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Well it has been an interesting road over the last nine weeks.  During this course, I have learned a lot about web and social marketing and how to track your campaign efforts.  I think what will stick with me the most is learning how companies can track their efforts.  As an IMC student, I think I have understood the need to do online and social marketing but I am not sure I really knew effective ways to track what your online campaign is doing.

I think the most surprising thing I have learned throughout this course is how simple it is to create an online campaign.  I had this notion that creating a campaign would mean needing large amounts of money and vast resources to create something that would be seen across the country.  In reality with a small investment and a matter of minutes, you could actually create something with Google Adwords that could increase visitors to your site.  I have been surprised that understanding the use of online media is relatively simple.

I have been pleased with my blogging experience during this course.  I have had to blog before for a course in the IMC program and did not have as much fun completing the weekly assignments.  I think the difference during this course is that I found the topic of my weekly posts more interesting.  I looked for articles that I found interesting and could give my opinion on.

I do plan to use the information I have learned in this course in my future.  I am getting ready to begin my last IMC course and I believe the information I have learned during the past nine weeks will be very beneficial.  I believe that I can now successfully recommend that a client should make use of online marketing and social media.  I have learned how to use Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and the importance of using a web analytics service to track your effectiveness.  It is all about creating a successful campaign and find out what your target audience (your consumers) want.

BusinessDictionary.com defines social media as, “Primarily internet or cellular phone based applications and tools to share information among people” (BusinessDictionary, 2011).  Social media also allows users “to gather and express themselves in a much more simple and immediate fashion” (Pizano, 2010).

There is no doubt that social media has had an impact on our culture.  Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter has changed how we connect with each other and how we connect with businesses.  Facebook began as a way for college students to stay in touch with each other and share their college experience.  That idea has grown into a site that is bigger than its creator imagined it could be.  The site now serves over 500 million users that visit the site on a daily basis.  But, has this growth in social media been a good thing for culture?

I think the answer to this depends on your personal beliefs and opinions.  Some people see social media sites as a waste of time.  Others see it as an opportunity to reach out to friends and family members they may not see on a regular basis.  As Josh Rose puts it “Social media simultaneously draws us nearer and distances us” (Rose, 2011).  I think this is an interesting and somewhat true statement.

Let’s look at Facebook, the site allows us to connect with people from around the world.  The site allows us to stop by friends, wall and say hello or share an old picture and story about them.  You can stay in touch without actually talking in months when you consider how often users update their status and let the Facebook community know what you are doing.

While it is nice to login and see the pictures from an old college classmate’s recent vacation this also happens with people we associate with on a daily basis.  Facebook has made it possible to be up to speed with people that we could easily talk to at work or in our backyards.  This explains Rose’s belief that social media can bring us close and distance us.  If you have checked Facebook and are up to date with your co-workers or neighbors life what do you have to talk about when you see them later.

While it is evident that social media has changed society has the effects been positive.  Personally, I think the changes have been both positive and negative.  Social media sites have introduced a new way for users to communicate with one another.  It has also changed how businesses can and do communicate and reach consumers.  I think the negative aspects revolve around the miss information/gossip that ends up on social media sites.  These sites end up being the source of cyber bullying which has become a major problem within school systems around the country.

I believe that social media will be here to stay in some shape and form.  Many businesses have begun to embrace social media and at this point have marketing dollars invested which would be wasted if they were to stop their marketing efforts.  Businesses and consumers need to find a way to successfully use social media sites now and in the future.

References

BusinessDictionary. (2011).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/social-media.html>

Pizano, G. “How Much Has Social Media Changed Society?”.  (2010, May 29).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.shoutmeloud.com/how-much-has-social-media-changed-society.html>

Rose, J. “How Social Media is Having a Positive Impact On Our Culture” (2011, February 28).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://mashable.com/2011/02/23/social-media-culture/>

Watching your favorite basketball, baseball or football team could get easier for viewers that may not be near a television but have internet access.  YouTube recently announced that they are trying to work out deals to stream games live on their website.  While being able to broadcast sports in real time is an exciting and interesting opportunity for the company could it really work?  The short answer is yes YouTube could broadcast sports.  YouTube broadcasted the Indian Premier League cricket tournament on their site last year.  “About 50 million viewers tuned into YouTube’s I.P.L. channel, 25 percent more than Google executives said they expected” (Timmons, 2010).

