Paper Social Media trends USA/NY - Europe/BE


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Related to my internship in New York City @ 151 Ventures ( I wrote my paper about Social Media Marketing.

For me it was striking how far advertising and technology is already evolved in the Big Apple.

My paper is about facts and figures (all dated May/June 2011) related to Europe and the USA. I integrated research to it because I came across a lot of questions and I wrote down my personal experience.

I was a newbie in Social Media Marketing but it really got my interest now.

People with the same interest from Belgium/USA can always contact me:
Great way to share information and experiences from across the world!

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Paper Social Media trends USA/NY - Europe/BE

  1. 1. Intern post: 151 ventures (New York/USA) Kelly RaedsIntern advisor: Mr. Bill Rom / Mr. Trevor Leb International Business Management/IBEMIntern coach: Mrs. Else Deneys 2010 – 2011Ypres - 10 juni 2011
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS1 About 151 Ventures _________________________________________________________ 1 1.1 The 151 Team ________________________________________________________________ 2 1.2 The team behind the scene _____________________________________________________ 22 Overview work routine ______________________________________________________ 33 The Preface ________________________________________________________________ 44. Social Media in Business _____________________________________________________ 5 4.1 Facts _______________________________________________________________________ 5 4.2 From WYSIWYG to Social Media _________________________________________________ 6 4.3 The purpose of Social Media Websites ____________________________________________ 75 Trends ___________________________________________________________________ 10 5.1 Mobile side of the Social Media Medal __________________________________________ 10 1. Location, location, location ______________________________________________________________ 19 2. It’s a Group thing ______________________________________________________________________ 11 3. Going mobile _________________________________________________________________________ 14 5.1 Advantages ________________________________________________________________ 17 5.2 Disadvantages ______________________________________________________________ 186 Overview_________________________________________________________________ 197 Recommendations _________________________________________________________ 20 7.1 Strengths & Weaknesses / Opportunities & Th reats _______________________________ 228 Personal evaluation internship and paper ______________________________________ 23 1
  3. 3. SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETINGWHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT AND WHAT ARE THE UPCOMING TRENDS AS SEEN IN THE US 1 A BOUT 151 V ENTURES151 Ventures is a global execution-focused consulting firm that provides early and growth-stage organizations, aswell as new business units in larger organizations with talent, expertise and relationship connections traditionallyonly available to large corporations. Our expertise lies in the mobile and wireless industry; we can list our differentlevels of services a follow: Go-to-market planning and execution, accelerateBuilding channels and revenue for Mobile Technology growth, grow sales channels and sells through and companies expand management team. Marketing, branding and positioning to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Leverage our extensive relationships in the mobileHelping global brands drive revenue through effective ecosystem around the world to position your company mobile strategies for growth and long term success Create, design and execute a value-added Channel Sales channel and distribution Partner Program to build revenues and increase the distribution of your products or services ‘Outsourced CFO’ Services to Drive Business Growth Effectively manage finances and allocate resources, create accurate growth projections, secure additional funding, develop & execute a strategy to drive profitsIn practice we can also speak of an acceleration firm, 151 ventures works closely together with the entrepreneurialand executive team of emerging technology companies to launch, operate and accelerate their growth. We help toaccelerate the start-up and funding process of companies with our knowledge of technology development, fund-raising, how to launch a new product or service and the marketing that’s involved. Besides the added value we canmean for start-ups we also mean an added value for growth-stage firms.Every company has its own specific business need depending on the stage the firm is in (think about the lifecycle ofbusinesses) and market situation (competitors, market share) with the end focus on the overall revenue. Eachsolution contains an objective (based on meetings and discussions) and approach, a key focus consisting out of 3phases. Note that 151 ventures works active with the executive management of the client, and if necessary also inother areas. You can see it as a short-term recruitment of an executive with specialty in the field of new marketingor business development without the financial commitment, overhead or potential recruiting fees. Plus 151Ventures offers the benefit from an entire experienced team that starts working on the clients behalf immediately. 1
  4. 4. 1.1 T HE 151 T EAM The 151 Ventures team has more than 100 years of experience building profitable technology companies in the mobile and wireless technology industry. The 151 Ventures team members come from executive level positions at Fortune 500 companies and bring experience from more than 20 successful technology startups. They know what it takes to build a successful mobile strategy and helps you get there. Bill Rom – Managing Partner and Co-founder Valerie Kahn – Managing Partner and Co-founder Andy Maunder Steve Brumer Phil Sheehy Dave BrownPrincipal, Corporate Development Partner Senior Director UK Associate 1.2 T HE TEAM BEHI ND THE S CENE This is where my function as intern fits in. Trevor and Paul are the core of this team behind the scene and are working around the marketing and strategy while giving support to the executive team. My job was broad and they let me work in several fields as desk research, Office competences (Word, PowerPoint and Excel), mail distribution (HTML), input of data etc. The produced results can be on the one hand for 151 ventures e.g. the development of a new template or on the other hand relate to a client e.g. fresh up an existing PowerPoint presentation of that client company. In practice we are a virtual firm. Working with 151 ventures is possible by having contact with each other by phone, email and chat. Specific programs we all use to stay connected are: Google Talk, Skype, Outlook (Web Based). And this makes work very flexible in a way that the 151 team can fully be engaged to clients need. In my case I had a desk at a client’s office in midtown Manhattan called Celpro Associates. All basics where at my service over there: a proper desk, internet connection, a conference room and of course human interaction! As I were well guided by the beginning by Bill Rom, whenever possible he came in, we occupied the conference room and cooperation was all about how things are working and where we are standing with the “Kelly-projects”. Overall everyday interaction was made with Trevor Leb and once in a while cooperation with Paul Kang for specific tasks. I also was an added value for Phill Sheehy and Steve Brumer as they were also in the running for sending me tasks. 2
