Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Giving thanks for viral marketing and social media

While I was scrolling through my news feed figuring out what I was going to write about, it hit me! All of the commercials about sales on Black Friday are all over my feed. People sharing the ones they like, and even the ones they find obnoxious. It seems as though Black Friday commercials have taken over the Super Bowl commercial craze. Even one of my friends sent me a link to commercial in my message box because I "just had to see it."

More and more people are relating to commercials on a personal level. Is it because of the reality TV phenomenon? Before reality TV, the only people that you saw were actors. Since major networks have shows that include everyday people, the line between actors and real people is blurred. Even now, if you have a high profile court case, like Casey Anthony, you too can be an overnight celebrity.

In other news, the government is now using Twitter to spread the news about fryer fires (say that 10 times fast). They want people to learn the devastating effects of putting a frozen turkey into hot oil. Now for those of you who don't know why that's a big deal, you should click here to find out why.

The video was posted on YouTube on October, 10th and it has only gotten 5,000 hits. Obviously the government needs a lesson on how to make their videos go viral.

I feel like this video would have had a better shot at more views if Obama had gotten in the mix and they had acted like the White House burned down. Now that would have gotten some more hits! (I wish no ill will on the government or its leader, just suggesting a better video)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hey Taxi!!!!

I know I do not currently have this problem, but living in a super crowded city I can see where hailing a cab can be more of a sport than something that you have to do out of necessity. You essentially let the free app know where you are and the cab finds you. Right now this app is working with the black cab system throughout the United Kingdom, but do you think this could come to The United States soon? Why of course!! The company is planning a US launch in New York City soon, but they are seeing some resistance from Taxi Magic, a competing app. The difference between the apps is Hailo lets you see cabs around you and it is way more social. Taxi Magic is the equivalent of calling the taxi company and calling for a car. If everyone had time for that, there wouldn't be a need for a better system.

Hailo boasts that they will only charge you for the trip and that there aren't any hidden charges. This service also works with the cab company to eliminate fake drivers that may have poor intentions. This company also checks your drivers license to make sure you are a good ambassador for their service.

The competitive advantage that Taxi Magic has over Hailo is that it launched in the US and has a national system, whereas Hailo will launch in New York and branch out from there. The problem I see with both services is that it is illegal to text and drive, and I feel like this is just as bad. I just wonder when the law is going to be so strict that we can't have any kind of smartphone activity going on while we are driving.

Have you used one of these systems? Which do you prefer and why?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Social Media and College

Before I went to college, I was just getting into Facebook. That was back when you had to be invited by someone in college to join the site. By the time I finally understood how to use the site, it was the in the middle of the summer and I knew that I was going to attend Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I got online and saw a group on Facebook for incoming freshman. I joined and met some people, but this site is also how I communicated with my roommate before we actually met. Not only was it serving as my email, but it was also a window into who I would be meeting in my next four years.

After I arrived, and made it through my first couple of weeks of school, Facebook became my social calendar. This was back when every event that someone in the WKU network made showed up on a calendar. This made attending events easy. It also continued to be a distraction when I didn't want to do my homework. "Creeping on people" became a popular excuse to why papers weren’t written and why people knew more about you than you thought you had told them. In a way, it became an outlet for the quiet students to find their voice, and for different subgroups of students to find more people like them. In the days before Facebook and MySpace, people would have to go to socials on campus to get in a week’s worth of networking, while my generation could do it online in the matter of minutes.

Facebook is to the average college student as water is to fish; a necessity! College students still use Facebook as a distraction to homework as well as a connection to the outside world. The only difference between when I entered college 4 years ago and now is that there are more people sharing information online on a wide variety of social networks. If I were a college recruiter today, I would first look at what people are saying about you online before you start boasting about your school.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Facebook Law Update

Back in August I wrote about a law that was passed in Missouri that would ban any kind of social media relationship between teachers and students. The law was very grey and left a lot to be desired. The law originated from worried parents that watched teacher after teacher show up on the news for having an inappropriate relationship with a student. I still stand by what I said then "I think that if parents know what their kids are doing online, it isn't a problem."

The law was eventually over turned by the Governor of Missouri due to the fact that the teachers were screaming about their first amendment rights. They were also complaining about how the law would interfere with the learning process. Some kids are very shy in class and won't ask questions because of it. Some kids find their voice on social media because they can hide their face. More and more kids are using the internet for their homework and, by association, Facebook. Sometimes it is just easier to send a Facebook message than an email.