Signing deals to broadcast professional sports is a great opportunity for YouTube.  Being able to broadcast live sports could increase website visitors as well as revenues.  “The company [YouTube] needs to do more to keep its viewers on the site for longer than the average daily 15 minute session, compared with the multiple hours consumers spend in front of televisions” (Yang, 2011).  Attracting more users to YouTube could be the leverage the company has needed to interest advertisers.

While broadcasting live sports would be financially beneficial for YouTube, it could change how professional sports are distributed.  “One of the good things about IPL was that it really proved to a lot of sports leagues that broad-scale live-streaming type of exercise is something that’s possible” (Yang, 2011).

Even though YouTube has proved that it is possible for them to stream sporting events and attract advertisers, seven signed up to help sponsor the IPL broadcasts, there is still one major obstacle standing in their way.  The obstacle standing in YouTube’s way is ESPN.  The company has proved themselves to be “The Worldwide Leader in Sports” since its introduction in the sports world with their flagship show, SportsCenter on September 7, 1979 (ESPN Fact Sheet, 2010).  Since 1979, ESPN has changed the sports world and how we view our sports and the news surrounding our favorite teams and players.

ESPN has become more than one sports channel with a show that features the highlights from around the world.  ESPN’s offering includes several channels that are tailored to sport fans interests for example, ESPN News, ESPN U and ESPN Classic are three of the six different television channels the company has created.  ESPN also offers radio coverage, a website, a magazine and broadband website www.ESPN3.com.

“ESPN3 is a broadband network for live sports programming.  ESPN3 broadcasts thousands of live games and events online each year” (Help/Faq, 2010).  I believe ESPN3 will provide the greatest challenge for YouTube.  Both companies could end up competing for the rights to broadcast a game.  If YouTube wants to be successful they will have to create an interactive sports channel that offers sports leagues and users benefits beyond ESPN’s offering.

Live streaming will continue to have a place in the social media world.  “Live sports on the Internet have several obvious advantages over television – they can be watched anywhere, including from an office cubicle.  And fans can discuss plans with other fans from around the globe through comments and posts” (Timmons, 2010).  This will continue to keep social media sites like Facebook and Twitter important in the marketing world.

References

“ESPN Fact Sheet”. (2010, January 10).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://espnmediazone3.com/wpmu/>

“Help/Faq” (2010).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://espn.go.com/espn3/faq#1>

Timmons, H. “Google Sees a New Role for YouTube: An Outlet for Live Sports” (2010, May 2).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/03/business/media/03cricket.html>

Yang, J. “Google’s YouTube in Talks to Stream NBA, NHL Games Live” (2011, February 23).  Accessed on March 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-22/google-s-youtube-says-it-s-negotiating-to-broadcast-live-nba-nhl-games.html>

Social media has had an effect on how marketers are reaching consumers.  Consumers are constantly on the go and spend a great deal of their time on the internet visiting social media sites several times a day.  Marketers use Facebook “to connect with consumers and would-be customers” (Warren, 2010) the use of these social networks to help companies and brands build a lasting relationship with customers.  The use of these types of marketing campaigns are not only becoming more popular they are also being used my Hollywood to promote up-coming movies.

Movie studios are leveraging social media to drum-up interest for their movies.  For several years, studios have used the internet and created websites with information and trailers for films.  Now they are going a step beyond and creating entire campaigns using social media sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

One of the most recent examples of using social media was the marketing for Toy Story 3.  Disney and Pixar created a campaign that not only used traditional broadcast and print media they also looked to social media to reach potential viewers.  The companies used “Facebook and YouTube to help promote the film, the studio raised awareness and successfully targeted demographics that don’t traditionally flock to Disney animated feature films” (Warren, 2011).

Disney knows that most of their animated movie goers are kids and parents and they way you market to that group has not changed.  However, Disney and Pixar knew that Toy Story 3 could reach a much larger audience considering many viewers of the first movie are now young adults on college campuses.  While this was a great opportunity for the movie it did create a problem.  Disney would not be able to reach the college age demographic if they relied on their traditional marketing efforts for animated movies.