  5. 5. 2 O VERVIEW WORK ROUTINEThis chart gives a limited overview of long term tasks I had during my internship, I refer to my logbook for adetailed description. BLACKBERRY PPT TEMPLATE VENTURE CONTINEO SALESNOW.COM WORLD CAPITAL LIST WIRELESS An online software Making a list with Adjusting all the Searching contact that lets you put as much as possible existing information of VC Format a new together all the contact PowerPoint lists that can be template for our contact information of presentations to found on the new client. information ofWHAT exhibitors to set up the new template. Internet. business cards and meetings. leads we have. For Bill and Phil. For 151 Ventures. For Bill. For client. For 151 Ventures.WHO Because it’s a virtual firm this Core to find Contineo Wireless makes it possible Attractiveness of Gain new clients. investors for our is looking for to look it up the presentations. clients. investors. wherever you wantWHY with an Internet connection. 04/04/2011 - 08/04/2011 – 02/05/2011 – 25/04/2011 – 04/04/2011 –WHEN 28/04/2011 21/04/2011 18/05/2011 01/06/2011 30/05/2011 3
  6. 6. 3 T HE P REFACESocial media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. We can speak about a revolution: noTV, radio or newspapers have ever surpassed the amount of people social media reaches now. In fact in the pastyears it became a lifestyle for people around the world to join a social network. Is there a better place to reach outto people who are gathering together in one place to speak about their interests? Their interests and desires thatyou can fulfill? The goal: people don’t have to search for news anymore because the news will find us. Back in the 1‘old’ days – and we’re not going back more than 8 years - everything was about reaching your potential clients by amarketing push-strategy. Hire the best advertisers to get noticed and push your ROI to the limit. These days areover and a new era in marketing has begun: Social Media is taking over!Not convinced yet? Well, let me convince you! The term ‘social media’ covers a very broad concept and I willnarrow it down to social media in a B2C environment linked to differences between New York (USA) and Belgium(Europe). How am I able to do this, and aren’t I making things up? No. The concept of this paper, a thoroughdiscussion of an aspect of your internship, makes it possible for me to put as much information in that I gatheredduring my internship at 151 Ventures. As 151 Ventures already assisted in many start-ups and growth-stagecompanies I am able to build further on their experience. Moreover I was able to follow a lot of seminars, webinarsand social media events during my stay in New York City where I gained a lot of information. Above that I followedtrends by reading (online) newspapers and magazines. So everything that you are about to read is true, but take inmind that everything is evolving so quick that figures are based on snapshots in time.As a preview I give a short description of what you are about to read. We’ll take off with general facts and figures aswell for the US as for Europe. I go on by telling some examples and personal experiences with social media duringmy stay in New York City. Thereafter I will elaborate on trends, to keep a clear line between the facts and figures Iam going to explain three trends that are coming up next in the US (what developments are on) and link it toBelgium. That’s how I can ‘predict’ how we will evolve in the coming years. Based on the fact that I see NewYork/US as a leading role in social media (marketing) linked to mobility and technology. By that time you willalready have a lot to work up and I sum up the advantages and disadvantages of social media (marketing). On page19 you find a well-organized summary by keywords of applications followed by recommendation I made on myobservations. Finally I wrap up this paper by defining my personal opinion about my paper and internship. LISTEN … LEARN… ACT…1 Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned byFacebook, Inc. (05/31/2011 - 17:00) 4
  7. 7. 4. S OCIAL M EDIA IN B USINESS 4.1 F ACTS“Social media defines the activities that integrate technology, social interaction and the sharing of words, images, video and audio. ”  Friendster, the first big online network, was founded in 2002 and gained 3 million members in first few months… Now it is only popular in Asia.  In 2010 Europe has 402 million internet users on a population of approximately 495 million and more than 60 percent uses social media on a regular basis. One year ago 92 million Europeans are on Facebook on a total of 300 million worldwide.  On January 2011 Facebook has reached over 600 million users, around that time Twitter had 200 million people subscribed. We can mitigate this explosive growth by pointing out that 2,095,006,005 is the number of worldwide Internet users in March 2011 – this makes that approximately 0, 04 % is subscribed on Facebook or Twitter.  In 2009 social media grew nearly 40 percent in Europe and Facebook is now the most important network in almost every European country.  The top 10 Facebook cities and users in the US are: New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Dallas, San Diego and San Jose.  About 34 % of all internet users in Europe are on Facebook compared to about 56 % of all internet users in 2 North America are on Facebook.  The top 10 languages used on the Internet are: English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, German, Arabic, French, Russia and Korean.  The largest Facebook branded fan page is… Facebook! Reaching almost 39 800 000 fans in April 2011. Followed by You Tube, Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Disney.  Wikipedia, a 9-year-old, has completely steamrolled Encyclopedia Britannica, a vaunted 240-year-old brand, Social media is a conversation because people trust one another even more than they that takes place online, but trust the “experts.” more people are joining EVERYDAY2 (05/31/2011 - 17:22) 5
  8. 8. 4.2 F ROM WYSIWYG TO S OCI AL M EDI AThe World Wide Web has become the universe of network-accessible information, the embodiment of humanknowledge. Keep in mind that the first webpage ever accessible on the web dates from 13 November 1990 and wasmade by the ‘what you see is what you get’ -concept. Not more than direct inline (hyper) links were created in lines 3of plain text . The abbreviation ‘WYSIWYG’ should ring a bell as it is the fundamental basic for a luxury custom weall take for granted nowadays: surfing the World Wide Web. Ever since, evolution in communication, media anddigital technologies made of generation Y the leading users of social media nowadays. Take into account that over 450 percent of the world’s population is under 30 years old and barriers to get access to the Internet are becomingsmaller in due course.So, why is this information relevant in this case? Why do we need to speak about a generation that is probably noteven the generation you belong too? To understand what’s out there, who are those people who interact andexpress themselves by means of social media. If you decide to get involved in the social media world, what peoplecan you in general expect to have presence there? Is a regular Internet user, a user of social media websites: NO!This means that not every part of the population is represented on the web and social media should never be theonly way to advertise or interact with your customers, nevertheless it should always be a part of your