Future Implications

One thing that can be said for sure about social media. It isn’t going away any time soon.social-media-logos_15773
And another thing that can be said without a doubt? It’s always changing.
Its effect on individual lives and the business world is profound.

What more can we possibly expect?

I wonder what I would say to my former 1980’s self about what to expect if I could go back in time right now…right when I was graduating from college without having ever touched a “computer”…back when advertising meant print, TV and radio; when thoughts and implications of a “world wide web” weren’t even imaginable…

It might go something like this:

“Welcome to 2015.
Soon you’ll see people everywhere with a wireless phone they can’t put down, fingers flying and cars crashing…
oh, and you’ll also get to see what your friend in Idaho has for lunch.
In real time.
Privacy? NOPE.
Doesn’t exist anymore.
Whatever you tell someone, everyone knows, and not just now…forever!

It’s now incredibly easy to market yourself online. Self-published books can become best sellers, YouTube channels can be responsible for record deals, and startups can succeed anywhere, regardless of whether or not you are brick and mortar. Analytics software is huge, and prosperous social networks continue to appear, opening even more communication channels with consumers.baby-boomers

The changes I have seen as a baby boomer are incredible, I can only imagine what the web holds for our future as individuals and businesses.

As I perused the web for future implications for marketing by just looking for new social media platforms, I found 2 of the latest applications…Periscope and Meerkat. These allow the viewer to see events as they occur in real time, and to interact with the broadcaster. While live video streaming has been available for quite some time, these apps bring it to a whole new level.

The implications for marketing here are staggering, what if marketers could interact with customers in real time?

virtual_reality-t2Perhaps social media’s next big platform will be virtual reality advertising.
No longer does the web exist for sight and sound, but now exists for touch, feel and taste.
Consumers will get to try the product or experience the service without actually buying it…from trying on clothes to sampling food items. Consumers can log in their input which will then be provided to the marketer for product improvement ideas.

This infographic shows that “real-time” marketing will give way to brands finding the right content to fit the right audience at the right time. Like the other predictors, social media ad spending will increase as more social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest get into the advertising game.


As more platforms emerge, more ways to advertise will present themselves.

What does the future hold for business in social media?

Whatever you can dream.

It’s hard to say.

The mind can’t even imagine…





Viral Marketing Initiatives

What makes a marketing initiative go viral?

There are several reasons why marketing videos go viral.
People love surprise, laughter, and just having “feelings.”
While it is true that no product on it’s own can “create” any of these reactions from a consumer just by sitting on the shelf, creatively portraying the product in an unusual way can be very effective in doing this. The best thing a marketer can do is use creativity to make a video share-worthy and sit back and let the online public do the rest!

I will touch on a few reasons that I personally think are the most effective in a marketing video…

The unexpected.
Everyone enjoys being taken aback by a little surprise now and then. And we like to share that feeling with others. Amazement, astonishment and uncertainty keeps interest better than just about anything else. These videos end up being shared because they are unique and surprising.

       Case and Point:

LG TV came up with a clever, albeit potential “angry-consumer-lawsuit-creating” scheme to show potential customers how realistic it’s new line of HD TV’s were.

This video went viral because, well, who doesn’t have a “My Worst Interview” story?
And you can’t help but wonder “What would I do in that situation?”
Granted this may be way above and beyond for a cruel joke, but you get the point!
That is one mighty realistic TV screen!


Who doesn’t need a good laugh? And when it’s done to sell or make you aware of a product? All the better! (For the business being represented, anyway!)
This campaign was so effective because it uses kids (a well-known lure), and just let those kids be kids…it’s obvious there was no script.
And we all know kids like this.


Promoting Action.

The ALS Challenge was a biggie for this one. It made those who took part feel good about themselves for giving back.
In the end, people “needed” to do it.
It said something about you to the world.
It became an indicator of status. If you weren’t challenged, somehow that meant you were “less than” and just didn’t make the grade…!

This is how powerful social media can be!

This video showed how “clever” people became with their videos. It became more than just a challenge…and Bill Gates will not be outdone…


Evoking Emotion.

Nothing like playing with people’s emotions to get ’em sharing a video.


You feel dirty watching this one. Almost voyeuristic.
But, nonetheless, you do.
And not just once.
Admit it.

Throw in kids or puppies with the Awwwwww factor and it’s OVER!


And a combo of the above?

