Social Media Policy: Best Buy

Social Media Policies are obviously becoming a part of every organization’s company disclosure as the new technologies are in the lives in employees in and out of the work place.  Each company views certain practices differently, but all try to line up with their own corporate ideals and values.  For this assignment, I chose to look into the social media policy of a company that understands everything about technology, Best Buy.

Best Buy has become quite good at utilizing social media and incorporating customer service and interaction through their social media platforms, however there policy for employees is very brief.  As a technological company utilizing social media quite a bit throughout the recent years, I would have expected a more in depth list of expectations.  However, sometimes short and sweet is better.  This policy is based on common sense and displays what is expected of employees and guidelines of what they can and cannot do.

Highlights:

  • The headline is “Be smart. Be respectful.  Be human.”  This statement is very direct and to the point, which I think is very important when speaking to a wide range of hierarchy in employees.  This sums up the entire policy and is good to put in words because it keeps a constant reminder in a simple way.
  • It is forbidden to disclose promotions, personal information about other employees and legal information.  This is important to include because it keeps corporate information safe as well as a friendly environment amongst coworkers.  Once again, this is pretty self-explanatory, so they do not over explain, just provide he appropriate information and why they believe it is important.
  • The policy suggests, “ Act responsibly and ethically.”  They expand on this by saying do not say something that would embarrass the company, but also don’t say something that will embarrass yourself.  This shows that Best Buy cares just as much about their own reputation as those of their employees.  It is a caring act and shows loyalty throughout the entire corporation.
  • They include the consequences if these policies are broken.  Best Buy states that breaking anything within the policy may result in getting fired, getting Best Buy in legal trouble or losing customers.  This is noble because it shows the importance of what they say they truly mean.  Also, Best Buy warns employees that getting fired are not the only consequence; there is some larger issues at stake.

Lowlights:

  • The contest section is too vague.  It simply says follow the legal guidelines, but if a section like this is to simple, many employees may get confused and be discouraged to post legal things that could help he brand due to fear of it crossing boundaries.  Also, if people do post, it is impossible to be completely familiar with all the legal standards, so some specifics should be included.
  • The policy has not been updated since 2009.

Overall, I think short and sweet is good in the case of social media policies; however for a topic that can get so in depth, details are necessary at some points.  Also, I have learned that it is important to continuously update social media policies due to rapid changes in technology and the overall function.

 

Check out their full social media policy here:

http://forums.bestbuy.com/t5/Welcome-News/Best-Buy-Social-Media-Policy/td-p/20492

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Murrica Case Study 2 (Tide)

So, I first started paying attention to Tide when I saw this commercial that I absolutely love!  I actually tweeted about it before I even knew of their recent #tidefalg campaign.

Naturally, I am a sucker for nostalgic goodies such as this, especially when involving the good old U S of A.  I get equally excited when I hear Springsteen’s Born in the USA and Miley’s Party in the USA, so now Tide joins that exclusive club.

Anyway, in suspense of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Tide has started this brilliant campaign asking followers to tweet what red, white and blue means to them.  Tide has always seemed to have an active Twitter presence, but before this campaign, they were just another laundry detergent brand.  Talking about clean clothes, coupons and honestly nothing really outstanding or engaging.  Currently they have over 25,000 followers and I have been noticing a constant flow of mentions and conversations, especially over the past few weeks.

This is such a brilliant idea because Tide is not just relying on social media as one single unit.  They are incorporating their social media presence with their existing marketing plan, which is intensifying the buzz on all levels and definitely paying off.  A consumer packaged goods such as a laundry detergent is hard to separate from its hundreds of competitors, but it takes digging a little deeper.  Tide played off the Olympics and basically is creating the notion that they keep the colors of Olympian uniforms clean, which represents the entire pride of a nation.  It is a personal campaign, so they are encouraging personal stories.  Some of my favorite tweets to the #tideflag campaign are below:

Overall, I think this was a great way to engage through social media, and it is going to produce a loyal following of Tide customers.  When people connect emotionally with a brand that is when a long lasting relationship forms, which is what keeps a brand alive.  It is interesting because this campaign also allows us to be emotional with one another and remind people everywhere of what our country means, what being American means and everything inbetween.

