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Viral Marketing

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You Tube

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Social Media

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Corp. Blogging

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Media Effect

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S C I M O N L A SOCI t c a p m I The

! a i d e M l a i c o S f o

Cumorah Publishing


Spring 2011

Business Review Is printed and published By

Cumorah Publishing Group 525 S Center Street Rexburg, Idaho 83460 Phone: (435) 849-5914

Table of Contents Viral Marketing Page 2

The Power and Popularity o›f You Tube


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Editor-in-Chief Mark Dunn

Key Elements of Social Media Marketing

Editors Jordan Johnson Ryan Dunford Tiffany Paynter Devin Sorensen

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Corporate Blogging Page 31

Social Media: The Effect on the Younger Generation Page 41

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Viral Marketing By: Jarrett Sexton and Mark Dunn


o you want reach millions of potential customers? Do you want to create a huge amount of buzz for your product? If this is the case, perhaps you should consider viral marketing. One of the main goals of any business or organization is to make a positive impact on as many people as possible as quickly as possible. With modern technology, this is possible. How do you do this you ask? One answer is viral marketing.

Viral Marketing Explained What exactly is viral marketing, you ask? Viral marketing is a “marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message.” It is word of mouth advertising. Using this method, companies are able to spread their messages across the web like a virus and do exactly what this definition says, “encourage people to pass along a marketing message”. Why would people do this? To be brief it gets their attention, they think its funny, entertaining, or cool. Viral marketing is beneficial to both business and consumers. Why would a company want to go away from traditional advertising and do a viral marketing campaign? What impact does Viral Marketing have on business? Viral Marketing has changed the way businesses advertise. The main impact this has had on business is their ability to build their brand with many consumers. They also know they have to have a good product or service, because viral marketing will not work in a positive way without it. “Depending on the research study one adheres to, some suggest consumers will tell, on average, 1520 others following a negative consumption or purchase experience, and only 6-10 people after a positive experience.” Viral marketing not only impacts business, but also consumers. “…Viral Page 3

marketing campaigns have a significant influence in changing the consumers’ brand image and positioning and increasing trial. They explained this influence by the voluntary nature of forwarding messages which is perceived favorably by the receivers and, consequently, it leads to positive attitudes towards the brand.” When a consumer comes across a video or ad that stands out they are more apt to try the product or service. Word of mouth advertising impacts consumers by the cool factor of a unique campaign. Forward that cool ad to twenty friends, and pretty soon it has gone viral. Another benefit is that when a friend shares a video or an ad with you, it becomes cool to you as well as increasing the chance you will try the product. Overall it has become a social thing to spread the word Cumorah Publishing

or in our case the ad. This is a very good thing for companies seeking a viral campaign. Positive Viral Marketing Trends As the world becomes more high tech and socially integrated, there are many positive consumer trends that astute marketers can take advantage of in order to grow business through creative viral marketing techniques. Currently 93% of marketers use some form of social media, from Facebook to You Tube and many other things in between (Blogs, LinkedIn etc‌) Other positive trends in viral consumer marketing including word of mouth marketing, interactive You Tube commercials (aka You Tube takeover campaigns) and viral videos. The question naturally arises, what is the best way to positively take advantage of these positive viral marketing trends. According to, an effective viral marketing campaign must have 6 components. It must‌

networks 6. Takes advantages of other peoples resources Old Spice Viral Campaign

A classic example of an excellent viral marketing campaign is the Old Spice marketing campaign. These videos 1. Give away products or services 2. Provide for effortless transfer to have been viewed in excess of 100 million times on the first page of You Tube others 3. Scale from very small to very large alone, generating tremendous awareness 4. Exploits common motivations and for Old Spice. These videos exemplify the 6 rules previously discussed. The videos behaviors 5. Utilizes existing communication are free. Anyone with an Internet conCumorah Publishing

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nection can go online and view them. The Internet and technology makes these videos extremely easy to transfer to others. You find the video on You Tube and 5 minutes later you can e-mail it to 100 people with the click of a button. The scale from very small to very large comes naturally to the Internet. On You Tube, a video with 1 view is much the same as a video with 100 million views. Also, everyone loves to laugh. This is a common motivation or behavior of the typical person. The Old Spice viral videos are absolutely hilarious and very creative. Everyone loves this, so they have no problem sending this video off to a multitude of their friends. This viral marketing campaign utilized existing social networks such as You Tube, Facebook, blogs, the Internet etc… It also took advantage of other peoples resources such as the fact that nearly anyone in the US can access the Internet nowadays. It also took advantage of the fact that all people have some type of social connection and naturally want to share a funny video that they found on You Tube with some of their friends. In crafting an effective viral marketing campaign, Old Spices example is an excellent one. They followed all 6 of the previously mentioned concepts and were very creative when crafting the campaign. Now that we’ve gone over what viral marketing is and some of the trends Page 5

today were going to talk about how to put together a successful viral marketing campaign. Knowing the do’s and don’ts will help you, so you can get the most out of your campaign. There are many steps to take to make viral marketing work but the overall goal of all the steps is to “… involves the use of an entertaining often humorous ad that people will be compelled to share with their friends.” That is vital. A campaign will not go viral if people do not enjoy it. Viral Marketing Steps The first thing that needs to be done is research on your target market and setting goals of what you want your campaign to accomplish. Once you’ve identified your target market then your ready to hit web with your campaign. “Your target market has to be clearly defined and approachable. It can be delineated by gender, age, income or any other demographic or psychographic attribute, singularly or in combination, so long as

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they communicate with one another and can be reached initially by you. A communication network must be in place.” The next step is creating a campaign with videos, branding, and articles that will get the attention of your target market. To build a good video or campaign It must be funny or create controversy. “Videos that take traditional marketing approaches can be successful viral campaigns if they are genuinely humorous, but finding out what a specific group will find funny requires significant amounts of research and creativity.” Give the consumers what they want is the key and with viral marketing its giving them something that will entertain them or will make them go WOW. Be Funny! What do you need to do to have your video or article spread like a virus? “Differentiating yourself from the competition is growing more difficult by the day. There are just too many voices shouting at consumers. That’s why you need to do extreme things to get people’s attention.” You have to be creative and stand out. Humor is extremely vital. Make people laugh at a ridiculously sexy man doing some very weird things who likes Old Spice body wash and become the #1 brand in the industry. Old Spice pulled it off well. Cumorah Publishing

Be emotional! Also while making a campaign you must play to consumer emotions and keep the message subtle. “To get your target audience to take the action you desire, you need to play to their emotions. Whether you play to their greed by giving them an incentive to spread your message or their sense of humor, the point is your viral marketing campaign should elicit some sort of emotional response.” Spreading the Virus You’ve got your campaign ready, now what? You have to put on the web in many different places. You have to “have a co-ordinated TV, You Tube, Twitter and Facebook presence. This gives as wide as possible visibility to the campaign and ensures sharing across all the different media formats.” One of the Page 6

main things to keep in mind is you can’t just put your campaign on the internet and you are done. You have to work at it. Erick Schonfeld at TechChrunch. com puts it this way. “This one is tongue in cheek. But Mormonism is a growing religion, whereas Judaism is stagnating in terms of population. Why? Mormons are better evangelists. The problem with Jews is that they suck at marketing. It’s almost like they don’t want anyone else to be a Jew”. His point is that it is not just the quality of an idea that counts, it is how much effort you put into spreading it. How do you effectively put effort in and spread your campaign? This paragraph comes from and they explain on effective way to get your campaign to spread. “Sites like Digg, Del. or StumbleUpon are great ways to bring eyes to your content (or ears if you’re running with audio.) If you’re regularly bookmarking your content and the information is fairly relevant then there’s a good chance that people will vote it up and generate buzz surrounding the piece you put together. Bookmarking and syndication can help you generate a lot of excess link juice for your site, which will ultimately improve your rank as people vote for your content. There’s also a good chance that as people vote up and share your content you’ll have a sudden explosion with your viral marketing campaign.” Page 7