The way Disney could reach the young adults that were original Toy Story fans was to use social media and special screenings.  Disney used Facebook, YouTube and movie blogs to run a similar campaign to the one targeting children and families (Warren, 2011).  The studio also held ‘special cliffhanger screenings’ of Toy Story 3 at college campuses (Warren, 2011).  “Using Facebook, students with valid college ID could sign up for special screenings of the film.  These screenings were 65 minutes in length and designed to whet viewers appetites for the final release in June 2010” (Warren, 2011).

Besides offering college students, the opportunity to see a special screening of the movie Disney and Pixar also created several online exclusive videos and features.  Exclusive features were created for the characters Ken and Lots-O Huggin Bear (Warren, 2011).  Here are a couple videos that were created for Toy Story 3’s social media campaign.

Disney and Pixar took an approach to promoting a movie that has not been used in the past.  The studio understood that promoting Toy Story 3 to young adults was just as important if not more important than promoting the movie to children and their parents.  I believe the Toy Story 3 campaign is an excellent blueprint for movie studios that want to not only reach consumers by traditional means but also through social media.

References

Warren, C. “How Social Media Helped Toy Story 3 Win at the Box Office” (2011, February 18).  Accessed on March 7, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://mashable.com/2011/02/18/toy-story-3-social-media/>

Warren, C. “How Social Media Is Changing the Way Movies are Promoted” (2010, November 29).  Accessed on March 7, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://mashable.com/2010/11/29/social-media-movie-marketing/>

Since the “Super Bowl” of award shows happened a few days ago I thought I would take at look at how the Oscars tried to revamp its image.  The image shift was an attempt to connect with younger viewers and the millions that often use social media sites while watching television shows.  The major way the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried to change its image by going social.  The Academy had redesigned their website to offer new interactive features as well as Apps for the iPhone and iPad (Ryzik, 2011).

The Academy did not just offer live backstage video and access to the shows after party.  They also looked to younger host to reach a diverse audience.  Anne Hathaway and James Franco are among the shows youngest to ever host the event (Ryzik, 2011).  The Academy has cashed in on the popularity of the hosts and created several promotions for this year’s show somewhat spoofing the hosting gig.

The approach to this year’s Oscars is unlike any other before.  The show seemed to by trying to open up the line of communication and reach a larger audience.  “The goal is to fuel conversations and build buzz among consumers before, during and after each uttering of the word ‘And the winner is’.  Those efforts, which included promotions, brand websites and e-mail marketing, are indicative of how much Madison Avenue is shifting gears to keep pace with the rapid changes in the consumption of media” (Elliott, 2011).

While I think trying to update the Oscars broadcast to offer consumers an inside look at the show and finding out what they think is a great idea.  Instead of just being another stuffy awards show the Oscars really tried to make the show interesting for all viewers by providing them with multiple ways to follow what was happening.  Even though it may have backfired, since most viewers thought the show and the hosts were bad, I think it was a great start.  Consumers or viewers cannot expect change unless companies or shows try something new.  While I will agree that the show lacked the signature moment that often happens on Oscar Night I will applaud the Academy for adding several social media outlets to their broadcast.  Hopefully they will learn and work to create something even better for next year.

The Oscars were not the only group going social during the broadcast.  Many companies airing commercials during the awards show were promoting their websites or Facebook pages in their ads.  Companies like LivingSocial, Best Buy, and J.C. Penney tried to drive consumers online and in stores.

J.C. Penney (JCP) by far took the biggest step to social media.  Besides introducing a new slogan and logo JCP “also [had] separate digital initiatives going on” (Elliott, 2011).  J.C. Penney turned to Facebook, social shopping site Polyvore and Twitter.   JCP used their Twitter account and Twitter hash tags to run a contest for followers.  Trivia winners received a 20 dollar JCP gift card (Elliott, 2011).  The companies also ran several commercials during the show and offered promotions through their Facebook page.

I really think J.C. Penney is doing an excellent job embracing social media.  At the end of 2010, JCP began offer Facebook users the opportunity to make purchases without leaving the Facebook website.  In my opinion, J.C. Penney is doing something right.  They have weathered the storm for years and continue to be successful and reinvent themselves to remain current.