You’ve reeled them in.
They are all yours…

Check out this campaign created by Metro Trains rail service in Australia. Apparently people weren’t smart enough to avoid train tracks and were ending up as part of the railroad bed, which prompted the release of this safety video:

“The campaign, titled “Dumb Ways to Die” has created massive awareness through an unexpected, funny, and emotionally jarring video. Since it’s launch, the video has been seen by more than 56 million people.” (Libert, 2013)

Still not enough?

How about this one? It brings the unexpected, comedy, shock, disbelief…all in one tidy package.

Bathroom humor seems to have a shock value all it’s own.

“Soon after its September 2013 online debut, the clip was spotlighted on sites like The Huffington Post and Jezebel; from there it attracted the attention of national radio personalities Ryan Seacrest and Howard Stern. In just a week the video fueled 6 million views and more than 278,000 shares, meaning that about one in every 22 viewers passed the clip along to their social media followers. “Girls Don’t Poop” ultimately increased Poo-Pourri’s Facebook fan base by 354 percent.” (Ankeny, 2014)

I’m speechless.

(But I sure want to try this product now!)


Ankeny, J. (2014, May). How These 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits. Entrepreneur. Retrieved from: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233207

Crimmons, L. (2014, November). The Top Ten Viral Marketing Campaigns of All Time. Branded3. http://www.branded3.com/blogs/the-top-10-viral-marketing-campaigns-of-all-time/

Libert, K. (2013, October 24). Research: The Emotions that Make Marketing Campaigns Go Viral. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from: https://hbr.org/2013/10/research-the-emotions-that-make-marketing-campaigns-go-viral/

Wegert, T. (2014, December 15). 7 Things we Learned about Viral Content in 2014. Contently. Retrieved from: http://contently.com/strategist/2014/12/15/7-things-we-learned-about-viral-content-in-2014/









Differentiation: The Airline Industry Uses Social Media Effectively and Ineffectively.



JetBluestacked-logoComparison and contrast of social media utilization from the airline industry proved interesting. I chose JetBlue and Allegiant Air for comparison.

These 2 specific carriers pride themselves in being “low cost”, and both have a nice sense of humor, but that’s where the similarity ends.
As you will see, Allegiant Air has a ways to go to regain a positive standing in social media.

JetBlue’s business strategy is being a low cost airline that cares more about its customers than they do about the almighty dollar. They utilize many social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Buzz feed, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube. The company does a wonderful job with its many varied channels of social media presence and keeps up with postings.

Their social media usage includes a JetBlue YouTube Channel which hosts several categories of video, including one series by JetBlue’s online marketing campaign “mascot” Shoo the pigeon called “Shoo’s Birds Eye view”.

In this campaign, the pigeon represents the everyday average flier. The pigeon narrates commentary of how he sees different everyday occurrences in the world. Other categories on JetBlue’s’ YouTube Channel (without Shoo) include: Corporate Responsibility; what’s happening, and Mint (JetBlue’s version of First Class which includes seats that convert to beds and artisanal snacks.)

Allegiant Air’s business strategy is being a low-cost “no-frills-unless-you-pay-for-them” airline. Allegiant aims primarily to serve leisure travelers, particularly those in colder northern climates, going to warm-weather tourist destinations. It also serves smaller destinations that see few direct flights by major carriers. There is a rock bottom price for a ticket, to which you can add fees for pieces of luggage or snacks, etc. The more you add, the more it costs. This airline is for those who just want to “get there” without the nonsense, which is in and of itself, a great idea. They have a sense of humor like JetBlue does, which I think is almost necessary for the airline industry. So much can go wrong, and an air of “lightness” always help pacify any situation.

They also maintain a Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter and YouTube Account. Allegiant’s presence on the web is similar to JetBlue’s, both featuring “warm” destination pics and contests.

One thing interesting on the Facebook page of Allegiant is this statement: “Travel is our deal. We will not address specific Customer Service issues here. Customers may submit a feedback form at http://gofly.us/t7ArH. Great way to keep Facebook positive and negative issues private!”
This same statement heads their Twitter account.
I thought that was INCREDIBLY smart when I first saw it.
People can start their own community pages if you don’t let them post something they want to on yours. And they sure do.
Google “Allegiant Air Facebook” and the Facebook page “Allegiant Air Sucks” falls right under their Facebook page results. “Allegiant Sucks” even is on Twitter.

