As this course wraps up, I have realized many key points that I have learned from the course. The main take away is that people are always watching. I had one company comment on one of my blogs that I made to show the world how to put a slideshow on their blog. Also, I recently had an interview where my interviewer told me he read my posts and thought this class seemed great. From my experience working with this blog, I have learned a lot about widgets and plugins as well as how to grab reader’s attention. There is no point for words if there is no one to hear the words, or in this case, read the words. Therefore, from this course I have become aware the emerging growth of social media. Social media is making information and works more accessible. This course makes you wonder where social media will take the world in the future.
Viral marketing used to be like this where it spreads by word of mouth. Today, it is spread by words on a computer screen. I don’t really promote particular products, but I do promote websites and articles on my Facebook. I have promoted numerous articles from sites like digg.com and reddit.com. Almost every product that needs to be sold uses the Internet to sell due to cost. Its FREE. Why not use it? Therefore, viral marketing used to be spread by word of mouth like in this video. In the technology age that we live in today, marketing is done on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.
On Tuesday April 12, 2011, The Fox School of Business’ Management Information Systems department held its annual IT Awards Reception. This has been my second year attending the event and I must say it was much more professional and elegant as the year prior. The speeches were extremely motivational in showing the importance to strive for your goals and to use the resources that you have. I met many alumni and current business leaders. From this event, I have 3 close leads on a job for when I graduate.
The Management Information Systems’ student organization, AMIS, hosted an after party for alumni, professionals, and students to attend. This is a bit less formal where people can let loose and further network. The night was a success. Below are two pictures that I have taken from the IT Awards night.
Social media is definitely new in that technology has advanced the way “communities” formulate and congregate. The old way was at town halls and such, but today, people are speaking out online. Globalization and the advancement has evolved the way society speaks out and receives their information. Therefore, social media has always been around. It is just easier accessible and more part of our daily lives. It all starts with technology. The growth in technology connects people all over the world. Therefore, it is more important to be socializing on the Internet rather than reading the newspaper and going to the local coffee shop to mingle. Since the social aspect has moved to the Internet, organizations must acquire new skills and capabilities in order to gain this social migration. It is easier for organizations to grow and spread the word, and if they are left behind. They will most likely not make it due to technology advancing almost every 6 months.
Use other social media sites
A good way to get your blog out there is by posting the link all over the Internet. Before the Internet, the inexpensive way of advertisement was through passing fliers around. Placing your link on social media sites is very similar to passing fliers around. By constantly placing your links on Facebook and Twitter, your blog traffic will increase. If you just try it, you can track your blogs performance using Google Analytics to track this information.
Write Lots of Short Articles
People do not like reading long articles, but in order to get yourself out there, you must write a lot. Our guest speaker last week, Larry Dignan, said that he brought on a young college student to write for him. The student wrote constantly about everything and drew a following. Now he can write longer articles that are more substantial to issues and his readers. Therefore, by writing about anything, you will gain followers. It takes time and patience, but by writing and posting your links, you will grab a following.
I picked the most branded, well known company in the world, Coca-cola. Everyone knows of this company and its products. They have invested and continue to invest lots of time and money to advertise their products. On their website, they have links to their Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube pages. On each of these sites they have links to each website as well as the corporate site. This type of promotion is very beneficial because it is much cheaper than advertising through television. Flickr shows pictures, Twitter tells public of promotions and such, Facebook connects the community, and youtube shows the commercials. In addition to this, each page follows the corporate colors of red and white.
On the weekend, I deliver for a local restaurant called Taranovas. They have a website, http://www.taranovas.com/ordereze/default.aspx, but they don’t have their link to their Facebook page on here. Since I work there, I know that their Facebook page was recently created and I will be suggesting to link it to their website. It appears to me that it is more beneficial to have pages in community sites than actual websites. Users like to stay in one area and get all the information needed at this location. So having a Facebook page is becoming more beneficial to advertising products and promotions than doing so on the main website. Measuring the success of this is pretty easy. You can analyze how many visitors visit each page and how long they actually remain on the page. In addition, having people “like” your page on Facebook will create a following. Same with Twitter. Advertising is all about getting your brand and/or product out in the public eye. This can be achieved by using Facebook and Twitter.
When I joined the Management Information System’s student organization, Association Management Information Systems, I felt disconnected. This disconnection was due to the tightly centralized structure of AMIS. I decided to run for a board position and became Treasurer of AMIS. From a leadership position, I was able to have a voice and try and reconstruct how information flowed through the organization. Today, AMIS is still centralized in that there is a hierarchy. However, all the members are part of a tightly knit community where position doesn’t matter. Everyone has a voice.
In the section about the role of ideology in decentralized organizations from the book, The Starfish and The Spider
, it talked about the role of ideology in the decentralized organizations. The book suggests that the community is built around different ideologies and the individuals are accepted in certain communities based on their beliefs. Christine Cavalier at Purple Car wrote an article how to build community online: which is more direct about believers/followers than in the book, The Starfish and The Spider. Cavalier explains that each community online is about a belief and anyone associated with the belief will flock to it and become part of the community.
Cavalier’s 3S approach to building an online community is very interesting. Out of the 3S’s, I think the search is the most important aspect. You must get the word out. For example, did Mark Zuckerberg develop Facebook and let his followers find it? No. He sent the link to thousands upon thousands of college students. That’s how the Facebook community grew. He searched for his followers by planting seeds. The seeds were e-mails to every student that went to college across the United States and eventually went into Europe. If he hadn’t searched, would he have been as successful?
I think Cavalier is pretty dead on. The 3S approach makes total sense. You need to search for your followers, share or collaborate experiences which is why people join communities, and lastly support one another. The stronger the community the more “customers” will come. The “customers” isn’t the community, but rather those who want to sell stuff to the community members. For example, Facebook makes money off the advertisements on the page. Since the community is so strong, there are many “customers” who buy ad space on Facebook pages.
Mark Zuckerberg and his cohorts at Facebook are geniuses. This new phenomena of posting the news on Facebook is just another sustainability method to keep Facebook growing. First it started out as a focus strategy where only college students can use by logging in with their college e-mail. Now, it has grown to have almost everything. When you get on your computer, what is the first thing you do? I go on Facebook. Why wouldn’t companies want to migrate to the Facebook platform? Facebook and Walmart are becoming very similar in that they have total control of their suppliers. What Walmart has done to their supply chain, Facebook has done with the social media realm.
The commentary from Erik Sherman at bNet called So, Why Does the Air Force Want Hundreds of Fake Online Identities on Social Media? explains that the US Air Force wants to create false identities for:
* antiterrorism tactics
* create public opinion against those who have disinterests in Western culture
* Track military personnel
These may be true. It is just for our “Big Brother” to follow. As technology becomes more advanced, the US government will keep tracking us differently. During the Bush administration, the government wanted to place tracking on our home phones. Now, they want to create false identities on the internet to impersonate themselves as terrorists, in order to locate them. Although this may protect our country, I am against this. How far can they really push the invasion of our privacy?