Bullseye! Case Study 1 (Target)

Target has always been a fascinating brand in my eyes.  They took cheap and affordable to fresh and fun, and honestly I cannot think of one person that does not enjoy going to their stores.  In regard to social media, they also showed success within one of their most popular Facebook campaigns.  Target’s Facebook page connected an application allowing fans to vote for charities to support.  If you didn’t already know, Target gives 5% of its income to charities and this social media campaign allowed Target shoppers to vote for their favorite charities.

Currently, Target has 11.7 likes and about 300,000 people are talking about the brand.  They have a great interaction with their posts, especially photos.  Target posts several times a day and their posts usually get around 3,000 likes or more.  Their photos display products in store and make clever remarks relating to the day/time of year, and they usually receive at least a couple hundred shares.

The 2009 “Bullseye Gives” campaign contributed to a lot of their ongoing success and managing engagement.  With 291,399 votes tallied, Target donated a portion of the $3 million amount to each charity based on their percentage of votes, which included:

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – 77,427 votes (26.6%) = $797,123

American Red Cross – 77,118 votes (26.5%) = $793,942

The Salvation Army – 38,004 votes (13%) = $391,258

Operation Gratitude – 22,627 votes (7.8%) = $232,948

Breast Cancer Research Foundation – 19,264 votes (6.6%) = $198,326

Feeding America – 15,574 votes (5.3%) = $160,336

HandsOn Network/Points of Light Institute – 11,378 votes (4.0%) = $120,845

Parent Teacher Association – 10,904 votes (3.7%) = $112,259

National Park Foundation – 9553 votes (3.3%) = $98,350

Kids In Need Foundation – 9,190 votes (3.2%) = $94,613

 

 

This proves that Target really hit one out of the park with this campaign.  They had only been on Facebook for about a year, and they only gave fans two weeks to vote (1 time per day).  Target has always connected with being a friendly, happy environment for the entire family.  Their audience could be described as kind, caring people who enjoy who work hard and enjoy convenience and the simple joys of life.  By interacting in such a manner, they not only built up their own brand, but they made everything so much more personal.  Giving $3 million back to charity on behalf of your loyal customers is smart and noble.  This was a great way to kick off their social media presence and remain on persona levels with their fans.

The Fab 4ever

Just a couple days ago, Marc Brownstein, CEO of Philadelphia advertising agency and other big names in the industry took a visit to Silicon Valley to visit “The Fab Four”.  The Fab four is Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn of course; however, Brownstein claims that he sees Pinterest pushing the Fab Four to the Fab Five in the very new future.  In three very busy days, Brownstein visited all three genius bubbles and was eager to learn a lot of new social media tips especially focusing on B2B interaction.  The article has a lot of great insights and findings from our cyber world leaders and I highly recommend to check out the article found in Ad Age.

http://adage.com/article/small-agency-diary/report-silicon-valley-front-line-social-media/23429

Basically, this article was a perfect way to wrap up my semester in ADPR3400 because it really opened my eyes to social media’s big picture.  Honestly, social media is still so young but will continue to develop for years to come.  As Brownstein says,” Social is here to stay…if your not in on it already in a meaningful way, that’s sad.”  Truth be told that social media is just a baby, a prodigy, yet still very young.  According to Twitter, they soon may remove URL in ads because the hashtag takes people right to the conversation.  So when you really think about it, why do even need the URL?

It is crazy because social media and its mother companies are creating ways to eliminate longer processes.  When you look back, who needs a digital camera anymore? No one they have an iPhone, and oh wait, it can instantly upload your images to your facebook album…and there goes your scrapbooks laying under your bed.  Who needs to to visit multiple places to see content about the Chicago Bulls when they can just click #bulls.  Seriously, it is crazy and once you do step back and take a look at the bigger picture, we are entering the realm of a cultural revolution.  Creating something unlike ever before that people could never live without.  Candles to electricity.  Horses to cars.  Hot air balloons to airplanes.  Long division to calculators.  Your world to social media.

The possibilities are endless, so I suggest you embrace it.  As I’ve said before, moderation is key.  However use it in your own unique way and use it as a resource to enjoy the world a little more and learn and love something new every single day.

Technology Advances Many Things.

