Social media is all around us. When we look around (even in class) you can see numerous people using any of the social media platforms, be it twitter, Instagram, snapchat, Facebook, among others. With so many users, practically everyone with a phone in their pockets, companies have understood the importance of targeting and engaging in customers via social media. According to we are social, there are
“2.56 billion global mobile social media users, equaling 34% penetration; globally with 1 million new active mobile social users added every day.
This statistic, among others show the importance of social media as a business proposition.
One of the main reasons as to why I chose to be part of the class of social media and digital business being an MBA student is because of the business opportunity. True that social media is used for “social” things, but more than ever, people are spending more time on their phones than anywhere else, so what better way to gain clients via the platform that they prefer. However, as with all in business, whenever there is market potential involved, there will always be fervent competition. Being a user of social media, I have noticed that practically all if not all companies, have their brands on social media. With that in mind, I was even more intrigued with so many Facebook pages, twitter posts, snapchat filters do all this works, and if so, how can you differentiate yourself. A while ago I remember an ad campaign from Wendy’s that went viral.
Soon, #NuggsForCarter tweet went viral. Soon, it seemed that everyone in twitter wanted Carter to have free nuggets for life as if this was a life or death situation. Soon, Carter’s tweet set a new record was the most retweeted post of all time. So, what can we learn from this tweet, it is important to have differentiated and engaging social media communication. It is no longer the time to just have generic social presence. The web is full of it and people are tired of it. It’s also important to not be all serious and have certain direction in the voice you want customers to perceive. Ultimately it is important to take risks and be unique. In a certain way, Wendy’s took a risk of giving out free nuggets for life, but in the end, it paid out because who thinks of fast food such as Wendy’s, McDonalds, among others. This was their way to connect with the younger audience.
With the potential of social media on the upside, there is a dark side of social media. If there is something wrong with your company, you can get hammered financially because of it. E coli, a bacteria in food, has always been a problem in the food industry along with salmonella, among others. But now, with social media these problems are much worse if there is an outbreak. In the 1992 more than 500 people got infected with E Coli at Jack in a Box yet sales only went down YoY 9%. On the other hand, Chipotle, where only 60 people were infected sales went down around 30% YoY. This explains the good and the bad of social media. You can reach a lot of clients, but at the same time there can be damaging social posts if things turn sour.
Now when people get sick they often point fingers to Chipotle because of this outbreak. As a result, social media has made it harder for business since they no longer can be complacent for any issues. If there I a problem with the company more than often, it will be heard through social media. For the consumer, this is better since things need to be in perfect condition to not have any negative post.
Social Media and Digital Business is the class that I’m looking most forward since I don’t know what to really expect. I am taking Venture Capital and M&A where I know will learn more about finance. Also, I am taking Pricing Strategy, where I will, I guess, learn about how to price things correctly. However, with Social Media and Digital business, expectations are high and I am looking forward to learning more. It was a long time since I graduated from undergrad, 2012, and at that time we didn’t have Uber at least at the scale its used nowadays. As a result, the social media landscape is changing rapidly and I believe that those who are aware of the inner working have an edge in business. It doesn’t matter if you work in retail, mining, fashion, finance, our world now revolves around social media and it is a necessity more than ever to be prepared of what social media and digital business entails. I am looking forward what these following weeks bring us with social media knowledge.