Social Media Innovation is a course that connects business and the new world order of marketing. The course provides students with the knowledge and capabilities to utilize what the web 2.0 is all about. This course is not only about the internet but being able to get the students to think critically about how to use the internet.
I have never actually been a part of Viral Marketing from the design and implementation side but I have participated in them by viewing them. Youtube is filled with viral marketing video’s and there are a lot of companies out there utilizing Youtube’s ability to reach a large number of people. These video’s can be staged, can be a random event filmed, can be a Youtube sensation that a company just happens to put there name on…etc
Quick Silver Dynamite Surfing
So it seems as if there has been a few misconceptions of what social media is. I can not give a definite answer because I am not god I can only give my opinion.
First I would like to define media:
“the means of communication, as radio and television, newspapers, and magazines, that reach or influence people widely” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/media)
“pertaining to, devoted to, or characterized by friendly companionship or relations. seeking or enjoying the companionship of others; friendly; sociable” (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/social)
If I say so myself the definitions are very clear. Lets take Facebook as an example. It is a site that connects anyone that wants to join together by a medium of the internet. Now why do people join Facebook? To connect with other people and to be able to share their ideas and feelings with everyone. The people that join Facebook and the connectivity the site gives them is the social aspect. The user’s input on the site is the actual media.
How about them apples Gary Stein?
What seemed like yesterday I heard the news that Volkswagen was bringing the beetle back. This was in 1997 when my aunt sent me pictures of the ‘new’ beetle still wrapped in plastic because it was not fully launched yet. To recap, the original beetle was a success selling over 21 million world wide which makes it the most sold automobile (on a single platform) ever. Than in 1998 the ‘new’ beetle was officially released and sales were great, as expected. As the years went on the style began to play itself out. The ‘new’ beetle was seen as a chick car, despite people such as T.O. owning one. This was an OK strategy for Volkswagen being as people were still buying them, but they were nowhere close to the Golf or Jetta platform.
The ‘new’ beetle was Volkswagen’s only convertible for the greater part of the early 2000′s (2001-present). As soon as Volkswagen launched the EOS’s (2006-present) there was talk about what was going to happen to the ‘new’ beetle. The convertible option was one of the aspects that was really holding it in the market so as soon as the EOS’s (only model was convertible) we (Volkswagen enthusiasts) knew the sneaky executives and designer’s were up to something.
If you recall the past Superbowl Volkswagen indulged themselves in overpriced advertising. They had a commercial featuring a little boy pretending to be Darth Vador which was promoting the new 2012 Passat. This video went viral and currently has over 35 million hits on Youtube. The other video was a beetle (insect) running through a jungle scene ending with a silhouette of what would be the NEW ‘new’ beetle. This video had a lot of success as well on Youtube with almost 4 million hits. If you are the average Joe this was the first time ever hearing about a NEW ‘new’ beetle. The only thing that everyone has in common about this NEW ‘new’ beetle is that no one knows what it really will look like. Some people have created their own take on what it would look like, based on the silhouette (seen above).
This is the best rendering I could find:
The most exciting part about the NEW ‘new’ beetle is how they really focused on the original beetle’s lines. The front is lower and longer and the roof runs down into the rear window and continues through the rear hatch to the bottom of the rear bumper. With growing up in a Volkswagen family and having a father who had a ’69 Beetle the image above gives me butterfly’s in my stomach. It has all modern technology which gives the driver the reliability and convenience but still has the same visual appeal of the original. Now I know this can never replace the feel of the original beetle: Loud, Rough, Slow, Unreliable, Simple, Terrible Heat, No AC, limited stereo, rear-engine, rear wheel drive, but it allows the consumer’s to have a peice of history with modern comforts.
Volkswagen has teamed up with MTV & the Black Eyed Peas to unveil the 2012 NEW ‘new’ beetle in New York City on April 18th. I don’t know about you but April 18th 2011 has been penciled in my calenders and will be treated as if it was Christmas. We do live in a time where nothing is a secret. Everything and anything leaks onto the internet like top-secret government documents, so I do not see a reason for a picture to not be released. If Volkswagen can keep the images hidden we will all have to wait patiently (and impatiently) until April 18th.
