To The Wolves…

Growing up in the 80’s, my world revolved around G.I. Joes, comic books, and the ever so timeless, Nintendo gaming system. 34 years later, the digital transformations that have captivated the masses have become the focal point of everyday business. So, what happened with all that time in between?

“Where’s your modem?”

“The Twittersphere’s erupting.”

“Are we live?”

“Snapchat that!”

If you didn’t know any better, you would figure these terms were right out of a Marty McFly joint. That was a Back to the Future reference for the youngbloods that didn’t follow.

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But all joking aside, the next few months will surely be an out-of-the-box experience. As consumers of social media and digital business, we are exposed to so many different touchpoints that help us digest the rapidly-evolving world we live in. With so many different trends and perspectives, it can seem rather daunting to wrap your head around all these inter-connected parts moving in harmony which facilitate the transfer of information, emotion, and response. So where do we go from here?

Social Media

Initially, social media acted as a median to interact with friends, or as that “golden parachute” that would transport your brain from countless hours spent at school or the office, to a state of Zen. In its infancy, you could say it was purely entertainment. Today, that’s not exactly true.

As some of my fellow MBA colleagues can attest, social media is changing the way we look at businesses and consumers. Prior to life as a full-time MBA student, my social media interactions centered around Facebook and Instagram. For lack of a better word, it was more of a hobby. However, this past summer I was exposed to a completely different realm of social media and digital business through a marketing internship. From a business standpoint, I was now responsible for tracking analytics, gauging consumer engagement, and creating insights to identify areas of opportunity.

It’s no secret that companies are now on the offensive, and they are taking their brands, products, and services straight to the consumer. Traditional brick-and-mortar advertising is being marginalized by the digital space. Businesses want to attract consumers, just as much as they want to know how they feel about their products. From comments, tweets, blogs, vlogs, snaps, testimonials, etc., all these wide-ranging data points are valuable sources of information to businesses.

With most of my energy focused on Google Analytics and Instagram, Twitter is a brand-new adventure. To be frank, the last week as been my only interaction with the social-networking platform. As I experiment with this new channel, I’m interested to see where it takes me. Will I be able to deliver the same content I would normally provide via Instagram? Or will the two have completely different personalities and followers. That is something that excites me.

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It’s one thing to share some of your more memorable moments with friends, but it’s a completely different thing to share your personal thoughts on innovative, controversial, or sometimes captivating stories with a public audience. There’s a feeling of vulnerability that I am not so sure I’m ready for. While my goal is to provide meaningful and insightful data and perspective, there’s always that feeling of rejection that everyone fears. How will my message be perceived? Who knows. But in an odd kind of way, part of the mystery and excitement throughout this whole journey is knowing what you want to put out there for others to see.

One of the areas that intrigues me is what is yet to be seen with the power of “voice search”. A decade ago, the norm was to open your web browser, and type into Google whatever was on your mind. With today’s advancements in technology, the same can be performed by speaking into your mobile device or your in-home intelligent personal assistant – Alexa.

Amazon seems to be leading the way in trying to figure out what is driving consumers to search and purchase certain products. The company’s end goal is to not only provide a frictionless shopping experience, but also use data analytics to understand a consumer’s purchase history, preference, and ultimately deliver products before the consumer knows that the “need” is there. Some may argue such actions infringe on privacy, but that’s what we’re here to discuss.

Some of us have regurgitated the same thought, and that is, with such a wide range in ages and experience, there is so much we can all learn from each other. While the outside world may seem to think we can go “ham” in a social media course, let’s see how deep this rabbit hole really goes. Let’s change the perspective.

We owe this to ourselves. While I don’t know the secrets of the digital world, I explore just like everyone else. I encourage all of you to share with me all the ways in which digital transformation is transforming you.

Thanks for kikinitwithraf…

Overlooking-blog

4 comments

  1. I enjoyed reading your blog post, I’m glad that we have some MBA students in the class to help share their unique perspectives on social media and digital business! I also like your point about vulnerability on social media, I think there’s a really interesting psychological aspect to social media, especially when it’s a personal account – you want everything you post to make an impression on someone other than yourself (or else you wouldn’t post it). Especially with this class with us creating our own original content, it’ll probably take a bit to get into a comfortable rhythm, but I think in the end it’ll provide a valuable challenge!

  2. I’d like to say that G.I. Joes were some of the best toys when I was little, no social media app or website can replace those times! I am excited to see how you experienced the change in social media, as an MBA student you have the real world experience that as an undergrad is a jungle in itself. I liked your thoughts about companies being on the offensive, It’s interesting too that consumers are also able to go on the offensive as social media has opened a two-way communication zone. While companies are moving on the offensive they also have to contend with handling customers issues on twitter and facebook and dealing with complaints and issues around social media. This is a constant battle for a company making sure their brand isn’t tainted.

  3. I empathized with your point that initial social media was a median of interacting with friends and having some fun outside the classroom. Your experience with the combination of social media and digital business during marketing internships is very similar to mine. As a intern at a baseball club in Korea past summer, the easiest way to see fans’ reactions was to simply use hashtags and see any posts regarding the club. As a result, many businesses today check out social media read consumer behaviors, which are essential for deciding targets and making adjustments for improvements.

  4. Nice post. In the beginning there was alot of skepticism about teaching this course as a multi-level one. Over the years, the students have regarded it much more of a feature than a bug. I’m glad you’re approaching it that way from the beginning

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