Trump’s inconvenient truth: Rule the social sentiment, rule the world

We’ve all seen the polls. On Brexit. On Trump. We quoted them, they were on our TV screens. They were headlines in our most thorough news channels. And they were all dead wrong. Europe woke up earlier this year with a burning headache, and a cornerstone of the EU that voted to go solo again. The USA that had prepared itself for the first female president, saw the keys of the nuclear codes being handed over to Donald Trump.

Hinssen versus Fortune

Short-attention spanned Serial Technologist Peter Hinssen was immediately heard with his catchy one liner “big data, big fail, big time”.  Fortune magazine countered that view by pointing out that the prediction disaster was not a failure of data after all, but that it was -as always-  a human error: a complete failure of correct forecasting and analysis. “The data was as good as it could be, but the analysis of it lacked depth. If anything, the forecasters’ spectacular and almost unanimous collective failure to see Trump’s win coming provides an opening for a more productive conversation between numbers and words, statisticians and analysts, data and message” stated Fortune. Fortune magazine did not provide however an answer on how those statisticians, analysts and reputed journalists all drew similar wrong conclusions out of the same “unflawed” datasets. Beats me. I’m with Peter on this one.

Trump versus Clinton

Sentiment was right

Clinton was the undisputed champion to win the Election throughout the entire campaign. The polls showed it. But, if you look closely at other datasets, another story was told all along. For most of 2016, Trump had a clear advantage over Clinton in both social engagements and positive sentiment. Marketing analytics and data firm 4C Insights 4 –who successfully predicted Brexit earlier this year based on social sentiment- showed how Trump stayed ahead even in the last month of the campaign with well over 57 million total engagements (versus 47 for Clinton). What’s more: Trump showed a clear 10 percent (48 versus 58) lead in sentiment. Enough positive sentiment to floor Hillary Clinton with a technical KO on Election Day.

Trump versus Clinton

King of Google, King of Twitter, King of Facebook, president of the USA

While Trump was publicly criticized for his trigger-happy and nightly use of Social Media, often in a very controversial way, it created mentions and news. His tweets became conversation starters, flashing up in on- and offline media, creating a relentless carpet-bombing of views and sentiment. His Facebook Live interventions, his consequent use of Facebook to spread his views, his addressing those issues that Americans actively search for, and his Twitter warlock strategy got him very visible and talked-about. His followers flocked around their leader on social media. I was accosted myself multiple times by Trump followers when I expressed concern on some of Donald Trump’s views on my personal social media channels. This shows how his strategy converted some followers in a hidden loyal social army.

Trump, the Obama of 2016

Just before the election Phil Ross, Socialbakers’ principal analyst pointed out on  DMN’s One-on-One Podcast, how social media was a clear win for Donald Trump, and how he won the “short and sassy” communication war with Hillary on social media on almost every single engagement.  Phil Ross stated on his blog on august 18th:

“(Social Media) trends seems to be failing Clinton. Instead of concentrating her resources on areas where she can deliver an emotional message immediately, via longer text and imagery, her most frequent activity is to post policy links on a platform Trump dominates anyway. No matter what causes each spike in activity and engagement for either campaign, one thing is clear: the social media advantage that famously helped power President Obama’s electoral victories now appears to be on Trump’s side.

It’s not about fact, it’s about emotion

Most of Donald Trump’s statements are controversial, at the least. Fact checkers could not type fast enough to show the inaccuracies, inconsistencies, errors and straight-out lies in Trump’s reasoning. Clinton was on the ball every time to point those out. The hard lesson learned is that in a war on sentiment, facts driven strategies do not matter. You cannot beat emotion with fact in a 140 character statement.

As every outlaw in the wild wild west knew already a century ago: if you bring a (fact driven) knife to a (emotional) gunfight, you are going to bite the dust.

I wish you a social media strategy for 2017, that has the right, balanced focus on building emotional connections.

GOODFest: Google balances commerce and charity

Google is launching its own “first-of-its-kind livestream festival for good” called GOODFest this month. English indie band Glass Animals will kick off by performing at the BAM Cafe in New York City on November 29. A further four shows will follow across New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. These five events will be livestreamed on YouTube.

