Facebook for ..Grandma?

As the Christmas holiday gets nearer and nearer, we start making our rounds to the grandparents’ houses scattered across West Virginia. However, the trip this year got me thinking about more than the standard pair of Christmas pajamas (which I somehow get every year). After visiting, opening gifts and eating a delicious meal, my grandmother came up to me and asked me something I never thought I would hear her, or any of my other grandparents, say. She asked me if I could help her remove something on her Facebook. Yes, I said her Facebook.

Although I shouldn’t be surprised that she has a Facebook, the question caught me off guard. The social media site that has become so popular to my generation has also penetrated a generation that grew up listening to record players. As I was helping her, I couldn’t help but relate this to my IMC program because this new era of media has certainly had a huge impact on several different age groups. It also made me very curious to see just how many “elderly” people are using Facebook.

After doing some research, it became obvious that this age group was not Facebook’s primary audience, but most of us could have guessed that. The 26-34 age group took that award with around 26.1% of users falling in that age category. It did surprise me, however, to find that the 55-64 age group account for 4.6% of the users. Granted, this does not seem like a very large number, but when you are talking about 4.6% of the 629,982,480 this age group isn’t doing so bad. 

FB StatsAfter looking at the breakdown by age and gender, it became even more clear to me that Facebook is being used by an extremely large range of people, even my grandma.  In addition, this trend doesn’t seem to be stopping. There are still several people without Facebook accounts, but there aren’t many that do not at least know what the site is.  This year for Christmas, I helped my grandmother with her Facebook account, which is not something that happens everyday.


Can We Get Some Privacy?


Mobile Privacy Survey

There’s an app for that. Seems to be a phrase said for just about everything. From banking to shopping to checking stocks, there are mobile apps that make it easier for today’s society.  However, how much privacy do we all really have when using our mobile phones? Today, mobile phones are more than a way to make an emergency phone call. Instead, these devices are now used for both personal and work related actions. As people continue to use their mobile devices for more and more tasks, the issue of their privacy has become very important.

Although it seems that most people do not understand the privacy issue, there is no shortage of mobile users that do not want their private information shared. Sure, several of the apps and sites force you to “agree” to their terms before continuing. But how many people really know what those terms mean? Around 98% of people find their “privacy is an important issue when using a mobile device and they want more transparency and choice over the personal information mobile apps and websites collect and share, especially as it relates to targeted advertising and geo-location data.”

As this becomes a bigger issue, people are starting to talk about the privacy issue that is compromising their mobile devices. Consumers do not expect their information to be shared when they are simply using an app. People must be able to better understand what information they are actually giving out, how to block this information from being shared, and how to use the app without agreeing to give up their privacy. Feel free to share ideas on how you want your private information protected!

Social Media Has Become a Real “Hoot”

If you’ve been living under a rock and have only read my personal blog in the last month, you would already know how popular and important social media has become for our world today. From connecting with people to connecting with businesses, social media sites have made online communication and interaction virtually constant. When I say “popular,” I’m referring to the fact that 91% of online adults utilize social media.  Every minute of the day, more than 100,000 tweets are sent and more than 684,478 pieces of content are shared on Facebook. Yes, I said MINUTE.

When it comes to Facebook, users spend more than 10.5 billion minutes (almost 20,000 years) on the site EACH DAY. When it comes to Twitter, there are over 500 million registered users that companies can connect with. In addition, there are the other popular sites such as LinkedIn, Instagram, Foursquare, Pinterest and more. These sites aren’t just for leisure purposes either. More than 94% of corporate companies use social media, which has led to the prediction that in 2016 more than half of the U.S. retail dollars spent will be influenced by the web.

Why am I reiterating the important of social media? Because I recently came across what I think could be the next big move in the social media world. With businesses being forced to utilize so many different social media sites, it has become extremely difficult to adequately keep up constant communication (even with a whole team). Social media is all about constant communication and keeping up with trends, both internally and externally.