 

When you think of social media, what do you think of?  Upcoming, fun, useful, exciting, advanced?  Well most people do think of those words, yet no one ever seems to shout out “Cyber Bullying” when being polled about social media.  Bullying has become a serious problem among teenagers in the past decade and has worsened in the past couple of years because bullying is extending.  Not only are children and tees cruel to their peers at school, but it is now even at home on their cell phones, Instant Messages and even Facebook and Twitter pages.

While it is very important to acknowledge the successful advances that social media has brought to us, it is equally important to educate people how not to use the sites.  According to statistics, parents and teachers usually are not even aware that the bullying is happening now a days because it is done so discretely through technology and most victims are too ashamed to speak up.  The article has many other shocking statistics that show how cyber bullying is becoming more dangerous and it continues even after several suicides have occurred.  There are stories all over the news and online of sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and best friends ending their lives because they could not take the pain of being bullied anymore.  The main issue with cyber bullying is that it is not just one-on-one interaction anymore.  The entire school can see the mean things teens are sending to one another.  They can “Like” it “Retweet” it comment or just spread it along and laugh.

Just thinking about these situations makes me absolutely sick, and this topic goes back to my original inspiration for writing this blog: our youth.  They already struggle with various ways of communicating because they have already been accustomed to texting, emailing and doing everything from all channels except for their mouths.  This is one more element that is contributing to corrupting our future generations and causing more serious damages including the deaths of innocent lives.

All in all, every one always says, technology [and social media] is happening, so we have to deal with it whether we like it or not.  And that is absolutely right, but we fail to adapt and make change in every environment.  This means, we have to accept the changes and this social issue should be given a lot more attention instead of continuously brushing it under the rug until another poor kid dies.  Middle schools, high schools and even colleges should be implementing mandatory workshops to avoid this from developing any further.  Just because the world is developing new forms of some things does not mean everything has to follow the trend.

Also, if you have not seen or heard a lot about the new documentary “Bully” take a look.  It is powerful, so speak up and stand up for what you know is right.

Facebookalization

Within the past 5 years or so, Facebook has managed to obtain nearly one billion users.  This number surpasses the population of some countries and gives a new meaning to how many friends one can actually have.  Interestingly enough, India has about 100 million users on the book.  I say interesting because I have no friends from India, yet they are doing the same things on Facebook that I engage in every single day.  I guess it is just amazing that I never took a step back to look at the larger picture.  I think many people struggle with this.  We are so trapped in our Americanized world that the idea of people from Germany or France or China are also using the social media site.  I mean why wouldn’t they?

To answer that question, different cultures have different reasons of why they may not be Facebook users.  In the United States, we are all familiar with the workplace scare.  No one wants their boss or potential boss to be access personal pictures and posts.  While this is a huge debate for us, India has been facing some other problems on Facebook within the last few months.

In recent news, political leaders in India have requested Facebook to monitor posts in response to negative content towards the Congress Party President, Sonia Gandhi.  India is the largest democracy in the world but have been the most aggressive about prescreening Facebook, especially when political leaders and social issues are being mentioned.

I guess this brings me to wonder if America’s problems regarding employers and privacy laws as well as speech laws regarding India’s issues have valid arguments.  While cultures vary, Facebook  poses many issues for each of them.   In response, serious judgement calls need to be made appropriate to each country.  Facebook has done an amazing job thus far adjusting to cultural barriers, but will it get to a point where certain requests cannot be met?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so tell me if you think Facebook should be monitored in any way.  Does it matter who is saying what about whom and should different cultures of the world be taken into consideration?  Social media platforms expanding overseas opens many doors for problematic situations and questions such as these need to be answered now in order to ensure ethical social media practices are customized in order to be productive on this large stage.

Don’t Knock it Until You Try It.

(Deep breath) Okay…Here we go.  I never EVER in a million years would be saying this, but I am starting to kind of enjoy Twitter.  For the past week or so I have been exploring more and more.  I’ve been looking at how other people interact, how many posts my followers will provide on average.  I also looked at content.  Were there more videos, articles, hash tags etc..?  And after very extensive research [in my opinion], I found out that it is everything!  Twitter is not just for one purpose.  It is literally anything and everything and you get to choose what information you are subjected to…kind of crazy!