GOODfest will try to bring together “music, community and technology”, says its website. Google hopes to raise money for non-profits through ticket sales and online donations.

“GOODFest is a celebration of progress, positivity, and the power of people to push the world forward. In five livestreamed shows, we’re bringing together music, community, and technology to raise funds and connect people in the name of good,” states the official communication. The festival plays for “generosity”, “humanity,” “earth,” equality,” and “love.”

Google is evidently also using the event to promote its new Pixel flagship smartphone. Pixel will be used to shoot footage onstage and backstage.

Interesting to see how the commercial launch of Googles new hardware fuels donations for good. The beginning of a new era?

SxSW 2017 – You may all go to hell, but I will go to Texas!

Davy Crockett, king of the Texan Wild Frontier strolled off for the fatal shoot-out at the Alamo mission on March 7th 1836, shouting “You may all go to hell, and I will go to Texas…


Famous last words that I happily cite every time I prepare my yearly pilgrimage to the slightly weird city of Austin in Texas. Austin will be hosting some of the most clever, crazy, unorthodox and fascinating social media and digital people this side of the Milky Way. It’s called South by South West, or SxSW. More than 60.000 social and digital media enthusiasts will attend this Texan Mecca of creativity, best cases, lukewarm beer, successful campaigns, endless discussions and creative sparks. Undisputedly, it is the biggest interactive gathering on this planet (and most of the planets around us, as far as we are aware). There is enough social brainpower in Austin between March 11th and March 16th to catapult a small Greek island in an orbit around Saturnus.


Beer, rattle snakes… and you?

Once again I will confront tremendous heat, unbearable thirst, insane steaks, burning sun, and humorless rattlesnakes to be your eyes and ears on the ground. I will sacrifice long days and short nights, and be there for you when the next big thing hits the industry!
So… if you’re in Austin, let’s meet up and talk shop, trends, tools and stuff. Let’s exchange experiences, compare notes. Let’s social this social thing. If you pay for the beer, I’ll throw in the chicken wings… Let’s go for a wild BBQ night at the County Line on the Lake, and talk about connecting the dots, moving the needle and setting the bar in audience interaction.

As Crockett said: “Be always sure you are right – then go ahead.”

How Twitter’s new ‘Moments’ feature is ‘Trending’ done right | Gigaom

Twitter has made its first significant product update since Jack Dorsey returned to the helm on Monday: A feature called “Moments” that collects


Aquila: How do you connect the last billion?

While we’re all happy within our connected lives (and sometimes look to get disconnected as a sign of pure luxury), there are still countless people that can only dream of drinkable water, and enough food… let alone an internet connection.

However, big companies as Facebook and Google are trying to hook up the last billion people. Google-X guru Astro Teller is experimenting with high-altitude air balloons, while Marc Zuckerberg is investing in solar-powered planes that can stay in the air for months. He just announced that his Aquila unmanned plane is ready to beam down internet connectivity from the sky. The size of a Boeing 737, but at just about the weight of a car, Aquila can transfer data at 10 gigabits per second through high precision lasers.

Picture this, from more than 10 miles up, it beams down ultra-high speed internet on a target smaller than a dime.
Efforts like this will enable information technology in remote areas… and will help educational programs like MIT medialabs Nicholas Negropontes One Laptop per Child initiative.

My question is why it is private companies like Space-X that take us to Space? Why is it Google and Facebook that go lengths bringing connections where there were no connections before? Why do we need the Gates foundation to invest in life saving technologies?

Last time I checked what my government was doing, they were very busy collecting taxes…

VIDEO: Coca-Cola’s Journey to Successful Content Marketing

In this video interview, Doug Busk, group director, Digital Communications and Social Media at Coca-Cola, talks about storytelling and how the company has used this strategy to engage consumers, create conversation, and drive sales.


interesting: go for the deeper story…

Stay creative, look for great people!

Content marketing- Let’s get it right: Owned. Paid. Earned.

To fully wield the possibilities of content marketing, it’s important to get the fundamental basics right. Way too often, content strategy, paid amplification and social (earned) interaction are not, or badly linked from the very beginning.

