Social Media (TOS) Terms of Service Reference Guidelines & Best Practices


SM logo together

Social media platforms are like any other organization or business. Like all businesses they too have Terms of Service (TOS) agreement for users.

Failure to comply with a platform’s TOS will lead to restrictions imposed on users.  You run the risk of having your account suspended or worst terminated.  Social media platforms are often aware of offenders not just by algorithms but by community users’ report (SNHU).

It’s imperative that you read each platforms TOS and comply with their terms.

According to SNHU social TOS includes two types of rules:

  • General laws regulating copyrights or intellectual property infringement
  • Community’s etiquette that identify good and bad manners of users.

Flickr is an example of a community that prohibits the use of other people’s content, “do not upload anything that is not yours.”

However, in the case of copyright infringement Flickr offers best practices, “this probably just a misunderstanding and not malicious, a good first step is to contact them via FlickrMail and politely ask them to remove them.”

To learn more about Flickr’s community guidelines go to:

Etiquette compliance for Twitter includes restrictions on impersonation. Portraying another person on-line in terms of “the user shares your name but has no other commonalities or the profile clearly states it is not affiliated with or connected to any similarly-named individuals” will lead to Twitter terminating your account.   

To learn more about Twitter use of parody, commentary, and fan account policy and the right to expression go here.

Foursquare registration and eligibility has strict rules to use their service.

Users have to be totally transparent and maintain and, “keep your registration information accurate and up-to-date.”  Otherwise it might lead to termination of your account.  4sq also has a photo best practices that includes: Lighting and Framing, Originality, Keep it appropriate, be respective, be yourself.  To learn more about 4sq user photo submission click here.

TOS are subjected to changes, visit TOS sites regularly to stay informed.

With every new piece of technology being added platforms such as Linkedin’s recent announcement to incorporate SlideShare and Pulse to their platform leads to Linkedin“Updating LinkedIn’s Terms of Services.

YouTube community Guidelines stresses respect for the community..  YouTube warns not to  upload pornography, animal abuse, drug abuse, underage drinking and smoking, or bomb making.  Nothing graphic of physical hurt, attacks or humiliation, no gross videos.

YouTube supports a community of having fun and sharing lots of amazing stuff and letting people know what you think.  YouTube acknowledges that not every content will be agreeable, either not liking what you see but if you see it violates the terms of agreement Report it.


Work Cited

Flickr. (2014).  TOS Guidelines.  Retrieved from

Foursquare. (2014).  TOS Photo.  Retrieved from

LinkedIn. (2014).   Updating LinkedIn’s Terms of Services.  Retrieved from

SNHU.  (2014).  Module Eight:  Social Media Marketing Rules of Engagement and Terms of Service.  MKT  666.  Southern New Hampshire University. Professor Damsen class

Twitter. (2014).  Parody, Commentary and Fan Account Policy.  Retrieved from

YouTube (2014) Community Guidelines.  Retrieved from

Content Strategy is important for social media success

Content strategy is important to social media because it helps the strategist gain greater control over breaking through the millions of content being uploaded on the web daily.

If you want people to pay attention, its good practice to re-imagined content as opposed to recycling it (Chapman).

On the other hand, there are other strategies that one can take in the absence of re-imagined content.

Curating and recycling content can take the shape of citing and providing a link to the original source and make for good content strategy (Thompson).


Ethos TOMS Shoes

Ethos in TOMS Shoes

Published 4/9/2014

Kiana Chan

Patrick Frisco

COMS 101: Public Speaking

December 13, 2013




This paper will examine the use of word of mouth ethos in the marketing success of TOMS Shoes. The demonstration of ethos through their website has an influential effect on how consumers perceive the company. By gaining credibility and trust from the target audience through their demonstration of goodwill, supporters are more likely to make the company known to others by word of mouth. This paper will concentrate on the effective use of ethos in the TOMS Shoes marketing strategy and how the spread of it’s ethos through word of mouth has largely contributed to the success of the movement.





“With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need. One for One”. If you were wearing a pair of shoes that made such a philantropic promise, wouldn’t you want to advocate for the company? TOMS, a shoe company built upon the foundation of  goodwill; donating a pair of of shoes for every sale they make, has led to a major trend in the way that companies market their products. By incorporating each sale with a good deed, the company is building upon a strong foundation of trust.

Because the demonstration of ethos has proved to be extremely effective, we have seen an increase in this so called, “philantropic capitalism” in large companies such as Starbucks, Dawn, and Odwalla.  For every bottle of Starbucks “Ethos” water that you purchase, the Starbucks “Ethos” Water Fund donates $.05 to supply clean water to people those in need. Customers can buy certain Dawn products with a sense of satisfaction not only because they trust the company, but also because they are supporting a cause that is donating a million dollars to wildlife rescue. For every bottle of Odwalla Mango Tango smoothie that you purchace, customers feel content knowing that $0.10 of their purchace is going towards the Haiti Hope Project. The list continues, but these are just a few examples of companies that attract customers by demonstrating goodwill and ethos.

“One for One” is the motto that TOMS functions upon. This promise alone carries a strong sense of ethos; trustwortiness in the company because it demonstrates goodwill. TOMS uses their website as a way to reach out to supporters and to appeal to



the ethos of their company through biographies, visuals, descriptions, and video evidence. The website triggers our emotional need to give back and the company demonstrates that simply buying a pair of shoes is an affortable way to satisfy that need. By first establishing their ethos, TOMS Shoes was able to create an entire company, a movement, on the basis of world of mouth from passionate customers who wanted to make the cause of this company known to the world. This is the most valuable type of advertising.