Social media is not something that is going to go away anytime soon. As the popularity of sites like Facebook and Twitter continues, many companies and even awards shows will not be able to ignore the benefits of going social.  Using social media provides companies with the opportunity to reach millions of consumers and make a deeper lasting relationship.  These relationships will without a doubt have an effect on how consumers feel about a brand and their purchasing habits.

References

Elliot, S. “Campaigns Begin as the First Stiletto Hits the Red Carpet” (2011, February 23).  Accessed on March 2, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/24/business/media/24adco.html>

Ryzik, M.  “Serious? Snarky? Oscar Courts a Social Medium” (2011, February 24).  Accessed on March 2, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/25/movies/awardsseason/25bagger.html>

Tons of companies are using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to reach consumers and the numbers are growing everyday.  If more and more companies are using social media sites there, must be some rules these companies should follow when using social media sites?  Author Lena West believes there are at least eight lessons marketers should keep in mind if they are going to use social media in their marketing efforts this year.

Number 8 – Set a schedule and stick to it.  It is important to make updates to your company’s Facebook page regularly.  If your company’s social media manager gets lazy it is likely that your fans will not pay attention to you posts.  Facebook should be used to create a dialogue between a company their consumers (West, 2011).

Number 7 – Build on previous posts.  If companies are using social media correctly, they should be building on each pervious point.  Each post should be related and about something.  Making a post just for the shake of making a post may be pointless to your followers (West, 2011).

Number 6 – Avoid bragging.  People do not want to read about how good a company’s products are.  Most followers are actually looking for a promotion offered on the site (West, 2011).

Number 5 – Do not over share.  If a company is close to closing on a big deal social media managers do not want to tip consumers off too early.  It could mean the difference between having the next big marketing sensation and looking for another deal (West, 2011).

Number 4 – Keep content fresh.  Brands should offer consumers something new but should also stay true to their brand and their image.  Consumers want interesting content but do not want something that is unbelievable (West, 2011).

Number 3 – Do not worry about what others have to say.  Companies try new ways to reach consumers all the time and using social media should not be a worry to consumers.  Using social media should say companies want to build a better relationship with their consumers not forget about them (West, 2011).

Number 2 – Remember that social media is a business tool.  Using Facebook or Twitter for business is not a popularity contest.  Companies should use social media sites to build a better relationship with consumers and try to reach new customers.  You are talking about your company’s image (West, 2011).

Number 1 – Be personable without being personal.  Companies need to be honest with consumers without over sharing.  Many people believe we should keep our personal lives personal and businesses need to live by this saying with social media.  “People don’t have to know about you personally to do business with you online, they just need to think they do” (West, 2011).

West did mention keeping content fresh on social media sites but I think we should examine the importance of content a little more.  A few weeks ago, my DMC class discussed which was more important content or conversation.  After reading two articles on the topic, I decided conversation was more important. One of the authors, Michael Greenberg said, “First, social marketing efforts need to be driven by content, not vice versa. Without content, there is not a whole lot to talk about”.

Greenberg makes a great point. If company websites, Facebook pages or Twitter accounts do not provide consumers with valuable content what is the possibility they will return in the future. Without providing fans or followers with information to talk about what is the point of the site.

Companies should use social media sites to help build the consumer relationship. “Retention and interaction are keys to the success of the campaign. That sets up a longer term relationships for the brand” (Thaeler, 2010). Without content companies cannot retain or interact with consumers which could result in a failed social media campaign.

If companies are not talking to consumers (providing content) then how is the conversation supposed to start. In my opinion, content is similar to usability. If I visit a website that cannot easily be used, I will look elsewhere for my information or for a similar product.

