Throughout the weary, dreary election campaign there has been no shortage of polticians trying to leverage social media.  Labor campaign strategists claimed this week http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/federal-election-2013/rudds-team-resorts-to-spoof-to-cast-a-wider-net-20130826-2sma2.html   they have reached nearly 400,000 Australians on social media “with no money spent on promotion”.  Can social media really be taken seriously when serial abusers just want to seem to devalue it?  What do you think?


10 thoughts on “ElectionDribble

  1. Good question, Ian. A related issue is the trend for businesses to use social media as a tool to increase their image as ‘friendly’ and ‘inclusive’. Are we being manipulated?
    See the detailed advice supplied here by a marketing-related business to increase the business ‘community’ via social media.
    MELTWATER http://www.meltwater.com/social-media-blog/social-communities/
    Also see my blog, where I ponder the vexed question of whether, despite the ability of this medium to be manipulated, it can still play a true role in developing social bonds.
    You’ve joined the community of bloggers. Good luck! Let’s keep in touch about your experiences.

    • Hi Avril, thanks for your comments. I’d read the article and while I know it is now a fact of life, I am not terribly comfortable with “actively prospecting influencers” trawling social media dialogues to exploit at their will. I am not being naive, I just think it sets an uncomfortable precedent where innocent remarks can be interpreted for something else, and that there always has to be some ‘pay off’ for someone else. Often it is the least likely comment that gets interpreted for something else … Could marketeers actually live without social media now?

  2. I’m a little surprised to see Rudd’s team dealing with international agencies trying to run a smear campaign against Abbott internationally. I’m even more surprised that it was done covertly. Surely Rudd should be using all his resources to garner support, which I might add is not going to well. If you are going to use social media, ‘man up’ and put your name to it … enough will the serial abusers.

    • Hi Liz – you are right, it seemed a very peculiar way to address such a local campaign. Were they hoping for some ‘word of mouth’ effect to land back in this country? I maybe wrong but it reeks of desperation rather than clever strategy. Does anyone know the reason behind this?

  3. I think we need to approach social media with the same level of curiosity and scepticism that we have approached traditional media. Before Facebook, Twitter and the creation of the blog-o-sphere I certainly didn’t believe everything I read. If anything, there is more of an incentive to be up front and not so sneaky now given the ability to do a fact or background check on the spot from your phone. I believe organisations that are thought to be abusing social media will quickly be called out and then well I guess it’s time to shift into crisis mode!

  4. Hey Ian!

    Social media is a funny thing. While writing my latest blog post I’ve found that Tony Abbott’s sudden rise to fame was due to advertising on social media. At first he was lagging way behind Kevin Rudd. His sudden growth in social media led a lot of people to believe he bought his followers just to seem popular and in a good position. His people later confirmed that was not the case and analysts even did research and found that it was due to advertisements on social media sites that raised his popularity.

    In saying that some one or some people also tried to “troll” his Twitter account by creating fake accounts and following him, resulting in a sky rocketing number of followers in one weekend. Though his people also have said that they’re investigating who’s behind it and also removing all the fake accounts just so Abbott can remain legitimate in his social media run.

    So in saying how serious can we take social media, there’s upsides and down sides obviously it all depends on who uses it and how its used. In my research, Abbott’s a self-censorer keeping things businesslike while K-Rudd likes a bit of both so he can seem personable. If someone is all businesslike, then how true is he to himself, and if someones trying to personable, to what extent is he being fake? Also with all the hacking and sabotaging it’s really hard to tell.

    As smart people, we shouldn’t take things at face value 🙂


  5. Hey Ian, I guess it was a good strategy to get people talking about connectivity around the country (or globe). I would be interested to know if there was any follow up communications/how the 400,000 users who engaged with the infographic on social behaved afterwards? Perhaps this is wishful thinking. Great topic! 🙂

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