In this paper, the use of ethos to attract customers to invest in a pair of TOMS will be analyzed. We will examine how word of mouth (WOM) ethos has contributed to the success of the company. To demonstrate this, this paper will start with a description of the artifact, which in this case is the TOMS website’s use of ethos to demonstrate the company’s goodwill. Second, the paper will move on to provide a description of the unit of anylysis, which will be ethos (trustworthiness). Lastly, this paper will discuss the effectiveness of the message as a whole, interpreting the combination of the artifact with the unit of anlysis in terms of the success of the company’s message.


Description of the Artifact


The way that TOMS reaches out to their supporters is through their website, which is an excellent means of displaying information to their target audience. The website is separated by tabs to guide viewers through their mission, purpose, and items. The One for One tab is aimed towards teaching people about what the TOMS brand is all about and how they can make a difference by purchacing a pair of shoes. By exploring this portion of the website, viewers can learn about how they can become


involved with this movement, where shoes are distributed, what kind of shoes they give, and real statistics about the movement. “We’ve been given 10 million pairs of shoes to children in need”, “We have made serious investments in our giving” “We have given millions of dollars to organizations that help those in need”. (“TOMS Evolving Our Giving” 2013) These quotes from the website demonstrate the company’s goodwill and further convince the audience that purchacing a pair of TOMS shoes would be a good investment for both the person buying the shoes and the child receiving them. Statistics further enhance the credibility of the company because it allows the audience to grasp in real numbers the impact that this movement is causing on the world.

TOMS is careful in the way that they lay out the website to make it easy to follow and appealing to viewers. There are specific sections of the website for viewers to either learn more about the company or to browse TOMS products. By creating sublinks that lead a prospective customer from a tab demonstrating the goodwill of the company to a tab containing the shoe products, the website makes a distinct correlation between buying a pair of shoes and helping a child in need. They make it clear that the company is not merely a shoe company, but a movement. With visual images, biographies, and videos of the shoes being distributed to children, we can visualize the kind of impact we could make just by purchacing a pair of shoes.  Each page has an area where viewers have the option of sharing the information with their friends through social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. Through these outlets of social media, TOMS allows the viewers to spread the word through internet communication.





Description of the Unit of Analysis


Companies rely heavily on the use of rhetoric to persuade an audience to purchace their product. According to the Greek philosopher, Aristotle, rhetoric is “an ability, in each particular case to see the avialble means of persuasion” and contains three artisitc proofs; ethos, pathos, and logos. TOMS is so successful because of their use of rhetoric to persuade the audience to invest in their company. Frisco reported that the ethos is the most potent becasuse without first establishing trust, the audience will not believe anything that you have to say. In this paper, although we will touch on the topic of pathos, the central unit of analysis will be ethos and how TOMS credibility is spread through word of mouth.

Ethos is the name used by Aristotle to refer to credibility. (The Art of Public Speaking 353) The two factors of credibility include competence, how the audience perceives the speaker’s intelligence, expertise, and knowledge on the subject, and character, how an audience perceives the speaker’s sincerity, trustworthiness and concern for the well being of the audience. (353) If an audience favorably views a speaker’s competence and character, they are more likely to accept what the speaker has to say. (353)

The three parts of ethos consist of sagacity, goodwill, and virtue. In this paper, we will discuss how goodwill contributes to the ethos of the company. According to Aristotle, the establishment of goodwill is an important factor for preparing the audience to receive a message because it directs their emotions (pathos) to the right frame of mind.(On Rhetoric 17) Ethos and pathos work alongside each other to persuade the audience


to believe the message. The use of pathos to trigger an emotional response in the audience “enables him (the speaker) to color his speech with his own character in a desirable way, and to give the color he desires to the persons and their acts that are dealt with in his speech” (The Rhetoric of Aristotle 131). This quote demonstrates how a speaker can use emotion to heighten the intensity and enhance the belivability and character of a message. (The Art of Public Speaking 370)

Although pathos is an important advertising technique to put the audience in the right frame of mind to receive a message, ethos is what ultimately causes the audience to trust the message. Because TOMS does not believe in established advertising techniques such as television commercials, magazines, billboards, etc, their main way of making their company known is through word of mouth marketing from people who make the company known either through speaking or through social media. This type of marketing where the sender is independent from the company “is therefore perceived to be more reliable, credible, and trustworthy by consumers compared to firm-initiated communications” (Brown, Broderick, Lee 4) In the analysis, we will examine how this type of ethos is highly persuasive in convincing people to buy a pair of TOMS Shoes.




The use of ethos to persuade customers to buy a certain product is one of the most important strategies in marketing. The success of the company, TOMS Shoes is largely attibuted to their souce of ethos, which is spread through word of mouth (WOM).



