That’s all folks.

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.

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aaeaaqaaaaaaaarwaaaajgm0njy5m2flltczmtutngfhny1imji2lwyxy2fjm2u3zjuyyqNew 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.

socialmediasitesYou 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.download.jpg

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.

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7 comments

  1. polmankevin · ·

    Nice blog! I think we were a little spoiled this semester. Like you said, we had a pretty action packed three months of social media news and developments. I like your analysis of Facebook. One of my takeaways in my blog was that the big social media sites aren’t going anywhere. Specifically, I stated that these firms are always going to find ways to copy and duplicate the best features from new firms. Similarly, I talked about how firms need to find their lane on social media and stick to it. Something you also touched on. I think key themes like these are extremely important and it’s nice to see that we had some of the same takeaways.

  2. Great final post. I completely agree with many of the points you make. I think most social media platforms all disperse some of the same kind of information, and it’s really just a matter of choice to understand which one you really like. Furthermore, I really liked your point about disruption. One huge takeaway that I have had is that everything can change. It’s hard to see even companies that are so so new (like Uber) lose their marketshare. However, I’m sure there’s someone out there that’s trying to best them as well. That’s the exciting part about digitization and business. You can create a small idea by yourself and make it into a multi-billion dollar company – of course, many will fail, but the idea of being able to do that is very exciting. Thanks for your analysis, Zack. Great hearing from you all class as well.

  3. Great summary. I’ve enjoyed having you in class!

  4. vicmoriartybc · ·

    Great post. I really liked how you talked about some of the major concepts we learned this semester in the context of how they affect your business. I never really considered the effects disruptive companies like Uber and AirBnB have on other industries besides the ones they’re directly involved in, but after reading your post, I completely see why all companies should be anticipating these effects. Companies who don’t do this may be forced to adapt quickly or die in the case that their business is disrupted, but Dunkin’ seems to be doing a good job of avoiding that!

  5. Great post! I do think it’s fascinating that Facebook is still so dominant, twelve years after its founding. I also really wish I bought FB stock back in 2012. But it’s crazy, given how different the Facebook story is when you consider how Vine just shut down earlier this fall. I also didn’t think so much about disruption prior to the class, in that companies like Uber can affect so many industries outside of the one they are directly involved in. Uber’s not only a pain for taxi companies but also a problem for automobile companies, real estate, the restaurant business…the list goes on. It’s great the Dunkin’ is already thinking about the implications now and preparing for the future.

  6. magicjohnshin1 · ·

    Seriously… This course has been such an interesting ride. I completely agree that Facebook will not be going away anytime soon. I think it is the best platform of social media and has transformed so much in this realm. Facebook is so forward thinking and maybe this is bad for people who think in the now, but I believe that in this tech field, they are huge pioneers. Cheers!

  7. Great final post! Since everyone’s bottled to the “same topic” for the final blog post, it’s great to see your take being on the last posting day! I think the disruption point is relevant in every industry internationally, except for the “giants” of certain industries. In the United States, you have Facebook while in China, you have Alibaba. Companies constantly need to adapt to the changing industry and address the big giants like Facebook and Alibaba. It’s good that Dunkin is doing what it cans and we’ll see how it turns out in 10 years.

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