This is cool! I must share. As mentioned previously in the article, what makes viral marketing so effective is that people really enjoy viral marketing and they will spread the message around. Effective campaigns are spread like a virus, hence the term viral marketing. Once this starts it is all but impossible to stop and has a great impact on the business. According to Dusan Hamlin (who is the Media and Communications Director for Carat International) states that 30% of campaigns had a certain amount of a viral element in them in 2005. This number increased to 65% in 2006. According to “word of mouth is the most honest advertising medium there is. People don’t want to hurt their friends and family and colCumorah Publishing

to do some research to see just how cost effective this strategy was. This campaign is perhaps the most classic example of viral marketing that I can think of off of the top of my head. Old Spice gained mass media coverage (nearly all of the major news outlets, You Tube, blogs, e-mail etc.) and sales spiked by 107% shortly after the video aired. P+G also gained information on 160,000 people as of March 10th, 2011, and that number leagues with bad information.� In order to have an effective viral marketing cam- continues to grow. I personally bought Old Spice after paign, people must really like it, othseeing this ad simply because it was so erwise they will not share it with their hilarious. The best part for P+G is that friends and the campaign is no longer I continue to buy from them. I like the viral. Viral marketing is essentially word product! This campaign was extremely effective in my book. There are many of mouth marketing. Whether that is spread through face-to-face conversation who nitpick at the campaign to find or e-mail, it is extremely cheap and high- small flaws, but it is hard to argue against a 107% increase in sales. Some other stats ly effective. In many cases it is free advertising. With anywhere from less than that also argue the effectiveness of the 1% to greater than 50% company income campaign are an increased awareness by is typically spent on advertising budgets 27% in 6 months, 1.4 billion impressions since launch (as of Aug 2010), and Old (with 86% of companies spending 1%Spice is now the #1 body wash brand for 20%), lowering costs and adding to the men. bottom line is an extremely important If pulled off correctly, a viral marthing to do. If a viral marketing campaign can generate substantial awareness keting campaign can have an enormous impact, both on businesses and consumfor less, it makes sense to employ this ers. Make your customers laugh, and strategy. you have the chance of becoming the #1 brand in the industry. It worked for Old Viral Impact Spice, and if crafted effectively, it can work for other companies as well. Going back to the example of the Old Spice marketing campaign, I decided Cumorah Publishing

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How do i choose the best viral marketing strategies?. 5 techniques to boost viral marketing. (2011). Re (2011). Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek. trieved from com/how-do-i-choose-the-best-viral- marketing/5-techniques-to-boost-viral- marketing-strategies.htm marketing/ Berner, R. (2004, November 1). Old spice’s extreme makeover. Retrieved from http://www. b3906116.htm Braniac, . (2011). How to put together a viral market ing campaign. Retrieved from http:// viral-marketing-campaign.html

Greco, S. (1999, February 1). How to benchmark sales- and-marketing budgets. Retrieved from http:// Magnolia, . (2010, January 10th). Consumers’ respons es to viral marketing campaigns. Re trieved from http://viralmarketingresearch. responses-to-viral-marketing-messages/

Ninety-three percent of marketers use social media!. Brantner, E. (2009, February 17). How to launch a (2011, April 8th). Retrieved from http://where successful viral marketing campaign. Retrieved from of-marketers-social-media/ brantner/how-to-launch-a-successful- viral-marketing-campaign/ O’Neill, M. (2010, December 22nd). 5 trends that revolutionized viral marketing in 2010. David, T. (2011, January 12). Roughly, how much did Retrieved from the old spice guy twitter campaign cost?. marketing-trends-2010_b32117 Retrieved from Roughly-how-much-did-the-Old-Spice-Guy- Schonfeld, E. (2010, August 13). Five rules for how to Twitter-campaign-cost make things go viral (tctv). Retrieved from Davies, W. (2011). New old spice ad - the man your rules-video/ man could smell like!. Retrieved from Super bowl advertising. (2011, May 29). Retrieved spice-ad-the-man-your-man-could-smell-like/ from per_Bowl_advertising Densa, B. (2011, January 31). How to create a success ful viral marketing campaign. Retrieved from Search results for old spice. (n.d.). Retrieved from to-create-a-successful-viral-marketing-cam query=old+spice&aq=f paign/ Eileenb. (2011, May 17). 10 tips to get a campaign to go viral. Retrieved from http://eileenbrown. campaign-to-go-viral/

Taylor, C. (2010, July 28). See? the old spice social me \dia campaign does smell like a winner. Retrieved from showArticle&art_aid=132844

Hepburn, A. (2010, August 11). Old spice social cam The cost of developing a viral marketing campaign. paign case study video. Retrieved from http:// (2006). Retrieved from

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Cumorah Publishing viral-marketing/cost.html Vaynerchuk, G. (2011, March 10). Old spice man marketing, redux: what went right--and what did not. Retrieved from http:// you-economy-gary-vaynerchuk-old-spice-man viral marketing 1: word of mouth advertising. (2008). Retrieved from Viral marketing, items 1 to 44. (n.d.). Retrieved from rytype=category&subcat=mm_Viral Wilson, R. (2000). 6 simple principles of viral market ing. Retrieved from

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The Power and Popularity of You Tube T By: Ryan Dunford and Devin Sorenesen

here was a time when the only way to advertise was through a newspaper section, on one of the few billboards available, or through a 30 second radio advertisement. Times have certainly changed. Today, advertising has moved to a place where people are now spending most of their work time and free time. The average person, in the United States, uses the World Wide Web roughly 35 hours per week. “The average American spent 32 hours per month on the Internet in 2010. Persons ages 45-54 set the high bar averaging more than 39 hours online each month.� (Average Time Spent Online per U.S. Visitor in 2010, 2011)

The Impact of You Tube on Marketing

has spread throughout the desired target group, all done in a virus like process. This shift to more internet based With the increase in popularity of social advertising has created a whole world of networks, like Facebook, You Tube, and advertising mediums. Ads coat the inter- Twitter; catchy advertisements and viral net in the form of pop-ups, web-banners, videos now spread like wildfire. This is social media ads, and with increasing why certain videos have been so successinfluence, You Tube videos. The popuful. A new video that has great market larity of video as a form of entertainment appeal can intentionally or even unintenand advertisement has increased so dra- tionally be spread across the internet. matically that it has even given rise to its own set of vocabulary. When a video is How users are using You Tube to marhighly successful and garners millions of ket themselves “views,” as the best ones do, it is considered to have gone “viral” and is instantly A fine example of an unintentional granted celebrity status. video that receive a lot of infamy is The The word viral is derived from Star Wars Kid. the same root as virus. The intention of the prefix is the same in both cases. A virus quickly spreads itself throughout an organism by replicating itself over and over again. So, how then does that apply to viral marketing? A popular video advertisement sets itself up so that its brand awareness increase over and over, as it is shared, until it Cumorah Publishing

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“On November 3, 2002 a Canadian student made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon. The video was filmed at his high school studio, and the tape left in a basement. It was taped over a portion of a basketball game (as seen extremely briefly at the end of the clip). The video was discovered by a schoolmate, who showed it to his friend who created an electronic file from the video tape. The video was distributed amongst his school’s students when it reached a fourth student, who uploaded it to the Internet under the title Jackass_ starwars_funny.wmv. The video eventually became a viral Internet through P2P services. According to court transcripts, the video first appeared on the Internet on the evening of April 14, 2003. An edited version of the video was created, adding Star Wars music, texts, and light saber special effects, such as lights and sounds. As of November 27, 2006 it was estimated by The Viral Factory that the video had been viewed over 900 million times. As of 2010, the first copy of this video that was posted Page 13

on You Tube has over 20 million views.” (Wikipedia) While The Star Wars Kids has be come a cult favorite, and was one of the first truly viral videos, it was unintentional. Once it did become popular though it began to be used in marketing campaign for real products. This integration between accidental virallity and main stream marketing is increasing at a rapid rate. Marketing moguls now lie in wait for the next “big thing” to arise so that they can ride its coattails for a successful campaign. Recently the band Weezer, in an effort to greater market their music, create a music video for their song, “Pork and Beans,” which fea-