This type of ethos is highly persuasive to customers because it carries a sense of trustwortieness from a reputable source. (Brown, Broderick, Lee 4)

According to Aristotle, first establisihing a sense of goodwill is an important factor in establishing ethos. TOMS is a company that is based on anti-establishment beliefs, meaning they do not advertise on television, internet pop ups, or magazines. Instead, the way they make known who they are is solely through word of mouth and social media- connections from people to people.  According to the article, “Word of mouth: understanding and managing referral marketing” by Frances A. Buttle, word of mouth has a more emphatic influcence on the purchacing decision than other sources of influence because personal souces are viewed as more trustworthy. The concept of word of mouth is especially effective with an apparel company because customers can easily see the shoe worn on other people and if they are interested in knowing more about it, they can ask and learn from others.

TOMS offers an interesting demonstration of how ethos works when attached to a good cause. The shoe itself is not particularly elaborate in it’s appearence, nor is it made of the most durable, high quality materials. If fact, the idea of the simple canvas shoe oringinated from an Argentinian farmer’s shoe, or epadrille, made of a cotton or canvas fabric upper and a flexible rope or rubber sole. However, for many customers it may not be the physical product that appeals to them at first, but rather, the cause that they will become a part of by purchacing a pair of TOMS shoes. The goodwill that this act of kindess brings to the company carries a heavy weight, and makes the shoes all the more appealing to a customer. The action of simply buying a pair of shoes is so


powerful because it allows the consumer to be a part of the movement that directly helps millions of children throughout the world. By merely purchacing the shoe, it serves as a “small commitment to manipulate a person’s self-image and can be used to turn citizens into ‘public servants,’ prospcts into ‘customers,’ and prisoners into ‘collaborators’”.(Cialdini 66) The meaning of wearing the shoe itself changes the way a person perceives their own self image as well as how they perceive others. Wearing this pair of shoes becomes a visible sign, a symbol, of one’s goodwill. It shows that they are part of a movenment.

The social media plays a large role in establishing and spreading the company’s goodwill and friendship. The company’s website is a prime example of displaying the company’s mission to those who are interested in learning more. Written, visual, and spoken rhetoric appears throughout the website to reinforce the importance and significance of this cause. Under the “One for One” tab, viewers can explore the story behind Blake Mycoskie’s One for One initiative, through which the movement provided over 10 million shoes to children in need. (“Blake Mycoski’s Bio,” 2013) His biography further proves the ethos of the company by featuring his life’s experiences, achievements, and awards which are supported with visual images of Mycoskie in these actions. We learn how the humble beginnings of the company began while vacationing in Argentina in 2006, he witnessed many children who grew up without shoes. “His solution to the problem was simple, yet revolutionary: to create a for-profit business that was sustainable and not reliant on donations. Blake’s vision soon turned into the simple business that provided the powerful foundation for TOMS.”


(“TOMS Blake Mycoski’s Bio” 2013)  Automatically, we can tell that this company has one of the most important values of ethos; it is akin to friendship.

The successful effect of goodwill in the TOMS marketing campaign is due largely because of pathos. Although this artistic proof is not the focus on my paper, it is still an important part of how TOMS portrays their sense of ethos in the company.  According to Aristotle, “As for goodwill and a friendly disposition, these must be discussed under the head of the emotions.” (The Rhetoric of Aristotle 92) Pathos, according to Aristotle, are “the emotions and feelings that so change people as to affect their judgements” (Aristotle). Frisco reports that pathos is audience centered, in that it “places the audience in the appropriate frame of mind to receive the speaker’s message.” (Frisco) This specific section of the website is geared towards appealing to our emotions, giving us the feeling of wanting to give back, to help, to make a difference.

Videos and photos prove to us that the One for One movement is legitmiate. Real life profiles of children and their stories allow the company’s message to come to life. We learn about Yaiza, a seven year old girl who lives in a small cement home with her four sisters and mother in El Salvador. She got her first pair of TOMS through Giving Partner AmeriCares and its Family Clinic, and after receiving them she said that she was eager to return to playing with her friends and continuing her work at school. (“TOMS Stories” 2013) Joey, an eleven year old boy from one of the most impoverished counties America, dreams of being a professional basketball player. After receiving a pair of TOMS through his school’s Healthy Choices program he say he is


excited to hit the courts and practice his game. (“TOMS U.S. Giving” 2013) “Your TOMS purchace does so much more than just give a new pair of shoes to a child somewhere around the world. It also gives them the power to stay healthy, active and dream big.” (“TOMS U.S. Giving” 2013) This direct quote from the TOMS website demonstrates the credibility of this cause. The use of images depicting shoeless children playing soccer, shoeless school children on their way to school, happy children who are then given a new pair of TOMS shoes tells a story and depicts the movement that triggers an emotional response in us. We as citizens of a first world country, feel as if it is our duty to contribute to the well being of a chlild in need. Potential customers are now in the right frame of mind to want to be a part of this movement by investing in something as simple as a pair of shoes.

Ethos is also spread through other social media websites such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. There are three key factors that influence how word of mouth in the online context influences consmer decision making and attitude formation: tie strength, homophily, and source credibility. (Brown, Broderick, and Lee 3). Tie strength represents the closeness, intimacy, support, and association between two people ranging from strong to weak. Homophily refers to the similarity of people’s characteristics such as age, gender, education, or lifestyle. Source credibility identifies expertise and bias from the source providing the information. A source should be considered more credible when it (1) possesses greater expertise and (2) is less prone to bias.  (Brown, Broderick, and Lee 3) In their own YouTube channel, credibility through word of mouth social media is displayed, where the videos highlight real stories of


children receiving their shoes from the TOMS staff and volunteer members. Many of the members who distribute the shoes are young, educated, and are obviously eager to be a part of this movement. This is a prime example of homophily, because consumers can relate to the volunteers and TOMS staff members in the videos by their common interest of wanting to make a difference. Tie strength is represented in their Youtube channel by the intimacy and support between TOMS and the village children who are receiving the shoes. Due to the strong relationship between TOMS and the children, watchers feel that they too have a connection with the company just by wearing the pair of the shoes. The two groups are connected by their love for the shoe and the meaning it carries. The Youtube channel has a high sense of source credibility because after viewing the website, customers will already know the reputation that TOMS carries and the goodwill that the company is based upon.

