Category Archives: Digital

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.

SXSW 2018: Lessons From Westworld’s Unforgettable Experience

Westworld at SXSWSXSW Interactive is inherently about digital communications. How, as individuals and marketers, we use social media, smart phones and digital advertising to connect, one-to-one or one-to-many.

But the prevalence of these digital tools and our reliance on them to reach large, hopefully targeted, audiences at scale has caused brands to lose touch with the importance of creating experiences that their fans can share both online and off.

Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW: 2018 Preview

SXSW 2018GroundFloor Media and CenterTable are once again heading down to Austin to attend the 2018 South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) conference. Beginning Friday, March 9 and continuing through Tuesday, March 13 Adrienne Schafer and I will be hitting up as many sessions, panels, brand activations, concerts, networking events and food trucks as we can possibly stomach, and reporting back here on the GFM/CenterTable blog and a variety of social platforms.

The conference has changed quite a bit since we started attending seven years ago. The days of interactive sessions following a strict marketing and social media theme are long gone, replaced with niche programming tracks like health & wellness, sports, food and fashion as well as technology-focused trends like virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence (we really are living in the future, aren’t we?). But the thread that weaves all these “interactive” subjects together still remains communication, interaction and the place where brands and individuals meet. Change was inevitable as SXSW has grown, but it’s still an experience that can’t be found anywhere else.

Read more after the jump…

How To Make Your Data Dashboard Actionable, Not Recyclable

Pretend you’re driving along and you see a light on your dashboard. dashboard tire pressure symbol It’s the tire pressure alert symbol. It doesn’t tell you which tire has a problem, if the air pressure is too high or too low, or how quickly the pressure is changing.

Is it an emergency? Do you have a flat because of a nail? Is it just cold out and a little driving will be fine?

Recycling BinYou pull over, check the pressure in all four tires and find they’re all ok and still, there’s that darn symbol. Ahh, you remember the spare. That must be the problem. So it was definitely not an emergency, and checking the spare was the last thing on your mind.

A more effective car dashboard might have a diagram of your tires that lights up to tell you which one is low; it might even have a red/yellow indicator to show whether it’s a slow leak, a severely low tire or a puncture, losing air fast. Read more after the jump…

Google Ad Grants Changes in 2018: What Nonprofits Need to Know Now

Early this month Google is rolling out some pretty drastic changes to the Google Ad Grants program, which provides up to $10,000 per month in free ad spend on the Google search network to 501c3 nonprofit organizations.

It’s clear by the nature of these changes that Google is making a major push for quality. According to Google, these policy changes are intended to “raise standards of quality for our free advertising grants” program which currently serves more than 35,000 nonprofit organizations.

Here are the major account management changes nonprofits need to know about – and act on – now:

Increased Click-Through Rate Requirements

Read more after the jump…

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics

A Case for Animation & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital AgencyAnimation and motion graphics provide an alternative method of storytelling that lights and cameras might not always be able to. Whether it’s quantitative data and graphs or bouncy shapes and vectors, animation offers limitless creativity to implement and communicate visual ideas. There are several key benefits to implementing motion graphics into your video marketing strategy.
Read more after the jump…

5 Videos You Might Have Missed This Year

Regardless of which side of the aisle you sat on, 2017 was pretty incredible. This year found itself embroiled in some of the most polarizing cultural, political and technological developments the world has ever seen. In a society increasingly connected in a web of social media outlets and platforms, we were collective witnesses to moments that defined humanity, and moments that divided it. Ad agencies, news outlets and production companies naturally responded to the ebb and flow of the cultural mainstream and its socio-political undercurrents by producing increasingly relevant, provocative and entertaining content.

As director of media production at CenterTable, I am always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in media and advertising. This year I compiled a list of 5 social videos produced in 2017 that stood out to me in technical prowess, innovation and boldness. This list includes everything from social media ads to TV commercials. Let’s dive right in (in no particular order).

Read more after the jump…

Digital Marketing Lessons from Award-Winning Smart Ashes

Facebook logo

We were humbled to learn earlier this year that our Be A Smart Ash campaign for the Denver City Forester received the annual Kudos Marketing Award from the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). And we were perhaps even more excited to be invited on NRPA’s monthly webinar to detail some learnings about the campaign.

So what exactly is Be A Smart Ash? We’ll let the campaign tagline do the talking:

1 in 6 trees in Denver are ash trees. And if we do nothing, it’s just a matter of time before they’ll ALL be devoured by the emerald ash borer, the most destructive forest pest in U.S. history. But who wants to be a Debbie Downer when you can Be A Smart Ash? Spend some time on our site and learn how you can help protect your ash and our urban canopy by identifying, treating and replacing Denver’s ash trees.

The Denver City Forester, a division of Denver Parks and Recreation, enlisted our help with a five-year integrated marketing campaign that has included naming, branding, messaging, content creation, internal and external communications, media relations, website development, SEO, digital advertising, video production and social media management.

The goal? Raising awareness about a tiny pest called the emerald ash borer (EAB), which has decimated ash tree populations in more than 25 states and parts of Canada.
Read more after the jump…

Reddit is becoming an intriguing outlet for advertisers

Advertising on Reddit has been available for quite a while but horror stories from brands that tried to engage on the platform with out taking into account it’s unique structure andcommunities have served as warnings to marketers that weren’t building campaigns that “fit” with users of the platform.

The platform has over 330 million people engaging on the site each month and has become big enough that it can no longer be ignored. In the past few months, Reddit has made a number of changes that make it a viable digital advertising option. More so then nearly any other digital option out there, a Reddit campaign has to be built to be something that Redditors will embrace.

Read more after the jump…

How Much Should I Spend on Social Advertising?

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

Navigating options for your social ad spend can be challenging.

We often receive this question from our clients, particularly as everyone is locking down their 2018 budgets: How much should we budget for social media advertising?

The short answer is that there is no short answer. A simple Google search for “how much should I spend on social media advertising” will provide results that range from industry averages to advertising as a percentage of your overall social media marketing budget. The problem with those figures and averages is that they don’t consider your business’ unique needs and/or budget at this moment (or for the first quarter or first half of 2018).

Here are some questions to consider as you think about social media advertising and your 2018 marketing budget: Read more after the jump…