02 April 2020

Week 9: Post 1: Using Instagram to promote sales of COVID-fighting Hand Sanitizer.

     First, in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, I started a new business making alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Here is the sample label I created:

   That means, from here on out, I will probably be doing most of my assignments on the "CalPride Products" social media. I set up "CalPride Products almost three years ago, but now it is a working business, and an important one. The hand-sanitizer project is being set up to sell product at prices competitive with pre-emergency prices (i.e., no "price-gouging") and all proceeds will be used to set up another project proposed several months ago, a relief organization focused on responding to disasters in the three California states: California, Baja California, and Baja California Sur.

   Although "CalPride Products" was originally intended to be primarily a clothing and accessories brand, due to the COVID pandemic, it is now a "Health" supplies company.

   Here are how other Health Supplies company use Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/byramhealthcare/ - 141 posts, 1,356 followers. Last post: 8 hours ago, on "International Autism Day"

Liberator Medical Supply - No Instagram account

https://www.instagram.com/jnj/  - 33 posts, 19,200 followers ("Johnson & Johnson"). Last post: December 1, 2018, on HIV drug trials in Africa.

https://www.instagram.com/medlineinc/ - 48 posts, 1,771 followers. Last post: March 6, on the "Medline Infection Prevention Squad."

https://www.instagram.com/mckessoncorporation/ - 1157 posts, 5,476 followers. Last post: March 30, 2020, on their role in the national coronavirus effort, specifically complimenting Donald Trump.

   All four companies that use Instagram use it for purposes that are common for corporations: Corporate image and to highlight specific personnel. Even though McKesson has the most active account, they still only use it for relatively mundane purposes.

    I was particularly interested in Instagram use by Byram Healthcare and Liberator Medical Supply, because much of their sales are direct to consumers. Liberator Medical Supply, for example, is one of those companies that advertises on television, promising to send viewers something, and "we'll bill Medicare."

   That's the reason, right there, I think: Since Instagram is not seen as a popular social media platform for seniors, it isn't used much by health supplies companies. Our hand sanitizer may face the same issue: Younger people are much less concerned about COVID infection than even middle-aged people, and thus Instagram may not be a good platform for us.

   Only two of these feeds are truly active: Byram and McKesson, and the Byram account seems utterly disconnected from the greatest health crisis in 100 years.

      The McKesson post on COVID has received 32 replies, but all or most from McKesson employees praising the company and its CEO. The second most-recent post, showing a photo of their warehouse, has received 5 replies, again, nearly all from McKesson employees praising the company.
   The third most-recent posts, on March 10, was about a program McKesson sponsored on International Women's Day. This post has drawn 11 replies; most are from happy McKesson employees, but two are complaints about the company not delivering personal protective equipment needed by medical personnel dealing with COVID.
    In other words, the most interactive use of Instagram is similar to what is typical on Twitter, desperate complaints to the company.

   In selling CalPride Products hand sanitizer, a major problem is that "health protection" is hard to communicate visually. Instagram could be used to show photos of products ready for shipment. Another photo subject suggested to me -- although I have been reluctant to do so -- is the equipment being used to make our products. I am reluctant because I am making this non-sterile product on the kitchen counter at home. However, I have a new light-box type of "studio" to help me shoot professional looking photos of our equipment, so that might work out well.

   As for hashtags, the obvious ones are those being used by people looking for help avoiding COVID-19 infection: #COVID, #coronavirus, #coronavirustoday, and so on.

07 March 2020

Week 7, Post 2: Scheduled Posts after the California Primary Elections

In the wake of the March 3, 2020 California presidential primary election, I scheduled four posts for the near future that relate these election results. The first is a share of a post by an allied group, Yes California that uses an info-graphic from the Washington Post. The other three are based on infographics and website posts that must be created by me before they can be published. This is why the current scheduled date is the end of the month.

Each of these posts is aimed at a particular audience, with the goal of not only increasing support for California independence, but making California independence seem like a more immediate contingency as early as 2021.

1. Washington Post info-graphic comparing exit polls in California to exit poll results across all states and territories that held primaries and caucuses on Super Tuesday.

This graphic, which includes California in the "USA" total, -- i.e., with CA "double-counted" -- shows the stark difference in opinion between California voters and Democratic voters in the United States overall. In other words, the reason why Sanders won a majority of votes in nearly every California county, while Biden cleaned-up in most of the other Super Tuesday states is that Californians hold values that are much more progressive, overall, than citizens of most other USA states. This difference is sharp enough as to raise the question of whether California -- the most populous and economically-productive state of all the USA states -- should remain part of the USA when the opinions of Californians are given such little regard.

2. Support for Calexit among Californians under age 40 is as great as support for Bernie Sanders! (INFOGRAPHIC)

This info-graphic will show two pie charts: One that shows the percentage of Californians between ages 18 and 40 that voted for Sanders in the California primary, and compare it to the percentage of the same group that expressed either support or indecision for California independence in the most recent poll, which was 2017, before Trump was inaugurated. The two numbers are almost equal. Those voters are the primary audience for this info-graphic, and the overall goal will be to persuade California citizens that want the kind of policies that Sanders promises -- despite the power of corporations and the wealthy over the USA government, and the tendency of Trump-appointed federal judges to follow political biases and not legal precedent -- to at least start considering  California independence seriously, especially if Trump and McConnell are not removed from power in the 2020 elections.  

3. For Democratic Party Unity, promote California independence. (LINK TO WEBSITE POST)

Support for California independence among liberals, progressives, socialists, and moderates depends on what Donald Trump and his Republican allies do. For example, after the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate voted to not hear any witnesses in the Trump impeachment hearings on January 31, 2020, expressions of support California independence jumped sharply on Twitter and Facebook. Consequently, if Trump and the Republicans are not defeated decisively in November 2020, voters in California may react so strongly that independence is inevitable. This, at the least, could be used by USA Democratic Party leaders -- e.g., Donna Brazille, James Carville, and Tom Perez -- to help motivate voters to vote against Trump and the Republicans: Do it or ELSE the USA will end, with California taking the lead. This argument would certainly help make California independence appear more likely and feasible.  

4. CALM-PAC formed to organize 9 million California independence supporters. (LINK TO WEBSITE)

This is the introductory post that will explain what CALM-PAC is, why it was formed, who is in charge of it, etc. Normally this would be the first post, but so much is happening that it is Priority 4. Marcus my colleague at Yes California thinks that announcing the formation of this PAC will generate immediate attention, by demonstrating that this movement is a serious campaign with serious people working on it.  

In conclusion, these four posts are aimed at influencing the discourses of multiple disparate groups: California independence advocates, California citizens as a whole, Bernie Sanders supporters, USA Democratic Party leaders and liberal opinion leaders. Each post is written for one or more of these groups, and they help argue that supporting or at least mentioning the California independence movement will help them achieve their goals.