marketingstrategy. See it as an expansion of your customer base by investing a minimum amount of money but areasonable amount of time.There is likely a chance that your personality just resents everything about people who are committing themselvesover the Internet - no shame, no privacy and too flatly. Then there is the good news, as a director yourself of asmall or growth-stage firm you don’t have to get involved personally in this virtual world. Your business profilerepresents your company on social media websites. The goal is to gain higher customer satisfaction, which canlead to word of mouth advertisement and so on… Don’t waste campaign money annoyingIn my point of view everybody who is director of a small or those you want to be friends with.growth-stage firm that offers a useful product or serviceshould consider to include social media in their marketing plan.As a firm you owe it to your customers to create a way to interact with your product or service. Why? Others, bywhich I mean also competitors, have a presence in the social media world. Keeping an eye on how competitors actcan give you insight in how they do business, but by watching them from the sidelines will never give you a directadded value. Instead you create time to let them engage their customers which, in the course of time, you need tocome up with an inventive retention policy – the most intense way in business to expand your customer base.By this time you should be convinced about the advantages social media can mean in business, but what advantagecan it be to your business? So put all your prejudices to one side and see what more it can offer in a businessperspective. In the next pages I will guide you through the social media landscape with focus on the trends in theUS and Europe/Belgium accompanied by a lot of examples.3 (05/30/2011 - 14:18)4 (population 2011) (05/30/2011 - 14:44) 6
  9. 9. 4.3 T HE PURPOSE OF S OCI AL M EDI A W EBSI TESIn this paper it is not the purpose to put out a theoretical explanation of all the social media that is out there on theweb nowadays. Social media is more than just Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn but these websites are leader in therise of social media since a few years. There are also other players in the field; more than 900 social websites are 5players in the social media playfield. So it is an understatement to say that it isn’t all about the threesomeFacebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. To not see the wood for the trees I show respect for the website called Amzini that 6is set up in 2011 by a graduate from the USA. On this website it’s simple to find, compare, and learn about over900 social communities. Social media covers everything that involves Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs,microblogging, wikis, podcasts, photographs or pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking. A remarkable thingto add is that social media isn’t a media at all; instead you should see it as a relationship. As mentioned above,never see a social media marketing plan as the only way to be involved in marketing with your company. Brandawareness needs to be created through multiple channels… “There is a wide chasm between good and great in social media. Make the right moves in social media, and thepower of the people will roll up into a juggernaut and it will drive your brand to great heights. These people will do it willingly, for free. But, you must win not merely their minds—but their hearts. ”Surprisingly the strong base where social media builds on is inspired by word-of-mouth conversations. Word-of-mouth has always been the most reliable way to build a business. The rise of social media on the web made itpossible for the consumer to share his experience with a product/service faster than ever and through a wideraudience. People tend to believe other people rather than what a business is saying (even bragging) about theirproduct or service. Furthermore consumers – with a good or bad experience – take time to express themselvesabout your product or service, they do this via social media websites. To understand how your consumers’ level ofengagement is with your brand it is handy to keep in mind these types of social media users: - Observers, they are watching your brand. - Fans, they are participating in the community of your brand. - Evangelists, they praise your brand and can recruit others. - Ambassadors, they represent your brand.Engaging in social media, even minimal efforts, shows that a company is willing to invest time and resources to talkto their customers. To be heard is one of the essential reasons why consumers are active on social mediawebsites. Especially Facebook and Twitter are the most powerful customer service platforms, all communicationhappen in real time. You need to be in there to listen and respond to them, fast. Moreover, customers can helpand serve one another. We have to avoid spamming in these times of mass-communication; people didn’t ask forthe advertisements and develop envy when they hear about your product. Basically the speed of the word-of-mouth is now only limited by how fast people can type.You have to keep in mind that you cannot control what others say – and you should never force this. A goodbeginning is to be part of the conversation. If someone posts something vitriolic about your brand, even if it’s notaccurate, others will pile on. It’s a well-known phenomenon called “mob mentality”. The longer you allow that to5 (06/01/2011 - 18:12)6 (06/01/2011 - 18:26) 7
  10. 10. continue, the more damage occurs to your business. Also never avoid bad commentary and don’t start justifyingyourself. If you treat your customers with respect, they will show respect for your brand too and could even turnout to be your most loyal customers.EXAMPLES 7Gary Vaynerchuck described it is his book as the “thank you”-economy. Before I mention what this is about I liketo point out how I got this information. When I typed in the keywords in Google I found a web domain name thatreferred to the book, namely A perfect example of how you should start to beout there on the net, people know some keywords and find fluently a domain website. A clear table of contentsappears and I’m able to buy the book online. Behind the ‘buy the book’- button hides, of course, a link to theAmazon bookstore. Mark that Kindle-devices are already common use in New York. What strikes me is that I candownload the first chapter for free; one click and I have the first chapter saved as a .pdf file on my hard disk. Whatstrikes me even more is that next to this link I can click a link that says: ‘Unlock chapter 10 – Donate a tweet & it’sfree!’ After clicking this button I give permission to connect through this site to Twitter and as fast as the firstchapter was saved on my hard disk, the tenth and last one is now also in my possession. THIS is what I call a perfectcombination of social media and how to interact with your customers in a proper way. In a subtle way it makes you want to buy the book because you get two chances to have a preview of it. Ongoing to a next case study I’ve found very applicable for this paper is about a Belgian company that – of course – is a brewery, named New Belgium Brewing Company. One thing all Americans know about a country that looks as ‘big’ as a peanut on the world map is that it is famous for beer and chocolates! The question in this particular example was how the New Belgium Brewing Company could introduce India Pale Ale (IPA) on the US market as this IPA is not typical Belgian. So how do you come out as a Belgian brewer, who’s always talked about being a Belgian brewer, and brew a style that’s not Belgian,that’s not unique, and that there’s a lot of competition in? The company realized they needed to do everythingright to succeed. The beer would have to taste fantastic, and the marketing would have to make the product standout in a very crowded category. One part of the strategy was customer research, localizing the product andcreating a story. They built further on their strong foundation and created a microsite, an interactive map and aphoto upload tool to make an interactive platform. They’ve incorporated the interactive map on their mainFacebook page so fans could connect to local sales reps. They went a step further by creating a profile for almostevery sales representative within a region, called Rangers’ profiles. They also joined forces with local proprietors tohold events across the country for the launch. This made it possible to promote the events and product through 8photos that were uploaded on the several Rangers’ profiles. On top of this they’ve also added a humorous videoof three team members dressed as forest rangers, performing a rap song about the company and the beer. Bypurchasing magazine advertisement and referring to the interactive website they increased the number of fans onFacebook. For the New Belgium Brewing Company this was their first experience in this fashion of marketing and itturned out to be very successful. As a result of this campaign sale figures went up significantly. They gained about7,000 fans to their Facebook profiles within the first week and the microsite had about 100,000 unique visitors inthe campaign’s first two months. They typically stayed for 5 to 7 minutes each.7 “The Thank You Economy” - Gary Vaynerchuck8 (06/03/2011 - 12.13) 8
  11. 11. A next practical example of using social media to increase interest in your company and communication with yourcustomers is Belgo Waffle Inc. in the streetscape of New York City better known as the taxicab-yellow Wafels andDinges truck and carts. They troll the streets since 2007 and offer a variety of Belgian waffles with all kinds oftoppings. They attract a mix of repeat customers and passers-by intrigued by the novelty. They found apromotional niche on the Web thanks to the rise of social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, which lets thembroadcast their changing location, advertise deals, and keep up a customer base. At the start-up in 2007 they hadthe benefit of having a lot of good reviews in local and international newspapers and gained reputation amongstother truck vendors and citizens. One year later they started to use Twitter followed by Facebook. NowadaysWafels and Dinges has already more than 14,000 followers on Twitter and almost 7,000 fans on Facebook. The dailyroutine is to let fans and followers know where the truck and carts are taking place in the city that day, moreoverthey add a secret password or leave a challenge in return for a free topping. 9
  12. 12. 5 T RENDS5.1 M OBI LE SI DE OF THE S OCI AL M EDIA M ED ALIn my point of view, how I experienced the influence of social media in New York City, there are some eminenttrends going on. I describe it as a trend because it’s not at a common use in Belgium - yet. Although I have to admitthat after a stay of more than two months in New York City even for me all these ‘new’ things are already anormality and doesn’t surprises me anymore. I should add that part of the big rise of all these social media in NewYork City is due to the fact that through my eyes they are the precursors of the users’ next-generation devices thatraised the bar for mobile social networking, messaging and data synchronization. In simple words: if you lookaround yourself in New York City people are always busy using their smartphone devices. People use it generally formultiple purposes like reading e-mails, listening to music, playing games, surfing the net or to find their way using alocation tracking application. On top of that it is of course also a device to make phone-calls and text messaging.What striking is that people of all generations are in the possession of a smartphone and not only young adults.A remarkable situation that I still remember is a woman that could have been my mother, late forties, came in forthe following inquiry: “Is there already a 4G phone available and is it an Android phone?” I was amazed; I thought Iwas up-to-date to novelties regarding mobile phones but the term 4G came out of the blue for me. Logically it isthe successor of third generation mobile telecommunications but I could never have imagined my mom asking thisquestion. Just before I left to New York I remember a classmate came into the class room and showed me herAndroid supported mobile device. At that point it was my first introduction to Android and we found out thatnobody else in the classroom had an Android supported device at that time. I’m not trying to say that my classrepresents a realistic and grounded survey, but the fact is that one out of thirty people was in the possession of anAndroid supported device amongst a group of 21 – 25 year olds. “Worldwide Smartphone Use to Grow By Almost 50% in 2011 ” 9I did some research to substantiate my experience and I found some figures. I noted that there is a difference inmarket share of smartphone devices in the US and globally. I was not able to find clear figures about Europe ingeneral but you can never go wrong to compare a metropolis as New York City to world statistics. Globally seen 10Nokia is the market leader in selling smartphone devices in the fourth quarter of 2010 followed by Apple and 11Blackberry. On the other hand, in the US Android supported devices is the market leader followed closely byApple and Blackberry.I’m not going to copy the report in this paper but I’ll sum up the figures I base my following remarks on; in short itlooks like this:9 (06/05/2011 - 18:16)10 (06/05/2011 - 17:45)11 - 17:45) 10
  13. 13. USA WORLDWIDE NOKIA 2% 38, 6 % APPLE 27 % 16, 1 % RESEARCH IN MOTION 27 % 19,9 % (BLACKBERRY) ANDROID (SAMSUNG, HTC, 29 % 25, 4 % OTHER) thThese figures are based on the 4 quarter of 2010It’s very clear that these figures describe my experience: there is only a 2 % market share for Nokia in the US whileworldwide Nokia is the leader in sales of smartphone devices. Obviously we can link the use of smartphones to 12social media; according to statistics from a 6-month research in the US in 2010 an average of 23 % used his or hersmartphone to get access to a social networking site or blog.To hold this in the back of our mind, we go further with the upcoming trends in the social media landscape. The 13three most striking trends I’ve found in an article express perfectly what is coming up in the future and how Iexperienced it in New York City. For Belgium this is a future plan but in New York this is already the way socialmedia is applied in many ways in day-to-day life.1. L OC A TI O N , L OC AT IO N , L OC A TI O NSmartphones and location-based social networks allow users to interact, share, meet up, and recommend placesbased on their physical coordinates. This real-world connection to social media can mean profits for businessowners. How can this play in your advantage? On location applications, also called lo-so apps, are used bycustomers who actually go to your business. The benefits for your business is that people who are nearby become acustomer, you can see who visited your business, and best of all when customers can show their affection withyour business.Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite, and Google Latitude are the most lo-so applications talked about ingeneral, though others exist, and popularity varies by geography. Other platforms to be aware of include Yelp andFacebook, which are just now dabbling in lo-so.12 (06/05/2011 – 18:05)13 (15/14/2011 -18:15) 11
