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Through this course I have learned 3 overarching personal lessons.
- The first lesson is personal and reflective. I have learned that my personal abilities have limits when it comes to social media. Although I use social media everyday, social media as a tool & an entity was, and probably still is, beyond me. As demonstrated through my other posts and Lessons Learned I’ve learned a lot about how to use social media as well as how to manage it from a company’s point of view.
There were plenty of ‘firsts’ in this course: my first blog, my first Pinterest, and many more things I hadn’t even heard of ( Klout, Google+, and Bebo). By extension I learned about my work habits and behaviours. For one thing, blogging takes A LOT more time than I expected. I think because the high levels of personalization as well as its newness, assignments on WordPress were taking me a lot more time than I anticipated. Beyond that I found it hard to adapt my academic tools to a blog set up and blog style. I felt like a fish out of water when it came time to paste my assignments into blog posts, never sure of where to insert an image or where in separate into another post. I still have not mastered the ‘tag’! On the other hand, in this final assignment and assignment 3 I found myself increasingly more comfortable with the format and took more opportunities to be creative.
2. The second major lesson I learned stemmed directly from assignment 3, a case study that continued research from my preliminary inquiries into the Canadian Cancer Society’s social media use. To check it out click here: www.smrtccecancersociety.wordpress.com. Through this assignment I learned quite a lot about group work online, which is quite different. I found that it communication between group members was more scattered and less coherent (some occurred in email, GoogleDocs and some on Twitter). Conversely, my group chose to centralize all our work documents on GoogleDocs and I found that immensely helpful. The Docs feature of seeing who has modified the document more recently and the sharing feature both made working together seamless. All having access to a continuously edited document made a task list and working through steps in the assignment very manageable. Even though we were able to complete the assignment almost exclusively online, I do think it is important, or even necessary, that the group meet in person at least once or twice.
3. Lastly, the final major lesson I learned is tangible, concrete information about the Canadian Cancer Society. In exploring CCS online and speaking with employees I’ve learned quite a lot about the organization itself. It is interesting to view an influential Canadian charity in a academic as well as business point of view. To see more about what I mean here check out my posts about CCS and the link posted above from the case study.
Return on marketing investment is the net return from a marketing investment divided by the costs of the marketing investment. Marketing ROI is difficult to measure. It is difficult to measure because aspects of the ratio are dollar values (both R and I) but benefits like advertising impact aren’t easily put into dollar amounts. Though many companies have adopted the strategy of “make marketing accountable”, many are not satisfied with their ability to use marketing ROI figures to implement a plan. Increasingly, marketers are using customer-centred tools to measure marketing impact, such as customer acquisition, customer retention, customer lifetime value, and customer equity. Marketing ROI is an important concept and is at the heart of every business. It is important because it is useful for determining if a marketing investment initiative provides a required return, or if capital would be better used somewhere else. As a tool, marketing ROI can help businesses quantify the impact of marketing on the business.
Conclusively, measuring outcomes and successes from marketing ROI and social media input can be a difficult task, but is an important consideration for companies making this financial expenditure.
The ideal measurement chain is demonstrated as: INPUTS –> OUTPUTS –> OUTCOMES
The following link leads to a business article entitled 48 Ways to Measure Social Media Success. Read More
Some other methods of online input measurement are:
- Google Analytics
- Crowd Booster
Although I have my own criticisms about the organization behind the KONY video and opinions about the situation.. I do think KONY is an interesting situation worth considering in a Social Media class because of its massive, rapid spread across the world through online means and social media sites. I think it was effective in this sense largely due to the emotional responses it illicits in its viewers which tends to motivate those people to support the cause and most importantly, “share” or discuss it with others. Also, the simplicity of the “action” that it requested from its viewers/supporters is another key factor in why I think it went viral so quickly. The following information from Pew exemplifies my main belief about why it spread so quickly.
The Pew Internet and American Life Project investigated how KONY 2012 became the most viral videoof all time.
