How to Win An Election With Social Media

How to Win An Election With Social Media

Update: The following is an article I wrote prior to the 2016 Presidential Elections. It discusses the state of social media momentum at that time based on each candidate. I think overall, my estimations were pretty relevant.

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We are at a very critical time in history and the result of the upcoming US elections could have DRASTIC effects on both the future of our country and the world. The decisions in November could mean the difference between peace, security, economic prosperity or even, depending on the political climate of your particular country, life or death for you and your family. Things are that serious.

The time has come to ignore the cat pictures, the Oscars or whatever Kanye says and pay very close attention to the important topic at hand. It is time to take action and to take responsibility for your actions.

What I want to talk about here is a social strategy that will help your candidate win the election in 2016 and it’s very simple.

You do want them to win, right? Well, if so, keep reading.

Social Media is a Powerful Tool, But…

Social media is currently the primary driver for expressing, changing & manipulating public opinion on a global scale. What we do and say on social media has tremendous power and can directly effect how people share and develop opinions.

In this case, how it effects voting decisions.

The dark side of social media and politics is that what we say on social media is analyzed by government organizations, financial institutions, PR firms, corporations and most importantly, political parties to identify patterns of opportunity using software algorithms and analytics tools. Based on what they discover, they use either teams of people or automated software (bots) to manipulate social momentum on a mass level to promote their business or political agendas.

Despite the powerlessness we can feel by such a massive, corporate-political machine, social media still offers us a great advantage. What I am talking about here is the basic human interactions and opinions with which we can share between friends, family and social connections.

It’s the power of persuasion with people you have personal connections with and who trust your opinions.

Think, Before You Share!

I would encourage everyone to think very seriously about what you post on social media right now regarding politics and how it could potentially impact election results.

One simple post may not seem like much to you, but on a mass, collective level, it has a lot of power.

Unfortunately, WHAT you post, regardless of your intentions, also might have powerful reverse effects.

Why?

Conditioning, Conditioning, Conditioning!

Another factor which effects public opinion, especially in the media, is a process called Classical Conditioning, aka the old Pavlov’s Dog effect.

It begins with a simple process of repetition, where the brain begins rewiring itself to release certain chemicals based on a seeing or hearing repeated phrases, actions or stimulus. We see this in marketing with brands such as the red color of Coca Cola, aligning a perfume with sexual imagery, an annoying catchy melody in a terrible pop song, or in this case, political names and slogans.

Conditioning is a core tactic in hypnosis, brainwashing & propaganda, which over time, physically changes the brain chemistry so that it builds patterns of alignment & dependency to whatever has been repeated, even if the subject of the repetition is negative.

It is the first step in building an addiction.

In regards to politics, simply by repeating a candidate’s name, political slogan or sharing a MEME, even if it is negative and you oppose them, causes a conditioned response that gives leverage to that candidate

Sometimes negative MEMEs are even intentionally created to generate exposure to a brand because just by repeatedly seeing a name or image, creates subconscious patterns in people’s brains in connection with that brand or candidate.

The reason is that even a strong connection to a repeated “negative” creates a stronger bond than a non repeated “positive.” The result is that the brain becomes more comfortable by the chemicals it creates by being surrounded by the negative than the confusing, discomfort it feels when faced with the unfamiliar positive.

These patterns of alignment create herd mentality, which then becomes a social norm, which leads to people accepting, or at least living with the idea of a candidate that they don’t support.

We are literally building and spreading a chemical addiction to them on a mass scale, even if we hate them.

The Numbers

Here’s a simple example of how much conditioning is happening per candidate as of the time of this post. Despite political opinion, the numbers make it pretty clear who is in the lead, just by sheer volume.

Google Trends
googletrends_election2016

Twitter
election_tweets

Facebook
facebook_election2016

Take Control

Not happy with those results? Then you have to change the momentum. Here’s how:

The point here is to understand what is happening and don’t fall for the oldest trick in the book. Resist the urge to participate in the addictive skinner box mentality of sharing every little political “ha ha” moment on social media. Use it as an advantage, not as a virus, not as your controller.

Here’s how to apply this to social media and politics:

  • If you want your candidate to win, then don’t contribute to building patterns of momentum for the opposition.
  • Stop posting the names of the opposition and reposting their negative material. Let people know the name of the winner.
  • Build strong patterns by focussing only on who you want to win and only post positive info on them.
  • Fear is a stronger motivator than pleasure. (Sucks but it’s true.) Don’t focus on how bad the opposition is. Instead focus on the benefits of how your candidate will protect from the bad.
  • Create your own posts, MEMEs and hashtags and share them instead of reposting others. If you don’t do it, the bots will and they sometimes have an alternative agenda.
  • Follow your candidate. Unfollow the opposition. Post about them often. Numbers count.
  • Use every social platform at your disposal. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, pinterest, forums, chats and messengers, dating sites, etc. Any place where you can potentially reach a lot of people. If it is on a personal and emotional level, even better.
  • Make #hastags that promote your candidate, not the opposition.
  • Spread your message globally. Some countries dont use or have access to the same social platforms we use in the west. China uses WeChat and Weibo for everything. In Japan, Line is popular. Global opinions matter.