And they have their own logo.


Apparently they mean business.

Come to find out, there is a LOT of negative comments out there about Allegiant Air. I was amazed at how much was there without any rebuttal or apologizing from the airline. Something negative about Allegiant Air is also on the first page of search results for just about anything you type in with the name “Allegiant Air”. JetBlue is much quicker and better at resolving any issues on the web and therefore has a much better reputation.

Allegiant Air’s YouTube channel does have an interesting marketing idea with several videos of a new “game show” they have created called “The Game Plane”. Passengers on Allegiant Airplane flights win cash and prizes by answering questions correctly while in the air.

This show will be aired on TV this fall. www.thegameplane.com
My first thought was “Who the heck wants to see others win cash and prizes?” Then, I remembered this seriously successful model has taken off on TV with shows like those where you need to know SOMETHING (Who wants to be a millionaire) and those where you need to know NOTHING (well, next to nothing, just what a suitcase is and how to read numbers (Deal or No Deal)).
Just start watching and try to turn either one off.
You start routing for people. People you don’t know and will never follow up with on how they used their new-found wealth.
So it’s a good idea. Probably their only good idea. Will it work? Only time will tell.

So…with all that said… the better reputation by far is held by JetBlue, so it is obvious they have a better handle on their approach to social media. Allegiant Air could stand to learn a few things if they want to remain in business! Especially if WOM has anything to do with marketing!



I have been thinking lately about the difference between my childhood and the childhood my son is experiencing and I wonder how today’s technology will affect how he learns and grows into adulthood.

I am from the baby boomer era. There is no question that perhaps my generation has seen the most marked change in technology in our 50 years of existence. From getting just 3 channels on the TV which had no remote control (in our house, it was my younger sister! ), to graduating from college without ever touching a computer, to now working in front of one more than 8 hours a day.

As a child, I spent most of the day outside when not in school, exploring woods and fields and rivers. I used to put on hip waders and dig in old swamp dumps for antique bottles. I would bring a chisel and hammer up the mountain in front of our home and work for hours digging for what I was sure to find: gold and diamonds. My imagination ran wild and I always thought I would find some great treasure in my travels. It was just exciting to explore and pretend. As a child, I never knew what might happen or what I might find. It was always different.This is something I would never dare let my child do today. I would be frightened to let him wander the countryside in this day and age as I did as a child .

My son, who is nine, is content playing Minecraft on the computer and could care less about spending a whole lot of time outside. And sometimes, I find myself happy that I don’t have to worry if he is safe, because I can see him.

Minecraft, for those of you who don’t know of it, is a virtual world unto itself. You can create anything you want. It’s a creative building program allowing players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a “3D procedurally generated” world.  There are interactive animals and people. It does more than you could imagine.

My son has built entire villages, an amusement park, a mining community, a farming community, and lately, a horse-breeding farm where he has several horses with signs on their stalls which tell of the results of breeding them with different varieties. He found a pair that created a Pegasus. So yes, perhaps he is using imagination?  But, I wonder how the difference in how his imagination is used affects his creativity?

Are you truly being creative when at the touch of your fingers you can create a “world” just by tapping a few keys? That might just be “learning what certain keys do”… As time passes, technology makes being “creative” easier and easier.

I can only imagine what my son’s children will be doing…and if creativity and imagination will have gone by the wayside because computers are doing it for us.

Vampire Freaks, It’s your lucky day.

I thought I would explore some craziness this week.

I wondered, do you suppose there are any social media sites out there that are “off the wall” or maybe just a little different than the standard “Facebook” and “Pinterests” out there?

Soooooo many…

OK…so how’s this one.

(I’ll start slow.)

HAMSTERster. Yup. This one is for all those hamster lovers out there. You can feature a pic and stats of your best buddy, and he can reach out to friends. Wow.

How about those of you who secretly want to be Zombies? Or connect with your own kind?
Here ya go …

Lost Zombies is a zombie themed social network whose goal is to create a community generated zombie movie. Members of Lost Zombies, have their own profile page, can submit photos and videos, as well as take part in chat discussions, and submit content to be used in the movie.

Want to meet people at a bar but just don’t have the time? You’re in luck. Welcome to FuBar.

