My final blog.
I went into this class not really sure what to expect. The base of my knowledge about social media was limited to personal consumption and technologies that interested me. I had not really had a chance to tackle social strategy from a corporate perspective and definitely had not had a chance to take a more bird’s eye view of developments in social media.
It’s been an interesting ride, and I would say the best and most surprising part is just how much of a role social media and digital business has played in the world the last three months and how many developments there have been to social media companies and platforms. It’s truly remarkable to see that world change over the course of a semester.
In an effort to keep this as original as possible given that I have the last blogging day of the group, I’m going to go ahead and frame my leanings in the context of social strategy at my company. I had three key takeaways that I think were the most important to me as a professional at this current time.
New Social Media sites are exciting, but facebook isn’t going away.
There are a ton of new social sites out there – we literally saw sites come and go while we were in class this semester. Each of these sites have new and exciting features that get them labeled “the facebook killer.” Live video, disappearing messages, 140 character comments, and yet facebook is still here. Clearly facebook has found a way to buy, copy or beat features and genuinely stay ahead of the competition. Based on that, a company like Dunkin’ Donuts needs to keep heavy investments in Facebook and focus efforts there. This will help us reach the most broad audience possible, with the ability to target using Facebook’s amazing advertising targeting capabilities.
You don’t need to be on every social media site.
Knowing that there are so many different social sites, companies need to realize that they should not feel pressured to try and be on all social media sites. These platforms have unique features and audiences that don’t necessarily make sense for each and every brand. Assuming a company doesn’t have an unlimited budget, they should focus on doing a few sites well and being able to create content that is relevant to the consumers on that medium and relevant to that medium (don’t necessarily use the same video on Snapchat that you would use on Facebook). I think it is easy to check the box and say we’re hitting the consumer everywhere, but that is not the right answer.
Every business is ripe for disruption.
Airbnb is the largest hotel chain, and doesn’t own a single hotel. Uber is the largest taxi company that doesn’t own a single cab. In the digital era, every company and industry is ripe to be disrupted by the new sharing economy and other new business models that need to be taken into consideration. Innovation in technology is challenging traditional ownership models and changing the way people thing about all types of retail. While this may not affect Dunkin’ directly (you probably won’t be willing to share a cup of coffee with a stranger), there are other disruption-ready industries that will affect us and that we need to be ready for. A good example is the car industry. As we discussed extensively during class, self-driving cars are no longer a pipe dream. From Uber’s self-driving test in Pittsburgh, to Tesla’s self-driving advances in their current line of cars, it is easy to see a world where we are no longer behind the wheel. In a world of self-driving cars, ownership is not essential and this opens up to car sharing programs that serve mass-consumer needs. We no longer need to have a car sitting at our office if one can pick us up at the push of the button.
This has a great impact on DD, where more than half of our traffic is through a Drive Thru and many customers outside of cities are driving to our locations even if they’re walking in. This change in how consumers get around everyday is going to greatly affect how we look to reach them. If they are no longer driving, we need to make sure we are reaching them during this newly free time and enticing them to have that car make a stop at Dunkin’ on the way to work.
The final word.
I’ve really enjoyed the unique format of this course and wanted to thank all my classmates who have contributed so much to my learning. I’ve learned a ton from following all of you on Twitter and this blog, and really enjoyed the ride along the way! While the formats have changed, I feel that the approach to thinking through social media and digital technology does not change.