An overview of the Twitter trend of professional athletes and their followers
Are Your Tweets Oscar Worthy?
Mark your calendars everyone! The 2nd Annual Shorty Awards are coming up! This aptly named award show celebrates the effective, efficient and successful use of the Twitter user’s 140-character tweets to best represent the powerful use of Social Media and Social Networking. The Twitter website declares “The Shorty Awards honor the best people and organizations on Twitter. These unique awards are for the Twitter community by the Twitter Community.”
The 2010 ceremony will be held in New York City during the month of March, This year’s ceremony is already predicted to show support for organizations and individuals and their role in using Twitter to highlight the issues in Haiti and the rapid aid and assistance it then brought about. Haiti resident and TV personality Carel Pedre is the standout nominee, thus far having 163 nominations in five different categories. According to CNN “His twitter site has become a virtual clearing house for aid agencies and those seeking urgent help.” His social network site and social media effects seen on Twitter have placed him at the number five spot of the “#innovation” category of the award show.
Betty Draper, the fictional housewife in the popular hit “Mad Men ,” along with some of the rest of its characters were big winners during 2009 show. Other fictional stars who were big winners last year are also expected to continue their success this year. To many users approval however, the Haiti Twitter-er is projected to make a big impact on and dent into this years ceremony. Any Twitter user can vote for, nominate and or campaign for any of the chosen nominees.
So although the highlights of this award show will not be the best or worst dressed, the entertaining performances, or the comedic host, this new and renovating award show will prove to further the influence, use and importance of Social Media.
Pepsi’s Super Bowl Strategy
Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the Super Bowl. Some are watching because their team is playing for the title, others are watching simply for the love of the game and the rest are watching for the entertainment provided by the infamous Super Bowl commercials. Millions of dollars are spent on commercial time during the game. Last year, companies paid $3 million for every 30-second spot. This year, the price has gone down to as low as $2.5 million for a 30-second spot, reflecting the current economy.
While the cost is lower than last year, some big companies have decided not to run ads during the Super Bowl at all this year. The game, scheduled to air on February 7 on CBS, will not be showing ads by FedEx, General Motors or Pepsi. This is the second consecutive year that FedEx has chosen to not buy any ad spots, and GM spokesman Tom Henderson said, “We are going to focus our resources in other areas.”
According to The Huffington Post, “Pepsi was one of the biggest advertisers in last year’s game and has advertised every year since 1987.” But Pepsi’s reason for not running any ads this year is different from the other companies’ reasons. Instead of buying ad spots during the Super Bowl, Pepsi is running a social media campaign that started January 13. The Pepsi Refresh Project is a community-based campaign that allows people to nominate and vote for the community service project, charity, small business, nonprofit organization or anything else that most voters would like to see receive financial support from Pepsi. There will be up to $1.3 million in grants distributed each month to the winning nominees.
As social media continues to grow, many businesses are finding ways to use the different mediums to reach potential and current customers. According to a recent article on SunSentinel.com, companies such as Zappos.com and Best Buy are utilizing social media outlets like Twitter to help them better reach their customers. So is Pepsi trying to do the same thing? Are they simply trying to be smarter with their money during this rough economy, or are they moving in a new direction with their marketing strategies?
If Pepsi is moving their marketing strategies in a new direction, is the Super Bowl the smartest time to do so? According to Fran Kelly, chief executive at Arnold Worldwide, in an article on Boston.com, many companies are not buying ad times during the Super Bowl because it is too expensive. She said, “For a lot of our big clients that are advertising year round, they don’t want to spend the time or money to do a Super Bowl ad.”
But according to Andrew Graff, chief executive of Allen & Gerritsen and chairman of The Ad Club of Boston, “Viewers don’t skip over the Super Bowl spots.’’
Many people don’t watch every day commercials; they leave the room, mute the TV or fast forward through them with today’s technology. It is highly unlikely that anyone is ever going to be fast forwarding through the Super Bowl commercials. So the question is, if Pepsi is trying to save money, should they pull their regular commercials that run every other time during the year and save the money for Super Bowl ads when more viewers are basically guaranteed to watch? But, if instead of saving money they are trying to generate attention around what they are doing in place of running ads during the Super Bowl, their new strategy has a chance of being successful.
The Not So “Private” Facebook
With the new privacy settings on Facebook even more of us are in denial that people on the outside can view our private information. Many believe that when you utilize the privacy features on Facebook, including restricting the search options for yourself, you are in control of who sees that information. Well you could be wrong, and it could be more than just a future employer analyzing your information.
Recently a marketer who wishes to know more about their cliental base, created a targeted marketing strategy or profit from selling the rights to this information which can now be used with Facebook. According to Ryan Singel of CNN.com, marketers can take advantage of a feature on Facebook intended for its users to find their friends by scanning through their email addresses in the feature known as “friend finder.” Marketers can take a list of email addresses they have collected and run them through this feature. Voila! Now they can see your full name, age, friends, gender, job and even location. Next they can even process all that data and make inferences about race, hobbies and sexual orientation. This would be a dream tool to any marketers to gain an even more inside look into their customers and their needs.
Many users have tried to restrict who can search for them through the search privacy options, but if your email address is known they can view the rest of your profile, which is now considered public information by Facebook. This information includes your name, current city, picture and networks. Facebook says it is working hard to find scammers and setting a limit on the number of email addresses that can be run through friend finder by an individual. The site also says it encourages people to monitor their profile and adjust their privacy settings accordingly.