References

Greenburg, M. “Content is King of Social Marketing” MultichannelMerchant.com. (2009, October 20). Accessed on February 21, 2011. Retrieved from <http://multichannelmerchant.com/social-media/1020-content-social-marketing/>
Thaeler, J. M. “YouTube is the New Viral” (2010, December 7). Accessed on February 21, 2011. Retrieved from <http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/technology/article/youtube-is-the-new-viral-janet-meiners-thaeler>

It is beginning to be rare to see a company that does not have a Facebook or Twitter page.  Actually as I was writing this post, I saw a commercial from baby food maker Gerber that encouraged viewers to go to Facebook to become a part of the Gerber Generation.  Obviously, they were talking to parents or even grandparents.  However, if baby food companies are leveraging social media I think that says something about how popular this marketing medium is.

The success of social media sites mean companies will continue to get involved in social media and gain followers and fans.  If the use of social media continues to grow, I think an important role comes into question.  Do fans and followers mean companies are successful and influential or are consumers just following companies for potential benefits?  A recent study from a consumer-experience company found that “60% of consumers now follow a brand via social media like Facebook or Twitter” (Greenberg, 2010).  While this is encouraging news for any company using or thinking about using social media it does not mean all followers are engaging in an online friendship because they are influenced by the brand.

A survey of 150,000 U.S. and Canadian consumers found that “40% of those consumers who do [follow a brand via a social network] say they are looking for coupons or promotions from the brand.  Another 30% says they’re looking for additional information about the brand or its products (Stambor, 2010).  Considering the popularity of social media sites I am not surprised by these numbers.  Facebook allows users to personalize their profiles and become ‘fans’ of any page within the site.  Many companies and even television shows capitalize on this by offering promotions if you become a fan.  Most pages offer consumers special discounts toward their next purchase or a chance to enter a giveaway.  On the Entertainment Tonight Facebook page users that ‘like’ the show can then enter to win a Grammy’s gift bag.  These kind of perks and benefits keep consumers coming back and ‘liking’ brands over and over again.

Brands may think they are popular because they have a large number of followers or fans but that does not equal influence.  Amber Naslund, the vice president at Radian6 a social monitoring firm says “To me, influence isn’t about popularity. Or even reach.  It’s about the trust, authority, and presence to drive relevant actions within your community that create something of substance” (Creamer, 2011).

I have always believed that Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites are a great way for companies to reach consumers and build a relationship.  While social media sites do help build consumer relationships, it does not guarantee purchases.  Companies have to influence consumer behavior to create sales, which can be done through social media if companies offer consumers something more.  If companies are going to use social media sties, they have to keep consumers coming back to the brand.  This means consumers need to feel important and valued.  It is a delicate balance between influencing consumers and just offering them, promotions.  Companies using social media have to work hard to achieve and keep this balance.

References

Creamer, M. “Your Followers Are No Measure of Your Influence” (2011, January 3).  Accessed on February 21, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://adage.com/influencers2010/article?article_id=147957>

Greenberg, K. “Q & A with Pepsi Immersion is key to digital Savvy” (2010, December 7).  Accessed on February 21, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=140788>

Stambor, Z. “Consumers eye discounts when they follow brands on social media” (2010, December 7).  Accessed on February 21, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.internetretailer.com/2010/12/07/consumers-eye-discounts-when-they-follow-brands-social-media>

Social networking sites are more popular than ever before.  We constantly hear people say “Just Facebook me” or “Do you use Twitter?”  Sites like Facebook and Twitter have millions of users that log on at least once buy normally several times a day.  However, these sites were not the first social networking sites consumers could use.

MySpace hit the internet in 2003 and was the ‘it’ thing people talked about (Helft, 2010).  Users were able to create their own profile that could include as little or as much information as they wanted to share.  The site also included pages created by musicians, bands and other celebrities.  These profiles included tour dates and appearance information so fans could keep up with their favorite band or celebrity.

On the surface, this site sounds very similar to Facebook.  However, the thing MySpace is mission is users.  MySpace has more than 120 million users while Facebook is home to more than 500 million users (Helft, 2010).  If the sites are similar, why are there major differences in the number of users?

I believe the major difference between MySpace and Facebook is the exclusiveness of Facebook in its early years.  Facebook began as a site for college students.  To become a member you had to have an e-mail address with a dot EDU ending.  Facebook began capturing their users at a young age and continued to grow and expand to reach consumers that were not in college any more but still wanted to find out what Facebook was.