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ture multiple personalities who became widely popular do to their singularly successful videos on You Tube. The music video has individuals such as the Numa kid, Miss South Carolina, Britney’s biggest fan, and the guy from the “Evolution of Dance,� all reinacting the popular scenes from their videos for the music video while singing along with the lyrics. They used the fame (or infamy) of others Cumorah Publishing

to propel their videos into stardom. This type of integration is being used more and more as companies begin to pick up on, and even sponsor, the individuals who have reach unintentional celebrity status. With the increase usage of You Tube and other social media outlets, marketers and video creators have gotten savvy as to what strikes a cord with Page 14

the masses. There are few people who haven’t seen the Old Spice Guy videos. Create by Old Spice to revive an “old guy” brand, the videos were an instant hit. Dubbed “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” the series of videos showed a man, Isaiah Mustafah, clothed in only a towel and seemingly speaking specifically to the woman in ever guys life. The first video was such a success that it received over six million views by the end of the first day of being on the web. Old Spice built on that success with subsequent videos that create a huge fan base, and successfully revived their image and appeal to a new generation of customers. (Spice) A more recent development in the world of advertising through You Tube has been the use of Flash® video combined with the You Tube interface. What happens is that the viewers see the main page that they clicked on, and at first believe that they are queued to watch another video, but what happens is that the characters or elements of video begin to interact with other portions of the screen. It essentially creates an “out-of-the-box,” Page 15

experience. A great example of this is J.K. Rowling’s most recent place-holder video on You Tube that contains a running count down for a future public announcement. The video doesn’t require the user to hit the play button but is continually counting down. Another neat feature are the owls who are interactive and move about when scrolled over with the mouse. The brilliance of this advertisements is in the creation of an element of suspense for the avid fan and yet is also something that they can interact with. With repeated visits to the video’s page, the number of owls perched on the tree limbs also increases as time goes by, thus encouraging the viewer to make subsequent visits to see if anything else has changed, which then in turn gets more views. The primary purpose of viral marketing is to create an unforgettable

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message that will be willingly shared amongst individuals within each other’s networks. And the question must be asked, why are there some that are so effective that have gone on to create a whole niche in and of them? The main idea is that the bulk of users using the internet have an instant connection with companies trying to advertise their products. Especially effective is the social networking aspect of the internet. It is estimated that roughly 75% of web users are accessing some type of social networking site daily. Thus when one friend “likes” something, the effect spreads like wildfire throughout the interconnect internet. In with Popular Users Large scale companies are beginning to see the value that popular You Tube celebrities can offer. In a campaign

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called “Healthymagination” which is described as “a shared commitment to creating better health for more people” (Cool, 2011), corporate giant General Electric jumped on the viral video bandwagon. This marked the first time that they had turned to a media outlet for promotion. One of six You Tuber’s picked to represent GE was 26 year old Justine Ezarik, known on the web as ijustine, picked as the result of her devoted following of mostly girls age 13-24. Justine made her debut on You Tube after she received a bill for her iPhone that was over 600 pages in length; it should be noted that after her video was seen by millions AT&T changed their policy which prevented wasteful bills from being a common occurrence. GE is not alone in recognizing the value of viral video. Companies like Coca-Cola, HP, Kellogg’s, and McDonald’s are also seeking “web celebs” to promote their products. The amounts they are offering are compelling; You Tube reps confirm that there are hundreds of partners that make six figures a year producing videos. (Borden, 2010) These individuals are paid for product placement and brand promotion. Several of these companies have found ideas for commercials and ad campaigns and then recruit the video’s producers to produce their commercial for them. Another curious case is the You Tube phenoms known as Epic Meal Page 16

also the notion that You Tube could be the medium that could resurrect a struggling business or bolster a damaged reputation. (Shepardson, 2008) There are hundreds of ways You Tube could and is being used to help businesses worldwide and across many industries. In a time where all types of media are under attack from piracy and Time. These carnivorous artists of all new and better mediums there are those things meat, mostly bacon strips, have that have decided to embrace the new gained a slew of corporate sponsors. way of thinking. Several film makers They make amusing videos that spothave opted to release full length movlight their curious concoctions of foods ies exclusively on You Tube for free. The deemed deadly by most developed motivation is to get attention. If a movie countries that sometimes breach the 100,000 calorie mark. Their list of spon- that may have been passed over for dissors includes Netflix, Gamefly, GoDaddy. tribution can muster a following online there is a substantial chance that it would com, HostGator, Audible, JackThreads, be more appealing to a big time producBustedTees, and the list goes on. Epic er. For films that are backed by a major Meal Time has posted 33 videos, many of which have obliterated the one million studio are also beginning to release exclusive clips and previews online to gain views mark and continue to gain support. They are getting paid to get drunk, popularity and momentum before the gorge themselves on ridiculous meals, act like juveniles, and corporate America can’t get enough. The social media epidemic has forever changed corporate America. New executive titles and divisions are popping up to handle this new medium. They hire teams of people to monitor the different channels at You Tube and other social media outlets in order to look for potential opportunities as well as threats as well as to create original content on their own channels. (Borden, 2010) There is Page 17

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initial release, and it seems to be working. (Gruenwedel, 2008) Gaining Popularity Innovation is a key factor in the world of business and You Tube has yet to disappoint its loyal fans and digital newbies alike. In 2006 Google acquired You Tube and brought with them all the creativity that they are known for eager to implement it into their new venture. In 2008, eager to capitalize on their $1.65 billion investment, Google launched a “click-to-buy� e-commerce platform that allows viewers to click on items they see in a video and they are

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ushered to a site that allows the purchase of that item. Product placement has been taken to a whole new level. Companies that have partnered with Google to push this model are the likes of Amazon and iTunes, media giants in their own rites. This means that content providers may make money not only through advertising, an industry which has suffered significantly in this declining market, but also through direct sales right off of the screen they are on. The possibilities are virtually endless. This new interface is slowly being added to several channels throughout You Tube, mostly music videos. This is a game changer; according to Hitwise You Tube has a 73% share of the US online video market which is estimated to mean that over 16 million people visit You Tube every month. One can see the potential with that type of audience. (Jones, 2008) This represents a small portion of what Google has planned for You Tube; they have promised that there are many great things to come in the future. Corporate giants like General MoPage 18

tors have been bitten by the You Tube bug as well, but from a different angle than most. Plagued by a “bad reputation” because of recent economic events, GM is using the platform to better the company’s relationship with the American public. Through a series of over 50 videos, a good portion of which are executive speeches, they hope to bolster some much needed support. Their aim is simple; they are pleading their case and promising to be a better company. The question begs if it will work, only time will tell. (Shepardson, Biz down the tubes? Try You Tube, 2008) Possible future of You Tube marketing There are many forms that a company may use to take advantage of You Tube’s substantial user traffic. A popular avenue chosen by many is the Ad Banner. These banners offer a virtual onslaught of various products and services. If clicked they will open up a website where you can make a purchase or are offered additional information on a variety of products. To be honest, the majority of these ads are annoyances that obscure the video that one is trying to reach, and the size of these ads continue to grow. The future of these ads is unclear, but it is likely that You Tube will continue to innovate. As long as there are channels like Epic Meal Time, users will put up with almost anything. Page 19

A couple of tips for those who want their videos to go viral. 1. Most of the best videos have a lot put into them. 2. Keep any advertisement or selfpromotion in your video to a minimum. 3. The power is in the people (views). 4. Subscribe to others in the hopes that they will subscribe to you. 5. Do a couple videos that are related and release them at the same time. 6. Grab the viewer’s attention from the get-go using attention grabbing titles. 7. Post the video up on forums and other video websites and link it back to the You Tube video. 8. If all else fails use Techno music.