After discussing the common interest of wanting to making a difference among consumers and the company, this leads me to my next point, the connetion with the audience. Trust, or ethos, is what causes a target audeince to believe in a company. Frisco reports in his lecture that the goodwill of ethos is “respecting, charitable, caring and warm”, all of which are elements evident in the TOMS website and in their comapny as a whole. Consumer trust is a major contributor to the success of a company. In addition, according a marketing article published by the University of Missouri, the market audience that you are trying to connect with must be targeted before you decide what message to send.  In the case of TOMS shoes, it seems to be that the “target audience” is the youth. Aristotle reports that “the moral character of youth” “live for the


most part in hope; for hope is for the future”, “choose to do fine things rather than things adventageous to themselves” and “they do not judge on the basis of advantage” (On Rhetoric 150) Because of this, they succumb easily to the opportunity of doing good as an investment for the future (the youth are hopeful), and the youth tend to want to give back and do good for other people (they choose to do fine things for other people). The TOMS marketing strategy targeting the youth is extremeley effective because it combines the “moral character of the young” with their desire to make an impact in the world. In addition, the shoes are targeted to an audience that is interested in keeping up with the latest fashion trends. Through celebrity endorsements of TOMS shoes, including the Olson twins and Scarlett Johanssan, the ethos of the company is expaded as not only through goodwill, but also because these celebrities have approved the shoe as a fashion item. The website is an excellent tool in attracting young customers because it incorporates both the temptation of wanting to buy a new pair of shoes with the satisfaction in being able to give something in return.



Based on the evidence I have shared with you in this paper today, ethos is used in many marketing strategies to persuade an audience to put their money into the company. The TOMS website uses many forms of rhetoric to convince us that buying a pair of shoes would be a good investment, not only because it benefits the audience as consumers, but also by the presence of goodwill, it causes us to believe that we are contributing to a good cause. Goodwill is the basis of trust, and by proving to the


audience that we can contribute to helping millions of children, customers are sold on idea of One for One, the TOMS motto, that for every pair of shoes you buy, a pair will be donated to a child in need. This is a message that demonstrates goodwill and credibility. We know that we can trust this company.

Because of the strong sense of trust in this company, customers feel as if they are part of a movement when they purchace a pair of shoes. They feel like it is their duty to advocate for this company becuase it has become a movement through the good things that the company does for every purchace. This is where the ethos through word of mouth comes in. TOMS does not believe in commercial advertisements, but they are still known throughout the world for their philantropy because supporters of the company are spreading the news themselves- the most powerful type of advertising. By directly telling the people in their lives, either by speaking or by spreading the word through outlets of social media- these sources from everyday consumers have an immense amount of credibility because they are independent of the company; they are speaking out of their own will.

TOMS was able to achieve such a successful company by the power of people.  By demonstrating goodwill and gaining trust from potential customers all over the world, consumers are moved by the fact that buying a pair of shoes can directly impact the life of another. We are convinced of the company’s ethos through it’s website, we are convinced through our peers, and again, we are convinced though ourselves that this is a good investment in our money. After purchacing a pair of TOMS Shoes, we can feel



satisfied not only because we bought a new pair of shoes, but because we have made a small purchase that can have a big impact on the world.


Works Cited

Author Unknown. TOMS Stories – Official TOMS Blog | TOMS Shoes,         2006-2013. Web. 9 Dec. 2013.

Author Unknown. “Reaching Your Target Market.” Reaching Your Target Market.            University of   Missouri Extension, n.d. Web. 06 Dec. 2013.

Brown, Jo, Amanda Broderick, and Nick Lee. “Word of Mouth Communication Within Online    Communities: Conceptualizing the Online Social Network.” Journal of Interactive             Marketing 21.3 (2007): 2-20. Science Direct. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

Buttle, Francis A. “Word of Mouth: Understanding and Managing Referral Marketing.”    Journal of Strategic Marketing 6.3 (1998): 241-54. Print.

Cialdini, Robert B. “Chapter 3: Commitment and Consistency.” Influence. Boson: Pearson            Education, 2009. 66. Print.

Cooper, Lane. The Rhetoric of Aristotle. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1932.        92. Print.

Frisco, Patrick. Lecture: “Rhetoric.” November 24, 2013

Kennedy, George A. “Chapter 12: Introduction; the Character of the Young.” Aristotle On           Rhetoric. 2nd ed. New York, Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. 150. Print.

Lucas, Stephen E.  The Art of Public Speaking.  New York, New York; McGraw-Hill

Publishing Company:  2007.

Social Media Future Implications

In 2012 Heidi Cohen highlighted two implications of the future of social media—one in business, and the other in privacy.

The first, Cohen saw businesses continuing to expand their social media engagements to include the organization’s workers’ involvement. Moreover, Cohen saw social media engagement involving senior management oversight and extending into operational processes.