MySpace did not limit who users could be which does not leave consumers wanting to ‘become part of the party’.  When something is made exclusive only a small number of people will be able to have access to it.  This creates a desire that increases interest.  Since MySpace did not create an exclusive network, many people were unaware or uninterested in the site from the beginning.

So how can MySpace make the site interesting again?  In October 2010 president of MySpace, Michael Jones announced that the site would undergo a redesign to reach the Generation Y consumer (age 13 to 35).  Instead of a pure social network most MySpace users “were primarily using the site to listen to music and share opinions and information about that music, as well as about movies and televisions shows” (Helft, 2010).

In addition to redesigning the website, MySpace will also introduce a mobile App for consumers.  Creating an App for MySpace’s new design is a great way to reach their Generation Y users.  Currently “a third of ‘Gen-Y’ users are also going to MySpace via mobile on a daily basis” (Lunden, 2010).  The mobile website will provide users with “a rich discovery experience around entertainment.  This will mean access to breaking news, blogs and status updates from artists and celebs, and video from stable-mates like Fox but also other like TMZ” (Lunden, 2010).

MySpace executives believe the main site and the mobile sites could be successful with its changed focus.  “The new site will emphasize that content [entertainment] with a simplified service that removes much of the clutter that MySpace was known for” (Helft, 2010).  MySpace believes focusing on social entertainment instead of competing with Facebook will have a positive effect on the site.

Personally, I think MySpace is on to something.  There is no way they can compete with Facebook anymore.  MySpace reaches 24 percent of internet users in the U.S., Facebook reaches 62 percent (Helft, 2010).  In the social networking race, MySpace has no chance.  However, if the site can reach more users with their redesign and refocus they may be able to once again interest online advertisers.

References

Helft, M. “For MySpace, a Redesign to Entice Generation Y” (2010, October 27).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/27/technology/27myspace.html>

Luden, I. “MySpace Launches New Mobile Website, App” (2010, November 30).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://moconews.net/article/419-myspace-launches-new-mobile-website-app/>

MySpace.  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <www.myspace.com>

MySpace Mobile.  Accessed on February 14, 2011. Retrieved from <http://www.myspace.com/myspacemobile>

The Super Bowl is a big day for sports fans and an even bigger day for advertisers. Companies spend big bucks to reach the millions of viewers that will be tuning in to the game in hopes that their investment will pay-off.  What is the pay-off for the three million dollar commercial? It’s simple, having viewers talking about the commercial with co-workers and friends on Monday or even before the game is over via social media sites.

Since consumers can and do talk about their favorite ads via social media sites before the game is over should advertisers do the same.  Should marketers be taking another approach to their ads by including social media?

Considering the popularity of social media, I think it is only natural that Super Bowl commercials take the next step to include social media.  Advertisers “need television spots that are obviously humorous and creative, that cause a conversation, that have some kind of cause or meaning behind it. But truth be told, the cause can only be sustained by social media” (Steinberg, 2011).

The closest a company has come to including any form of social media during the Super Bowl was an ad from Dockers last year.  After the commercial aired, consumers were able to enter a contest to win a free pair of khakis (Padilla, 2010).  However, there was a catch to enter the contest.  The only way consumers could enter the contest was if they had the music program Shazam downloaded on your iPhone, BlackBerry, etc., you can also tag the spot to enter to win a pair (Padilla, 2010).

A recently Nielson study found that 59 percent of U.S. television viewers used the internet while watching TV at least once a month (Godinez, 2011).  If this many viewers are using the internet while watching TV then why aren’t advertisers tying social media in with their commercials?

I think advertisers may be hesitant to create an advertisement relying on social media because they my exclude consumers that do not use sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Foursquare.  Instead of advertisers telling consumers to go to social media sites in this year’s Super Bowl ads most brands only included their Facebook URL (Schafer, 2011).

In my opinion, this is playing it safe.  In reality, advertisers may be making a mistake.  According to Lightspeed Research conducted before the Super Bowl, “nearly two-thirds of 18 to 34 year-olds planning to watch the Super Bowl have smartphones and intended to use them while watching the game” (Schafer, 2011).  Of those 18 to 34 year-olds with smartphones “59% were planning on sending emails or text messages about the game, while 18% planned on checking out the ads on their phones” (Schafer, 2011).