  14. 14. 14I found some statistics that (again) confirm my findings: Is Europe missing the LBS train? (LBS = Location BasedServices) North America is the predecessor when it comes to location based platforms. The LBMA, Location BasedMarketing Association, published the results of a comparison of mobile users check-ins based on recent Comscoredata between the US and EU markets. I give you the numbers in short: US EU5 MOBILE AUDIENCE 234,000,000 233,500,000 AUDIENCE CHECKING IN 16,710,000 11,684,000 % OF AUDIENCE CHECKING IN 7% 5% “The marketing implications of widespread location base service adoption are rich and plentiful. Much location based campaigns have been limited to the North American market. With more and more Europeans “checking-in”creating a brand presence on these platforms whether it be via Facebook Places, Foursquare, or Gowalla provides a wealth of opportunity. ” 15According to a survey held in the US Facebook Places, Twitter and Groupon are the most interesting options forso-lo application users. Thereby the biggest motivation is to get a discount or coupon when using social mobileapplications. There are more opportunities to engage with customers, but at this moment it’s up to businesses touse this very new medium for brand-building.An example of a new innovative player on the US market is Shopkick whereeverything is about earning ‘kicks’. You earn these by walking into a store, checkingin at stores and restaurants or scanning barcodes of featured products with yourphone. Already millions of stores are collaborating with this mobile application. Inthe end, users can redeem their kicks for rewards like iTunes gift cards, restaurantvouchers, Facebook credits movie tickets… They even leave the option to donateyour kicks to a cause. In this whole concept consumers only have benefits of usingthis application; they get reductions in their favorite store, build up kicks and canredeem them for a reward. I’m already looking forwards to the introduction of thisapp on the EU market. Shopkick has already over 1 million users in the US and it is 16still increasing every day.Also new platforms like Foodspotting are worth to mention in this topic. It is already well known amongst foodiesbecause it is a virtual guide to good food and where you can find it. In contrary this application is already in use allover the world and people post pictures of dishes and gives a short comment.14 - 11:55)15 (06/06/2011 - 12:29)16 (06/06/2011 - 12:49) 12
  15. 15. We also need to keep an eye on the new application Facebook released the end of April 2011 in the US: FacebookDeals. People will be able to ‘like’ or share a particular Facebook Deal through News Feed depending on what(local) business they like. They lanced this new feature to raise competition with another upcoming trend asGroupon.Google also recently launched a public beta of its Offers application in a specific region in the US as a tryout.Amazon invested in Living Social and Foursquare added a new Explore tab to their application.Obviously we will hear from them in Europe!2. I T ’ S A G ROUP THINGGroupon exploded on the social media stage in 2010 by offering heavy discounts on both goods and services –after a predetermined number of people sign on for the specific offer ─ a flurry of services joined the gameincluding LivingSocial, Yipit, Dealon and BuyWithMe.Groupon features a daily deal on the best stuff to do, see, eat, and buy in more than 500 markets and 44countries. I have to say that my experience with Groupon during my stay in New York City was different than whenI thought about it in Belgium. Everyday my mom – as she is a real discount hunter in her everyday life – came upwith some kind of bargain she had seen on the Internet. I never paid a lot of attention to it because I believe thatoffering a 70 % - 90 % discount looks improbable and hides a catch. Frankly, it never crossed my mind to let mymom buy a ‘deal of the day’, as it sometimes looked very tempting but was yet never offering a deal that was in mytown. Being in the most expensive metropolis in the US definitely changed my vision. As soon as I arrived I startednoticing advertisement in (free) daily newspaper about deals, colleagues bragging about their latest deal theybought and people telling me that I should subscribe for Dealfind and Groupon. On top of that I went for a deliciousdiner with a colleague to a Korean grill restaurant and after just showing a text message on his iPhone we got a 50% discount on the total bill – WOW! This certainly persuaded me that virtual coupon hunting – well I might haveinherit it from my mom in a kind of way – is a must when you are living in a city like Manhattan.From then on I was eager to buy my first coupon; it felt that it would change my life because it made it able to holdmy budget under control and still explore things in New York City. My experience with coupons in a city like NewYork is very positive but as I was looking for some experiences with the ‘couponing’ in Belgium, I came to the 17blog of a person who really had two negative experiences with Groupon. In short, she got a coupon code thatwasn’t working and had a massage at a ‘beauty’ center describing it in reality as a shabby saloon. Reading this blogbrought me again with my two feet on the ground and back to my opinion before I left to New York City: there is acatch. So I had to temper my enthusiasm about coupons, because Belgium isn’t as far evolved in these practices –yet.17 (06/06/2011 - 14:08) 13
  16. 16. Another player in this field is the WOW website set up by AOL. In fact it is another Groupon clone website, whatshows that only the best things deserve to be cloned. Also Wall mart launched a social shopping application calledCrowdsaver. They’ve linked the application to their Facebook homepage and when a certain amount of people‘like’ the deal they will be able to buy it. So they basically share it with their friends by clicking the ‘like’ button butdon’t make a purchase at that point, so it’s all about using the network effect of social media.3. G OING MOBILE“Twitter, one should note, was originally created for mobile devices, and “has mobile DNA in it,” simple to use and a way to connect people to each other.” - CEO Dick Costolo ; TwitterOnly four years ago, in 2007, Apple introduced the Iphone and it is seen as a real turning point in the mobilehistory. Back then the smartphones could only be afforded by wealthy people as nowadays it is a commonrelatively affordable tool for everybody. Note that in the US you can be the owner of an Iphone starting at $199 to$299 for the newest model because they link a requirement to it of a two-year wireless service contract.The line is becoming thinner between IRL (in real life) and what happens online. Can we still imagine a life withoutbeing online? A vision into the future could be that we should all have devices in our pockets that not only connectus to our friends or help us find our way around town, but even monitor our health, what we eat, and remind uswhen we need to go to the doctor.An upcoming trend is mobile payments; use your smartphone as your wallet by just tapping your smartphone to asensor. This is also an easy way to offer coupons and start up loyalty programs for your business. A typical US and I 18should even say New York City example is from Starbucks. Starbucks Card Mobile is an application that offers afast way to pay for your favorite coffee. The application lets you check your balance, reload your card with anymajor credit, view your transactions and conveniently track your Stars in the My Starbucks Rewards program.In the mobile world every developer is working towards a system that you are not asking your mobile phone someinformation you need. No, it will be your mobile phone that tells you that there is something in your neighborhoodthat lies in your interest and you should know about. As said before, also location driven applications available onmobile devices will be the core of this upcoming trend. In the end it is all about leaving your footprint and let otherpeople, especially friends, know findings about that particular place or restaurant you have been.According to Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, an investor in Twitter, Zynga... our mobiledevice will become our primary computer and we will be able to use it to take over and control other devices like 19TVs, car dash, tablets, thermostats, etc.18 (06/06/2011 - 18:15)19 (06/06/2011 - 18:25) 14