According to Jeanne Meister, Researcher, Consultant and speaker on the future workplace it’s not a matter of if, but when brands will begin engaging with social media if they want a competitive advantage.

Soon will be the day when other brands adapt much in the same way MasterCard has. Master Card moved from seeing social media as a work place threat to seeing it as benefiting their revised business plan, “Then in 2009, MasterCard CEO challenged the entire company to transform from a 45-year-old B2B financial services company into a more consumer-focused payments technology company” (p.1). Staying competitive for MasterCard suddenly means taking advantage of their growing younger employees expecting to access social media in their work place and the brand’s need to incorporate a shared vision that they could all focused on. MasterCard is now in a four phase strategy to, educate and encourage all 8,000 employees to become a brand Ambassador (Meister).

The second future implication, Cohen also saw privacy as another growing trend in the future. She thinks people will begin to guard their privacy more because it will have become a commodity. Cohen argues that personal information and data will form into currency that has social media users caring more about their privacy and moving to protect it.

In light of privacy the real problems are corporations and technology that both openly and secretly retain personal information on their users, Facebook retains all rights, similarly despite the White House maintaining anonymous access, “According to the White House privacy policy, ‘Information you choose to share with the White House (directly and via third party sites) may be treated as public information.’” also reported on asking the FTC to investigate Snapchat a mobile app that urges users to share intimate photos and videos and promises that they will disappear forever, but instead shares the content with law enforcement ( reports based on a Pew Survey finds that a vast majority of Americans, including teens take steps to protect their on line privacy. The reports find that 60% of facebook teens set to privacy setting, block and report users on their sites.

According to an article in USA Today, young people care more about privacy after Edward Snowden’s NSA surveillance released:

Some 40% of 2,089 survey takers, aged 18 and older, said they had made changes to their privacy settings in the last three months, and 53 percent in the last six months. The poll was taken in late September.

The survey found people over the age of 45 are less likely to check social media privacy settings, with 26 percent in that age group having never made any changes to their privacy settings, while just 11 percent of respondents aged 18 to 44, said they never made privacy setting changes.

There is clearly a growing number of Americans who are concerned about their privacy but whether or not people will begin to view it as a commodity is yet to be seen, but it certain looks as if Cohen has a point with the growing concerns over users’ privacy.

Work Cited Page

Acohido, Byron. (2013, Nov. 18). Snowden Effect Young People Now Care About Privacy.  Retrieved from         young-people-now-care-about-privacy/3517919/

Cohen, Heidi. (2012, Mar. 22). The Future of Social Media. Retrieved from             (2014). Electronic Privacy Information Center. Retrieved from        

Meister, Jeanne. (2014, Mar. 26). Social Media Moving From Danger to Brand Building Opportunity. Retrieved from      

Social Media Strategy Assessment

What process might you enhance or implement within your organization for evaluating your social media efforts?

The right social media marketing strategy for any company to adapt is knowing that change is the norm.

Further, what distinguishes traditional media from social media is, in the past technology reach was staggeringly slow in growth as it took radio, television and even the internet years before seeing mass consumption of the media.

When it came to reaching lots of people the proportion between technology and technology were far apart in years as well. Today Technology is rivaling with each other, “within a span of five years, internet search giant Google has a new and noble challenger in Facebook. Social media strategists need to understand now that change is itself a norm.” What motivates this transfer of power has to do with users’ preference, “to be able to participate with their favorite brands in one way or another” (p. 1, SNHU).

For the social media strategists this not only means staying a breast of technological changes, but also in the world of constant changes understanding how technology influences social media users. More importantly is to stay in constant assessment of the social media strategy in view of these constant changes (SHNU).

Samir Balwani advises social media strategists to review their strategies. He concludes that the brand strategist should habitually revisit strategies for best optimization. Balwani suggests a social media strategy audit every quarter and before a new campaign that focus on the “brand’s current strategy, the community sentiment, and current conversation topics…compiling the research into one place helps outline exactly what data is important, whether there are any overlaps in marketing channels, and how the brand can further optimize their strategy” (p.1).



Work Cited Page

Balwani, S. (2010, Sep. 14). 5 Reasons to Review Your Social Media Strategy. Retrieved from

SNHU.  (2014).  Module Eleven: Assessment and Evaluation of Social Media Strategy.  MKT                      655.  Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieve                                                                          from      2879210_1/courses/MKT-655-14TW2-MASTER/MKT-655-14TW2-           MASTER_ImportedContent_20131105035729/MKT-655-13TW1-                    MASTER_ImportedContent_20130724121237/MKT-655-                    OLMASTER_ImportedContent_20130528050143/Learning%20Modules/Module%  20Eleven%20Module%20Overview/MKT655_M11_Overview.pdf


Viral Marketing Initiatives

The top 5 characteristics of viral campaign are:

Newsworthy Content

It’s really without saying, viral content can be likened to what’s newsworthy.  Its newsworthy because it invokes massive of word of mouth sharing that ends up making news across different media, even across continents.

Such is the case in the Oreo’s timely ad at the Super Bowl in 2013, “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark.”  It made news because Oreo took advantage of an opportunity in a short space of time, cleverly and humorously at an event that is already spotlighted in the news, and where thousands of people are gathered.  Moreover, Oreo recognized a fortuitous moment and responded relevantly.  In essence in the middle of the news, Oreo became the spotlight of the stadium and of breaking news.

