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In Brazil, Lula fights to boost social media presence

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Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is working to boost his social media presence ahead of a presidential election in four months for help before touring Europe in September, a French NGO said on May 24, 2022. (FILES) In this file photo taken on May 01, 2022 former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blows a kiss as he attends a May Day (Labour Day) rally to mark the International Workers´ Day, in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is working to boost his social media presence ahead of a presidential election in four months
for help before touring Europe in September, a French NGO said on May 24, 2022. (FILES) In this file photo taken on May 01, 2022 former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva blows a kiss as he attends a May Day (Labour Day) rally to mark the International Workers´ Day, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. – Copyright AFP/File DENIS CHARLET

Jordi MIRO

At a bar in Brasilia, two longtime members of Brazil’s Workers Party retweet messages supporting Luis Inacio Lula da Silva on their cell phones, as part of his campaign’s drive to fight the overwhelming presence of President Jair Bolsonaro on social media.

“We will not stop. Our battle, too, is online,” said Ze Augusto, a retired professor, looking at his screen.

With a little more than four months to go until Brazil’s presidential election, Lula, 76, has a comfortable but declining cushion in the polls.

But on social media he is far behind in popularity to the far-right president, who will probably be his opponent in a run-off on October 30.

When Bolsonaro came to power in 2018, a key tool in his victory was an adept social media campaign run by his son Carlos. It was based on propaganda, disinformation and the political destruction of opponents.

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Since then, Bolsonaro has remained strong on social media, boasting a total of 47.5 million followers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Telegram and TikTok. That is triple what Lula has.

Lula, who served as president from 2003 to 2010, does not use a cell phone and has taken part in five election campaigns in which social media did not yet exist. His aides decided months ago to go on the counterattack online.

It raised the number of messages the campaign sent and the interactions on its accounts. It also created profiles on new social media like TikTok and won support from famous people in Brazil like the singer Daniela Mercury and a social media influencer named Felipe Neto.

It also launched something called Lulaverso, a campaign website designed for young people, where users can join pro-Lula groups on major social media and share stickers and GIFs of the leftist icon dancing or wearing sunglasses.

– ‘Long ways to go’-

The social media campaign “improved but still has a long ways to go,” Workers Party president Gleisi Hoffmann told the news website G1 two weeks ago.

After Lula officially declared his candidacy this month, the party overhauled the campaign and named as its communications chiefs former lawmaker Rui Falcao and Edinho Silva, who was a government minister under president Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016).

“We are going to create a giant chain of activists and sympathizers and increase our communications means more and more so we can defeat Bolsonaro on every front,” Falcao told AFP.

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Lula’s campaign is doing well in tradtional media outlets. But Bolsonaro’s outreach from his ecosystem of pages and groups on digital platforms goes further because it targets everyday people rather than party members, said Pablo Ortellado, a professor of public policy and management at the University of São Paulo.

The Lula campaign’s communication “is endogenous. It strengthen’s people’s conviction. But it does not manage to punch through the walls of its groups, which have a very defined ideology and political identity,” Ortellado said.

– Avoid fake news –

Bolsonaro and Lula have very different ideas about freedom of expression.

Bolsonaro advocates easing rules governing social media platforms, several of which have erased some of his content on grounds that it spread fake news.

Lula backs regulating social media but has never really gone into detail on how he would do this. And his party works against generating or forwarding false news, via a campaign of “stickers” that warn against and label falsehoods from Bolsonaro supporters.

Brazilian electoral authorities have taken measures to prevent the campaign, which officially begins in August, from becoming another disinformation war, as happened in 2018, in particular on WhatsApp.

“We want to win the election with the truth,” said Ze Augusto.

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Meta Announces New Privacy-Focused Ad Targeting Solutions, Improvements in Automated Targeting

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NFTs are Coming to Facebook and Instagram – Whether You Like Them or Not

With Apple’s ATT data privacy update changing the game for app-based advertisers, Meta has been one of the biggest losers, with the company projecting up to $10 billion in revenue loss this year alone based on the amount of users opting out of data tracking in its apps.

Of course, part of that is due to Meta’s poor reputation on data privacy and protection, with the high-profile Cambridge Analytica case, in particular, shining a light on the platform’s past lax privacy measures, which have led to misuse.

But Meta has evolved its processes, and it’s now looking to ensure that it’s providing more data-protective solutions that will help advertisers maximize their campaigns, while also aligning with broader industry shifts.

On this front, Meta has today outlined a range of new ad measures, beginning with a new element within its Advantage ad suite, which incorporates Meta’s various ad automation and AI-based tools.

As explained by Meta:

“We’re rolling out Advantage custom audience, a new targeting automation product that leverages an advertiser’s Custom Audience to reach new and existing customers. This is similar to Lookalike audiences that find people who are likely to be interested in your business, except that Advantage custom audience goes beyond the 1%, 5% or 10% similarity ranges you are used to, while also prioritizing delivery of ads to people in your Custom Audience.”

Expanding the matching depth for Custom Audiences could be big, with the process guided by Meta’s evolving machine learning tools to help maximize campaign performance with less manual effort.

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Many performance advertisers have noted the improvement in Meta’s automated targeting tools, and with broader matching options to work with, it could be a good way to improve reach and response. Likely worthy of an experiment at least.

Meta’s also updating its Click to Messenger ads, with a new optimization that will target users more likely to make a purchase via a message thread.

Typically, we show Click to Messenger ads to people who are most likely to initiate a conversation with a business on WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram Direct. With this update, we’re introducing the ability for advertisers to run Click to Messenger ads which will reach the people who are most likely to make a purchase in a thread.”

That adds another dimension to Click to Messenger targeting, which could help to optimize reach to people that are more likely to buy in-stream. Meta’s also adding a new ad format for lead generation which will funnel customers to either Messenger or a form, depending on which one the customer is most likely to interact with.

Meta’s also made improvements to its privacy solutions, including its Private Lift Measurement product. While at the same time, it’s also been working with various academics to study the impacts of the privacy shift.

“For example, we collaborated with academics from Northwestern University and the University of Chicago to better understand the value of offsite data for ads personalization, in part to help guide the development of solutions that leverage privacy-enhancing technologies. The research reveals that advertisers’ costs increased by 37% when removing offsite data from the ad delivery system with outsized impact on smaller advertisers in CPG, retail, and e-commerce, who are often more reliant on digital performance advertising than larger, more established companies.”

So while Meta’s working to build more privacy-protective processes, it’s also looking to highlight the impacts that these changes will have on the broader industry, as it pushes the big platforms to factor such into their future changes and shifts.

Finally, Meta’s also looking to help advertisers to prepare for the next stage of digital connection, partnering with Coursera on a new, free course called “What is the metaverse?”

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“This course explains what the metaverse is, what we know about it today and what it means for the future of work, play and life. We’re working with partners like Coursera to give people, businesses, creators and developers the tools needed to succeed as the metaverse takes shape.”

Though you will be getting Meta’s interpretation of what ‘metaverse’ means, which may not be exactly how it plays out. Meta’s increasingly keen to impress its vision of the metaverse future onto anyone who’ll listen, but it’s also important to note that the metaverse does not exist, and will not exist in a fully-functional, interoperable way for some time yet.

Still, it may be worth tuning in, and getting some insight into Meta’s future vision, and how it relates to advertising and brand reach.

You can pre-enroll to the new ‘What is the Metaverse’?’ course here.

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