Future Implications

Social Media (SM) is an ever evolving dynamic medium between a contributor and a receiver. Hence, there needs to be a good blend of evidence based strategies and tactics to keep it functioning smoothly. If not, an organization is set for a bumpy ride. These challenges affect Social Media Bigwigs such as Facebook and Twitter too.

I think the first part of this question, “the social media landscape is continually changing”, is a huge implication for brands. With the social media landscape always changing, it can be very hard to keep up with the trends and very easy to fall behind. What seemed to be “in” then, isn’t “in” now. What I thought was cool, my 13 year old son thought was outdated. “Facebook, no one use that mom,” is what my son told me when I asked him for his Facebook page. Instagram, SnapChat, and Kik is what the millennials use now. Facebook has been able to keep up with the millennials and the latest trends. “Go live” and the meme’s has become very popular for Facebook and has allowed the company to stay in the game.

The beginning of 2014 predicted the death of Facebook. However, towards the end of the year, Facebook recorded:

  • An impressive revenue of 12.47 billion
  • An increase of 58% from 2013
  • Income from operations for 2014 recorded at $4.99 billion
  • The Net income for 2014 was $2.94 billion
  •  Daily active users were 890 million on average for December 2014, an 18% increase from 2013.

How to Lead Change Mangement

Social media will begin helping companies improve inter-office communications. Although thus far, social media has largely been limited to marketing and community building functions, social media is poised to become an office productivity tool, allowing employees to communicate and collaborate via instant messaging, wikis, virtual work groups and centralized message boards. E-mail is becoming obsolete, and even human resources departments are using social media already to communicate with job applicants and streamline the application process. LinkedIn and Twitter are the new ways to recruit and find top talent. Employees are more likely to refer a candidate to the company using social media. Sales teams have begun using social media to communicate with and track customers through the sales funnel (Holmes, 2012)

 

Viral Marketing Initiatives

Viral marketing is an idea that spreads and that while it is spreading actually helps market your business or cause. Seth Godin’s Blog Going viral isn’t luck or chance. Going viral is simply triggered from content, practical value, and social currency. People share things on social media they think makes them look good. Special moments, memorable events, and once in a life time trips are what most people love to share on social media. One of the most efficient ways to make consumers talk about a company’s product/service is to make them feel like insiders or create something remarkable that makes them look clever for sharing. Coke did a great job with the “Share a Coke” campaign that went viral on social media. Consumers were excited to have their name on a bottle of coke and made purchases just to feel included on social media.

Top Five Characteristics of a Viral Campaign

Exposing the Truth:

Consumers like to see results. Before and after weight loss pictures and teeth whitening pictures seem to be one of the most popular viral pictures and videos on social media. Staying fit and looking good usually sparks the interest in most consumers. Weight loss, teeth whitening, and waist shaper companies are spreading all around social media. Organizations are paying celebrities and Instagram models top dollar to advertise their product on social media. When someone popular or famous is wearing or using a product on social media, consumers tend to buy in and feel that the results are real.

Fitness Training Programs

Something Consumers can Relate To:

When the content of videos appeal to a wider audience, the likelihood is much greater that someone is going to share the video throughout their social networks. It is important to remember that people want to be able to relate to what they are buying or find a use for the product/service. When companies post share or videos of real life consumers using their products and/or services, other consumers tend to feel included and understand where he/she is coming from.

Interactive:

Some brands utilized the interactive capabilities of YouTube to gain viral success. Doritos allowed consumers to upload self made commercials promoting the chips. The winner was given 1 million dollars but the interactive audience help increase sales for Doritos because of participation. Hell Pizza painted an accurate picture of the inevitable 2012 apocalypse in their series where the viewer has to help a delivery man deliver a pizza to a woman trapped on top of a shipping crate surrounded by zombies.

Right Place, Right Time:

Being unpredictable is hard when going viral but it yields the best return. When someone behind the camera hit record and the other person doesn’t know they re being recorded, it comes off to be more genuine. Travis Rudolph (FSU WR) video of him sitting with an autistic boy name Bo went viral when a school police officer sent a picture of Travis and Bo eating lunch together. Bo’s mother was so excited to have someone eating lunch with her son, she posted the picture and a comment on social media saying thank you. Although Travis was just being himself and being very genuine, people across the nation was excited to see positive news on social media about an athlete. It’s rare for a brand to take advantage of situations like this because the situations themselves are rare and inherently unpredictable but a simple nice gesture went a long way and now Bo will be famous for the rest of his life.

Something New:

Creativity is key when producing a video in hopes of viral marketing success. Doing something out of the ordinary and keeping it unique is key when wanting something to go viral. Creating content that is unique makes consumers compelled to share it.

 

 

Differentiation

T-Mobile’s Finally Good Enough to Put Pressure on Verizon

 

After years of being somewhat reliable in cities and pretty much nonexistent in rural areas, the carrier has crossed a major threshold. T-Mobile customers saw an LTE signal 81 percent of the the time in the fourth quarter of last year, just a bit less than what AT&T delivered. Yes, both still lag behind Verizon (87 percent), but it’s a level of saturation that lets them claim nationwide reliability Brian Barrett.

Verizon and T-Mobile both have started using social media to gain customer’s insights. Both companies have went away from proving their results from social media to how they are dealing with customer’s issues and complaints via social media. Everyone is familiar with both Verizon and T-Mobile’s tweets to customers following up on complaints and their marketing campaigns that runs on the sidebars of Facebook and Twitter.

T-Mobile and Verizon’s PR team has been able to build meaningful relationships with customers, media and bloggers. They have both produced countless situations where the PR team’s efforts have turned dissatisfied customers into happy customers. As a direct result of relationship building through social media, many bloggers and social media followers who received the opportunity to demo devices purchased those devices due to their great experience with Verizon products and its network. T-Mobile answers questions and comments  within an hour of a post/tweet going live. T-Mobile has landed the top spot in Socialbakers’ quarterly responsiveness reports multiple times for response rates that get amazingly close to 100% across channels.

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verizon-wireless-gamification

Although both companies have done a great job using social media to its benefit, Verizon has surpassed T-Mobile by increasing their social media traffic by 30% because of glamification. Gamification is the concept of using of game-like techniques to increase engagement with non-game activities. A common example of this is unlocking badges in Foursquare for visiting new locations. Verizon has used social media to differentiate the company from companies like T-Mobile by offering different blogging sites and hubs for consumers to communicate on.  Verizon Wireless had already begun creating Verizon Insider, a hub for the company’s events, contests, sponsorship, and social initiatives. With help from gamification provider Gigya, Verizon was able to reward customers with badges for engaging with the site Sprout Blog.

Verizon seems to be spending billions on its latest ad campaign telling you to ‘Never Settle.’ T-Mobile (NYSE: TMUS) couldn’t agree more. So, today the Un-carrier launched the Never Settle Trial, exclusively for Verizon customers, so they can give the Un-carrier a try with no risk or extra out-of-pocket expense. T-Mobile kicked off a new campaign of its own laying out the facts and all the ways wireless users should never settle … like settling for an old carrier that penalizes you for using too much data, locks you into a two-year contract, makes you pay to leave, makes you wait to upgrade your phone, overcharges you outside the country or repossesses your unused data every month T-Mobile Agrees. Never Settle… for Verizon.