This means, create to inform, entertain, and/or persuade.

What makes a viral campaign newsworthy is represented in the recent campaign by Harvard black students “I, Too, Am Harvard.”  Their campaign have black students with signs bearing messages of racial devalued experiences from white students at Harvard, “Lucky to be black, so easy to get into college,” one of the many considered derogatory comments.  The campaign by the black students at Harvard is to inform on their experience.

However, the first thing that makes the campaign newsworthy is the coverage it received in the individual views on Tumblr, YouTube, comments, word of mouth shares and other schools taking up the baton and reporting on similar experiences on other campuses nationwide and as far away as Oxford.

Buzz Feed reports more than a million views in the first few days, and the photos launched on Saturday and by Monday it had gone viral (Butler).  The news media now has a story and a ready made audience of newsworthy content.

The second, is the fact that the students storytelling reaches across different channels/platforms. Where Oreo failed, that is according to Bonin Bough, Mondelez VP of global media and consumer engagement, reported by The Drum, “despite the thousands of reweets the Dunk in the Dark real-time tweet achieved, sent during the blackout at the 2013 SuperBowl, it also highlighted the failing of social marketing by its singular channel trappings.”  The Harvard students’ campaign content is newsworthy because it’s presented on several media platforms as a play, a photo gallery on Tumblr, and YouTube.

Third, the content that moves not only the masses but also reaches institutional powers to promise change is newsworthy.  Harvard, interim president, Donald Phister acknowledges that, the school could not ignore its black students experiences at Harvard (WNYC). Phister praises the students on their personal reflections and on starting the debate (Kahn).


Timing is another factor in viral endeavors.  This is exemplified in both Oreo and Harvard black students’ campaigns.  The strategy that Oreo used is to target Super Bowl fans in real time and create content in real time.  This strategy allowed for taking advantage of opportune moments.

The “I, Too, Am Harvard” campaign is also happening at an opportune time since no other time in history would have yield this national and global response.   No other time in our media or technological history would the campaign have made such an impact on replicating similar experiences across campuses and creating what interim President Phister refers to as an opening debate. This is to say a discussion will follow with opposing viewpoints, moreover public.  In other words, our technological age is responsible for the success of the Harvard black students’ campaign.

Built into the Process

Adam Singer from The Future Buzz on digital marketing and online PR makes the point that creating viral content should be included in the process.  By this he means, what you want to share should be built into your targeted audience natural environment, “natural element of the process?” (p. 2.) of sharing content.  The tools that facilitate sharing are: widgets, badges, RSS feeds, and social commenting (SNHU). This allows users to act upon their emotions, grab content to share, use badges that direct people to social media site, and leave comments on pages.  Further when thinking about process, “Less steps are better, and try to combine the sharing with one of your steps.  Have less than three steps, two is even better” (p. 2, Singer).

About people

Research suggests viral is linked to both emotional valance and physiological arousal.  This study finds that people are more prone to share for altruistic reasons, and often for positive and upbeat ones because it makes people feel better.  It also found that negative content while having a lesser priority for users, still plays an important role when distinguished by states of heightened arousal, anger and anxiety and low state of arousal, sadness.  The former increases the likelihood of sharing and can be useful in business objectives (Berger & Milkman).

Interactive Content

Create a personalized experience that is engaging and entertaining such as videos.  Encourage comments and users’ involvement (SNHU), such as playing a game or participating in a survey or competition.



Berger, J., & Milkman, K. (2011).  What Makes Online Content Viral?  American Marketing Association, 1-11.

Butter, B. (2013, Mar. 5). ‘I, Too, Am Harvard.’ Black Students Show They Belong.  Retrieve from     harvard-black-students-show-they-belong/

Kahn. J. P.  (2014, Mar. 6).  ‘I, Too, Am Harvard.’ Campaign Highlights Black Students Frustrations.  Retrieve From                                                                          

Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Super Bowl tweet ‘a hug win’ and ‘a huge failure’ states Mondelez digital chief.  The Drum.  Retrieved from 

Singer, A. (2009, Feb. 26).  10 Secrets For Creating Viral Content [Web log post].  Retrieved from

Viral Criteria

Oreo’s ad during the 2013 Super Bowl light outage, “You Can Still Dunk In The Dark” is an example of viral marketing through social media.  360i, the marketing firm responsible for the creation of the ad explains that, “when viewers and commentators alike grappled with an unforeseen break in the middle of the Super Bowl XLVII, we saw an opportunity to help Oreo enter the spotlight.”

oreo360i defines the ad a success because after the lights went out, and 100 million television viewers turned to social media and saw the Oreo ad, it elicited over 10,000 reweets, 18,000 likes, and 5,000 shares and that is just in the first hour.  As a result of what began with a timely and poignant ad, continued to generate headline around the world in over 100 countries.  The fact that it took one tweet and $0 media dollars to earn 53 million impressions is further reason to view Oreo’s timely interjection into the darkness as a social media success according to 360i.

However, Oreo’s ad is a success because it’s clearly an implementation of a business objective, “build viral into the process” (Singer). The opportunity that Oreo took advantage of when the lights went out is part of its strategy, and not by chance alone. Brands use market research and clearly defined business objectives as part of their strategy to create viral content.  In this case, Oreo depended on targeting a large crowd and monitoring activities to win its coveted result.