Volkswagen NEW ‘new’ Beetle Commercial: Black Betty
Volkswagen 2012 New Passat Commercial: The Force
*This will be updated if I find anything else.
Embedding Youtube video’s into your PowerPoint is not as simple as copy and pasting the embedding html. The Powerpoint below shows step by step (through images) instructions on how to do so with Microsoft Office 2010. 2007 is similar but some of the buttons are in different locations. Click the image below to view the PowerPoint.
One of the easiest ways of promoting your blog is to have an RSS feed. If you allow people to link your blog to their site, blog, twitter…etc the number of people that will see your blog. I actually use two sites RSS feeds on my blog. They allow me to see up-to-date information from various sites in one area. I do not plan on promoting my blog with an RSS feed because in a few weeks the class will be over and so will this blog.
Linking your blog on various sites is another way to promote your blog. You can link your blog to social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. You can also link it to any website you are a member of that allows your profile to have a website.
With social media being the new marketing tool, does every company utilize them? Are large company/corporations still relying on old advertising/marketing tools such TV and Physical locations? I chose two companies, that are important to me and that are large in comparison to brand awareness, and will research their social media involvement.
Volkswagen (no surprise I chose them) is the third largest automotive manufacturing company in the world. They are also the 53rd most recognizable brand in the world. When you visit Volkswagens American site (www.VW.com) you are brought to a flash coded site with no initial icon or affiliation with any social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter, but they do have a drop down menu labeled ‘Blogs’. Under the blogs menu Volkswagen has created specific blogs for the Jetta, Passat, Touareg, Beetle, Upcoming and Concept cars, TDI Truth & Dare, and VW events. Once you have accessed the blogs on the right side they have a menu that says, ‘Follow VW’, which has icons/links for Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Underneath that menu there’s another labeled ‘VW Fans’ which has a like button and a visual of people that have already liked VW USA on Facebook as well as a like count (which is currently 715,775). I already liked the page so I was able to access it right away and in my personal opinion they are excelling on the home front of utilizing Facebook. I despise Twitter and I do not have an account so I cannot comment on their involvement in that source of social media. I do enjoy Youtube and will give my $0.02 on their involvement there. Volkswagen has 1.9 million channel views, with 14,000 subscribers, and 48 million total upload views. I would say those numbers are significant enough to call their use of Youtube a success. Volkswagen is able to upload all of their ad’s, including The Force commercial which currently has 35 million views alone, as well as all of their debut and event videos. Overall, I would say Volkswagen has adapted to social media and is properly marketing their company with these new social media innovations.
*Note: This is all based on Volkswagen of America.
For my second company I chose, Fabspeed, which is a smaller company. Fabspeed is a smaller local company (Ambler, Pa). The reason I chose them is because I will hopefully (crossing my fingers) be working for them this summer. Fabspeed is one of the biggest performance exhaust and intake manufacturers for exotic cars. They specialize in Porsche, Bentley, Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW’s. When you go to their website they have logo’s on the right menu for Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Vimeo. Compared to Volkswagen, a large company, their social media pages are a lot easier to access. They have 490 friends on Facebook and on Youtube they have 369 followers of their channel, 15,770 channel views, and 1.6 million total views. The amount of total views in comparison to Volkswagen 48 million is great. I would say that Fabspeed is utilizing several social media applications very well.
The book, ‘The Starfish and the Spider’, was about the similarities and differences between centralized and decentralized organization structures. To bring this to a real world perspective I would like to use my past jobs as an example. I have worked as a landscaper for most of my employed career so I figured that was a good starting point. In the landscaping companies I have worked for you have multiple workers and an owner (who may or may not work too). If you take any of the workers away the company will be fine because everyone can do every job, the job will just take longer because of the lower number of workers. If you take the owner away however the whole operation stops. The owner is the one who contacts or is contacted by the customers and has the company’s liability under his name. The company could not go on for the lack of contact with the customers as well as the legality behind running a service company without the correct liability.This is an example of centralized organization because when a certain figure of the organization is extracted the whole organization collapses.
