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Tweet Me: Using Social Media to Mobilize People and Customers

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Prof. Libby Hemphill
IIT Lewis College of Human Sciences
@libbyh

Prof. Edward Lee
IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law
@edleeprof

Using social media to mobilize people, whether for a product campaign or a political protest, is no easy task. This presentation will highlight some of the challenges organizers and entities face when trying to mobilize and sustain a campaign through social media. It is based on our empirical analysis of the ongoing efforts of political activists to engage the public about the NSA surveillance controversy by use of Twitter.

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Tweet Me: Using Social Media to Mobilize People and Customers

  1. 1. CHICAGO TWEET ME: Using Social Media to Mobilize People #SMWTweetMe September 24, 2014 #SMWCHICAGO
  2. 2. CHICAGO Speakers Prof. Libby Hemphill IIT Lewis College of Human Sciences @libbyh Prof. Edward Lee IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law @edleeprof
  3. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA IN POLITICAL PROTESTS
  4. 4. SOCIAL MEDIA NOT IMPACTFUL skeptics’ view
  5. 5. “But weak ties [on social media] seldom lead to high-risk activism.” “[W]e seem to have forgotten what activism is.”
  6. 6. ARAB SPRING 2011
  7. 7. http://www.tfreview.com/feature/regions/where-next-north-africa
  8. 8. Arab Spring: Egypt, Tunisia (400K Tweets) * Lotan et al. (2011) One person can influence
  9. 9. SOPA PROTEST 2012
  10. 10. SOPA Protest (1.5M Tweets) Tweet the decision makers President Obama Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) * Benenson (2012) Analyzing 80K tweets
  11. 11. NSA PROTESTS 2014
  12. 12. SOCIAL MEDIA PROTESTS FAILED skeptics’ view
  13. 13. DID THE PROTESTS REALLY FAIL? our study
  14. 14. Day We Fight Back February 11, 2014
  15. 15. Reset the Net June 5, 2014
  16. 16. Our Study 118 days around protest periods 3.9+ million tweets Interviews with protest organizers
  17. 17. Takeaways Social media protests… • create high volume activity spikes • involve many and diverse users • reach huge audiences • generate attention
  18. 18. DAY WE FIGHT BACK: #STOPTHENSA 1st Protest: February 11, 2014
  19. 19. SPIKES
  20. 20. Original Tweets 48,374 49% Retweets 50,141 51%
  21. 21. USERS
  22. 22. most active tweeters [TPMUInc]
  23. 23. tweeters with greatest reach
  24. 24. AUDIENCES
  25. 25. ATTENTION
  26. 26. most retweeted: Feb 11
  27. 27. most retweeted: Feb 11
  28. 28. most retweeted: after protest
  29. 29. most retweeted: after protest
  30. 30. most retweeted: after protest
  31. 31. #RESETTHENET 2nd Protest: June 5, 2014
  32. 32. SPIKES
  33. 33. Original tweets 44,430 57% Retweets 33,877 43%
  34. 34. USERS
  35. 35. most active tweeters
  36. 36. tweeters with greatest reach
  37. 37. AUDIENCES
  38. 38. ATTENTION
  39. 39. most retweeted: June 5
  40. 40. most retweeted: June 5 @YourAnonNews: #ResetTheNet privacy pack infographic. Share this across the web to keep your friends safe http://t.co/b4KAoO80 Uw
  41. 41. most retweeted: after protest
  42. 42. most retweeted: after protest @RachelMajor2000: Fastest free #VPN service I ever used: http://t.co/MiD10z YuvO #privacy #nsa #[censored] #Dubai #proxy #webproxy #ublock
  43. 43. CHRONOLOGY OF A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
  44. 44. start with your base • Email list • Followers • Friends
  45. 45. test your messages
  46. 46. broadly seek allies + influencers
  47. 47. carefully select hashtags National Security Agency No Strings Attached [censored]
  48. 48. use images + videos
  49. 49. be funny
  50. 50. make it easy to participate
  51. 51. react and interact in realtime
  52. 52. challenges • sustaining or reviving activity over time – event hashtags die off • motivating participants – political protests leverage principle • overcoming aversion to commercial campaigns – authenticity
  53. 53. our future work Develop set of criteria for measuring success of social media campaigns
  54. 54. our future work compare organized campaigns with spontaneous topics
  55. 55. our future work compare nonprofit campaigns with commercial campaigns
  56. 56. acknowledgements • THANK YOU DiscoverText Data Grants for historical data from #ResetTheNet
  57. 57. THANK YOU Prof. Libby Hemphill IIT Lewis College of Human Sciences @libbyh Prof. Edward Lee IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law @edleeprof CHICAGO
  58. 58. SUPPLEMENTAL SLIDES
  59. 59. resources • Thuderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/ • Optimizely: https://www.optimizely.com/ • TwitterGoggles: https://github.com/pmaconi/TwitterGoggles • DiscoverText: https://discovertext.com/
  60. 60. most retweeted: Feb 11
  61. 61. most retweeted: Feb 11

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