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Liberal Party, Dilawan Zombies are losing the Social Media War - Here's why

By Kim Iqs

The rules have changed when it comes to news and opinion, of influencing human behavior towards political inclinations, thanks to mobile internet and the connectivity it affords people.

I professionally shape online branding, and I fine-tune business messaging in the virtual space so allow me to share these insights.
There are new dynamics in influencing people over the Internet, particularly in social media where content is supported by visible, measurable engagement.

If you observe closely, the terms like "trolls", "bots", and "fake news" are often used by the losing side in the current political socmed wars.

Mainstream media and long term, "certified" bloggers (insert Inday Espina-Varona, Maria Ressa) are insisting there is no proof that the socmed wars is being won by the Duterte bloc.

The truth is social media is a numbers-driven platform. The reason why big businesses and political groups are flocking to socmed, spending billions annually to be visible here is because there is no guesswork in your effectiveness of influencing people. You either fail or succeed. Facebook Insights is after all a free service.

Sure you can always pay FB thru its sponsored ads to improve your content's visibility (insert Hontiveros, Pangilinan, Bam Aquino, Leni-aligned pages), BUT if that visibility is not engaging enough, all you have is reach, but not influence.

Enter the sites of Sass Rogando Sasot, Mocha Uson, RJ Nieto (Thinking Pinoy). These FB pages never paid a single centavo to peddle their content online, but their engagement reaches hundreds of thousands.

This has made mainstream media insecure because the life of these pro-Duterte FB pages today are from their criticisms of the slanted, twisted news the mainstream media are feeding the public. Imagine a well written, piece-by-piece critical opinion of a published news article - that is what basically Thinking Pinoy and Sass are doing.

Leni Robredo and the OVP socmed team is a good example of a directly confrontational bloc against the very popular pro-Duterte group in Facebook. They are also a very good example of a losing socmed campaign, and their failure to get their message bought by netizens. This is not about trolls, bots and fake news. The painful truth for Leni and her socmed team is put simply, the lack of engaging content.

What makes a content "engaging"?

Engaging content is all about authenticity, good timing, relevance.

The reason why EJK is not having the traction it needs over social media is because the desperate reality of illegal drugs is a more, pressing, authentic issue than the collateral damage of the war against it (EJK daw), of which mainstream media is so fond of reporting.

EJK is also NOT a timely issue today because the truth of the matter is, the problem existed way back, even during Aquino's term. Acting concerned about it today is hypocritical to say the least.

EJK is also not relevant because only a very few people have a personal story to tell about being a victim of EJK. This fails the definition of EJK because for it to be considered as such, the abuses must be massive. However fighting the drug war and its harsh reality is relevant because there are thousands upon thousands of personal stories about drug abuse and how this has ruined the lives of people and their families.

In socmed the possibility of trolling and employing bots is a possibility, but its success to influence people effectively is far-fetched (insert LeniLeaks). People are really influenced by content they find worth reading, thus their voluntary likes, shares, and tags.

In the case of fake news, Snowden got it right. The secret to fighting fake news online is not censorship but more speech. This is is why Robredo's comment moderation in her office's FB page is the wrong approach, or a reflection of Robredo's arrogant resistance to the power of social media messaging. Censorship is also pushed by Bam Aquino, Ressa and yes, Trillanes. The people who fear free speech, real free speech, will lose in the socmed wars.

The pages we love in FB and the content we share ALWAYS strike a chord in our hearts and minds. We like, share, and tag our friends because the content is worth it. Perhaps instead discrediting real people online by calling them trolls or bots, the losing side should produce more real, honest to goodness, light-selling content.

Pointers for LP:

1. Stop reminding people of gov't failures - the current administration is just months old, while your failed national leadership has cursed this republic with incompetent and indifferent public service for the past 6 years.

2. Stop selling Leni as a simple, holy widow. People know she is wicked rich and she is in an adulterous relationship.

3. Stop spreading fake news by borrowing credibility from "trusted" names in journalism. Fake news is fake news regardless of its source. A slanted news is basically paid propaganda and should therefore be treated as opinion, not factual news (insert Rodis' fondness of Wikipedia).
What I am really saying is this: the Liberal Party can never win the social media wars because they cannot admit the truth.

So much for authenticity. They can never get the right timing of current issues because they are detached from the reality of those in the fringes of society, they do not have a feel for the daily struggles of Filipinos (but Duterte does).

LP can never catch up with relevant issues because the country's drug problem is their own doing. Riding the trends of social media issues is admitting their failure.

Liberal Party, Dilawan Zombies are losing the Social Media War - Here's why Liberal Party, Dilawan Zombies are losing the Social Media War - Here's why Reviewed by AsianPolicy.Press on 2:10:00 AM Rating: 5

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