Therefore, the next big thing is here and quickly gaining popularity. A social media dashboard that allows businesses to monitor and update all of their social media sites in one place. HootSuite is a popular social dashboard, and businesses can utilize this site for only $9.99/month. This site allows companies to be involved in engagement, collaboration and analytics all in one spot. With companies like McDonald’s and Sony Music already utilizing HootSuite, my guess is that this method is going to quickly become the norm.
Social Dashboard Pic

“VOICE” Your Tweet

Most people, especially people reading this blog, are well aware of the fact that social media continues to dominate. In my previous blogs, I have touched on the idea of how important Twitter has become for consumers in both their personal lives and with their favorite companies. Twitter, however, has gone way beyond that and allowed our celebrity-crazed society almost “personally” interact with some of the most famous people in the world. While I already knew this, watching a popular NBC show has made me realize just how important Twitter has become.

This year, I have gotten into NBC’s “The Voice.” I love the way the show works, and I have found myself completely obsessed as the show reached its final four contestants on Tuesday. As I’ve watched the show and become interested in certain singers, I have noticed that The Voice puts the contestants’ Twitter names on the screen every time they are performing. The Voice’s main Twitter has more than 953,000 followers, and that’s mainly because of the great effort the show has always given to connecting with their fans.

For starters, The Voice has utilized a special hashtag (#) to get unite Twitter users when mentioning the show in any way. The show also pushes this hastag and the contestants Twitter names to inspire tweeting and word of mouth.  The Voice has done such a great job of promoting interaction on Twitter that in the first five episodes, as many as 70% of the voice tweets utilized the specific hashtag (#TheVoice). This was twice the average of the rest of the hashtags used on Twitter. From the beginning, The Voice has utilized Twitter to connect with their fans, and it has created a strong social popularity.


Social Cyber Monday

In the last few years, Cyber Monday has given Black Friday a run for its money. Sure, Black Friday and all of the positive encounters it offers is hard to beat, but many consumers are starting to see how easy saving money while Christmas shopping can be. Cyber Monday has only been around for 5 years, but has continued to dramatically increase.  This year, Cyber Monday online sales were up 17% over 2011 sales and raked in over $1.46 billion. So, how does that compare to Black Friday?

Well, let’s just say Cyber Monday sales haven’t quite topped Black Friday sales, at least not YET.  Since Cyber Monday is only 5 years old and was initially popular by men who didn’t want to deal with the hectic shopping scene, it has not become more profitable than Black Friday. However, there is a strong argument that it has maybe become more popular among consumers, which can be seen on social media sites.

When it comes to social media sites, consumers share nearly everything, including where the good deals are, where the crowds aren’t, and sharing excellent gift ideas. Therefore, Black Friday and Cyber Monday on social media sites are no different. In the comparison below, you can see how, with over two-thirds of the total social media mentions, “Black Friday got all the attention but Cyber Monday got all the love.”

There’s an App for That

A few days ago, my sister asked me if I had downloaded the app that was recently launched by the company where she works. Ashamed, I admitted that I hadn’t but I would be sure to download it and take a look. In addition to being slightly ashamed, I realized how important and popular apps are quickly becoming. While it seems that creating a mobile site is still in the works for some companies, other are going beyond even that and offering apps on several different devices to consumers.

With the launch of the iPhone a few years ago, smartphones and how we utilize them have become extremely popular and an important part of everyday life. Apple alone has sold over one billion apps, and the market doesn’t stop there. Many other popular brands, such as Microsoft and Research in Motion (Blackberry), have quickly caught on the this trend and offer their own stores for users to purchase apps.

Marketers are now having to ask themselves how to get on the iPhone, and other smartphones. This is mainly because consumers have started spending more time on apps than on the web. And who can blame them? Apps are easy to use and readily available basically anywhere your phone works. In the chart below, it is easy to see that consumers have started spending more time on apps than on the web.

From Lowe’s to Disney World, companies all over the world are trying to reach consumers and give them an easy tool to work with. No longer is the app store full of fun games that helped all of us get through some classes, now the app world is filled with ways to design your room or house, maps and real-time line lengths at Disney, and many, many, many others. This trend is no longer a future thought for many companies, it HAS become a must.