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References Borden, M. (2010, November). The New Influentials. Fast Company(150), pp. 124-132. Cool, L. C. (2011, June 15). Healthymagination Blog. Retrieved 6 15, 2011, from Healthymagination: Gruenwedel, E. (2008, July 20-26). LIONSGATE UPS FREE CLIPS ON YOUTUBE. Home Media Magazine, 30(29), p. 3. Jones, G. (2008, November). You Tube moves in to e- commerce. Revolution, p. 19. Shepardson, D. (2008, October 4). Biz down the tubes? Try You Tube. The Detroit News, p. 1. Shepardson, D. (2008, October 4). Biz down the tubes? Try You Tube. Detroit News, p. B4. Spice, O. (n.d.). The Man Your Man Could Smell Like. Retrieved 6 22, 2011, from Old Spice: the-man-your-man-could-smell-like/ Wikipedia. (n.d.). Star Wars Kid. Retrieved 6 22, 2011, from Wikipedia: Star_wars_kid

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Key Elements of Social Media Marketing By: Jordan Johnson and Andrew Stange


ow important is your Facebook or Twitter account? Advertisers will tell you that it is worth 3.4 billion dollars (2011, Shah). This isn’t what they would pay you for your account, but this is what companies pay so they can market products to you. More and more people are using social media, and this is what attracts the attention of big companies such as Nike or Pepsi.

Social Media Scope

with a click of a button. There are viral video sites, networking (both professional and social), discount sites, and many Timeline more. On top of these options, almost There are many different online websites and tools that can be considered all websites are integrating functions a type of “social media”, and all are useful onto their pages to gain more awareness among social media users. in their own way. As we look back and try to point out when this frenzy started, Identify your target we find that many agree that Wikipedia started it in 2001 (2009, Fischer). This As you approach social media, site enables anyone around the world to contribute information on any topic. it is important to identify whom you will be targeting. Obviously you should Then there was Skype in late 2003, and have some data on the type of people Myspace soon after in 2004. Both Faceutilize your goods or services that you book and Twitter launched in 2006 and since then, the smart phones have started provide; however, with social media, it is important to focus time and money to take charge with thousands of differon the types of social media that attract ent apps. your target market. Luckily there are tools on the web that can help you do Types As the Internet grows, the more we this. Using website analytics can increase your knowledge in the types of people become connected to each other. With you should be targeting. Techniques so many different types of social media to choose from, companies can cover all like: search engine ranking, number of their bases and reach millions of people times people search for your product or company, and the visitors that come to your website either for the first time, or repeatedly (2011, Mccarty). Seeing the types of people that are coming to your blog or website can greatly influence the way you target people on Facebook, or with a free app you can offer for smart phones, etc… Don’t use too many types Cumorah Publishing

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Once you figure out where people are going and what they are doing, you can start to create platforms that attract them, or create awareness among them. You need to figure out what your most active customers and visitors are doing online using the analytic tools mentioned. Once you have established a social media site to market your company and products, for example Facebook, don’t waste other resources on too many other sites that don’t carry as big of a user base (2001, Most companies use both Facebook and Twitter, and some even use You Tube to showoff what it is they are marketing with more information (2011, The important thing is to listen to your target market. If their trends are towards sites like Facebook and Twitter, don’t make a profile on LinkedIn or Blogger and expect them to follow.

page is because they like “being treated in a special way by the brand” (2011, Choose media that fits your brand Once you learn how your customers react to your Groupon is an example of a social products or services, it is important to media site that has members of both companies and consumers (2011, http:// engage them in the same manner on It takes deals that com- your social media page. Once they feel panies are willing to offer, and then gives that you care enough to cater to what those deals to the consumer. If you were they want, they will take actions to follow you and become a “fan”. When this a restaurant business, this type of social media marketing would be great to gain happens, anything you post on your page awareness. The number one reason why will show up on their wall and therefore fans on Facebook choose to follow a fan can create a great advertising tool for Page 23

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creating awareness on deals or new prod- that read your blog, visit your facebook ucts. page, or view your video, improve your likelihood of being successful. The main Build a relationship key in driving that traffic is providing meaningful context. If you have some When developing a successful thing worth viewing, then you will atsocial media campaign always keep in tract more viewership. It is a simple conmind the purpose. Your purpose is not cept, but not so easily executed (2008, to get as many “followers”, “likes”, or Clark). “fans” as possible; rather the purpose is to build a relationship between company Spark Conversation and consumer. While obtaining the most In social media, think of your-self “followers”, “likes”, or “fans” may be signs as the HOST of the conversation. You are of popularity; it does not mean you have responsible for sparking the conversamade a connection to the consumer. You tion. This does not mean that you have to must engage your consumer, offer more provide the bulk of the context, but just than just a price tag on a product, and of- facilitate or direct the conversation. With fer them a reason to associate with your that in mind, what should you say? company. Understanding your target is criti In today’s world, consumers have cal. You need to know what story to tell a strong voice, but often the consumer so you don’t miss the mark. Let’s take for is rarely heard. Social media opens up example Nike. Something that you might a whole new way for the consumers to expect to see on their face book page is connect to the company. Through social ads about their new light weight shoes, media, the consumer with say what is or new apparel. But on the contrary you on their mind with zero censorship. It will find nothing about their products, is an unfiltered environment where the prices, or even about the company itself. consumer can speak their mind (2008, Rather what you see is an interactive Clark). The company can then actively page where Nike merely facilitates the engage in conversation that yields a rela- conversation about topics their consumtionship. The company is creating value ers are interested in, Sports. Here is an through the relationship. example post from Nike: NIKE POST: “Manny Pacquiao is Write meaningful context the greatest fighter on the planet, after The whole concept of social media destroying an opponent who outweighed is driven by viewership. The more people him by 17 pounds. Congrats on winning Cumorah Publishing

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letes than they are in shoes. They have created a place where sport fanatics can come together to admire great athletes and discuss the outcome of last night’s game; all the while being hosted on Nike’s page. Thus the Nike Company is able to obtain a captive audience of potential buyers. Contained within each post are several links that will direct them to their online store where they can then purchase Nike products. This “back door” approach to sells has proven very quiet successful. It is far more tactful than merely posting products and prices on your Facebook page. The conversations you spark can lead to links, subscribers, and search engine rankings, thus driving sales. A key thing to remember: No matter what topic you use to spark the conversation, make sure it is centered around your business. your 8th title! Is Manny the Muhammad Ali of our generation?” This simple statement/question sparked over 781 comments and 3,000 “likes”(2011, Nike). These comments are all talking about how great Manny is at boxing; nothing really about Nike’s products. Why would they do this? Nike understands their consumer. They understand that people are more interested in sports and pro athPage 25

Interactive Conversations As illustrated in the Nike example, having interactive context is very important. We don’t want consumers to merely view what was said, rather we want them to get involved. We want them to interact with the company and with other like consumers. In a commercial context, the most important conversation is not between seller and buyer, but between prospective and existing buyers (2008, Clark). Cumorah Publishing

Think of it this way. I want to purchase a laptop computer, however I can’t decide on which brand to purchase. My friend suggests I get an HP computer, because he has owned one for 3 years and absolutely loves it. However the guy at Best Buy suggests that I go with the Dell computer. Which person is more likely to influence my purchase? My friend is going to have more influence. Why? He is someone that I know, trust, and can relate to. If the HP computer worked great for him, then it will be great for me. Social media uses this same concept, but on a much larger, compounded way. When potential buyer talks to existing buyers, there is much more influence there.

