I would say that I will be leaving this class with significantly more knowledge of social media than I had at the beginning of the semester. Some of this knowledge is stuff I will be able to apply in my career and some of it is just good to know even if it won’t be directly applicable to any job functions that I will have in the future.
I think that the most important topic that we discussed in this is marketing analytics. The power of marketing analytics is truly amazing. I was really interested to learn about how organizations can obtain incredible predictive ability regarding consumers’ behavior through the information about ourselves that we release on the Internet and specifically on social media. Learning about this topic made me see the NSA spying/government surveillance issue in a new light. If private corporations can gain such great insight into the public’s behavior based on the information that those corporations gather, just imagine what NSA can probably do with the information that that agency gathers from our private conversations.
One more topic that we discussed in this class that I found interesting is how businesses can take advantage or miss the opportunity to take advantage of occurrences on social media. I was highly impressed by Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” as well as Vans’ “Damn Daniel’ ads. Learning about the topics inspired me to try to emulate those brands’ actions in my career. I think it is especially to show the kind of social media prowess that those brands showed if brands are attempting to appeal to young people. I was also interested to learn about Red Lobster’s poor response to Beyonce’s mention of them in her song. I know this made Red Lobster look bad but I don’t think its actually as big of a deal as some people made it out to be. That is because Red Lobster’s brand image is not exactly that of a hip trendy restaurant. For that reason I don’t think it is really that important for them to have an extremely strong impressive social media presence as it is for other brands.
This class afforded me the opportunity to do a lot of research on a topic that I find interesting which the impact that social media has on politics in this country and in other countries. This is what I did the majority of my blog posts about. What I learned is that social media effects politics differently in different countries based on the specific characteristics of each country. In Singapore, for example, social media serves as a desperately desired outlet for individuals to express their dissatisfaction with the policies of their country’s government. This is because government regulations prohibit criticism of the government on other forms of media. The criticism of the government in that country on social media is so strong and widespread that those who support the government are actually afraid to let their voice be heard.
In western countries like the U.S. and the U.K. social media serves as a place for minority points of view to be heard and for the organizations that hold those views to gain support. Britain First, the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street, Ron Paul, Bernie Sanders are all groups/individuals who have been able to gain much more support than they would have been without social media.
Additionally, I learned about the dangers in which some people put themselves just by expressing themselves on social media. For example, there is the case of French PM candidate Marine Le Penn who was threatened with criminal prosecution for sharing a photo of an ISIS beheading.
I am glad to have learned all this information. This class has been one of my favorite classes of my MBA program.