Making Political Conventions More Social
The 2012 Republican and Democratic National Conventions are right around the corner and our Politics & Government Team has been working hard to bring Facebook's unique ability to connect hundreds of millions of people to the convention experience in Tampa, Florida and Charlotte, North Carolina.
We hope to give thousands of delegates, convention staff and volunteers, journalists, assorted dignitaries, and other attendees easy ways to share what they're doing and seeing on Facebook. Expanding the sphere of social engagement will also enable people who aren't attending the conventions to experience what it's like to be part of the action with their family and friends.
As part of this effort, we will curate and present what participants are saying publicly on Facebook about their convention experience as well as what Facebook users around the world are sharing publicly about these closely watched quadrennial gatherings. This will encourage discussion, civic participation, and uncover the real conversations happening in and around the big events.
Here's what else you can expect from Facebook:
Encouraging a Digital Dialogue
Members of the Facebook developer community and Facebook product and public policy teams will mix and mingle with journalists and other invited guests at an "Apps & Drinks" event at both conventions. Developers who have built election-related apps on our platform will be on hand to offer demonstrations of their technologies and engage in discussions about Facebook's Open Graph and app ecosystem.
On the Monday of each convention week (Aug. 27 and Sept. 3) representatives from our Politics & Government Team will participate in a briefing hosted by National Journal and The Atlantic, along with CBS News, that will explore social media's impact on the 2012 races. The briefings will be live-streamed online to encourage participation from attendees in person and those viewing remotely.
In Tampa and Charlotte, Facebook will co-host "Innovation Nation" receptions honoring pro-technology legislators and highlighting the contributions of leading high-tech innovators to the strength of the American economy. We will also co-sponsor StartUp RockOn events in both cities to celebrate America's startup culture.
"Say Cheese" & Share
The Facebook team will provide conventioneers with great opportunities to memorialize and share their convention participation. Tampa conventioneers will be able to swipe a special badge at Facebook "Photo Spots" at several key locations and instantly upload commemorative photos to their Facebook timelines. A Facebook "Photo Spot" will also be available at the Woman Up! Pavilion at the Channelside Bay Plaza, just a block from the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The YG Network and its Woman Up! initiative will host this meeting space for social, political and business networking.
"I'm Voting" Facebook App Launch
Facebook and CNN plan to demo a new “I'm Voting” Facebook application for conventioneers in Tampa and Charlotte. The app, which is part of a previously announced multi-platform partnership between the two companies, enables people using Facebook to commit to voting, endorse specific candidates, and solicit support from friends. Pledges will be visually displayed on an interactive map of the United States. The app, available in English and Spanish, will serve as a “second screen” for CNN's America’s Choice 2012 political coverage.
Small Business Boost Workshops
Facebook was on the ground in Tampa and Charlotte well ahead of conventioneers to conduct seminars with local small business owners on how to leverage the social network. Facebook along with the Convention Host Committees organized the events. Attendees learned everything from how to set up ads and pages for promoting their businesses on Facebook to more advanced tips and tricks for engaging with their customers and attracting new fans. Participants were also given advertising credits to help them get started with their Facebook marketing efforts.
Best Practices for Conventioneers
Our experts will be on-hand in both cities to ensure that convention attendees, volunteers, state representatives, and county parties are making the most of their social media experience. Facebook will have dedicated workspaces and will be able to answer questions and offer resources and best practices. Just look for our red Facebook t-shirts in Tampa and our blue Facebook t-shirts in Charlotte. You can also download our convention checklist here.
We’ll see you in Tampa and Charlotte!
-- The Facebook Politics & Government Team
PS: Be sure to "like" the U.S. Politics on Facebook Page for regular updates from the conventions, campaign trail, and beyond.