Monthly Archives: June 2016

Social Media Voting and Harambe


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As a professor of social media and mobile marketing strategy I approach the extremely sad incident at the Cincinnati zoo by listening to the social media outcry. On June 1 I looked at Tweetreach to determine the extent to which certain hashtags on Twitter earned views.This mini snapshot of the response showed that the hashtags associated with Harambe, such as #justiceforHarambe and #ripHarambe earned significantly more attention than the hashtag #isupportmichellegregg. But does this really mean that more people support the notion that the zoo was wrong in its actions? Certainly not. It is important to recognize that the Internet allows anyone to give an opinion on anything so easily that there is little consideration of the issue. There is so little reflection that a misspelling of Cincinnati Zoo (#Cincinattizoo) earned 277,465 impressions on June 1. Another problem with examining the online buzz is that it is really not representative of the response of the population. The only people represented in the buzz are those who chose give their opinions online on certain social media sites. So, the loudest and most active on Twitter tend to be heard and others with opinions who don’t post are not.   Aside from writing a book on Social Media & Mobile Marketing Strategy (Oxford August 2016) I am also a mom who watched the video of the child dragged by the Gorilla. The zoo had no choice but to intervene to save that boy and should have secured that enclosure so that children can’t get inside.   It is a terribly sad incident and one that could have been avoided. So, #justiceforHarambe is likely to continue to earn impressions online.