So as many of you may have caught on by now, I may have come off a bit skeptical towards Twitter.  I now know why I was so sour. It was because I was gaining information from how other people used it, not how I was.  When I look back that was foolish!  I never truly believe anyone’s opinion until I experience it for myself.  I prejudged, and I hate prejudging!  So yes, I am a hypocrite and can admit it.  Anyway, this may seem like a post that occurred during week 1 of #ADPR3400, but like I said, I needed time.  So now that I feel finally up to speed, I will elaborate a little bit on my change of mind and of course the issues I still have with the social media craze.

 

ENTERTAINMENT: The first time I actually found humor out of Twitter was this past weekend.  Being the major golf buff I am, naturally I was glued to the TV on Masters Sunday.  As I was watching I figured I’d sign on to Twitter to see if there was any buzz.  There is so much about football and basketball, I figured let’s see all those golf fans getting rowdy!  Both Happy Gilmore and Shooter McGavin (characters from the Adam Sandler golf comedy, Happy Gilmore) had me in tears with their tweets.  Obviously these two accounts are meant for humor, but honestly they brightened up my day and it was comparable to quoting funny lines with my brother for a half and hour or reading the comics in a newspaper.

ESTEEM-DIFFERENCE:  Another instance that changed my mind was when people replied to my Tweets.  I recently tweeted to Josh Wolf and Chris Franjola, two comedians from the Chelsea Lately show.  Both tweeted me back and it was just a great feeling!  They are not superstars or anything, but they are hysterical comedians on one of my favorite TV shows and the fact that they acknowledge their fans [me in-particular] is encouraging and different.  For example, you certainly cannot get that interaction on Facebook or any other site, and it really felt more personal.

INTELLECT: Lastly, I began to see a different side to Twitter because of its appreciation for education and the business world.  So many of my friends post really moving articles about “intellectual” things that is a nice break from sarcastic Facebook statuses and weekend shenanigan photos.  Overall, it’s nice because I see different content from many people.

So yes, I’m in.  I cannot say I will be as crazy about it as a lot of other people, but I am giving it a shot and utilizing Twitter to engage in the topics I want to know more about.  I spoke too soon when I was anti-Twitter, but getting a little bit dirt and experiencing things for myself in order to make my own opinions is a good life lesson and I appreciate it!

Pinterest Enabling Bridezillas Everywhere

Grooms beware!  Back in the day, weddings were easy.  A bride wore a classic dress handed down by her mother, family and friends gathered at the local VFW hall and there was NO PINTEREST!  Present day in 2012, the booming social media site Pinterest has become infamous for giving women wedding fever.  I know girls that are not even in serious relationships, not to mention barely old enough to tie the knot without parental consent, posting daily to their Pinterest wedding boards!  Flowers, dresses, bridesmaids dresses, invitations…I mean they’re going the whole nine yards!  We may as well start posting pictures of any poor sucker that is going to be willing to put up with the madness for months and possibly even years.

This topic brings me back to my original thoughts about how rapidly social media is growing.  My philosophy is that like everything else in the word, social media is good for you, in moderation.  I love that Pinterest has created this hot new way of making large events convenient and organized.  Also, what girl doesn’t like looking at pretty images of dream dresses and flowers all day?  Even I’ll admit that it is like a dream world and I can see how people get absorbed in it.  However, I fear that once again over-using social media is taking away from a bigger relationship.  The experience of planning a wedding honestly sounds terrible to me if it is done over several years by pinning pictures up on my Pinterest account.  What happened to trying to remember what you dreamt about when you were a little girl and then when you actually start throwing yourself into the planning, you realize you have no idea what you want!

Before Pinterest, I have seen cousins and a few friends plan weddings all by themselves like big girls.  Sharing the unknown and excitement with parents and fiances seems so magical and despite all the chaos, somehow it ends up perfect.  With Pinterest I predict weddings are going to become cookie cutters.  Everyone is sharing everything and after looking at so much wedding content, it all starts to get repetitive.  As I said before, brides end up going crazy before their weddings because when reality sinks in, they realize that they have no idea what they want except for the person they are actually marrying.  The stress and confusion gets to be too much and they way people have abusing Pinterest is going to contribute to all the Bridezillas out there.

