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How (IDEAS) Orlando uses social media to push for $1.2B in biz legislation

How (IDEAS) Orlando uses social media to push for $1.2B in biz legislation

From Orlando Business Journal, Abraham Aboraya March 19, 2014

Next week, bus loads of Orlando film and entertainment industry workers will flock to Tallahassee to try and convince legislators to pass a $1.2 billion film incentives bill. But that’s in real life. And these days, every good ground campaign needs its social media counterpart. Meet #EntertainThis, the online campaign before the film industry’s Rally in Tally. Lately, the film workers have been recording vignettes about what passing the incentive means to them. I would suggest searching for the hash tag on Facebook and Twitter and checking out some of the posts.

The man behind the campaign? None other than John Lux, chief operating officer of Orlando-based IDEAS. The proof of whether the campaign is successful will be whether or not legislators pass the bill. But in the meantime, the hash tag has been delivered to more than 180,000 timelines and reached more than 30,000 people. And that’s just on Twitter.

“This is by far the most momentum gained and the most galvanized the industry has been,” Lux said. “Hopefully the #EntertainThis campaign has a part to do with that.”

I talked to Lux to get tips on how other companies and industries could replicate the campaign. Here are four tips on how to use social media to further a business cause:

The marathon

Social media campaigns are a marathon, not a sprint, Lux said. “You’re not gonna see overnight results, so you need to give yourself enough time to build the audience and the momentum,” Lux said. Lux said the campaign has been in the works since January.

Seriously, you need professional help

While Lux has been the coordinator of the #EntertainThis campaign, he has some simple advice: Don’t go it alone. “It is impossible to do it by yourself,” Lux said. “It isn’t a single-person job.”

Mobilize the troops

Getting people on board has been a coordinated effort, using targeted email blasts to people in the film industry from the various film commissions. That’s helped them to get people liking and following and retweeting, but that’s half the equation. The target of the campaign isn’t just the general public. It’s elected officials. So he’s been curating accounts of elected officials to make sure they’re getting the tweets. “If the audience you’re looking to engage with isn’t paying attention, it doesn’t do a lot of good,” Lux said.

Message maker

There’s an old saying in journalism: Stories are like skirts. They have to be long enough to cover the content, but short enough to keep it interesting. With the #EntertainThis campaign, they came up with 50 or 60 strategically worded messages to get out. And the hashtag itself was approved by the Film Florida board. “Make sure your message is clear, concise and engaging,” Lux said.

Click HERE to read the article from the Orlando Business Journal

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As COO of IDEAS, John manages the day-to-day operations of the company. He is a category expert in studio production and is responsible for bringing advanced digital media technology to IDEAS.