Have you heard about Mark Zuckerberg lately? Facebook’s CEO set a New Year’s resolution to ensure visiting all 50 states by year’s end.
While some state visits are due to legal issues, others may be part of a broader goal. In a Facebook status posted on January 3, Zuckerberg wrote, "My work is about connecting the world and giving everyone a voice. I want to personally hear more of those voices this year,"
He helped plant a community garden, went to his first rodeo, and thanked Dallas police officers on a visit to Texas. He owns a house in Hawaii, and has traveled to many other states, but still has nearly 30 left to accomplish his 2017 resolution.
Is this recent shift in attitude accredited to his interest in running for future president as some speculate, or could it be part of a comprehensive public relations campaign for Facebook?
Zuckerberg is under fire from many conservative groups accusing Facebook of bias against their news sources and topics, and facing questioning from the media about it’s role in spreading fake news and hoaxes. Oculus VR, which is owned by Facebook, is being accused of corporate theft by ZeniMax.
It would be wise strategy to strengthen relationships with his 162.9 million US users. His business relies on users believing Facebook is a safe and newsworthy place to post personal information. That reputation has been threatened in the past few months.
Giving back and volunteering show a sign of corporate social responsibility, and this trend is growing in importance once again. Users and consumers want to know why they should be loyal to your brand. As king of social media, he understands how Facebook works to send a message, share ideas, and gain support. Zuckerberg is tapping into that, and it’s not going unnoticed.
He’s using his own Facebook page to promote and advertise how cool Oculus VR is, posting personal photos, and sharing intimate thoughts from his traveling experiences. Zuckerberg has even taken strategy a step further, creating a page dedicated to his Year of Travel and flooding it with photos and inspiring questions to interact with users in a very personal way.
Zuckerberg is on to something. Whether the design of this well thought out public relations campaign is for Facebook, his charitable foundation, or ambitions of running for president in the future; it is a very smart strategy. Luckily for him, it looks as though it may benefit all three ambitions, should he decide to run for president.