits voters also approved Tuesday, Moss and Moffett, if re-elected, can serve in office until 2020. Commissioners will now be limited to serving four consecutive two-year terms in office. Another ballot question, to extend commission terms from two years to three, failed.
After running unopposed in 2010, Moss found himself in a tight contest against a well-financed candidate with widespread support in the district, which Moss had never won. But elections in West Palm Beach are citywide, and Moss had the support of Mayor Jeri Muoio, former Mayor Lois Frankel and much of the western communities, the city's most influential voting bloc.
The often ugly race became even more heated when Moss was sued for alleged defamation last week by Public Concepts, the political consulting firm that employs Arp. While Moss purchased an ad in The Palm Beach Post to apologize for incorrectly stating that Public Concepts had been fined in court for attacking public officials, the company went ahead with the lawsuit.
"You can't underestimate the voters," Moss said. "People were able to see through a lot of the negative campaigning and I think that made the difference. They learned the issues and in a small turnout like this, it's mostly the educated voters that vote."
For Arp supporters, it was a disappointing finish to a promising contest. Arp was backed by many of the south end's power players, including Commissioner Kimberly Mitchell. His campaign took a hit last week when a third candidate, David Smith, dropped out of the race and endorsed Moss. Arp's campaign was hoping for a runoff election that would have made Moss appear vulnerable.
Arp, who called Moss to concede, said he's looking forward to "being involved in West Palm Beach's future in any role that I possibly can."
"Bill is very popular in the western district and he obviously did very well out there," Arp said. "Anytime you're going up against a 12-year incumbent, we knew we had a real big challenge before us."
While Moffett had little name recognition when she was appointed last year to replace Molly Douglas, who resigned to run for mayor, Moffett was backed by Muoio and Frankel and benefited from opponents with little money or campaign structure.
"It shows the citizens are behind me, the citizens are voting for me, and I think it's quite different," Moffett said of no longer being appointed. "I'm going to work on quality-of-life issues in the neighborhoods, and we've got to make sure the water issues are delved into."
Jackson said he was proud of his campaign and that he will run again and plans to start a mayoral recall effort.
"I'm looking forward to doing it again in two years, and I'm looking forward to ensuring we have a new mayor," he said.
While Moffett and Moss are limited to eight more years, they'll have to run for re-election in two.
Moss had been a strong supporter of extending commission terms from two years to three years, arguing that commissioners can't focus on topics if they run for re-election every two years. But the ballot question failed.
The closest ballot question, eliminating a runoff if the top vote-getter receives at least 40 percent of the vote, appeared narrowly voted down with most precincts counted.
Several other ballot questions easily passed, including allowing commissioners to summon department heads to meetings. Previously, the mayor had to give approval for department heads to appear in front of the commission.
Also, vacancies caused by a commissioner resigning will now be filled by election instead of appointment.
Special elections will be less common, after voters agreed to extend the time between an initiative or referendum petition being filed before the election is held, as well as to extend the time of a mayoral appointment to make a special mayoral election coincide with November or March elections.