As of now it is unclear whether or not marketers have taken advantage of this outlet, but it would be very hard to know for certain.
Is “doing-for” a form of social capital after all?
With $112 million and counting in contributions to Haiti via the sacred text message number “90999,” it is no wonder thousands are praising cell phone technology, which has now proven itself as a successful tool in mobilization. CNN.com reported that during the “first 48 hours of the campaign, the amount of money raised was greater than the Red Cross brought in during similar periods after Hurricane Katrina and the Asian tsunami disasters.” Red Cross spokeswoman Carrie Housman claimed it was a viral phenomenon that had 10 year olds pledging to help.
Even with all of these hard-hitting numbers of good will, nothing is perfect. Scams raged ramped, rumors were “tweeted” and continue to circulate. Phone companies were praised and then quickly bashed when word was received they would not donate their customer’s pledged money for a length of 90 days. Verizon quickly refuted this issue on Friday by immediately sending a check for the $3 million donated.
As Americans continue to text donations, it is evident that ease and accessibility are the key components in this campaign. Donations can be made any time and anywhere, and perhaps most importantly, without hassle. These simple components instigated a viral reaction, which accelerated exponentially through support of a number of companies, celebrities, and the White House. Text messaging served as the easiest most accessible outlet for Americans to react as the media continued to shock and awe through photographs, video-clips and news updates.
Perhaps this new mobile technology is one of the new ways we are engaging Putnam’s social capital. Though this act of texting-to-donate is “doing-for,” where can the line be drawn when “doing-with” is not feasible? If what people need more than physical help is money, who’s to say that “doing-for” is not the same as going to Haiti in person? Perhaps, in this case, “doing-for” during a new age of mobility will change the way America views “helping.” In referring to the text-to-donate phenomenon, Jeffrey Nelson, executive director for corporate communications at Verizon Wireless declared, “This is the new paradigm in philanthropy.”
Visit the Red Cross’ twitter page to follow updates on what they need to help!
Putnam, R. D. (2000). Altruism, Volunteering, and Philanthropy. In Bowling Alone.
-Rachel Kaylor, Writer
-Danielle Murray, Research
-Mandy Baker, Design
Personal Branding on the Web
What does it mean to brand yourself? More specifically, how does the Internet allow users to create a new brand to the World Wide Web? These questions often arise when affiliating yourself as a user of any online network and ultimately challenge users to maintain a cohesive and congruent image of themselves.
Branding is essentially portraying yourself to the public in such a manner that is positive in reflection to you, the brander, and the target audience, the receiver, communicating a direct message of your choice. The Internet is the latest medium to expose yourself to others, where “others” can be categorized as potential employers, customers, friends, or any persons seeking a need to fulfill an unmet desire. With the Internet as a resource conglomerate for nearly any purpose, branding comes in a diverse variety and presentation. It is not illogical to assume that Internet users can ultimately brand themselves in any way, shape or form. It is also not illogical to think that Internet branding will be a necessity, generating much effort on the brander’s behalf to communicate the intended message amidst other marketing clutter.
CNN.com recognizes the modern craze of Internet branding. In an article posted a few months ago, Mark Tutton, author of Me 2.0: Branding Yourself Online, elaborates how an Internet user can go about achieving a particular brand in mind. With a condensed yet helpful version of how one can gain personal (hopefully positive) publicity, Tutton gives many steps to newly, unbranded users starting with an internal analysis and ending with helping others in hopes of reciprocity.
As our class is initiating into the semester and sifting through the latest challenges our professor bestows, we too are faced with our own brand, mostly in reference to our blog and what we are hoping to portray. As branding is an on-going process especially as trends come and go, we as Internet branders must remain attentive to our target audience and follow the tips provided by CNN’s Mark Tutton.
Ready, Set, Run to the Polls!
The early bird gets the worm! Or, in this case, the early voter gets to skip out on the long lines at the polls. On October 30 at 5p.m., UNCW’s Election Campaign Communication class is helping citizens take advantage of early voting by hosting the Inaugural Run to the Polls event. During this time, UNCW students and locals who take part in the event will run, walk, or bike from Leutze Hall on campus to the Board of Elections and participate in early voting.
The overarching marketing campaign is to increase voter turnout and mobilize young voters while also informing them about the 2014 Transportation Bond; Streets and Sidewalks. According to this article discussing the Engagement Approach to IMC, this type of marketing is on the rise in the ever-changing marketing sphere. This article explains the importance of keeping up with the evolving expectations of the target audience by presenting a product or service to them in a way that will engage them and bring about a desire to take action. By putting on this event, the UNCW Election Campaign Communication class has done just that. The class has also implemented various marketing channels in order to distribute the overall campaign message, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By using social media as the channels of choice, the class is able to reach their target demographic: students.
According to this article, campaigning should amplify the motivation of your audience, not just their knowledge. The article also states that it is better for the audience to learn by doing rather than having information thrown at them. The Run to the Polls event exemplifies this aspect of campaigning. It motivates the community to execute a certain behavior – take part in early voting — while also educating the target demographic about the 2014 Transportation Bond; Streets and Sidewalks. By participating in this event, the community will have the opportunity to learn more about the Transportation Bond from the mayor himself, Bill Saffo. By physically mobilizing voters, this event will affect voter’s behavior in carrying out their civic duty at the polls, which will ultimately impact voter turnout.