So as we all know Spring Break was last week and us students had a week off of school to travel or relax (or do work). A few of my friends planned a trip to New Orleans for what was the first time in a very long time that Fat Tuesday landed on the same week as Spring Break. We were only staying in New Orleans from Sunday to Wednesday so for the other days we were free to go as we pleased because we drove. We left Friday morning with the destination of University of Tennessee (Knoxville, TN) in sight.
UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE
A friend that was on the journey with us had a friend that goes to Univ. of Tennessee and invited us there for their annual Fraternity Boxing tournament. This tournament has been around for 28 years and raises nearly $100,000 for charity. Now this is no ordinary, give the frats beer and boxing gloves and let them at each other for blood. The event is held at a boxing arena called Golden Gloves in East Knoxville. The tournament is a weekend long event starting with elimination rounds on Thursday and Friday, and the final matches held on Saturday night. The boxers take the tournament extremely serious by using the months prior to the event to train and even drop their weight significantly for the weigh-in which is held on the Monday before the tournament. The students also prepare for the tournament by pre-gaming at their houses, in there yards, as well as crowding the college bars around the campus; It is almost like they were preparing for a football game. I have tried to go to as many of these student/college organized events in the past 4 years I have been enrolled in college. The last event I was at was the Beer Olympics hosted at St. Bonaventure University (Western New York). That was a blast and I am extremely pleased I had the chance to take part of that event. I unfortunately was unable to take part in the actual boxing tournament I did get a seat on one of the buses that went from the bars to the boxing arena and back to the bars for the after-party celebrations, and that was amazing. I have to say the southern hospitality was indescribable. I didn’t see one fight at the bars/parties in the two nights I was there and everyone was extremely nice. I give Univ. of Tennessee two thumbs up from a student’s perspective (without actually engaging in their academic program).
We had reservations at a hotel in New Orleans on Sunday and check-in was 3pm. I cannot say how ecstatic we all were to get down to the Mardi Gras festivities so we left early Sunday morning from Knoxville to make the 9hr journey. Everything was going as planned and we were even ahead of time until we actually got to New Orleans. The traffic was dead stop and my friend and I were getting antsy in the back seat so we decided to step out of the car and venture around the city as our other two friends moved the car about a block every 30 min. Our first impression of Mardi Gras was a parade taking over Canal Street with beads flying everywhere and intoxicating beverages being consumed by large quantities which ended up carpeting the sidewalks. As my friends finally got through the traffic and made it to the hotel we made our way back also. None of us expected what happened next. The room was like something I would stay in with my parents, not 3 other students on a Spring Break road trip, and the location was impeccable. We had a 26th level view of Canal Street (parades) and were a few blocks away from Bourbon Street (the shenanigans). I will not go into too much detail about Bourbon Street as I want to keep this PG but it is not for the weak. To fit in you have to do one thing, get weird. What it means to get weird is an individual’s representation of how you want to take that. The street was littered with beads, bottles, and weirdly shaped cups to fit the drink that you ordered.
That brings me to my next point, the drinks. They have the most extravagant and highly alcohol induced beverages I have ever seen. Hurricanes, Hand Grenades, and Jester’s are just a few drinks to be mentioned that are local to New Orleans. For some reason the creators of these drinks decided to use the highest proof liquors…i.e. Grain Alcohol, Bacardi 151. This clarified all the stories I heard about people coming down to Mardi Gras and ending up with alcohol poisoning. I am happy to say my friends and I did not experience this but I can definitely say I saw people that did. New Orleans is also known for their food so that was definitely on the check-list of things to do. We got to experience some Gumbo, Po’boys, Jambalaya, and Crawfish and it was all delicious.