Latino Vote & Facebook Play Major Roles

Unless you’re living under a rock, you know that President Barack Obama was re-elected yesterday to clinch four more years in the White House. This is only the second presidential election I was able to vote in, and I did just that. However, I have to be honest in admitting that this is the first election where I closely followed the news as the results were pouring in. Although “Election Night in America 2012” covered a wide variety of issues and topics, one that kept coming up and sticking in my mind was the constant mentioning of the Latino vote.

Last week in my IMC class, there was a lot of discussion on how companies are starting to strongly market to the growing Latino population in the United States. Last night, however, I realized that more than just Fortune 100 companies were looking to steadily increase their popularity among the Latino population. Since the last election, nearly 24 million Latinos became eligible to vote, with a projected 11 million to actually vote. And vote they did. Recent polls by Fox News showed that latino voters favored Obama 70%-20% over Republican candidate Mitt Romney. With his recent suspension of “deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as minors and who met a strict set of criteria,” Obama won over the important Latino votes in Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado and more.

The Latino population has been growing at a quick pace since 2000. The U.S. Census shows that between 2000 to 2010, the Latino population grew by 43%, which was 9.7% of the rest of the country’s growth rate. So, after seeing these numbers, I realized that Obama must have done all the right things throughout his campaign, and I was right. Social media is not a new thing to the campaign, because he utilized Twitter in his 2008 campaign. However, the Obama campaign went above and beyond by strategically using Facebook and other sites to market to specific demographics. Facebook ads and presence helped the campaign “replicate the door-knocking efforts of field organizers.” These tactics were shown to work 20% of the time because they were messages from familiar people. There are 5 major lessons marketers and politicians can learn from the Obama campaign.

The Latino population has grown, Obama has utilized several marketing tactics to target this population, and he has found himself President for four more years.

Surviving #Sandy via Social Media

As the high winds and heavy rains of Hurricane Sandy make their way inland on the East Coast, social media is buzzing with informative updates and pictures.  The social media outlets have made it considerably easier for updates and alerts to reach people almost instantaneously (at least until the power goes out and the cell networks go down). In the short time it took me to write these three sentences, nearly 200 new tweets with subject #Sandy flooded Twitter. To follow these rapid posts, visit Twitter / #Sandy.

From The Weather Channel to Gossip Girl, Twitter has exploded with important, and not so “life-threatening,” information. On Twitter alone, the Huffington Post listed 18 different twitter accounts where people could find constantly updating information. How full proof is this tweeting method during a state of emergency like Sandy? Actually, the NY Daily News has step-by-step instructions on how to stay connected on Twitter during Hurricane Sandy.

Twitter, however, is not the only social media site getting all the buzz. As of Monday afternoon, #Sandy had “233,000 photos posted on Instagram.” In addition, the term “Hurricanesandy” had 100,000 photos and “Frakenstorm” had 20,000 photos. According to the Instagram’s CEO, Kevin Systorm, “there are now 10 pictures per second being posted with the hashtag ‘Sandy’.” As incredible as this is, these aren’t the only ways social media has impacted the coming of Hurricane Sandy.

As crazy as it is, it is clear to see that utilizing social media throughout natural disasters has become “as much a part of the experience as stocking up on bread and batteries.” So, for all you Tweeters, stay tuned for #Sandy updates and for my fellow East Coasters, stay safe!

Welcome to the Marketing Mixtape

Hello and thanks for visiting my Marketing Mixtape blog! Although this blog is for my IMC 619 class through WVU, I am really excited to keep up on emerging media and how it is used on a daily basis. The Marketing Mixtape blog will explore the good and the bad that surround emerging media, including how these various tactics are used to promote brands and products. To get on the same page, I want to make sure there is a clear understanding of what “emerging media” actually is.

According to Ball State University, emerging media is “the evolving use of technology and digital content to enhance work, play, and learning, to broaden access to information, and to enrich personal connection by eliminating the constraints of time and location.”

This definition has several different aspects that I will explore this semester. Emerging media has changed the game, and brought some fun to the marketing world.  Most of us use social media on a daily basis to keep in touch with friends, get the news and learn about new products. Emerging media has had a huge impact on our world, and I can’t wait to dig in and explore how and why. Hope you enjoy the ride with the Marketing Mixtape!

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