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Leveraging Social Media for Political Website Design

August 1, 2008 Leave a comment

Two weeks ago I received the kind of email I dread: My brother asked if we could help his brother-in-law with the design and development of a political website. After doing a little digging, my fears were confirmed — there would be little to no money to do this and no content to work with.

The site would be for Bill Conte, a Republican candidate for Summit County, Ohio’s Fiscal Officer. This is a local race in a city that is 85% Democrat against an entrenched incumbent who’s held the office for more than 20 years. The phrase “snowball’s chance . . . “ quickly popped into my head.

Surveying other local, county and state level political websites, we quickly saw how badly most of them are done — poor design, no organic optimization and just plain boring. At the very least, we figured we could have a little fun with design, do something different and maybe benefit from a little networking.

Being a push-over, I agreed with the stipulation that we would have total control of the strategy and creative.

To help prime the search engine pump, we immediately launched a coming soon, organically optimized, place-holder site.

Yesterday, we launched www.BillConte.com, a simple political website that leverages social media as much as possible. We created and embedded Flickr, Linked In, and My Space accounts to help spread the Conte word through social networking, create link-backs to the website and pump up organic search. We seeded YouTube with a couple simple videos. Finally, we created a WordPress blog  as a content management tool and embedded it into the site.

Bill Conte for Summit County, Ohio Fiscal Officer Website

Bill Conte for Summit County, Ohio Fiscal Officer Website

Two weeks ago, if you did a Google search for “Bill Conte” or “William Conte”, our guy had no results. Today, he’s on the first page at number 1 and 8, respectively. For the much more competitive term “Summit County Fiscal Officer”, the YouTube video ranks number 6. Pretty good results in just two weeks.

Now it’s up to Bill to work the social media and keep this snowball from melting too soon. It will be interesting to see what happens in November.

DigitalDay Represents at TAAN Meeting in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands


TAAN, the Transworld Advertising Association Network, held its Spring European Meeting in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands this past week from April 3 to April 5, 2008 with DigitalDay in attendance.

Nineteen advertising agencies from throughout Europe descended on this beautiful Dutch town in the heart of the Netherlands to exchange ideas, build international relationships and participate in workshops led by some of Europe’s most prominent online and off-line marketers.

One of the meeting’s highlights was a social networking presentation by Igor Beuker, founder of La Comunidad, a leading social networking, all-digital agency in Amsterdam.

As the only pure online marketing agency within TAAN, DigitalDay’s role was to review the soon-to-be-released new TAAN Website with the European Members, a project that embraces social-networking techniques and one we’ve been working on for several months.

Stay tuned to this blog to get a glimpse of the new site as soon as it goes live.