The key, Pew found, was 18 to 29-year-olds sharing links on Twitter and Facebook. While initially 77% of Twitter discussions were positive, the tone shifted as criticisms of the non-profit behind the film, Invisible Children, began to circulate
One of Pew’s takeaways was the importance of social media for spreading news to young readers.
For more information check out these two links:
About PEW: http://mashable.com/2012/03/16/kony-2012-pew-study/
A debate on whether The ‘Kony 2012’ Campaign Creates Effective Social Change: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/19/kony-2012-great-debate_n_1362450.html
Our lessons learned component involves reflections on interesting aspects, discussions, topics and gained knowledge from the SMRT CCE course. My second area covers consumerism & social media.
In my opinion internet has vastly changed the way consumers and marketers interact. Internet and social media has allowed for interactive, two-way marketing and greater sharing of information between the marketer and customer. For the consumer, this can be a great thing because it creates more accountability. With viral internet posts and social media sites, consumers hold a lot of power to compel companies to satisfy their needs and wants consistently. I believe this to be so because of the raw power of negative publicity which sticks more than positive comments and travels rapidly in this day and age. Internet has been hugely influential in commercial success and the automotive industry is a great example.
For example, the average person does over 50% of car shopping/detail selection online before ever stepping into a dealership so it is up to the marketers to promote thorough, effective websites rather than just in-person positives of the company. Another good example is the automotive industry’s utilization of YouTube. Many of the online commercials are for vehicles and many companies have launched interactive marketing campaigns to get real customers testimonials in a popular outlet. My favourite example of this is the Toyota Sienna Swagger Wagon YouTube video which has over 10 million views! Swagger Wagon – Toyota Sienna
Ultimately, I think these developments are positive for customer as it breaks down a wall and brings the consumer closer to the company. The customer has so many avenues to become educated on the service, product or company in mind If the consumer really appreciates the companies actions, services or products, they have the power to get closer and interact with them more. And also share their positive opinion publicly and widely through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Conversely, it gives the consumer the opportunity to speak, and be heard, if they are dissatisfied. For the marketer perspective, I would say the developments are largely positive. I feel this way because marketers have even more information to glean from their target customers if they can interact with them and appease them through less formal settings.
On the negative front, as I mentioned, Internet has resulted in consumers’ negative commentary having a lot more outlets, and a lot more clout (even if it is untrue). An example of this would be any number of “rating” sites that allow customers to comment and rate their hotel stay, restaurant visit, etc. (www.restaurantica.com) This is a two-sided issue, on one hand, companies can manipulate the information to have employees/friends/families purposefully post positive comments to increase the rating. On the other hand, customers often fancy themselves critics and post scathing reviews that can be unfounded, which brings the ranking down – and realistically, it can really influence potential customers. I, myself, have had reservations about going to a restaurant that I knew nothing about but that had negative comments online. Obviously, some of the comments are completely accurate and helpful, and so this puts the onus back on the consumer to sift through the information when making a product or service decision.What do you think? Do customer reviews of products or services really affect your decision making? How many really prefer to pick up the phone or physically go in person when shopping for those big ticket items? (electronics, appliances, vehicles) What did you think of the Sienna video? I think its really funny!
About the Event
The event took place at the Ron Joyce Centre in Burlington on Wednesday February 15th. There was a Twitter backchannel which used the hastag#MacPirate during the event. My Social Media & Research Techniques class as invited to attend the event, though unfortunately, I had a previous engagement. The evening began with the announcement of a generous gift being made to McMaster University. Then the class itself will be led by Terry O’Reilly (@terryoinfluence), Chris Tait (@christpirate), and Tom Eymundson, all from the advertising agency Pirate Toronto.
If you reviewed the tweets after the fact…
- Do you feel you can get an idea of what the event was like from reviewing the tweets? Is there value in seeing what was posted?
- What’s the most important thing you learned by reviewing the tweets?
- What kind of roles did people take on during the event? Give a link to an example tweet for each type of role.
- From your perspective, when it comes to using Twitter at events like this one, what would you stop, start, and continue doing to improve the experience?
