I was particularly excited when I found out that the beginning of this week was primarily going to focus on the growing world of social media, and the important role it plays in the field of marketing. The 2012 Social Media Report is a clear illustration of how much time people spend on the various forms of social media, and how that time is continuing to grow with each new year.
But what is causing this continuance growth?
1. Mobile Technology: Due to the technological advancements, accessing social media through mobile devises such as mobile phones and tablets is becoming more and more popular. The study said that 46% of people in the world use their smart phones to access social media.
2. New forms of social media: Another explanation for the increases of time spent on social media is due of the growing number of social media platforms. When I started college as a freshmen in 2010, I was only using one form of social media which was Facebook. But now as I begin my senior I have accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WordPress and Vine. As new social media sites continue to be created, I am sure that my number of accounts will also continue to grow.
The articles also explained how beneficial social media can be to a company’s marketing mix. Having a strong presence on the various forms of social media can encourage and create stronger bonds between the consumers and the companies. Social media creates a new assortment of opportunities for a company to educate their customers on their current and new products and advertise various promotional events. It also gives the consumers an opportunity to engage with their favorite brands by asking questions, sharing their personal stories relating to the brand, and as well as giving them an opportunity to address any complaints or recommendations.
As we head into the year 2014, many companies are becoming increasingly more aware of the import role of social media. Because of this, we are seeing a larger percentage of companies, small and big, beginning to create their presence on some form of social media. Companies such as Starbucks, Miracle Whip, and Home Depot have all created large communities on Facebook that allow for consumers to engage with one another and the company at the same time.
On July 21, 2013 the fast food restaurant Chipotle, began trending world wide after they issued a series of nonsensical tweets one after another that left everyone confused. The company received more than 3,500 retweets and hundreds of followers within the first hour and gained national attention. While many people assumed that the company’s Twitter account had been hacked, others began to speculate and came to the conclusion the tweets were part of an ingenious marketing plan implemented by the Chipotle marketing team.
The full list of tweets are all located on this BuzzFeed (http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/either-chipotle-doesnt-know-how-to-use-twitter-or-they-know) article that was published on the same day that Chipotle published these tweets. Regardless of whether or not you believe that the Chipotle’s twitter account was hacked that day, or that they perfectly executed a brilliant marketing scheme, it is a prime example of how much social media can impact a company within a day.
A good example of BAD social media marketing:
After reading the article about Applebee’s social media meltdown, it became very clear to me that social media can quickly become a company’s best friend or worst enemy. In most cases, companies are able to capitalize on the different forms of social media such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate directly with both their current and potential customers. Often times this type of direct communication between the company and customers can strengthen a brands overall image, and over time it can increase customer loyalty.
But like most things in life, creating and maintaining this type of online community is not as easy as it sounds. In February of 2013 Applebee’s became the perfect example of what a company should not do, and they clearly illustrated that taking one step in the wrong direction can result in a nationwide uproar in just minutes.
All of this brings me to Joyce Evans, a Philadelphia news anchor who is learning first hand today how quickly social media marketing can backfire if it’s not executed correctly. As we all know from watching our own local news stations, many of the headlines used to promote local news stories can come off as being corny and misleading. But on October 6th, 2013 one particular news headline reached an unexpected amount of people as it quickly gained national attention.
In an attempt to plug a local story, local Philly anchor Joyce Evans tweeted this to her followers:
Almost instantaneously, Evans began receiving a lot negative criticism for using a Breaking Bad reference in a promotional tweet about a local shooting. The Emmy Award winning show Breaking Bad aired the series finale just one week prior to her tweet. Seconds after the tweet was published, followers of Evans began asking questions such as “are you sure your point wasn’t to grab attention for your show which is already exploiting the fact that people got murdered?”
15 minutes later the news anchor went to twitter again tweeting this:
In this tweet, posted just 15 minutes after the original, she was attempting to explain that the Breaking Bad reference was not meant to be malicious in any way, and although it was posted very shortly after the original, the damage had been done. Today in both the national news and the twitter world, the anchors insensitive tweet has been generating and gaining a lot of negative attention. #JoyceEvansTweets has been trending world wide since last night, and the some of the more clever twitter users began posting tweets like these:
Similar to the way Applebee’s started responding to specific peoples comments on Facebook, Joyce Evans began tweeting back to some of these “haters” saying things like, “Miss my point. Very real, not a tv ending” and “Nice. Missed my point. This is a very real life drama. Not gonna have a tv ending.”
I believe the Joyce Evans case is another perfect example of how marketing through social media could be extremely detrimental to a brand such as FOX and to a professional individuals such as Evans. In the 24 hours following the original tweet, many different online news sources have begun writing articles about Evans’ controversial tweet, and I assume there will be many more to come. As I continue to watch this story progress, I have decided to follow Joyce on her official twitter account (@JoyceEvansFox29) to see if she is able to bounce back from this situation, and to see how she plans on digging herself out the hole she created.