Bourbon Street is definitely the place to be if you are looking for a party and people watching. Now Mardi Gras starts 12 days after Christmas (January 6th) and lasts until 46 days before Easter, therefore if Easter is late Fat Tuesday (last day of Mardi Gras) is late. Despite the festivities rally on for almost 2 months the craziest time is right before Fat Tuesday, hence the reason we went 2 days before and the day of Fat Tuesday. After going out Sunday night on Bourbon I thought I had seen it all. The bars don’t close, ever, and there seemed to be no laws as long as you were not inconveniencing anyone else. As stated before I was there with 3 other friends but we actually met up with another group of friends that road tripped it down there too. We were both groups of 3 guys and 1 girl which worked out nicely because no one had to go anywhere alone, we tried to stick to the buddy system (not to sound like a children but if you take a wrong turn you will probably weep like a lost puppy and end up at the bottom of the Mississippi). Now that we had a group of eight we had power by numbers which is needed because Bourbon Street got crowded. Every night leading up to Fat Tuesday the street got more and more packed.
Now, Fat Tuesday, how do you describe Fat Tuesday? Get a drink, Get Weird, and have fun. It was by far the craziest of the 3 nights we were there. We all decided to join in on the festivities so after dinner we located a mask shop and accessorized to the occasion. Once we were all suited up we went directly Bourbon Street. Now we heard about a rumor that the street shuts down at midnight because that is when Mardi Gras is officially finished so we wanted to have time to enjoy the mayhem. We got to Bourbon around 9pm and there is no way I can describe my feelings and what actually happened other than telling you to book a flight and hotel for next year. After all the fun midnight came around and the cops actually came down the street on horseback to filter everyone back to their hotels or into the bars. Trying to displace the amount of bodies in the streets into the bars was not happening so we all decided to go back to our other friend’s hotel room. Being the last night we decided to keep the party going do some swimming and then finally making our way back to our hotel. The next morning we had the choice of going to Panama City for another night or two to celebrate Spring Break but the majority spoke. We hopped in the car and headed back on a 20hr excursion back to Philly.
Christine talks about ‘fellow believers’ and the question arose if that is the same thing as ideology. Ideology is “the body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture” (ideology), therefore I would say Yes it is the same thing. The fellow believers are those that share common ideas and join together in different ways such as an online community. I would like to relate this article to an on-line community I am involved in to use a personal example to help explain the article.
As I said in an earlier post I have been involved in VW’s & Audi’s since I was born. I started to understand the significance of the sub-culture following that went along with the VW/Audi scene when I was younger and would go to the shows with my family. Once I got older (around the time I was going to start driving) and wanted to be more involved in the VW/Audi community I went to the internet for more information. I came across a website called VwVortex.com which is a news site for everything involved with VW’s (and there partner companies: Audi, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti). The largest part of the website is there forum, which to me is what an on-line community is because it involves not only the ‘experts’ as well as the average-Joe’s.
To justify the website as a good example of an on-line community, VwVortex is the 20th largest forum on the internet (Rankings) with 60,695,474 posts and 526,883 members (Those numbers are old there are 66,235,188 posts and 591,813 members as of 3/15/11). I personally used the website since 2003 and have been an active member since 03/20/2004. Everyone has their standard routine when they get onto a computer. That usually consists of checking Facebook and/or e-mail where in my case it is checking VwVortex. I would definitely consider this site an on-line community because it brings together a large number of people from different states, countries, and backgrounds together in the common interest of Volkswagen’s. There are also different parts of the forum that are dedicated to other interests which you can connect with those that have an interest in VW’s as well as other hobbies such as art, travel, video games, sports…etc. The environment is friendly and people are willing to help you with whatever it is that you need. I have seen people use the website when they are road-tripping and they break down in another state (or where have you) to send out a sort of SOS and fellow members that were in the area of the break down helped out.
As stated above the forum is broken down into sub-categories. This makes the site extremely organized and efficient for posting information or questions in the correct areas of concern. They have everything from sub-categories of different car generations as well as different regions of the USA/World. Another large part of the on-line community is informing everyone about upcoming car shows and events. The news is spread fast and effectively because of the use of the forum.
I really like the idea of on-line communities because of the ease for connecting those with common interests together. If you think of every page on Facebook dedicated to a product, service, or any kind of interest they are all on-line communities because those that like the particular page all have something in common.
ideology. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2011, from The Free Dictionary: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/ideology
Rankings. (n.d.). Retrieved March 15, 2011, from Big Boards: http://www.big-boards.com/