  17. 17. Something I noticed when I went to a concert in Central Park (Summer Stage)and bought a – delicious – grilled Korean burger is that the lady behind the bartook an order of a guy and he just swiped his credit card through a small devicethat was plugged into an IPhone. It seemed that it worked perfectly because fiveminutes later he was standing next to me enjoying his delicious grilled Koreanburger too. ‘Square’ is the company that provides this mobile credit card readerand application. An expensive investment for a business that is literally mobile?Not at all, if you sign up you get a free credit card reader that plugs into yourphone’s audio jack (which is supported by most smartphones nowadays) andyou can download the free application with it. Of course they make money bycharging a fee (to the customer!) for every transaction made. As in the USA it iscommon to ask a fee for everything, from experience I know that even cashwithdrawals charge a fixed fee per withdrawal made.Mobile itself is a channel when used in advertising and not a separate strategy as mobile content needs to beengaging and appealing to the user. Mobile marketing is growing at an exponential rate. In the United States alone,while only 164 million people have PCs, over 293 million have mobile phones! 20According to a report of a survey announced by Ruder Finn amongst American citizens nearly 91% of mobilephone users go online to socialize compared to only 79% of traditional desktop users. Of course the main way tosocialize is by instant messaging, this can be by text messaging but applications as What’s App and BlackberryMessenger provide free instant messaging applications. Almost 60 % uses their mobile phone to forward e-mails;this is where we have to pay attention to make e-mails supportable for smartphones. About 45 % post commentson social network sites or connect to people on social networking sites on their mobile phone.As I can speak for myself, having a smartphone that supports (in my case) Android does change your engagementwith social networking websites. In the beginning of my stay I looked for a US mobile cellphone number tocommunicate with colleagues and friends in the city. I wasn’t planning to buy a new mobile phone as I have thisterrific 12 Megapixel Sony Ericcson Satio mobile phone that runs on Symbian technology in Belgium. After doingsome inquiries in phone shops I bumped into the problem that, from now on, monthly pre-paid plans neversupport data usage in the US. So this means that I would never be able to check my e-mail on my mobile phone andthis was the main reason why I wanted to get internet access on my mobile phone. So the search continued and Ifound a network provider that offers a monthly fixed pre-paid plan that includes unlimited text, talk and data use inthe US. It gets even better when I say that the unlimited text is worldwide, so that includes to Belgium too. But ofcourse, as we get used to it in the US, there is a catch. This is only the case when you have a (smart) phone thatthey sell. Difference is that they do not work with SIM cards, so when you buy a mobile device the phone number islinked to that device and it is impossible to use it outside the US. As this was in fact the only way (for me) to bereally mobile with a mobile phone in New York City and after a small but thoughtful arithmetic I decided to buy thissmartphone and suddenly got unlimited access to the web: a new world opened! Soon I got to know the GoogleMaps application that literally guided me through this metropolis and gave me insight in the subway network. Icould easily install an application to convert currencies, install a shopping list application and not to forget a bubbleball game for during the long subway rides.20 (06/06/2011 - 19:05) 15
  18. 18. I have to say that these applications came in very handy and I had it in my mind to buy a phone like this, running onAndroid, right away when I get back in Belgium! Moreover it was possible to install chat applications as Skype,Gtalk and What’s app to stay connected on US ground and to Belgian ground. I decided to buy this mobile phonebefore the start of my internship so in the first week I soon realized that my company is involved in all thesenovelties. So I was happy I could download applications of clients to have a look what benefits they have.There is so much more to say about going mobile, as it is the working field of 151 Ventures, but I need to stick tomy storyline and wrap up with these global mobile device and customer milestones according to a case study ofworld leader Cisco:”Consumers and business users continue to demonstrate a healthy demand for mobile data services. The fact thatglobal mobile data traffic increased 2.6-fold from 2009 to 2010, nearly tripling for the third year in a row, confirms the strength of the mobile Internet. The seemingly endless bevy of new mobile devices, combined with greater mobile broadband access, more content, and applications of all types -- especially video -- are the key catalysts driving this remarkable growth. ” - Suraj Shetty, vice president, worldwide service provider marketing, Cisco 16
  19. 19. 5.1 A DVANTAGESBUILDING NETWORK. Social media is a way to build up a network of supporters of your brand or product,beyond that it gives you an overview of what people show interest in your product. In the Internet world it is allabout gaining traffic with your website, by linking social media to your website you get more visitors too. Whenyour website is frequently visited it also gets a higher ranking when keywords are filled in a search engine, forexample Google.ECO-FRIENDLY WAY. Advertising via social media in its pure form is the ‘green way of advertising’. It’s notnecessary to spend money on paper, ink and printing. Printing advertisement can help support the awareness ofsocial media websites that are linked to the brand but is (almost) never done to just promote the website; it will bean addition to a marketing campaign. A way to promote your presence on social media can be done by sticking a patch on the packaging of your 21 products. A great example was the case I worked on this school year involving the brand Lotus. Part of their new marketing campaign was introducing their new name of the website, online magazine and their social media presence. Simple as that, they just stuck a sticker on the packaging to inform the customers about their new approach. Also, adding an icon on original packaging of the product can invite