Pro Democracy Protests in Hong Kong

Wow. There are some pretty crazy things happening in Hong Kong right now. Honestly, I would love to be there right now to take pictures and hear about the issues first-hand.

Huge groups of protesters , mostly made of students and teenagers, have taken to the streets of the city to rally against China’s communist rulers. It’s already public knowledge that China censors a lot of their media, and this is part of the reason protesters are calling for democracy. The protests have been largely ignored and hidden by the government in the mainland, so some people in China don’t even know it’s happening.

The government has already cut off Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ in china after protesters began to share their experiences and photos on social media.

This brings to mind the power of social media. It really depends on the type of people who drive it. We were talking in class about the different reasons we post. We have specific criteria or goals usually. When looking at it closer, its a way society can now demand a voice in whatever is going on, wither it be within business to business, business to customer, or citizens to government. Without Facebook or Twitter, the protestors in Hong Kong have now taken to Instagram to show the world their voice. The point is, social media has gained so much momentum that it has become part of who we are as individuals. We consider our “accounts” and profiles a portrayal of who we are to a certain extent. In a business/organization setting, it matters to us if a company deletes our complaint from their Facebook wall, or never replies to us. What is happening in Hong Kong is an example of all we are learning on a huge scale, one that is important to people’s whole lives. We are lucky to have the freedoms we do, and social media is one of them.

Here is some coverage on whats happening in Hong Kong. I’d love to watch this video together in class and discuss!

http://money.cnn.com/video/media/2014/09/30/hong-kong-protests-blackout-china-mainland.cnnmoney/index.html

xo,

Erika 

Hey class,

I stumbled upon a website that does social marketing and analytics for some of the coolest companies through imagery storytelling. 

Curalate. 

Curalate in some ways is like Hootsuite, but it also works towards an image-centric analysis besides monitoring and tracking keywords. They provide image tracking and analytics for Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, and Facebook. 

Curalate also offers a tool called Like2Buy. Like2Buy acts like a picture gallery from the company’s Instagram account. The link will be accessible on the profile page of the company’s Instagram profile. For example, once you are in the Nordstrom’s Like2Buy page, when you click on the picture you like, you will be redirected to Nordstrom’s retail page on the item you just clicked on. 
 
Currently, companies like Nordstrom, Target, Charlotte Russe are one of the first ones using Like2Buy in their Instagram platform. 

It’s a great tool for companies or small business that have a strong Instagram presence, it would make shopping for social media users so much easier. 

Thanks for reading!

-Shereen

Social Media-First Consumers

Hey class!

I read this Forbes article over the weekend and it goes perfectly with our discussions. 

It talks about the new generation that is about to enter the market and how they are a market that has been born into a connected world and thus will expect to find, connect and communicate with companies and organizations through social media automatically. If companies and organizations don’t establish a strong online presence, they will risk becoming “unsearchable and irrelevant”. 

The article also points out how much money is spent on e-commerce: $8 trillion dollars. Thats a huge amount, and this needs to be emphasized to high-level decision makers within an organization. As we have mentioned in class before, many times the top decision makers seem to not know HOW or WHY social media is important and impacts their business/brand/product, but just that it IS important. On that note, even the realization that social media is a driving factor for sales and brand/product exposure is a step in the right direction. 

"When social media first erupted, it was perceived as a place where people went to talk to other people, which led to a strong narrative about social media as a time-waster or distraction. Many businesses failed to realize how powerful these seemingly mundane connections were—and how simply talking to other people and sharing information underpins almost everything that happens in our lives." (Forbes Article)

It goes on to highlight that according to recent studies, people are placing more trust on peer recommendations that even their friends and family, and much less those of companies and organizations. So what does this mean for businesses?

It means that they need to pay attention to even the smallest conversations on social media, because those small and seemingly insignificant ones can be very telling and lead you to bigger questions and insights.

Here’s the article. VERY interesting stuff!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/salesforce/2014/09/28/social-first-consumers/

xo,

Erika Forero

BeLinked, social media dating

Hi class,

I saw this article posted on socialtimes.com and found it interesting.

First off, I would like to share that I do not judge or are against others using online dating as a source to find their significant other. I know many people who use it but I personally believe that people who use online dating to find their significant other are more focused on the idea of being in a relationship then actually being in love with someone.

Online dating has become very popular within the past 5 years and now about one-third of relationships start online. There are dating websites available for anyone interested in a specific type of person such as race, religion, sexual preference, age group, etc. Online dating has become more appealing to people that are very busy and don’t have time to meet someone or for people that would like to step out of their circle of friends.