Consumer named Christy posts: The McCormick GrillMates Hamburger seasoning is the absolute best Wal-Mart responds: Great to hear, Christy! We are glad you enjoy the product. How simple is that? But what did it really do. For one, Christy is impressed that and multi-national corporation took

Reply to posts and comment Once you have an audience, get involved. When people post comments, reply. It is a very simple concept, but too many companies fail to follow through. Again, remember our purpose: to build a relationship between company and consumer (2010, Bullas). What kind of relationship can exist upon one-way communication? Let’s look at the example from major retail store Wal-Mart. You would not expect Wal-Mart to be involved on social media, but on the contrary, they run a very effective social media campaign. Wal-Mart responds to comments, questions, and concerns from millions of its consumers. Cumorah Publishing

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1,000 friends does not mean that there is any actual meaningful relationship. The idea behind social media is not quantity (number of friends/likes), but the quality of the relationship. So what is in a “like”? Not Much! Statistically every 4 out 5 people that “like” a fan page, never come back (2011, Sahota). Many campaigns focus on accruing as many “Likes” as possible, and target all their efforts on getting people to click “like”. Of course with no plan to engage with them after they have become a fan, many brands are seeing that masQuality not Quantity sive number of “Fans” on Facebook does One thing to be wary of is passive interest from consumers. To those famil- little to help the bottom line. The thing to focus on is developing a quality relationiar with Facebook, people receive hundreds of friend requests, invites to events, ship with our fans and messages a week. People are accustomed to just passively clicking through Build a community these requests with little thought. Back in 2009, Quinn and Co. start As a personal example, on my Face- ed a campaign to employ someone for book page I have over 290 friends. Half of these so-called “friends” I have no idea the “Best Job in the World”. The job was who they are, of the half that I do know, basically to watch over an island in the I only interact with maybe 10% of those Great Barrier Reef for six months and blog about it. Over the course of a couple people. Essentially I really only have 15 of months, this company had received or so real meaningful contacts. Just bemore web hits and Facebook “Likes” cause a certain person or company has than they had ever had in their entire existence. In fact they had so many web hits that it crashed their website (2010, Bullas). This company built a community and created awareness for their travel agency all because of a smart and unique social marketing idea. Once they had the time to reply to back to her post, but more importantly Christy is developing a relationship with Wal-Mart. The next time Christy is out to get some hamburger, see will go to Wal-Mart. Also consider how other viewers react to the above comments. They not only see Christy’s strong recommendation of McCormick GrillMates hamburger seasoning, but they also see that Wal-Mart responded and is actually involved with its consumer (2011,

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people interested, they pulled them to their website and got worldwide attention.

to get them to the final destination; your online store, or in your physical store off of Main Street.

Create an “Epicenter” The main goal of social advertising is creating a community wherever your main source of business is. This could be a website where you sell your product or service, usually the main website of your company. It could even be a store. Either way, the purpose of social media is to create awareness and business for your company.

Curb Appeal When creating a Facebook page, or a You Tube channel, you need to be kept up to date and always involved. This keeps your company in the minds of people who are your “Fans” or subscribed to you. It is also smart to have fun with what you are doing. Post videos on your Facebook page; post daily so that it makes people feel like they are actually your “friend”. If you just make a profile on whatever site you choose and then never use it, it would be a waste. The time you spend making your profile engaging for the customer, the more dividends you will receive in the future from it.

Channeling The technique of channeling especially works well for smaller businesses. It can also be referred to as funneling. Basically it is when you use a large social media site, for example, Facebook, to get as much attention and awareness as you can. When friends see friends “Like” Call to action something, they will most likely follow if they are familiar with the company or Up to this point, the focus has been product as well. This is a small example of how to stand out in “an increasing noisy marketplace” (2011, Mershon). Once you gain the awareness on a large, highly populated social website, you can then either lead them something a little smaller, for example, your channel on You Tube. This works especially well if you like to be personal with your customers and can connect with them in a more direct way. Your ultimate goal is Cumorah Publishing

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Incentives The real difficulty in social media is converting all of the page views, likes, and tweets into loyal customers and revenue generators. One very important way to do that is through incentives. Incentives can come in many different forms such as discounts, give-a-ways, contests, coupons, etc. Basically, incentives give your consumer an added reason to act. Here is an example from Microsoft Ofon engaging your target and building a fice. Whenever someone visits their facemeaningful relationship. Now in the call book page for the first time, they are auto action stage, all you hard work pays tomatically greeted with a chance to win off. This is where we get the customer to office 2010. All you have to do is simply act upon our message, where they actu- click like (2011, https://www.facebook. ally visit your website or purchase your com/Office). product. Just think, what good is all of By offering an incentive (contest), this facebook-ing, or youtube-ing if nev- Microsoft has now accomplished its ober increases the bottom line, your profits! jective: create product awareness and get In this section you will learn how to efconsumer to view their web page. fectively call your target to action. Value Proposition First lets analyze why a person would take action. Why does a consumer view a web page, view a video, or buy a product? It all comes down to the value proposition. This includes the perceived value of what you have to offer. A consumer may view your web page, because it is informative about a product of service. Your website may offer some form of entertainment (pictures, videos, etc). What ever it is, there needs to be a perceived value before they will take action. Page 29

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Sahota, P. (2011, March 23). Facebook shares are 6x stronger than tweets. Retrieved May 5th, Barth, K. (2011, March 31). Content on Facebook: What from: facebook-shares-are-6x-stronger-than-tweets/ Separates a Popular Fan Page from the Rest? Retrieved May 10, 2011 from the World Wide Shah, D. (2011, January 18). Social Media Market Web: ing by the Numbers. Retrieved on May 10, 2011 teefool/282719/content-facebook-what- from the World Wide Web: http://blog. separates-popu lar-fan-page-rest Social-Media-Marketing-By-The-Numbers- Bullas, J. (2010). How to run a successful social media campaign. Retrieved May 5th 2011 from: http:// Infographic.aspx Tsotsis, A. (2011, March 3). Bing, NYT and Everybody Else wants a Piece of Groupon’s Success. Re Clark, B. (2008). Five essential elements of effective trieved May 10, 2011 from the World Wide Web: social media marketing. Retrieved May 5th, 2011 from: http://www.copyblogger. com/effective-social-media-marketing/ Walmart Corporation/ (2001, May). Facebook page post.Retrieved May 30th 2011 from: www.face Fisher, L. (2009). A Decade of Social Media-Timeline. Retrieved May 24, 2011 from the world wide web: decade-social-media/ Mccarty, S. (2011, January 12). 5 Tips to Succeed in Social Media Marketing. Retrieved May 24th, 2011 from the world wide web: http://www.sminboundmarketing. com/2011/01/5-tips-to-succeed-in-social-media- marketing.html Mershon, P. (2011, April 18). Small Businesses Benefit Most From Social Media, Study Reveals. Re trieved May 10, 2011 from the World Wide Web: small-businesses-benefit-most-from-social-me dia-study-reveals/ Microsoft Corporation. (2011). Facebook page post. Retrieved on May 29th 2011 from: www. Nike Corporation. (2011, May). Facebook post. Re trieved May 30th 2011 from: www. Facebook. com/Nike

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Corporate Blogging

How blogs can benefit your business

By: Jake Mickelsen and El Guthrie


or many companies, the greatest challenge is developing an understanding of consumers, especially their tastes and preferences in an everchanging marketplace. In recognizing this challenge, many companies have taken on a new consumer strategy. That strategy is corporate blogging. One of the main advantages of this new trend is information in real time. Susan Macdonald, the spokesperson of Intelliseek, said, “When you’re listening to the internet, the discussion is taking place in real time. We’re able very quickly, sometimes in a matter of days, to pick up on what consumers are saying” (Terdiman, 2006). There is no more historical analysis, organizing focus groups, or satisfaction surveys. The answers come in a simple web page where the ugliest complaints and greatest successes arise in the same place. This has led to a whole new way of marketing, communicating, and decision making that if not implemented correctly can be a company destroyer. In the understanding of corporate blogging, and the best way to launch one, companies can realize the benefits blogging can offer, and finally come to an understanding of what their customer truly needs. Two types of corporate blogs

must be understood how they are used. Corporate blogs are used to reach organizational goals. Their strong advantage is flexibility and functionality. Blogs can be centrally managed which allows companies to structure the conversations and find problems quickly. Although unknown to many customers, corporate blogs are becoming a common trend. Some are used for corporation content and others for warning signals, allowing companies to understand quickly how their products or services are performing. Despite the fact that there are many uses, most corporate blogs can be categorized into two types, internal and external blogs. These will now be discussed and compared (Bradbury, 2006). Internal blogs are used generally in the company’s Intranet. They are accessible to usually any employee who wants to understand what is going on inside the company. Internal blogs encourage:

Before analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of corporate blogs, it

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Employee participation on decision making opportuni Page 32

ties • Free discussion of company issues • Collective intelligence (knowledge and ideas from many departments) • Direct and real-time commu nication between various tiers of a company • A sense of community and worth within the organization (Fernan dez, 2005) These points can be of great strength to a business, especially one that is spread over many different locations. Because of the real time information they offer, blogs can also serve in place of meetings for employees who have conflicting schedules and long travel time. Although internal blogs have their place, external blogs will be discussed in this article at a much larger extent (Fernandez, 2005). External blogs are publicly available, and therefore serve different functions than internal blogs. External blogs are a public relation tool used to connect the company to the customer. They serve in the following:

• Influencing public conversation • Understanding customer views and concerns The marketing of a specific product or service through external blogs could include announcing a new product, initiating promotions, or explaining to blog visitors the dynamics of the product or service the company offers. In addition to that, the more subscribers a company has reading and adding to its blog, the greater the marketing power (Cere, 2005). To blog or not to blog?