To maximize return on investment, it is crucial to start with clear definitions in this online, interactive environment. Definitions that might be different from the common use or understanding.

Owned: is your complete online powerhouse, ranging from your website and your blog to your social channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Meerkat etc. Creating successful content begins with a basic insight: what does the consumer want from your brand. Most often brands know what they want from the consumer, and build their content strategy on that. A deadly and quick recipe for failure.

It is smarter to concentrate on the expressed needs and expectations of the consumer. Once you have identified these needs and expectations, you can create story-lines that bridge the gap between your brand-essence offering, and the expectations and interests of your target audience.

Reaching out with pieces of content that answer the well-defined needs and interests of your consumer is an ideal starting point for a long term mutual understanding, and a foundation for future interaction and conversation.

Most of the best practices presented at #SxSW show how a strategic view on the owned ecosystem consists of the owned website and/or blog in the center of the content-solar-ecosystem. The owned social presence gyrates around this, and sparks the ecosystem with clever inbound links, SEO references and visual snacks that guide the consumer to the center of the system.

Paid are the purchased media actions you take to get people to your content, or content to the people. Content that is not noticed and not found is like the sound of a falling tree in a desert forest: one might argue it did not happen. Paid enables the communications architects to drive tailored traffic to every single bit of the content ecosystem, or to launch any piece of content in an orbit towards any place an identified target might be. The rocket-fuel is advertising money, pure and simple.

The cleverest paid strategies are carefully plotted to get the targeted consumer (identified and relevant) as deep in the owned ecosystem as possible. They have also one other thing in common: reach is less important than relevance and accuracy.

Strategic masterminds reduce the avalanche of mostly useless big data that results from everything is measurable in true actionable intelligence that fine-tunes the tactical plan, and re-adjusts the efforts permanently. The ability to shift from carpet-bombing to sniping is often the result of a critical factor: true intelligence.

Earned is how your content gets spread, distributed and published on places you do not own, and that you did not pay for directly. People coming to your content-ecosystem, and sharing your content on theirs. Influencers mentioning your content in their ecosystem. Your content being discussed in comments, on news-sites and influential blogs. Your products being used and mentioned by your consumers on their owned and social channels.

To realize this, the credibility and the authority (aka influence) of the brand must first be established. Secondly, the content must be appealing, relevant, interesting, catchy… and easily shareable. Content-ecosystems with content that is not one-click-shareable, deal with locked-in content syndrome and will never foster, or live up to their expectations.

The best-in-class examples of earned all show a clever way of linking the attention back to the core of the own owned ecosystem… a true gravitational pull to the center.

Through the earned part of content marketing, a big portion of the true engagement can be realized. Conversations, remarks, comments, references, word of mouth and back-links provide an in-stream of attention that has a unique quality: it is earned.

The fact that Facebook, Twitter and others increasingly claim their business model has nothing to do with earned (and organic, and viral) does not mean this earned section does not provide value, or is not important.

United it conquers, divided it fails

The value of return on investment of a good content marketing system, can only be established by measuring the performance of the Owned/Paid/Earned system as a whole. The three components need to be carefully aligned to work, much as a DJ masters multiple tracks to create the one sound that makes the crowd go bananas.

A hot Austin night with Ava (25)

Have you ever been in Love?” A lot of travelers to SxSW fell like a stone for the charms of Ava, a 25 year old smoking hot (pardon my French) brunette on Tinder. Ava is a smart, funny, open and very available woman. Many far-from-home male travelers fell for the obvious charms and open advances of the mystery lady.

But all those restless souls that were looking for eternal love, some warmth, or a quick moment of happiness while at the SxSW show were tricked by a… robot.

After a warming conversation, Ava directed her would-be lovers to her Instagram account, where it turns out she is a droid.

The brilliant set-up was created to promote Alex Garland’s new sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, which premiered here in Austin.

Indeed, the Ava girls bears a rather striking resemblance to the leading lady of Ex Machina : the Swedish filmstar Alicia Vikander.

Think twice before answering a direct question like “Have you ever been in love?“… it might be some AI is pulling your leg…

Brilliant marketing.

See hereunder the conversation one of Adweek’s readers had with a…. well, very sexy robot.

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