Content overload makes brides question if there dress, hair and jewelry is the best.  Nothing is ever going to be perfect and the wedding boards seem to encourage that there is some kind of perfect combination out there.  I think weddings are unique.  Couples are unique.  Marriages should represent that uniqueness between men and women and not be some big show.  Pinterest is making weddings more materialistic and I encourage women to use it for organizational purposes, but not to go crazy over it.  It can be deadly and I would hate to see “Pinterest” as the reason for termination on divorce forms.  Make your wedding beautiful, but remember what a wedding actually represents. Love.

McD = McDUMB

So, I am sure by now most of you have heard about the McDonald’s Twitter Tragedy that surfaced couple months ago.  McDonald’s set up a hash tag on Twitter encouraging people to post stories about their experiences throughout history at the fast food haven, good old Mickey D’s.  Now, I understand many brands are new to social media and are simply testing ideas out trying to get in the game, but come on now, this stunt was honestly one of the most terrible displays of strategic planning and overall common sense.

McDonald’s is iconic.  It has won over the heart of most Americans and even much of the world, but lovin’ it or hatin’ it, it is common knowledge that there are many fast food bashers on this planet and many of them have valid arguments when preferring a healthy lifestyle.  I consider myself a healthy eater (for the most part), but I still indulge in a couple snack wraps or fries every now and then.  I am aware of some of the disgusting rumors out there, but I figure once in a while won’t kill me.  However, I am very aware of friends, family and many others who will not be caught dead in a McDonald’s drive-thru and in fact believe the foods may be deadly.  I’ve heard of McChiken’s served uncooked, bugs in burgers and McNuggets that do not change if left out on the sun for months.  In the words of Ice-T, “That’s Messed Up.”  Despite McDonald’s being insanely famous and profitable regardless of ongoing mishaps, everyone knows that people are going to rave about the negative aspects.  For every person that has something good to say, you have some one that can make a much bigger impact by sharing a horror story.

At the end of January, this Twitter outbreak of #McDStories even hit “The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street.” http://www.thestreet.com/story/11386264/4/the-5-dumbest-things-on-wall-street-this-week-jan-27.html

The article discusses how bad this sentimental attempt truly was.  Looking back, although it was not well thought out, I give McDonald’s credit for getting out there and trying to use new resources.  Like they say, no press is bad press, and that is certainly true when you are a powerhouse brand like McDonald’s.  This mistake will teach a lesson to the company on how to further execute their social media campaigns; hopefully they learn a lot, and learn quick.

That’s A Plus

Advertising is a wonderful thing.  You can love it, you can hate it, but you cannot escape it.  I choose not to try and run and hide from advertising.  Yes, I find some absolutely ridiculous, but I truly get absorbed in the art and creativity that lives within brands and their messages.

Recently, I have seen a couple different versions of commercials I really enjoy.  They happen to be advertising a social media platform that goes by a little name of Google…Goggle + that is.  Originally I was intrigued with the cleverness and strong emotional force provided in this ad, but then I got to thinking what the purpose was.

When you think about it, Google+ has many great features and is unique in emerging into the social media world; however, it has been struggling.  It is not as popular as they expected, and we constantly hear that people are not using it because no one is really on it.  In that aspect, this is a good idea to create ads that explains the site and engage users.  On the other side, is it a waste of time all together to keep trying?  I mean, Facebook never had to release commercials because it was just so huge.  That is what made it cool too, it just trickled down by word of mouth and has become this decade’s phenomenon.

After thinking about it for a while, I did find it a bit strange to try to have to advertise in order to get people to use your social media site, but then I took a step back and realized it’s Google!  I mean, Google is huge enough in itself, but it is not just a one-time thing.  It is a search engine, email, maps, photos, languages, etc.  Google has expanded and has become so well known that they too are cool enough to not need advertisements but they do.  And I think that is pretty awesome.  I remember when they put out the commercial with the dad setting up a gmail accout for his little girl and tracking her life through it to one day give her the password and the couple falling in love in Paris.  People know what Google is, but the fact they still advertise to create emotions and tell a story is amazing.  I think Google+ is just the next part of this.  They want to be a part of your life and commercials such as these demonstrate how that is possible.

Overall, I know Google+ is still not a huge success, but I have faith that its day will come.  And that’s a plus.