There are many different arguments supporting both sides of the argument on whether “To blog or not to blog?” Many claim that it is unprofessional and only for the “teeny boppers”. What these individuals don’t know is that over half of bloggers worldwide are between the ages of 21 and 35. These bloggers are also evenly distributed between men and women, and almost 30% of blogging is done in the United States (Ehrlich, 2010). Despite the growing popularity and • Marketing of a specific product or use of blogs, there are several risks in service starting a company • Building customer relationships • Enhancing brand visibility and or personal blog. credibility Page 33

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Reasons not to blog.

ing campaign or for advertising. A blog is also not a quick fix for failing to keep market share; results come in the long Most company blogs are boring term like with public relations. Blogs are and will join the 999,999 other blogs of the one million not read. In order to not definitely not cheap; skilled programmers are required, along with profesget lost in the masses, a blog needs to have a personal voice and not a corporate sional graphic designers to keep the blog professional looking and up to date. So drone, which is the largest fault among before you decided to substitute marketcorporate/company blogs. It must be original and differentiate from everyone ing and advertising with a blog, consider else in the niche. Blogging takes lots and the costs on creating a good, sturdy blog. The company must also work to drive lots of time; each post can take up to 2 to 4 hours, and in order to make a differ- traffic to the blog through more effort, time, and money (Ochman, 2008). If ence within the niche, time is essential. Also, blogs require constant research on your company is thinking about blogging for any one of the reasons listed above, different blogging styles and issues to think again. keep readers informed and up to date. Most companies would need to hire a Reasons to blog. completely new task force to do this for them. Despite the long list of negatives The most commonly made mistake for a blog is as a substitute for a market- that come with starting a blog, there are also many positives that can help the ing campaign. This is not correct. A company and build business. For exblog should not be used for a marketample, creating a blog can help a company’s CEO; by, improving his image and relationships. Blogs can also help engage and understand customers better. It also helps to provide a place for feedback from customers. Creating a blog will help the company be seen as an expert in your field or a “Thought Leader.� Cumorah Publishing

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overall. Her personal fashion blog has over 5,000 followers and close to 16,000 visitors to her page daily. In March of this year Sydney started accepting sponsors for her little blog, giving them advertisement space along the sides of her pages. In just three short months she has over 50 sponsors, many The key to a successful blog is great are well known such as ThreadSence, Blow Fish, and Spool No. 2. content. This gets people to come back to your site day after day. Blogs are also Examples of corporate blogs. trusted more than press releases by of ficial company public relations because There are just some companies that blogs are viewed as “real” and not manipulative. A blog moves consumers to a get it and others that don’t. Listed below conversion point of trusting and believ- are 15 companies that really understand corporate blogging and the elements that ing enough to buy (Bullas, 2011). take it from good to great, and have been named as the top business and corporate Real life examples of blogs. blogs in the nation. There are hundreds of individuals who have started their own personal blog 1. Squarespace and turned it into something more. Syd- 2. Dell ney Poulton is a 22 year old woman from 3. 37signals Product Blog North Carolina, and currently attending 4. Zillow 5. PlayStation.Blog college at Brigham Young University in Rexburg, Idaho, a meager population of 6. Disney Parks just over 28,000. This seemingly average 7. BBC’s The Editors Blog young lady living in a small Idaho college 8. GM FastLane Blog 9. Evernote town is the author of the #11 personal 10. Flickr blog in the nation, and #106 in blogs Page 35

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11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

O’Reilly Radar Google Blog Marriot On the Move eBay Ink The Counterintuitive CEO

to take consumers and viewers behind the scenes of their process and let them really know what is happening in the company. On Disney Parks’ blog, one can view dance rehearsals, sneak peeks at new construction sites, and interviews The reason these blogs do so well with employees (Swallow, 2010). is they create something different that And then there is eBay Ink who sets them apart from other blogs. They is taking a totally different approach. are giving readers a reason to first visit EBay is increasing the traffic to their their blog and then continue visiting. site by connecting to social media sites Squarespace is user friendly and visuand creating a whole social media imally appealing, which is often said to be age for themselves. Richard Brewerthe number one factor in determining Hay, who is the chief blogger of eBay whether or not a blog with drift aimlessly Ink, believes that “Ink and other social and unmissed into cyberspace. Accord- media platforms are key to connecting ing to Grace Smith, who is a freelance eBay employees with eBay users…social web and graphic designer, “Squarespace media is in the DNA of our company is one of the best designed corporate [and is] the foundation of our business blogs around” (Swallow, 2010). Along model” (Swallow, 2010). In addition to with having a professional and attractive this model eBay is encouraging users to design, companies have to promote their participate in social media programs to business along with encouraging visitors increase their sales. to come back. Corporate blogs can prove to be an 37 signals Product Blog and Genexcellent asset to a company, but only if eral Motors use their sites to showcase done right. There are many catastrophic their products and services “all in one blogs out there that have done little but place.” On the other hand, PlayStation hurt the company. For example, HP uses their blog to enhance and improve caused issues when they banned a blogproducts and services by getting ideas ger from posting on their site because from their fans. Google also uses their he was answering questions consumblogs for the same reasons. Every few ers could have asked customer service, days Google executives take a look but didn’t. HP changed their policy so around the blog and read interesting that bloggers on their site cannot post posts made by Google employees from responses, thus taking away the connecall over. Disney and BBC use their blogs tion that a visitor gets by communicating Cumorah Publishing

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Additionally, there are few things that every new blogger should know in order to stay on the friendly side of blogs. We have narrowed it down to 5 main points that business bloggers should know before launching their own: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Start with a strategy Having the all-about-me syndrome Don’t get caught naked Be yourself Pay attention to social media

with other visitors and members of the site. So when contemplating whether or not to start a blog, look to these examples first to determine if your business can Start with a strategy. afford to create something of the same quality as these sites. Always have a strategy in mind before launching a blog. Strategies could Now launch your own corporate blog. include goals, deadlines, and desired accomplishments. Examples of blog goals There are a few different ways to may include influencing public converlaunch your own business blog. First, sation about the company, enhancing there are people and even businesses that brand visibility, achieving customer inare known as professional blog builders. timacy, announcing a new product, or If building a blog is too overwhelming, simply portraying a company’s passions and money is available for use, hiring or interests. Robert Cox, a blogging a professional blogger would be a great consultant in New York, added to the choice. This blogger already has knowl- concept of blog goals when he said, “You edge of the blog world and will ask the need to ask: Are you trying to showcase right questions in finding out if your your employees? Are you using your blog business belongs to the blogosphere. On as a recruitment tool…or is it more of the other hand, building a business blog a product tool? You have to determine on your own is not discouraged. Many what it is you are trying to get done.” have developed personal blogging strate- Michael Wiley, director of new media at gies that have served their business and General Motors supported this comment product well, which was highlighted in by emphasizing, “You need to set expecthe eBay example above. tations very carefully as to what a corpoPage 37

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rate blog is going to be about. People will expect you to discuss everything about your company, but you need to stay on topic as explained and introduced.” This last sentence leads into the second point of launching a business blog, the “All About Me” syndrome (Heires, 2005). Don’t fall into the all-about-me syndrome. Do not allow a blog to become a press section. Many subscriber, viewers, and even employees will desire to make the blog an “All About Me” page. There must be someone hired to handle bog communication and keep the blog centered on the main goal or company strategy. A good question to think about when launching the blog is, “What do my readers want to learn?” This could be advice on the industry or analysis of the product line. Stay away from the press conference feel and create a valuable learning tool for consumers (Kessler, 2011).

ever caught empty, even for a few hours, many visitors will be lost and brand image will be diminished. Be yourself.

