Author Archives: Clare Frey

Laurel vs. Yanny: Brands React

An audio clip took the internet by storm this week, described by many as the second coming of the white and gold or black and blue dress phenomenon.

Some listeners hear the word “laurel” and others are hearing “yanny.” The audio hotly divided the GroundFloor Media and CenterTable offices as we declared our undying loyalties to #TeamLaurel or #TeamYanny. Yesterday, the New York Times even developed a tool to change the frequency of the audio clip so readers can hear both “yanny” and “laurel.”

We thoroughly enjoyed watching different brands and celebrities seize the viral moment to weigh in on the debate throughout the week. Read more after the jump…

Artificial Intelligence in Action

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weekly-reads-artificial-intelligencePredictive intelligence, artificial intelligence and good ol’ human intelligence. This edition of Weekly Reads covers Facebook’s updated ad prediction, Instagram’s new booking functionality, a robot’s successful phone call to reserve a woman’s haircut appointment and more. Happy reading!

Facebook

Social Media Today: Facebook’s Up and Downvote Tools for Comments are Now Available to More Users
Much like the up-and down-voting functionality seen on websites like Reddit, Facebook has rolled out options for promoting content you think is “helpful or insightful,” or, on the other hand, voting down content that “has bad intentions or is disrespectful.” We wonder if this is part of Facebook’s answer to its often-criticized moderation guidelines. Can Facebook users be galvanized to help to police the platform at large? Read more after the jump…

Pairing Social Media with Action Ends Slacktivism

Photo of Social Media Icons on a Mobile Device | Pairing Social Media with Action Ends Slacktivism

Slacktivism is a term coined years ago to describe support of a political or social cause that involves as little action or personal effort as possible, such as signing an online petition or sharing a tweet but little else.

Many viewers tuned in to witness a moment in history on March 24: The March for Our Lives and its 800+ sister city marches across the country. Alfonso Calderon, Sarah Chadwick, Jaclyn Corin, Emma González, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky, Alex Wind, Delaney Tarr and Ryan and Matt Deitsch have a common denominator; they survived the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tragedy in Parkland, Florida in February. They also galvanized to change the typical social and legislative narrative that occurs after every mass shooting in America; an echo-chamber of divided voices demanding gun control legislation versus passionate protectors of the Second Amendment.

Social media to recruit a community around an issue

Activists share statistics about the amount of funding various politicians have accepted from the National Rifle Association. The conversation burns hot and angrily for a few weeks and then subsides until the next mass shooting. The current narrative is different. So how did a small group of teenage students force a sea change in the hotly debated gun control conversation? They started with social media but didn’t stop there.

In the hours that followed the shooting, Cameron Kasky posted the following to his personal Facebook: “Working on a central space that isn’t just my personal page for all of us to come together and change this. Stay alert. #NeverAgain.” His hashtag spread like wildfire, accompanied by another: #EnoughIsEnough. Kasky and his peers quickly formed Never Again MSD, a student-led organization that advocates for tighter weapon regulations to prevent violence.

Slacktivism meets its match

The Parkland activists have effectively circumvented any trace of slacktivism around their cause by powerfully pairing information shared from social media with real action. Since the tragedy at their school occurred, they have:

    • Stayed in the news cycle by offering daily interviews with press from across the nation.
      Effectively utilized Twitter less than a week after the shooting to organize a large march on the Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee to meet with state lawmakers and vocalize their demands for action against gun violence. “The news forgets very quickly,” Jaclyn Corin told Vanity Fair. “We needed a critical mass event.”
    • Shared the call to action to support new legislation via a #NationalSchoolWalkout on both March 14 and plans for April 20, the anniversary of the Columbine shooting.
      Written handfuls of personal op-eds in major publications like the New York Times and Time Magazine.
    • Inspired triple-figure donations for their cause from celebrities such as George and Amal Clooney, Steven and Kate Capshaw Spielberg and Oprah.
    • Remained focused. Naysayers and skeptics billing David Hogg’s activism as crisis acting didn’t phase him. They amplified his following. “These people that have been attacking me on social media, they’ve been great advertisers. Ever since they started attacking me, my Twitter followers are now a quarter of a million people. People have continued to cover us in the media. They’ve done a great job of that, and for that, I honestly thank them,” Hogg told CNN.
    • Leveraged Twitter, Instagram, email lists and public records of contact information of representatives to pressure the Florida Legislature to pass the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Act on March 9.
    • Obtained a public permit for Pennsylvania Avenue and publicly organized the March for Our Lives in Washington D.C. on March 24. The turnout was estimated between 1.2 and 2 million people. This makes it one of the largest protests in our country’s history.

Researchers are quick to cite the general affluence of the Parkland community and the students’ inclusion of racial minorities as two other factors in the success of their campaigns. Most agree that the true differentiator for Parkland has been the action that backs up their mobilization on social media platforms. The activist and suffragette Marjory Stoneman Douglas, for whom the school is named, recognized slacktivism years ago. She wrote, “Don’t think it is enough to attend meetings and sit there like a lump…Speak up. Learn to talk clearly and forcefully in public.”

As my colleague Barb wrote back in February, “No matter what your views are on the 2nd amendment, it’s hard not to take notice of Generation Z, and how they’re using all the communications tools available to them to speak out, and perhaps make a difference.” As user behavior on social networks continues to evolve, it’s apparent that efforts to reach individuals and drive “action” must also innovate and evolve to achieve tangible results.

Baby Boomers and the Buzz on Brackets

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We collectively sprang forward in the early morning hours of Sunday and digital platforms are bouncing into action as well. If you could use some inspiration to end your work week, today’s Weekly Reads dishes on how to protect your mental health from your seemingly endless Instagram feed. Also on deck: targeting baby boomers and our admiration for Facebook and Twitter as they take on the giant task of curating Major League Baseball and March Madness, respectively.

Facebook

U.S. News & World Report: More Live Sports Are Coming To Facebook
Swing, batter batter! The ink is drying on a deal between Major League Baseball and Facebook. Facebook will exclusively stream 25 weekday afternoon baseball games this season. Bloomberg theories that the deal cost the social platform around $30M. The partnership is the first of its kind between Facebook and a major professional sports league. Read more after the jump…

The Importance of Active Voice for Brands

When you reflect on the highway billboards of yesteryear and brand slogans that have made an impression on you, they were probably succinct, clever and written in the active voice. Clear, concise writing is absolutely crucial in a brand’s marketing efforts. When a message or campaign gets muddled with lengthy explanations and awkward sentence constructions, the small window of opportunity to quickly convey both meaning and value is lost. One of the simplest issues to address during content revisions is passive voice construction.

Woman Typing on a Laptop Using an Acive Voice For Brand Messaging

Read more after the jump…

Maximize Your Social Strategy in 2018

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As January already stretches to a close, the relentless updates about new capabilities in social media for business have been fast and furious. Setting yourself up for success can be overwhelming with this constant slew of announcements. From composing killer copy to refreshing your Instagram strategy in the coming months, take a few small steps each week to stay current.

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Mashable: Instagram Just Added a Powerful New Way to Stalk People on the App

First there was Snapchat’s Snap Map feature and now Instagram follows that lead with functionality that allows you to see when a person was last active on the app. Log in regularly to your business account so potential customers see that you’re present and available. I always feel like somebody’s watching me… Read more after the jump…