You can go online with your “FuBucks” and by someone a drink. There’s even a happy hour so you can be frugal with your FuBucks. There is a catch…you need to be 18.
This is done by just checking the box that says “Hell yeah, I’m 18.”
Think of the money saved in OUI arrests!
And no more nights in jail or morning hangovers!

How ’bout the ability to get into Heaven? Garronteed? Just click here. Line for Heaven.
and take a number!

This gives you the opportunity to save your “Soul” and reserve a place in “Heaven” by earning Karma Points. Those with the most Karma Points are deemed most worthy and may earn a chance to become closer to “God”.
Why waste your time on other sites, meeting creepy strangers, when you could get closer to “God”?

OK…this has to be my favorite site in the way of bizarre social media.

Its called My Free Implants.

Girls with a desperate need to belong to “Hooterville” solicate donations from those who want to see them in Hooterville.


Each girl that signs up can be “donated” to until she reaches her goal. Then you get to see the before and after shots, and that sure makes it all worth it… I’d post graphics, but I just can’t bring myself to do such a thing.

Double yikes.

Need I say more.

Hurricane, Smurricane….

I find myself off topic this week. My mind is elsewhere.

One of the things that kept coming to the forefront of my mind this week was the hurricane that we are expecting on the east coast.

Who’s this big bag of wind SANDY? And how is it going to affect me?

It seems to push other thoughts aside. Some people are taking it seriously, while some just buy a bottle of wine and some candles and call it good. (I only say that because I used to be one of those people who found that kind of weather fascinating, and never prepared for emergencies…)

As of today, life continues around me as though nothing is going on. Driving along I see nothing “boarded up” and no emergency measures being taken ANYWHERE. Not even Walmart is busy.  Matter of fact, I just came back from a Halloween party. There is still school, still work, just with a little added “excitement” about what might happen…

I am struck by the sobering fact that even after all the hype, publicity, and stern warnings by weathermen, that by the time anyone reads this post next week, people will have died.


Even with the forewarnings!

I always find that amazing.

Do you think these people would have prepared for this, or maybe actually evacuated when told, if they thought they would be dead next week?

I think about how this effects day to day living today as opposed to in the past. In the past, there was no warning. It was all a huge surprise. But in some ways, they were better equipped to deal than we are today. Our ancestors were used to “roughing it”… but today’s society is so dependant on technology that to be stripped of it, even for a day or two, sends people into a tizzy. We rely on ATM’s for cash, and cars for transportation, electricity for warmth. My son wonders aloud… “If we lose power…does the computer still work?”

I am reminded of the new series on television called “Revolution”. The premise is that the whole power grid goes down all over the world, and people are forced to live in a manner they are not accustomed to. Those who were once “rich” are no longer any different than you and I. It becomes all about survival. Although the story line is sometimes a little far fetched, the thinking behind it is sound. What would happen if we were forced to be in survival mode 24/7 instead of wondering which app to put on our smart phone next?

This hurricane, let’s say it is the “perfect storm” that is being predicted…how would power outages all along the eastern seaboard affect those who are little equipped to deal with inability to get food, clean water or stay warm?

What if it is an absolute catastrophe?
The weather IS becoming very unpredictable, by humankind’s own making…what will the future hold?
Should we be preparing daily for the inevitable?

My next musings…Pinterested?

In short, Pinterest successfully appeals to the emotional and social needs and desires of a demographic that few other sites are reaching properly, the women of the world.

So…I needed to see what this was all about…I signed up for Pinterest! It was tough, but I did it.
Just went right to the page and signed up.
I’m a woman right?
Am I about to become madly addicted?
I have my doubts, but I’ll let you know.

Some info:

Pinterest debuted in March 2011 to lukewarm reviews. Less than 6 months later however, it became the new social media sweetheart by becoming the fastest independent site to hit 10 million monthly unique visitors in the US.

Some statistics:

• 28% of users have an average household income over $100k;
• the average user spends 16 minutes a day on Pinterest;
• half of the users have children;
• 68% of Pinterest users are women;
• Pinterest gets 1.36 million visits per day;
• half the users are between the ages of 25-44;
• Whole Foods has the most followers on Pinterest.

Probably the biggest draw to Pinterest, and its secret weapon, is the simplicity of its design. The unlimited scrolling allows people to browse through content in an almost mesmerized state, visually scanning images with the action buttons hidden until they are scrolled over. Not too different, Pinterest also satisfies the Internet addiction of hoarding images and content. Have a certain interest? There’s a board for that.