Built into Oreo’s business objective is to monitor in real time, because the technology and people’s habits support such an objective, “having a brand respond in real-time on social media is a clever way to reach people on smartphones and computers – particularly when a survey prior to the game found that about 36 percent of Super Bowl viewers would be consulting a second screen” (p.3. Watercutter).  To Oreo’s benefit the company was presented with an opportunity that paid off in two ways, one, it won global recognition both on social media and on the news, and two, the company’s investment in its social media team paid off.

Oreo’s presence on social media was a success because the company began with an objective of targeting a group in real time, while having a creative team ready to response, “15 person social media team at the ready to respond to what ever happened on line in response to the Super Bowl…they also had copywriters, a strategist, and artists ready to react to any situation in 10 minutes or less” (Watercutter, p. 3).

The second element in the formula of Oreo’s strategic success is the understanding that where groups congregate is where companies want to form relationships.   It’s where companies want to create shareable content that makes memories for people.  Oreo targeted the Super Bowl and won, “in other words, touchdown: Oreo” (p. 3 Watercutter).

Oreo made memories when it created a timely, funny, relevant and sharable memory with a ready-made audience, a valuable social media hangout.   Moreover, Oreo by creating memorable content they make the Super Bowl synonymous with Oreo in people’s minds.  For those millions of people who watched or heard about the incident, will forever associate the Super Bowl and the Oreo dear to their hearts.

The strategy that Oreo used to create viral content is to monitor in real time a large group and have a team ready to response in real time.  In other words, going viral is part of Oreo’s business objective.

Work Cited Page

360i. (n.d.).  Dunking in the Dark [Video file].  Retrieved from super-bowl/

Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Super Bowl tweet ‘a hug win’ and ‘a huge failure’ states Mondelez digital chief.  The Drum.  Retrieved from    win-and-huge-failure-states-mondelez-digital

Singer, A. (2009, Feb. 26).  10 Secrets For Creating Viral Content [Web log post].  Retrieved from

Watercutter, A. (2013, February).  How Oreo Won The Marketing Super Bowl With a Timely Blackout Ad on Twitter.  The Wired.  Retrieved from

Inson Wood

Inson Wood, architect, interior designer and partner at Inson Dubois Wood is certain one to think like a quintessential ‘rock star.’

Inson is very involved on social media.  His medium of preference is clearly Facebook, but he makes good use of other social media platforms such as his blog, twitter and Linkedin.

Inson incorporates a photo narrative on FB that includes an impressionable “hi-end” lifestyle and targeted audience.

However, Inson is a success on FB because he doesn’t just sell his services.  Approximately, 25% of Inson’s social media efforts are directed to his interior design company.

The other 75%, he makes his presence felt on FB that includes socializing and collaborating with luxury brands such as Ivanka Trump, Ferrari, and Jeff Koons.

Inson just doesn’t stop there, he includes a family narrative that highlights familiar faces that elicit responses from his fans such as, “oh, he’s so cute, he looks just like you.”

He advocates for charity, he shares his Christmas vacation with his family, and his passion for skiing and cycling.

Inson tempers his photos with comments advice, and humor.  His FB page is unparalleled.   According to Inson, “I attempt to live by example as well as unveil a life of pursuing excellence that all may aspire to regardless of financial background, i.e. we can all read, exercise, do something with friends or family, go to museums, create something, socialize, shop or window-shop.”

He is selling a lifestyle not services per se.  Much like Apple doesn’t sell cell phone or computers, but is a culture.

However, what makes his SM campaign sublime is his distinct attention to disparate objects, structure, and style.  Inson Wood designs diverge, almost disagreeing.

For example, Inson New Year’s message on FB was that we were all one.

For example, Inson designs choices and photos exhibitions appear unrelated.

  • Jeff Koons (Neo-Pop artist, American Main Stream)
  • Pablo Picasso (Spanish, Classical Main Steam)
  • Richard Serra (American Minimalist, Sculptor and Video Artist)
  • Takashi Murakami (Japanese, Pop artist)
  • Inson’s family art (Korean & European background at work in his art and interior designs)
  • Daiem Hirst (British Neo-Pop –artist)
  • Leger (Cubist, French), Diacometti, Marc Chagall (French) and Edwina Sandys.

Inson interior designs and architecture run the nugget from classical to, and in my opinion, Post…Post Modernism.

Inson’s targeted audience of his own acknowledgement, “Top Interior Designer in New York City.  Hi-end Residential projects, published in Architectural Digest, Vogue, Interior Design, Traditional Home and Monacilli Press Book, ‘Designers Abroad.”

Inson blends luxury, an opulent discourse coupled with ordinary people and mundane lifestyle choices that affect us all—no matter the class.  Inson is inclusive in his exclusivity.

In collaborating with Brides Magazine, “A Newlywed Nest” and furnishing of penthouse apartments, Inson Wood designs are completely furnished from Ikea.

Inson Debois Wood excels on SM because the chosen “rock star” to represent his company makes his audience fall in love with him.

And while his message is opulence, his message is clear on FB that he does not discriminate.  He incorporates highbrow with lowbrow, he imposes dreams onto our realities, and extends our perception into disparate realities not patterned in our ordinary sensibility.  In other words, Inson is no quiet hero.