Upon reviewing the tweets after the event, I can glean that the event was a success. Many tweeted about having a great time, learning a lot, and overall enjoying the event. Furthermore, from reading the tweets I was able to understand some of the interactions and details that occurred at the event. (donations, speeches, reception, etc).
From a business perspective, the most important information learned from reviewing the tweets was that it was success and that attendees a) are talking about it & b) had a great time. For my own purpose, the most important thing I learned from this process was the actual interactions of the event such as who, what, why and how the donations were made. For me, it’s nice to know that my classmates had a good time, but it is more valuable to know what the event actually entailed.
In the tweets that I noticed most, the attendees were taking on a participatory and engaged role. Many tweets mentioned specific ads or products which I assume were part of the event and perhaps were displayed? Nonetheless, they gave off an impression of the event’s exclusivity, like I missed out on some inside-joke.
In terms of using Twitter at events like this one I would recommend an increased social media and Twitter presence. The use of a specific hashtag or a Twitterfountain-style site on display, in my opinion, really increases attendees’ feeling of involvement and importance of the event. I don’t think enough events tap into this possibility, especially because many things are already being talked about in the Twitter-world so if the organizers set out a specific hashtag or plan I think they would serve to gain from the event.
have a great long weekend!
Program Objective: to increase monetary donations to the Canadian Cancer Society by 5% within the next 5 years.
Target Audience: those deemed to donate the least, that being males & females aged 18-25. The following population pyramid based on 2010 population stats from Census Canada demonstrates just how many millions of people that this age range encompasses.
- consider creating a Bebo presence
- Increase presence on YouTube
- create presence on MySpace
- Maintain a strong presence on Facebook & Twitter
- I chose these sites because of a research report I looked at which correlates age groups and social media usage from 2008. See below:
- I also chose these sites because of a report from eBiz which ranked Facebook, Twitter & MySpace in the top 4 most popular social media networking sites. http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/social-networking-websites
Issues & Opportunities
- Issue: the trends in social media usage are often changing and this means two things to my research. Firstly, it may mean that even though the Forrest Report is only 3 years old, that may be too long in the social media realm . Secondly, this means that I will need reassess and reshape my objectives often to keep my finger on the pulse.
- Issue: Those aged 18-25 are often in post-secondary education of some kind or new to the work force and they tend to have a lot of debt and be frugal about certain areas of life. If this is the case, then it may be necessary for the objectives to illicit monetary donations as well as time donation, ie. Volunteerism etc
- Issue: People in this younger demographic may not have had their own life experiences to shape their opinion and may donate to and favour charitable donations that their parents promote, or none.
- Opportunity: Because of the higher concentration of younger people(especially 13-15) using social media sites if we are successful in our objectives which will target the younger demographic, it will likely correlate to increased donations from them for a longer period of time.
- Opportunity: If the objectives prove successful CCS has the opportunity to bring in a new generation of supporters for a lifetime.
Risks & Assumptions
- Assumption: I am making the assumption that using social media sites that younger age groups use will elicit their interest in the CCS and thus create a life long interest.
- Risk: A potential risk would be if the objectives are too successful and other organizations don’t get the donates they need as well.
- Risk: Conversely, current donors may see the program goal as time-consuming and a waste of resources, and they may not continue to donate.
- Assumption: I made the assumption that the CCS’s national Twitter & Facebook accounts are not a priority in these objectives.
Conclusion & GAP
- Who donates now?
- The average age of charitable donors is 53.
- Who is the target audience?
- Ages 15 to 25.
- Where do they do social media?
- Bebo, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook
- What is the goal?
- To increase CCS donations by 5% in the next 5 years, particularly from younger age groups (13-25).
- Bebo is something completely new to me, so I was just curious…
Additional Information & References
Census Canada http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/index-eng.cfm
Where your money goes -CCS http://www.cancer.ca/Canada-wide/About%20us/CW-What%20we%20do.aspx?sc_lang=en