Do not let the public relations department write the blog. Blogs are a chance for company executives to “express enthusiasm and passion for [their] work …with occasional asides on topics that reflect personal interests” (Heires, Don’t get caught naked. 2005). Occasional asides are especially good for maintaining authenticity and This one is pretty simple. Don’t ever linkability in the blog. Being yourself allow the company blog to appear like it also means to allow for positive and negis not visited. Even during the launch pe- ative comments. This keeps the page real riod, the blog must be full of comments, and informative, and shows the customer views, opinions, and data. This builds that the company is willing to listen an environment of growth, progress, and (Heires, 2005). new and returning visitors. If the blog is Cumorah Publishing

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Pay attention to social media. Make sure that the company blog is linked to any other company social media accounts. This includes LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and others. If visitors comment on something they found through another social media source, respond. One of the biggest benefits of social web is developing relationships. This includes engaging readers and responding in a timely manner. This will make them feel like valued customers online and in the store (Kessler, 2011). Conclusion As discussed, there are many different functions for a blog, and many different ways to carry out each blog, but the key to success is remembering at all times that the consumer’s needs are the number one priority. By having their needs constantly at the forefront, the design and purpose of the blog will reflect these values and only add significance to the blog. On the other hand, if these needs cannot or will not be met through the process of a corporate blog, then a different outlet should be sought. Careful thought and preparation should always be taken before the implementation of a blog to ensure that all the time and effort put into its creation are not wasted.

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References Bradbury, D. (2006). Might RSS help to solve your web mess? Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2011.

2011. monitor-blogs/2100-1030_3-6006102.html

Bullas, J. (2011). 7 reasons why companies should blog. Retrieved May 31, 2011. http://www.j why-companies-should-blog/ Cere, J. (2005). Consumer generated: from mayhem to marketing. Wikipedia. Retrieved May 31, 2011. Ehrlich, B. (2010). Look who’s blogging. Retrieved June 8, 2011, from look-whos-blogging-stats/ Fernandez, D. (2005). Internal blogs. Wikipedia. Ret rieved May 31, 2011. wiki/Corporate_blog Heires, K. (2005). Does your company belong in the blogosphere? Harvard Business School. Retrieved May 31, 2011. http://hbswk.hbs. edu/archive/5111.html Kessler, S. (2011). Top 5 mistakes to avoid on your com pany blog. American Express Open Forum. Retrieved May 31, 2011. http://www.openforum. com/articles/top-5-mistakes-to- avoid-on- your-company-blog-sarah-kessler Ochman, B.L. (2008). 10 reasons your company shouldn’t blog. AdAge DIGITAL. Retrieved May 31, 2011. ticle/digitalnext/10-reasons-company- blog/131126/ Swallow, E. (2010, Aug 5). 15 excellent corporate blogs to learn from. Retrieved June 22, 2011, from Open Forum: http://www.openforum. com/articles/15-excellent-corporate-blogs-to- learn-from-erica-swallow Terdiman, D. (2006). Why companies monitor blogs. CNET News. Retrieved May 31,

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Social Media

The Effect on the Younger Generation By: Tiffany Paynter and Elaine Wilson


hen I was born 20 years ago we did not have social media. When I grew up we would play outside in our backyard or our neighborhood with other kids. I was always on sports team or out doing extracurricular activities. I was only on the computer when I absolutely had to do my homework. Other than that I enjoyed every minute that I could be outside. This is also true with older generations. Not only did they play outside more, but they didn’t have computers to waste their time on. Over my short lifetime I have been able to see how generations have changed with technology.

Introduction I now look at children that are in elementary school. They spend a lot of their time on Facebook and Twitter and try and stay up to date with the things that their friends are doing on social media sites. Children now days also have cell phones at a younger age. This gives them a constant access to the internet where they are able to see what their friends are doing. Children now are not fighting over what toy they can play with, however they are fighting over who can play on their parent’s i-pad or cell phone next. Marketing for social media sites has increased. MySpace used to be the popular social media site, but then quickly became outdated by Facebook and Twitter. This has just happened within the past few years. As social media changes it is a wonder to know where we will be in the next 20 years. What is social media? This is a term that we are all familiar with. However, if we were asked this question ten years ago we might not have known what it was. Over the past ten years we have seen social media drastically change. Ten years ago kids used to be outside playing sports and in parks. Now with new technological advances children are targets for social media. With new technologies like cell phones, i-pads, and i-phones the world is quickly becoming more familiar with technology. With these new techCumorah Publishing

nologies children are starting to be exposed to the internet at a much younger age. There are three ways that through technology social media has started increasing their target to a younger generation. These include Facebook, Twitter, and cell phones. Because of these social media tools children are growing up different now than they did in the past. Facebook Facebook is a growing social media tool that is being used more and more every day. According to the Internet World Stats North America have 149,054,040 Facebook users as of 2011. There are 266,224,500 internet users in the United States. (Group, 2010) Facebook has over 200,000,000 members and averages 250,000-300,000 new registrations a day worldwide. (Andie) Because of games and applications that Facebook is creating members are spending more time being logged into Facebook. Some users log in over eight times a day to see if their friends have updated anything Page 42

or if they have gotten anything new on a game they are playing. Featured games include City Ville (90,565,226 monthly active users), Farm Ville (45,743,193 monthly active users), Texas Hold Em Poker (35,196,343 monthly active users) and Frontier Ville (12,160,504 monthly active users). This list is just a start of the many action, arcade, board, card, role playing and word games that are played every day on Facebook. Members are also attracted to Facebook because they get advertisements directed at them. Facebook is able to use the information that you give them when you start an account to direct advertisements at you. These advertisements specify to where you live, how old you are, and what your marital Page 43

status is. Facebook had made registration easy and available for anyone who wants an account. They have made Facebook a place where people can spend all day and receive hours of enjoyment. Twitter Twitter, like Facebook is becoming easier to use. To sign up you need to provide your name and an e-mail address. You then select the topics that you are interested in and people that you would like to hear from and follow. This list includes art, design, books, entertainment, fashion, news, and sports. You then are able to add your friends as contacts. Being on Twitter is a way to see what others are doing right then. You Cumorah Publishing

are able to see what anyone in the world is up to at that moment. Members are always waiting for the latest updates to see what their friends and family have tweeted about. Twitter currently has over a billion tweets per week. On average Twitter has 460,000 new accounts created every day. Twitter also has noticed a 182% of tweets being sent from mobile devices in the past year. (Smith, 2011) Cell Phones Cell Phones have played a role in the increase in social media. Chil-

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dren are starting to get cell phones at a younger age. With the internet on their phones it gives them a constant connection with social media. In this generation cell phones are becoming more of a need than a want. As of 2008, 89% of adults owned a cell phone. This was a 12% jump from 2006. (Cell Phone Usage Continues to Increase in the USA, 2008) Children are almost more of a target now than adults. 22% of children from age 6-9 own a cell phone. 60% of children between the ages of 10-14 have a cell phone and 84% of children 15-18 years old have a cell phone. (Cell Phones, 2008) Cell phone companies are targeting towards the younger generations to get cell phones earlier in life. They are making cell phones more enticing by making them different colors, shapes, and sizes. Cell phones are becoming easier to use and have more applications and games for younger children to play. Even though we have been in a recession companies understand how important social media is. Marketers increased their spending by over 50% in the year 2009. (Perez, 2009) They see how valuable a tool social media can be and more companies are increasing their use of social media for advertising. Social media is becoming an easier way for companies to define their target market. They are able to specify the exact target they are looking for and have ads and information shown to those members. Page 44


