It was a sordid trial which revolved around the mysterious death of a beautiful little girl. The prime suspect was the girl’s mother, but the defense was ready, willing and able to implicate anyone it needed to in order to win her freedom, including the victim’s grandparents.
The Casey Anthony trial is now complete but the jury’s verdict of “not guilty” is still echoing through the halls of justice.
How did the defense win?
Some have pointed out that the prosecution over reached by charging Casey Anthony with murder instead of child neglect and child endangerment charges. The simpler charges would have carried a great deal of weight and been easier to prove. Of course, the fact the defense team waged a social media war against any and all charges should not be over looked.
It was a decisive victory and not easily won, but they did it, using social media.
First, they scoured the social media networks for plausible theories which might bolster her defense. Sure, they are trained to do this, but why overlook a resource as vast as millions of unsolicited opinions.
Second, they reacted to what people were saying online and adjusted their defense accordingly.
During the trial they were awash in innuendo and opinion and the defense made use of that. Now that Anthony has been freed the social media networks are erupting with outrage.
If you are looking to make social media serve your business interests then it is best to learn a lesson from the Anthony trial. It’s a valuable one–just ask Anthony.
The obsession over Casey Anthony blew up on the internet. Thousands of tweets, Facebook posts and blogs sounded off on everything from Casey’s clothes and expressions to the attorneys, the witnesses and their testimony.
“Your going to get a huge sample of email, internet activity, blogging, twixting, tweeting, whatever you want to call it. Everybody’s going to start chiming in. So what you do is you study all that,” says Tampa Defense Attorney Joe Episcopo.
And that’s exactly what Casey’s legal team did. Social media consultants analyzed more than 40,000 online opinions and used them to help the defense craft their strategy.
For instance, when bloggers started attacking George Anthony about an alleged affair, the defense ramped up their attacks too.
And online opinions about Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, changed the way the defense treated her too.
When she testified that she was the one searching for chloroform on the computer, many believed she lied out of motherly instinct, and even said they felt a connection with her, especially mothers.
So, in their closing, the defense went easy on her but not George.
Public opinion about him never changed.
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