A very popular dating app called Tinder, through Facebook, has flooded college campuses and has a large following of young professionals. Now a new app that is through LinkedIn, called BeLinked, offers dating through the professional website.

It was mentioned in the article that LinkedIn is the second largest social network. LinkedIn is also the first largest network on social media targeted for business professionals. With social media rapidly changing and growing daily, online dating has become more common.

BeLinked is set up through a LinkedIn profile, and uses the swipe function, similar to tinder, to swipe if the person is liked or not. If their is a match, a conversation opens. There is also a feature where people can recommend friends. This social media app helps users filter through people to find a quick match.

I found this app and article most interesting because I find it mind boggling how big of a role social media plays in people’s lives and how many relationships start or are connected through social media.

Amanda Block

http://www.businessinsider.com/abercrombie-wants-thin-customers-2013-5

Hi Class This article is in referance to abercrombie and fitch refusing to make clothes for plus size women. We covered this topic in class a couple weeks ago and I found an article that I wanted to share with you all. In the article written by ashley lutz she begins by explaining how abercrombie and fitch does not want plus size women wearing their clothes and that the brand was for only the “cool kids.” From reading this article and discussing this in class it was crazy to me that they even thought that this was even the slighest bit okay. CEO Mike Jefferies stated the sole reason for the companies business was to entice good looking people only to shop in their stores. Jefferies also made it evident that he believed that his reasoning for excluding some people made his brand exclusive and desirable to the right kind of people which i found overwhelmingly offensive.

Twitter was trending whenever this topic was very pressing and people were using #abercrombiefail and various other hashtags affiliating with the issue. 

Just wanted to share this article with you all. Thanks for reading

-Geshie Wilmot

Hello class,

So I wanted to share something that I experience over the weekend regarding social media.  I was working a marketing campaign with a large, well-known financial institution at the airport.  I was working with the production team giving away marketing merchandise, and a phone call was received from a social media specialist that deals with this financial institution.  The specialist was calling to tell one of the lead producers that some of the brand ambassadors posted a “selfie” of himself on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram captioning the following, “Here at the airport giving away free sh**.” It only took two minutes for the specialist to find out about that picture, I’m guessing the brand ambassador hashtag the institution or the hashtag we were promoting, or simply put the name of the airport, and that’s how the picture was discovered. It took a while to look for the brand ambassador, and ask him to remove that picture. The picture was on social for about thirty minutes, which is a lot of time when it comes to serious financial institutions. The brand ambassador got sent home, or somehow fired for the inappropriate language. Also, what really made it worst is that people in social media could see that he was an employee since he was wearing a shirt that had the company logo. So, for those who love taking selfies of anything and anywhere just wanted to say that there is limit. A simple picture, and a word can get you fired on the spot since millions of Facebook fans, and followers are seeing that. The company’s reputation on social media is vital for their image. I am pretty sure the social media specialist used “hoot suite” to find out about that photo, so nowadays is really hard to get away with posting a picture on any socia media. So make sure next time you want to put a selfie of yourselves working on any social media avoid using certain language and always keep it professional. 

Ninssen Cardona

What not to do when social listening…

Hello everyone,

I came across this post on Facebook and thought it was a great example of bad social listening. In class and from the readings (Groundswell Chapter 5) we learned the importance of social listening and how to use it for our advantage.

So, this post showed up on my timeline on Sunday evening. Apparently, a mother gave her one-year-old son a GoGo squeeZ fruit pouch (expiration label was dated with March 2015) and he became very sick and had to be treated at a hospital for food intoxication.  What did the mother do? She took the issue to social media and posted about the situation to the GoGo squeeZ Facebook page. According to her, her original post was deleted from the company’s Facebook (fist mistake) and this made her even more upset. Again, she took this matter to social media and posted the following statement to GoGo squeeZ Facebook page. (see the post here https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10102401964231230&set=o.118425882285&type=1)

Quickly, social media responded and people began sharing this post. The mother’s second post was posted on GoGo squeeZ facebook page on July 19th, but the company didn’t respond until July 30th and by then this post was shared 206,691 times.  The company posted an update about this post on August 19, but I think that they the company’s late response let this situation intensify and weeks later this post is still being shared ( I saw this on my timeline on September 21st) . Today, I went on to the GoGo squeeZ Facebook page and I noticed that on every single one of their new post someone comments back with the link of the mother’s negative experience. Also, I noticed that A LOT more people began to share their negative experiences and even more people say that they will no longer be purchasing any products from GoGo squeeZ.