Are advertisers worried about taking the next step in the social media world or will ads that rely on social media alienate other viewers?  I guess there is always next year to watch and find out.

References

Godinez, V. “Super Bowl TV ads tying social media to get their point across”.  (2011, February 4).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.dallasnews.com/sports/super-bowl/the-scene/20110204-super-bowl-tv-ads-tying-social-media-to-get-their-point-across.ece>

Padilla, M. “Dockers’ Super Bowl Sunday ad wants to know who wears the pants”. (2010, February 3).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/alltherage/2010/02/dockers-asks-who-wears-the-pants-on-super-bowl-sunday.html>

Schafer, I. “The Super Bowl of Social Media? Maybe Next Year” (2011, February 8).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://adage.com/digitalnext/post?article_id=148750>

Steinberg, B. “Marketers Suit up With Twitter, Facebook for ‘Social Bowl’”. (2011, January 31).  Accessed on February 14, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://adage.com/superbowl/article?article_id=148568>

During last week’s class we discussed whether it was more important for companies to have a website, a Facebook page or both.  A few years ago we could have easily said websites were more important mainly because Facebook was in its beginning and many people and companies did not know what the site was or how popular it would become.  However, with the popularity of Facebook companies are seeing the need to enter the social network world.

There are many advantages to using Facebook over websites and the same is true for using websites over Facebook.  Facebook allows companies to provide updated instant information. “Just the one act of logging into Facebook, which the majority of users do at least once a day, gives brands a greater opportunity of squeezing themselves into people’s personal lives. Appearing within the news feed, a brand becomes like a trusted friend, there in the background, always there to say hello” (Stott, 2010).

Websites can also provide updated information but consumers may not see the updates for several days depending on when they visit the company site.  There are several reasons companies should not yet abandon their traditional websites.  Stott outlines the following reasons companies should continue to use their websites instead of relying solely on their Facebook pages.

•“Until open graph really takes off, Facebook doesn’t carry the search engine optimization benefit – visibility in Google is arguably the most important online factor in digital PR” (Stott, 2010).

•“Not everybody has a Facebook profile so brands should ensure they are accessible to all – remember, just because we have email, we still have postal addresses and phone numbers so brands should not alienate part of their audience” (Stott, 2010).

•“Brands don’t have complete control over their Facebook pages – the rules change all the time, even a change in page size caused problems for many recently, so brands have to be prepared for any eventuality and accept that hard work could go to waste at some point in time” (Stott, 2010).

Some companies that are using Facebook are trying to get the best of both worlds with one site.  There are several companies that are not allowing consumers to make purchases on their Facebook page.  J.C. Penney moved their entire product offering to Facebook in December and added a shopping application to their page.   JCP is hoping that providing shopping on their Facebook page “will make it easier for fans and customers to see a great item or a special offer and respond” (Stambor, 2011).

Other companies like the Limited and 1-800-Flowers.com are attempting to follow J.C. Penney’s footsteps but have not yet introduced a shopping application (Stambor, 2011).  Quidsi Inc. which owns Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com has recently added shopping to their Facebook pages.  Quidsi wanted to provide their products to their Facebook fans and “built [their] shopping mechanism to be part of the dialogue” (Brohan, 2011).

As more companies move toward social networking sites, I believe we will see a lot of companies making shopping available on their pages.  This allows companies to become closer to consumers and create an open line of communication between businesses and consumers.

References

Brohan, M. “Diapers.com sells on Facebook” (2011, January 14).  Accessed on January 31, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/01/14/diaperscom-sells-facebook>

Stambor, Z. “J.C. Penney plays up its social scene with Facebook shopping” (2011, January 1).  Accessed on January 31, 2011.  Retrieved from <http://www.internetretailer.com/2011/01/01/jc-penney-plays-its-social-scene-facebook-shopping>

Stott, K. “Why Are Big Brands Starting to Promote Facebook Pages Instead of Websites?” (2010, October 6). Accessed on January 26, 2011. Retrieved from <http://socialmediatoday.com/keredy-stott/196223/why-are-big-brands-starting-promote-facebook-pages-instead-websites>