I am personally glad that this law was thrown out just because I know when I was in college I was friends with my professors. They helped me out online as well as gave me advice. This is not the last of the very long line of laws having to do with social media, and I am sure that other states will begin to TRY to limit its usage.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Social Media and Dating Sites

I know I don't really get into my personal life on this blog, but I have to tell you a story before I arrive at my point. I just moved to Orlando and I wanted to meet some new people so I joined an online dating site. I felt like such a loser, but in today's society this isn't such a bad thing! More people are turning to these sites to meet people/date because we are so obsessed with working. I work at Walt Disney World in the Magic Kingdom and I work a LOT!!! Most of the people that I work with are really nice, but when you get them out of costume and on their own terms it normally ends badly for me. The online dating site has allowed me to meet new people and talk to them on my own terms. I have the app on my phone, so I don't necessarily have to give out my number, and I have used a fake name just so people don't end up stalking me. If you are smart about it, its actually a really good outlet. You are looking for people that are looking for people so you don't have to creep people on Facebook and Twitter where all you might see is their face.

These sites allow you to put up a short blurb about yourself and some pictures so that you can see a little bit into the person before you waste your time on them. This is a really good concept. Not so much from the business marketing perspective, but from the personal marketing angle. You have to make yourself look really good because if you don't put your best foot forward, people aren't going to talk to you. I feel like this is the same concept in an interview. You want to appear to be the best candidate in less than an hour, and for some people, this can be difficult.

A lot can be learned from theses sites, apart from just getting a date, and as a social networking platform they are doing it right. It isn't private, which allows for the maximum amount of views to get your name out there. If you aren't on one but you've wondered about joining one, I would personally recommend them. They are a great tool that a ton of people are using.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mark Zuckerberg is so cute.....and awkward

Aside from the fact that Mark decided to roll out "Timeline" in a Steve Jobs sort of way, my question is: "Are users going to appreciate their entire Facebook life out at once?"

Let me give you a little bit of background into Facebook Timeline if you don't already know. Facebook Timeline is the new profile that Facebook is unveiling in the coming weeks. It will allow your friends to not only see what you have been doing recently, but what you have done in the X amount of years you have been on Facebook. You can actually go back to the year that you joined Facebook and see what you were doing. Do people really want that much information out online? My generation has some sort of posting fetish that allows them to spill their emotions everywhere to anyone that will listen to them. I am guilty of this back when I was in high school and posted some pretty dark stuff about my life. I certainly do not want an employer looking at that!

In the coming weeks I promise you that you will hear your friends complain about the new profile. This has become a great tradition! Mark Zuckerberg described the original Facebook as being the first 5 minutes of a conversation, the 2008 version as being the first 15 minutes, and this new version as being the rest of the conversation. Well, if this is the rest, then what is the point of even dating someone? Time will only tell if users will enjoy having that much of their life online.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What people really use Twitter for

So I was talking with my co-workers the other day, and Twitter was brought up. Interestingly enough, they were comparing posting on Facebook vs. posting on Twitter. They were saying that they were more likely to post something "controversial" on Twitter than on Facebook. I thought about this statement and realized that I am the exact same way! If I am mad at a situation at work, or mad at something or some one, I would rather tell people on Twitter than on Facebook. Here was the reasoning: people on Twitter are more liberal and laid back compared to people that use Facebook. Also, you are more likely to have less followers on Twitter than on Facebook. Not only does this cut down on people "creeping" on you, but it also cuts down on who will see it. On Facebook people like to post on comments or statuses. If it gets enough comments and likes it will hit your top stories feed, then it really hits the fan. At that point all you want to do is take it off Facebook and pretend 700 people didn't just read what you posted. With Twitter, people can mention you to reply to the post but unless you know everyone to follow the whole conversation. Also, since it is a constant feed most people won't even see it, which makes you safe. My manager at work even said that she would post to Twitter about a bad situation just to get it off her chest, kind of like a release. In the world now, everyone is using social media as an online diary, while provoking people to empathize and interact.

Why is this good for marketers? People are putting their feelings online so that you can hit them at their core. You can find out what they need and why they need it. This is AWESOME for marketers!! Who needs to hire psychologists when we have Facebook and Twitter to encourage buyers to give us all the information that we need. If you use it, you should just make sure you aren't sharing something with the wrong people, and always check your privacy controls!