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