the customers to become a fan or follow you and they will share it on their turn with friends.COST EFFECTIVE. There is a ROI with social media. During seminars this was always a pressing question of theattendances. To not get into the world of arithmetic and definitions, what I have to leave for the professionalsamongst us, the KISS method is more in my thinking vision. Clear your mind if this abbreviation rings a bell thatinvolves worlds like Simple and Stupid. The KISS method I am talking about stands for: Knowledge management,Intelligence, Sales and Support. In short it stands for all the benefits and advantages that I am pointing out in this 22paper. Take as example the company Dell , since 2007 they have presence on Twitter and earn direct revenue ofit. Dell uses Twitter to send out coupons, including some that are exclusive to its Twitter followers.PUBLIC OPINION. Every company finds it important to know what people think and what their needs are. Themore people share the same opinion, the bigger the market is to sell a product.FUTURISTIC. If any company would have the choice to use a time machine and go back or forward the choicewould be easy. The way people manage a business depends on experience, knowledge, insight, competencies etc.of that person. Nobody possesses these qualifications at birth and at this point the past of a person is what itmakes it the leader of today. Nevertheless, a product shouldn’t keep building on its past, the world changes andbrands need to be flexible enough to go with the flow. The point is that customers are out there expressing theirneeds on the World Wide Web, it’s just your task to find them, take part in the discussion and come up with aproduct that fulfills their needs. Madame Soleil is nothing compared to the view of the future you can get.21 Class: International Marketing Communication, Lotus marketing comparison between Belgium and UK.22 12:47) 17
  20. 20. 5.2 D I SADVANTAGESINFORMATION OVERLOAD. As it also is outside the virtual world, especially in using social media you have totake in count that consumers get tons of advertisements to see. This makes it a challenge to be creative and standout in the crowd. The thing is that the consumer would be interested if it’s catches his eye on the right time. It’s adisadvantage in a way that it forces companies to put more effort in advertisements; that doesn’t necessary meanthat it costs more money. You can compare it to standing on Times Square surrounded by all these digitaladvertising panels glowing and asking for your attention. The fact is… It does get your attention but doesn’t giveyou the message, because there is just a free light-show going on that’s much more interesting. But if you walkdown another street where an advertisement is being painted on a 50 meter high wall, this deserves a picture aswell. It’s all a matter of choosing what is the best way to reach your consumers.TIME IS MONEY. Even if starting up a Facebook fan page or Twitter account doesn’t cost you anything, you needto take into account the time that people have to spend to up-date it regularly. Don’t underestimate the time thatis necessary to keep up with your presence. Do not ever rashly subscribe to a social media platform you have justcome across, but look for what is particularly interesting for your business. Previously mentioned the website ofAmzini is a good way to get an overview.A LIFE-TIME COMMITMENT. In my eyes this is the hardest part. It’s a small step to subscribe your brand in oneor more of the social websites that are available but it’s a big step to upkeep your profile. It’s not only now that youcan come up with good ideas and show it to consumers, it’s a lifetime commitment. I could even say that it is morean existence commitment; you can’t suddenly disappear because that could be a deathblow towards your mostloyal consumers. In this case your story shouldn’t come to an end.THE OVERLOAD BLOWBACK. A consequence of the information overload is the lack of time to makeconnections. It comes to a point that it isn’t possible anymore to reply on all the Facebook postings, keep up all thetweets… Above that you need to find time to update your own social media websites. An important thing is to be incontrol of the timing to update all your social websites. If Twitter followers get a sneak peek at a new feature ofyour product then you need to make sure your fans on Facebook don’t feel harmed.DAMAGED CONTROL PLAN. If a guest had a positive experience, they’ll tell 3 people and if they had a negative 23experience, they’ll tell 10. So you could multiply it by more than hundred times if it comes to scope that socialmedia websites has. You always need to keep negative social media damage to a minimum, because it can strike atany time. This can be a result of a mistake that has been made by posting something false or provocative. It’s notunusual to make mistakes but it is the reaction to it that will point out the damage that it has caused. In this casewe need to face the truth: it is not about ‘if’ something will happen; it’s about ‘when.’ In this transparent, authenticand real-time world, expect a hiccup to occur. But be prepared by drafting a damage control plan.23 (06/09/2011- 10:15) 18
  21. 21. 6 O VERVIEW Social Media should be a part of your marketing strategy Expansion of your customer base by investing a minimum amount of money but a reasonable amountof time. Gain higher customer satisfaction, what can lead to word of mouth advertisement and so on… Keeping an eye on how competitors act can give yourself insight in how they do business Engaging in social media, even minimal efforts, shows that a company is willing to invest time andresources to talk to their customers Mobile side of the Social Media Medal: market share of smartphone devices in the US and globally Trends LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION IT’S A GROUP THING GOING MOBILE Mobile itself is a channel when used in advertising and not a separate strategy as mobile content needs to Groupon exploded on the social be engaging and appealing to the media stage in 2010 by offeringOn location applications, also called user. Mobile marketing is growing at heavy discounts on both goods and lo-so apps, are used by customers an exponential rate. In the United services – after a predetermined who actually go to your business. States alone, while only 164 million number of people sign on for the people have PCs, over 293 million specific offer have mobile phones! Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt,Brightkite, Facebook places, Twitter Groupon, LivingSocial, Yipit, Dealon Mobile payments, Starbucks Card and Groupon, shopkick, and BuyWithMe, WOW, Mobile, Square. foodspotting, Facebook deals, Crowdsaver. Google Offers, Living social. 19