This way of social media greatly benefits companies, and in a way benefits the An ongoing debate has existed consumer as well. No longer will the enin the ethics of social media targeting gaged women see advertising for Rogaine young children. On average children for men. ages 8-18 years spend 7 ½ hours plugged How do companies target young into i-Pods, television, computers, video children that are not yet on the web? games or other held hand devices. A Neeley suggests that by the age of 4, chilconcern has mounted on the effects that dren’s brains are developed enough to hours on end has on the development of process data known by intuitive thought today’s youth. process. At this stage they can have product preferences through advertisements Target Market they see on television. (Using Animated Spokes-Characters in Advertising to By the wave of new technology Young Children) companies are able to target specific Healy stated that by the age of 13 markets based on their target consumer. and 14 teens who are using social meFacebook helps businesses target specidia sites to content with friends are 86% fied markets based on personal profile more likely to be adjusted to using media information that as a user one forgoes for site in their early 20’s. This is regardtheir services. A status of an individual less of age, gender and parental income. can give the age, marital status, loca(2010, May 18) So in a company’s pertion, gender, education and much more. spective youth are the ones to target due So what does this mean to a company? to this interest in social media because It means that their job gets a whole lot they can target such a verity of consumeasier and they become much more acers. They can start to develop brand reccurate. ognition at a younger age, and perhaps Take an even before these consumers start purengaged indichasing product of their own. vidual living in In the business world is not Salt Lake City, uncommon for a company to use soUT for example cial media sites as a way to filter future all ads targeted employees. They are doing this by comto them will have ments that are made, pictures posted or to do with plan- by the association of friends one has. By ning a wedding. young youth starting a profile early in life Page 45

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is can actually hurt them by past experiences. Physical Damage/ Harm One effect that stems from hours of social media is the lack of skills in social communication. Healy suggests that adolescent’s social skills, emotional bonds, and identities decrease from the high influence of media and use of electronics. (2010) Hellmich relayed the social effects as a lack of connection with the real world that actually increases risks of depression and anxiety. (2011, P.8) Young youth are very impressionable and statements made of social networking sites are usually taken to heart, or because there is no real conversation taking place words can be misconstrued. This lack of verbal communication decrease the skills needs to be a participant of society. Individuals who spend more time on a computer than in face to face contact with other don’t know how to cope in the real world. False identities are created on social networking sites which can highly influence the way a child develops. Richtel gives the impression that false identities first begin when youth under the age of 12 (which is the age required to create such a profile) create personal profiles. Lying in age would be the first step to a false identity. In most cases parents are involved in this small first “fib”, giving Cumorah Publishing

their child the impression that lying is acceptable. (2011, P.15) A few more identity fables can be home town location (some for security purposes), but also profile pictures to give the appearance that you better of different from reality. So when does the lying or fibbing stop? Studies show that personal health and fitness is put on the line due to the wave of technology. Thus leading to health related problems and concerns. Hellmich acknowledges this concern saying that too much time spent on line or participating in other forms of new technology take time away from physical activities. Sleep and homework also get the short end of the stick when there is a choice of media devices or physical development. (2011, P.8) There is also an up-rise in adolescents diagnosed with obesity and diabetes, due to the lack of physical fitness. As mentioned above on average children and teens spend 7 ½ hours out of the day connected to technological devices. That time is equivalent to 31% of a day. Cyberbullying is another challenge that presents itself in the way of social media. Along with all the other issues mentioned youth face cyberbullying while logged in. This form of bullying is something that can only be experienced through newer technology. This is a factor that comes into play with the development of depression and creating a false identity. Adolescents now stand at risk of Page4 6

relevant searchers. On Going Debate

being bullied essentially in the comfort of their own home. These attacks consist of harassment, death threats, and even “outing” someone. This fear leads some to create a fake I.D. online that no one know, physiologically this hampers on their confidence to be a participant in society. Positive Aspects On the flip side of the negative connotation that social media has on the youth of this and future generations technology does however give an early start to becoming familiar with a verity of different systems. There are school systems in the U.S. who are doing away with actually libraries with tangible books and replacing them with computers that hold the same data and resources. This helps provide faster and more Page 47

Analyzing both sides’ studies proves that excessive exposure to social media whether good or bad is habit forming. Studies show that “22% of teen log on to their favorite social media site more than 10 times a day: and more than half of adolescents log on to a social media site more than once a day, the report says about 75% of teens now own cell phones.” (Hellmich, 2001, P. 8) There are arguments that state that students who use social media sites earn lower grades in school. Ohio State University stated that the use of social media sites displays lower academic achievement. Although, study performed at a more recent time at OSU proves there is no correlation between the two. As a student at a four year university I would side more with the former. Most schools encourage the use of laptop computers in the class room, for academic purposes. This is not the intent for a large amount of students whose screen displays networking site during lectures. Monitoring This leads some parents to wonder if social media is a good or bad thing for their children. Some say that social media does have a positive effect on Cumorah Publishing

children and we should not be worried about their future. In an article about how social media has changed us it talks about positive impacts that social media has. As children develop and grow the more they read and write the better they become at it. This also can include texting, blogging, instant messaging, and anything that you can do on a social media site. They described that having these social media tools helped encourage children to read and write. (Laurie, 2010) Some look at the increase in social media as a positive change to literature and education for the younger generations. Others view it as a downgrade in how students read and write. It is becoming more common for children to use slang terms in their everyday life and when they are writing papers. Handwritings and cursive used to be an art form not that many years ago. This art form now seems to be lost in the rush to text friends or just look up what they are doing. Face to face conversations also used to be valued years ago. Because of social media and new technologies people do not value personal conversations as much. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purposes that parents should monitor their children’s actions on the web. Parents have the responsibility to advise their youth about corrupt databases and negative influence. (LiahoCumorah Publishing

na, 2000) There are activities on the web that are destructive and corrupt but also there is good out there as well. By speaking with youth about discretion many of the negative attributes can be avoided. Future/ Conclusion There is a correlation between the early stages of networking sites and later use in an academic career. At some high school, Jr. High, and middle schools time is allotted for students to access media sites during a break on school computers. What does this set them up for in the future? Mentioned above, the use of networking during class and lecture times. Technology also has developed to allow hand held devices to access social media at the touch of a button in your hand. Habits are developed off this constant need for data and information. The work place also reflects a lack of restraint when it comes to social media sites. Individuals are using company Page 48

time to check friend’s statuses and more. This first initial step to allow social media in schools creates habits and addictions to media sites. As we go on in life it is important to remember that technologies are always going to change. We need to realize that as social media sites change that they can be beneficial in our lives. It can be a positive effect that they are targeting generations at a younger age. These way children are able to learn things faster and better than in the past. They are able to have new learning opportunities opened to them through social media sites. Changes in social media will not always have a negative impact on the younger generations, but can have a positive effect. It is important not to live your life through social media sites but to use the effectively and wisely.

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References Andie, D. (n.d.). Are Socail Networks Creating New So cial and Emotional Landmines for Children? Retrieved from Dr. Andie: http://power2relate. com/social_networks.html Cell Phone Usage Continues to Increase in the USA. (2008, April 4). Retrieved from Cellular-news: Cell Phones. (2008). Retrieved from CMCH mentors: Group, M. M. (2010, August 31). Facebook users in the World. Retrieved from www.internetworldstats. com/stats25.htm

International Herald Tribute, 15. Retrieved form display?id=SID0010-0- 1873&artno=0000312746&type=ART Smith, C. (2011, March 23). Twitter User Statistics Show Stunning Growth. Retrieved from HuffPost Tech: twitter-user-statistics_n_835581.html Unknown (2000, February). Controlling the Media’s Influence in Your Home. Retrieved from The Liahona:

Healy, M. (2010, May 18). Teens who log on don’t lag behind. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from Hellmich, N. (2011, March 4). Social media websites can be useful for kids, but… USA Today, 8. Retrieved from Laurie, M. (2010, January 7). How Social Media has Changed Us. Retrieved from Mashable: http:// changed-us/ Neeley, S. (2004, Fall). Using Animated Spokes-Charac ters in Advertising to Youth Children. Journal of Advertising. Perez, S. (2009, March 16). Despite Recession, More than 50% of Marketers increase spending on So cial Media. Retrieved from ReadWrite Enterprise: enterprise/2009/03/despite-recession-more-than- 50-of-marketers-increasespending-on-social- media.php Richtel, M. (2011, May 12). On the web, minors learn to stretch the truth.

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Spori Business Review  
Spori Business Review  

The Spori Business Review is a publication that comes out every semester at BYU Idaho. Its written and published by students and covers man...