Ok, lets get down to the nitty gritty…what’s in it for me?

I am a graphic designer, so yeah; there are some cool pictures that might inspire me. Perhaps I could get some ideas. But couldn’t I just Google images and get the same results?

But wait, I also have many hobbies. Apparently, Pinterest caters to that. There actually doesn’t seem to be any area that isn’t covered.

I like rocks and minerals, Pinterest has a category for this (check this out!)

This piece of our glorious planet is named “Velvet Beauty” found in 1890 in Bisbee Arizona — azurite, malachite and copper

Holy crap…I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.  I need this rock…

I am also interested in cooking, coin collecting, photography, antiques, astronomy, ancient history…the pictures are amazing and mesmerizing…

I am now continuing this blog about an hour after I started. Why do you suppose? I think it is starting to become clear. The site is fun to look at! It’s like a good book, or a good movie. You totally forget where you are and who you are. Minutes turn into hours…

Tonight: For the first time, I pin.

Pintervention Anyone?




Why Blog? And other musings…

I fancy myself as someone who is always productive. Not fond of much in the way of downtime. This can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. Because I am the way I am, I decided it made sense to research why I would want to do a blog (other than the fact that it is a requirement for this Social Media Class), or more simply, to discover what’s in it for me? I discovered this article about the Top 10 reasons to start a blog and I am off and running…

1. To Express Your Thoughts and Opinions
2. To Market or Promote Something
3. To Help People
4. To Establish Yourself as an Expert
5. To Connect with People Like You
6. To Make a Difference
7. To Stay Active or Knowledgeable in a Field or Topic
8. To Stay Connected with Friends and Family
9. To Make Money
10. To Have Fun and Be Creative

For me, the most logical reason for me to create a Blog is to write about something that will help me somehow and that I can learn from, which can actually be a combination of topics in this list. In that vein, I have decided my blog topics will be based loosely around #7 with others mixed in…the topic being social media venues. I cannot think of a better way to learn about this daunting area but then by making it a requirement to post musings about various sites of which I have absolutely no clue.

My first blog will start my first musings…the social outlet I chose for the week 3 assignment seemed a great place to start:


This is a site that I think I know about, but I am quickly discovering that everything I think I know always seems to go a little bit deeper. Especially in the social media world. I hope to get classmate responses about my postings and their views on these sites, and perhaps something they know about them that they can add. I know that Wikipedia is “frowned upon” for research sitings in college papers for the most part, but I figure where else to go to learn about Wikipedia than WIKIPEDIA! How wrong could they get it when they are running it?

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia, which boasts knowledge from many available sources. I was surprised to find out that it is a non-profit, which has about 150 employees (I guess I never thought about anyone actually running it!) called the Wikimedia Foundation. It has 23 million articles and has about 100,000 volunteers actively contributing unbiased information from around the world. It exists on the web in 285 languages. It has 365 million readers worldwide and 2.7 billion page views in the US alone! I know this is where I frequently go to find out information on a subject. I found out that apparently some of the pages that are particularly sensitive are “protected” by some degree against editing “vandalism” which is something I have always wondered about.

Wikipedia has established a clear power structure that gives volunteer administrators the authority to exercise editorial control, so the Wikipedia community has the final say of the content that is published. Most of the authors and contributing editors are “verified sources” but there are still some are anonymous. In all cases, Wikipedia employees have the final say.

Wikipedia remains in the top 10 “most searched sites.”

I find myself frequenting Wikipedia for just about everything I am looking for information on. I always start there. I figure that with the variety of people that contribute to it, there is bound to be information on this site that may not be posted elsewhere. Because the articles have to be backed up with verifiable sources, it is easy to click through to the source to find out more.

Even after doing research on Wikipedia BY Wikipedia, I am still left with the questions of whether or not the content can be totally trusted.

I found several articles that began with, not Wikipedia’s BIGGEST mistake, but instead, Wikipedia’s top 25 mistakes…or the biggest 15 Wikipedia blunders….you get the drift. Because people will be people, and there will always be someone out there whose biggest thrill is to see what they can get away with, there will always BE Wikipedia blunders. According to an article than ran in today’s papers Six out of 10 Wikipedia business entries contain factual errors.

I will continue to use Wikipedia as a resource…but because its credibility can be questioned due to the nature of the beast…I will probably not use it as a reference for anything that my life depends on…