Don’t contribute to the problem, contribute to the solution. Generate positive patterns that build strong chemical bonds which align to your chosen candidate. In a world where we feel powerless to determine world affairs, we still hold the power of our connections and our ability to influence them.

Thats how you win with technology and thats how you win elections.

Retweet this Post

If you like this post, then please share it or retweet it using the hashtag #howtowin2016

Let’s see what happens and best of luck in the elections.

Back to the Grind

Back to the Grind

I’ve been feeling inspired lately to play again. After a long hiatus of not hearing any music in my head, I finally feel motivated enough to finally get my shit together and finish up some songs that have been laying around for a while. My wife and I are expecting our second baby in September, so I’m determined to get some new and old stuff finished up before I have a whole lot less time and energy to be loud.

Most of the stuff is basic straight forward heavy rock. Those who know me will know my influences so you can probably guess where it’s going. For anyone else, stay tuned. Much heavyness is in your future.

I am also going to make a concerted effort to blog more about music. It’s something that used to be a defining part of my life and somehow I lost that and need to get back to it. Identity crises over…

Gear

As far as gear, i’ve been using Propellerhead Reason since it first came out. It’s fast, stable and easy on the processor load. I used to run Cubase for audio but now that you can record tracks right into Reason, I pretty much have an inexpensive, all in one solution.

It is really crucial that music software be simple, fast and sounds good. I find it amazing that, with all the tech advancements we have made of the last 10 years, this continues to be an issue. I would trade in piles of features, bells and whistles just so that I can fire it up and in a few seconds lay down an idea. I waste so much time configuring, updating, driver crashes and wrestling with compatibility that I could almost say that 70% of my ideas go to waste because of software issues. Maybe it’s because I am a UX guy, so it’s a soft spot for me, but seriously, it continues to be a major roadblock to creativity.

Technology is a failure when I want to throw my laptop out the window and go back to my Tascam 4 track cassette recorder. There is grace in simplicity.

Right now I am running Reason 6.5 and it continues to be really solid. I haven’t upgraded to version 7 yet because there is nothing in it I absolutely “need” to have and since it now has double the RAM requirements, i’ll hold off for the moment.

I am using POD Farm to record guitar since that is the only guitar support Reason has at the moment. I also use Guitar Rig 5 from Native Instruments for practicing because it sounds really warm and natural. They really got the cabinet modeling right in Guitar Rig 5. I just dial up a factory preset and pretty much never have to mess with anything because it sounds amazing right out of the box.

Guitars

As far as guitars, i’m still using my trusty Les Paul Goldtop that was made on my birthday. It has a thick 50’s neck, which makes it hard for doing any fast upper neck work, but it has god-like tone. As a result, i’m considering picking up a cheap shredder guitar, but I don’t know what yet. Also my brother-in-law let me borrow his little Fender Mustang practice amp and that thing totally rocks! Very versatile and sounds great for a little 20w solid state box.

Regarding strings, I am bummed that they don’t sell DR strings here in Germany, at least not that I have found. They’re my fav. For now i’m using D’Addario 10’s which are ok. They feel more stiff to me than DR’s though.

That’s it for now. Enough talking. Just do…
Stay tuned, rock soldiers.

How to Write a Book in 10 Minutes a Day with a Mobile Phone, while Standing on a Train.

How to Write a Book in 10 Minutes a Day with a Mobile Phone, while Standing on a Train.

I am officially an author. On July 17, 2012 I published my first book on Amazon Kindle. It took two years to write, and a majority of it was done using a mobile phone or an iPad, while standing on the train from Wiesbaden to Frankfurt Germany, during my long commutes to and from work.

Yes, two years is a long time to write a book, especially when edited down, was only about 120 pages. or so. The first year was kind of a wash because I just kept rewriting the first 2 pages over and over. It wasn’t until the following year where I actually took it seriously, created a solid outline (a plan) and dug in.

The goal of this book was not to write a bestseller or change the world. It’s certainly not a feel good, Oprah Club, curl up with a cup of tea, kind of book. (In fact it’s a little bit “shocking” but more on that later.)

It was simply to just write a book, finish it and publish it. It was purely an exercise in completion. In my post about creating a 20 year plan for myself, writing a book was one of my 2 year short term goals. Well… mission accomplished.

It almost didn’t happen though.. (more…)

Welcome to the Collective

Welcome to the Collective

I like to collect things.

Throughout my entire life, I have always had some sort of collection going.  It started with comic books and Matchbox cars, then model rockets, then tropical fish, then action figures, then guitars, then mexican art, then books, then Harley Davidson t-shirts, the list goes on and on.

You see, much like squirrels instinctively hoard nuts and berries for the winter, humans have these instinctive, primal urges hard coded into our brains too. With us, however, it is a little more complex.

With the advent of 24 hour grocery stores and electricity, somewhere down the line, we stopped NEEDING to hunt and gather to survive, or collect pelts or the skulls of our enemies. (more…)