Identifying target audience
In the #bethefilter campaign, we target our audience through three platforms as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Teenagers and college students who are aging from 18-25 are our main target audience. There are several rationales of mapping this demography. Firstly, they are the majority force on the social media. Edwards (2016) argues that social media have some significant downside and fake stories are attracting huge audiences online, especially the younger Australians who are in favor of social media platforms to consume news. Secondly, the young teenagers are in the process of building critical thinking ability, and might have trouble identifying the decent information. Lastly, younger generations are vulnerable to the disinformation and are easily provoked by them.
Among the three platforms that are chosen, Facebook and Twitter will be the major battlefield. There are massive fake news on both platforms. It’s hard to ignore the amount of younger generation on Facebook since 88% of 18–29 year olds use it frequently (York, 2017). Twitter is a fast-paced and high-volume network, allowing users to share information instantaneously. The reason in choosing Instagram is that it’s a relatively new social media platform which targets the younger generation.
Key message throughout the campaign
Fake news has these characteristics: intentionally deceptive, large scale hoaxes, slanted reporting of real facts and stories where the truth is contentious. Therefore our key message is “keep away from fake news”. It is designed to increase awareness among the younger generation to avoid fake news by encouraging them to engage in our campaign. For those young people who do not consciously judge the news of true and false, they will easily believe that fake news. More fake news they believe, they will be caught in a filter bubble and have a wrong understanding of the world, and then produce some bad consequence for the world. Our aim is to create awareness of the social media users especially the younger people to select, digest and create quality information, then it could achieve our purpose to help teenagers stay away from fake news.
we decide to combine user generated content(UGC) and user created content (UCC) together to carry out our campaign. Our strategy is to promote quality news source by using UGC while promote our campaign and engage our audience using UCC. Instead of simply responding to content that has been created by an organization, here the user becomes the source of the original material (Hinton, S, 2013). Due to the period of this campaign, we decide to divide our campaign in different stages and apply different methods to communicate our message. At the initial stage, due to the limited followers, we decide to launch a Hashtag relay. By attracting our target audience to participate and follow our campaign. At the same time, by posting infographics and retweeting, the audience would get a sense of what we are doing and understand our aim for the campaign. After having a considerable amount of followers, we intend to continuously deliver our key message by comparing the fake news with good quality news, such as sharing a quality news each week and a top fake news countdown of 2016. Besides, our other intention is to engage our audience through both online and offline activities, such as handing out brochure on campus and encourage friends to retweet. The core theory is that let the followers to generate the content and encourage more people to participate in our campaign.
We consider use two forms to engage our audience. Visual always gets more attention than written or verbal alone. Therefore, we apply a variety of visual forms to reach our audience, including infographics, designed memes, charts and diagrams etc. While the other form is to present our content in plain language, posting interesting questions and count up the answers. Not only will we fully engage those who respond, but everyone else will be paying attention too.
It’s a gradual process in engaging our target audience and can be divided into several phases. At the beginning phase, we start the creative hashtag campaign-#the story is fake, the consequence is real# on Facebook and Twitter. It focuses more on Facebook because it is where most our target audiences are. We will be consistent and reliable in our delivery of valuable and insightful content about critical thinking to keep target audiences’ consistent attention to our campaign.
On the second phase, after attracting enough attention, we would post questions on our social platforms, use an eye-catching design and collect responses from our audience. Besides, we would also use Instagram picture to get our audiences participated in visual storytelling through photos about their bad experiences of fake news.
On the last phase, the campaign will come to the climax. On the one hand, some interesting games are designed for increasing engagement, such as the Two Truth and A Lie, posting two false headline and a true news headline. On the other hand, we are also designing special events, such as the April Fool Joke: The University of Sydney merged UTS, imitating the Jimmy Kimmel’s way and attracts attention from our target audience.
1.1 Mock-up Posts
Hashtag Relay: Attracting followers
Fake News Survey
Quality News Sharing
Engagement Strategy No 1: Eye-spying- Finding disinformation
Engagement Strategy No 2: Two Truth and A Lie
Retweet and Sharing Videos
1.2 Social Media Management Software – Hootsuite
- Edwards,M.(2016).Fake news spread on social media could influence Australian elections, commentators say. Retrieved from: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-21/fake-news-could-influence-australian-elections,-commentators-say/8042246
- York, A.(2017).Sproutsocial. Retrieved from: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/
- Hinton, S. & Hjorth, L. (2013). Participation and user created content. In Understanding social media (pp. 55-76). London: SAGE Publications Ltd.