Overall, Companies need to learn how to do social listening. Obviously, GoGo squeeZ was social listening, but once they had an issue at hand they did not respond well and now they are paying the consequences. According to, Ricardo Guimaraes, “your brand is what your customers say it is.”

GoGo squeeZ may say that they are, “the leading all natural 100% fruit squeezable applesauce. Super delicious, super healthy and super fun” However, at this time customers are saying that GoGo squeeZ’s products are always rotten, dangerous and will send your child to the hospital. In my opinion, GoGo squeeZ is in big trouble and need to come up with a strategic solution. What GoGo squeeZ did was really bad social listening or should I say they were social hearing, but not listening. The point of social listening is to learn what your customers are saying about you and to create a response that will change a negative experience to a positive one. In Groundswell , the authors mention that is vital to have a listening plan in place if you plan to listen and that is something that GoGo squeeZ did not do. Let us all learn from GoGo squeeZ’s mistakes.

Also, here is the link of a blog post that criticizes GoGo squeeZ’s social communication response:

http://stalwartcom.com/blog/gogo-squeezs-rotten-crisis-communication-approach/  

Peace!

-Naibi Rivera

Hello all! Bleue here. My best friend sent me this photo recently because she knows how much I struggle with:
A) Social Media being such an integral part of everyone’s lives.
B) Wishing it was still 1993. (Joking, but still…)
What I think is interesting about this image is that since this business doesn’t offer wi-fi, customers are encouraged to “Talk to each other, call your mom, pretend it’s 1993, LIVE.” I think this is a perfect example of how social media dominates people’s lives if they allow it to and how it is necessary to step back from it on occasion to look around. Although social media is an amazing tool with many practical applications, it still has the power to distance people from each other. Much like the post about the woman who speaks in hashtags realizing her followers aren’t actual friends, this sign encouraging people to interact face-to-face and live beyond their phones should be a pause to reflect on how much time we actually spend connecting with each other emotionally vs. how much time we spend connecting virtually. There are just some things social media will never be able to provide, such as the physical cues and emotional fulfillment humans receive by interacting with each other and nature. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox, but just saying… 

Hello all! Bleue here. My best friend sent me this photo recently because she knows how much I struggle with:

A) Social Media being such an integral part of everyone’s lives.

B) Wishing it was still 1993. (Joking, but still…)

What I think is interesting about this image is that since this business doesn’t offer wi-fi, customers are encouraged to “Talk to each other, call your mom, pretend it’s 1993, LIVE.” I think this is a perfect example of how social media dominates people’s lives if they allow it to and how it is necessary to step back from it on occasion to look around. Although social media is an amazing tool with many practical applications, it still has the power to distance people from each other. Much like the post about the woman who speaks in hashtags realizing her followers aren’t actual friends, this sign encouraging people to interact face-to-face and live beyond their phones should be a pause to reflect on how much time we actually spend connecting with each other emotionally vs. how much time we spend connecting virtually. There are just some things social media will never be able to provide, such as the physical cues and emotional fulfillment humans receive by interacting with each other and nature. Ok, I’ll get off my soapbox, but just saying… 

Think Again Turn Away social media campaign

Hi class,

I have a very heavy heart following all of the ISIS controversy. ISIS is a terrorist organization in the middle east that is gathering a larger presence and taking over cities. I am especially interested in following any updates because I used to live in Israel and was in the army when I was 18. Even though ISIS has not yet entered into Israel, they are always posing threats from countries bordering israel that has relations with ISIS. It has been almost 4 weeks since the war between Israel and Gaza has rested and the terrorist organization in Gaza, called Hamas, has talked about ties to ISIS.

Coupled with my deep interest of the conflict in the Middle East, I wanted to share an article I read this morning about the connection with the government being created to the public through social media.

ISIS uses social media to communicate to a large audience their wants, needs, and plan of action. They also have included gruesome beheadings and torture of innocent civilians from different counties.

The US department of states created a social media campaign called Think Again Turn Away. Their mission statement on their Facebook is, “…to expose the facts about terrorists and their propaganda. Don’t be misled by those who break up families and destroy their true heritage.” The social media channels that are heavily used for this campaign is YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter with content in both English and Arabic.

This Facebook page has 6,417 likes and they use hashtags: #ISIS, #thinkagainturnaway, and #alshabaab. The hashtags are important because it allows other people interested in the topic to see who else is talking about it. Also, 893 people are talking about this campaign. The Facebook comments are supportive civilians comforting others in this tragic time. There are also many people sharing Think Again Turn Away campaign posts’.

Amanda Block