When I asked Inson how he measured his social media success, he had this to say:

Huge, my own blog allows me to control all google searches and Facebook has reached out across the globe coming full circle so allowing me to be omnipresent and an authority on design and a mentor to children and billionaires alike.  Promoting a sincere awareness to charitable giving—everyone likes authenticity.


Identify two companies in the same industry that utilize social media.  Compare and contrast their SM efforts.  How does each organization use social media to differentiate the brand as well as advancing differing strategic goals?


Dale Carnegie and Econsultancy are two consulting and training companies that utilize social media to build an audience and promote their services.

Dale Carnegie’s training “teaches professionals to sharpen skills and improve performance” in professional settings.

Similarly, Econsultancy’s training courses, events and publications are focused on sharing “advice and insight” for performance improvements to digital professionals.

The about FB page on Dale Carnegie’s Austin office describes its services as, “designing programs that offer people real knowledge, skills and practices they need to add value to the business.”  Similarly, Econsultancy describes under general information, “with more than 200,000+ subscribers worldwide, Econsultancy is an intelligent resource for digital marketers dedicated to helping you do everything better on line.”

Econsultancy does custom training of digital and e-learning services, “on all aspects of digital marketing and ecommerce.”  The company’s users are internet industry professional, wanting to ace the marketing exams, or just starting out to learn digital excellence.


Digital and ecommerce are fairly new media.  On the other hand, Dale Carnegie, the brand grew out of Dale Carnegie, public speaker, personality development, and author of, “How to Win Friends and Influence People” (1939).

However, differing in products as Dale Carnegie is focused on offering solutions to individuals, teams and organization in the area of employee engagement, leadership, presentation, effectiveness, sales, customer service, talent management and communication.

Carnegie not only wrote books such as, “Public Speaking & Influencing men in Business,” he also showed people how to become successful in business.  The Foundations of Dale Carnegie are as a result of Carnegie’s works that influenced standards.

Dale Carnegie Austin office FB page attributes Dale Carnegie’s success to Carnegie’s knowledge coupled with practical experiences informing and improving on the brand:

Dale Carnegie’s original body of knowledge has been constantly updated, expanded and refined through nearly a century’s worth of real time business experience.  The 160 Carnegie Managing Directors around the world use their training and consulting services with companies of all sizes in all business segments to increase knowledge and performance.  The result of this collective global experience is an expanding reservoir of business acumen that our clients rely on to drive business results.

The two companies are similar in that they provide professional training to those wanting to use their services. However, structurally they are very different.  In addition to charging for their courses, Econsultancy also offers paid subscriptions ranging in the upper $700 to access in depth digital data research.

On the other hand, Dale Carnegie professional service is a franchise establishment with offices in different cities as well as globally—from Africa and the Middle East, Central and South America, and United States.

Econsultancy’s operates from three locations: New York, Singapore, and London, and like Dale Carnegie has fans in the millions through their global reach on-line or in offices, headquarter in Hauppauge, New York, training representatives in all 50 U. S. states and over 80 countries, in over 25 languages.

Econsultancy uses FB to promote its articles and research, but the two differ in that Econsultancy’s content is nearly almost marketing focused: SEO, digital marketing, marketing salary, web design and automated campaign.

Very unlike other marketing firms offering digital marketing service or other social media related products.  B2B marketers such as VerticalResponse, “a self service marketing solutions for small businesses and non-profit organization” also promotes content unrelated to social media. For example it might post articles in the news and ask its audience to chime in on the discussion.

Dale Carnegie distinguishes itself from Econsultancy training further in that it offers free guides to all their articles and strategies for everyone to download and read, while Econsultancy blog posts are focused solely on Facebook.

In addition to Dale Carnegie’s worldwide franchises, it has several FB pages dedicated to different services and geographic reach—training for organizational goals and a page dedicated to 365 Days of Living the Dale Carnegie Principles.   It also has a training and leadership FB page focused on a globally engaging partners and fans. Who was Dale Carnegie?

Solving Small Businesses SM Dilemma

Megan Gassman, reading through the treads of all the people who posted on Robert’s post is indicative of the work that involves, “sift[ing] through all the feedback?” (Dr. Dickinson).

Megan your advice to ‘read’ and to couple software seems the only way to go, but other issues arises.  To begin with Millie raises one challenge, ‘reducing work force’ and recommends using monitoring communicator’ such as Salesfore Marketing.”

I agree that the ‘Marketing/Operations’ monitoring mentioned can and should be moved to “out-house’ to firms like “Labyrinthrealism, Brooklyn’s Social Media Marketing Firm,”  while the “in-house” should go to the employees to control content.

The Marketing/Operations, @Labyrinthrealis/twitter is:

one, working for the business owner to plan a successful SM strategy for 2014.

two, measure results and provide feedback.

Advice to the business owner can take the forms of recommending a new paint job, to which customers to target on SM platforms.

On the other hand, employees can in truth become the “rock star” (Mark Collier) of the company and this can be accomplished with pre-established behavior and rules.

The marketing/operations monitoring is responsible for:

  • Participating in a SM strategy engagement.
  • Reading data and making informed judgment that benefits the business owners.

Social Media interaction for small businesses is best when small businesses participate in a three way interaction:

One, get their employees to produce content about the business activity (Derek Overbey).

Two, out-source the marketing operation via

Three, target customers based on SM users’ behavior (Bill Mickey).