  22. 22. 7 R ECOMMENDA TIONSOnly general recommendations are pointed out below but as it is not really applicable on the subject that I chosefor my paper I’ve kept it brief. The reason is because everything depends on what business you are in and whattarget group you want to reach.The BUSINESS FIELD your company is working on will determine the amount of social media websites your companyhas presence, the frequency to update and what promotions are the most attractive to your consumers.Every company wants to build up or maintain their GOOD IMAGE.The way of leadership can be THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. It’s all about having innovative ideas. In a small firm it can doneby integrating professional ethics with highly-effective leadership development. With this I mean that leadershiphas to be effective in a way that employers should know about how the social media landscape looks like. Not justapply it and wait and see, but work actively on informing the people who have to deal with all these available socialmedia websites.Social media provides scalable, flexible platforms to interact and distribute across WIDER GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE atLOWER MARGINAL COST OF DELIVERY. It provides a WIN-WIN situation by bringing supplier and buyer together along withproviding different option to compare and evaluate.You get a chance to turn over your push marketing strategy into a PULL MARKETING STRATEGY. People are attracted toyour product or service because they see that other customers are satisfied. Facebook has the feature to work as apull social media marketing tool and Twitter is basically the supplier who Tweets something out and this holds onto a push social media marketing tool.Put some time in putting together a THOUGHTFUL PLAN AND STRATEGY to the part of the marketing plan that includesthe social media websites. Any time is good time to start with it, the sooner the better. There is basically no right orwrong way to do this but it requires commitment and you should make sure you’re ready for this.Don’t expect miracles to happen once you are on the Social Media planet, TAKE YOUR TIME TO EXPLORE AND FIND OUTWHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO INTERACT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS. 20
  23. 23. It’s all about CONNECTIVITY, INDIVIDUALITY, AUTHENTICITY AND OWNERSHIP. It’s first of all about listening closely to yourconsumers and builds up a deeper two-way relationship. Having a deep understanding of your consumer, whatmakes them tick, and who (or what) helps shape their opinions – is absolutely critical. I attended a seminar hostedby the Belgian-American Chamber of Commerce (BACC) where Mr. Young pointed out these very interestingquestions related to the Consumer 2.0 environment and social media websites: - Is my consumer really motivated by celebrity endorsements? AUTHENTICITY TRUMPS CELEBRITY - Am I utilizing trusted means of word of mouth, to communicate with consumers? NICHE IS THE NEW NORM - Am I tapping into a niche community that could have powerful affinity with my brand? BITE-SIZE COMMUNICATIONS DOMINATE - Can my message easily be passed along by short communications? - What efforts am I making to move my brand from a pull to push PERSONAL UTILITY DRIVEN strategy? ADOPTION - Do I know how and why they are using my product and what they are telling others about it? - Am I allowing consumers to feel ownership of the brand and embrace it in their own creative way? - Am I aware of what consumers are saying about my brand online? - How am I leveraging social technology to enable consumers to CONSUMER OWN BRANDS spread the word about my brand? - Am I providing consumers with an outlet and tools that allows them to share my brand in a way that is relevant to them? - Am I trying too hard to control the way consumers speak about my brand. 21
  24. 24. 7.1 S TRENGTHS & W EAKNESSES / O PPORTUNI TI ES & T HREATS WEAKNESSES STRENGTHS Openness: leads to involvement with the  There are some theories to measure the ROI consumer. Also a threat. but it still raises a lot of questions. Will all your The reach of the Web: your network online is efforts pay off in the end? larger than in real life.  One mistake can create a lot of reactions, You show transparency of your firm and negative for the image. Act promptly. consumers are more likely to trust these  Difficult to make a budget for it. companies.  Technology changes all the time so you can’t No direct cost. run behind. You can have direct contact with your consumers. Through building a conversation you create deeper engagement. Technology leverages more and more reach and less effort is needed. It’s still evolving and getting better. You create a way to make a conversation with your product/company. OPPORTUNITIES THREATS It’s still a business too; you can get in contact  You have to keep up with the speed of with people who can mean an added value to communication. your company.  What if other companies start to hack or spam Look out for consumers who are through social media – who controls this? advertisements on itself for example by posting  Openness: it’s a way for the competition to videos online about their favorite gain access to inside information. brand/product.  What if Social Media websites start to ask Turn your consumers into evangelist. money to use their platforms? Or want a piece You can come across other target groups that of the revenue? you didn’t think of.  What if everything gets replaced by automatic software to create content. The human face behind the brand or product fades way.  Dog-eat-dog: All your retention efforts through social media, may mean nothing if your audience engages with you competitor all of a sudden for whatever reason. 22
  25. 25. 8 P ERSONAL EVALUA TION I NTERNSHIP AND PAPERFor ten weeks I was part of the 151 Ventures team and got introduced to terms in the mobility and technologyworld. I was able to work myself into it because of the information I got and desk research I had to do for severaltasks. My knowledge of Office programs came in very handy and I am glad I got to work on the new template of151 Ventures and other (client) companies.Furthermore the reason why I wanted to go to America is because I wanted to experience the business culture inanother (big) part of the world. And my experience has been more than that; I didn’t only have a taste of theAmerican business culture but also of the different lifestyle of the Big Apple.I was always motivated to go to the office at Celpro Associates because I had the human interaction with thepeople who were working there. I know that other members of 151 Ventures are working from home and I couldalso do this but I preferred going to the office. Another side of this coin is that work can be done from everywhereat any time. But I never had any problem with working during the weekend, for myself it came in handy that thiswas possible because it made it easier to keep up with deadlines.I wanted to do a comparison of a marketing aspect as social media because I want to show my interest anddedication to this. It gave me the freedom to look up more information and attend several seminars related to thistopic. It was on purpose that I didn’t work out a specific task I have done during my internship because Bill andTrevor gave me the freedom to go and explore the social media marketing world. My choice to work around socialmedia also gave me more knowledge about the tasks I was dealing with during my internship. I had to keep up withnews and I have even more interaction now through Twitter with other businesses related to 151 Ventures.I have to admit that I underestimated the time that I had to put into this paper together with working for 151Ventures. As I got to do a lot of research for 151 Ventures I also kept searching for more and moreinformation/seminars/news etc. about social media trends and strategies. As a result it came very difficult to drawa line for a specific subject. I had to sort and delete a lot of information but got in touch with so much through allthese concepts that I learned a lot of it for myself.So I got to think and it wasn’t my intention to put together a theoretical list of how social media works. You have toknow that I was unfamiliar with everything that had to do with social media before I left to the US. I decided tomake a paper that points out my experiences and research I got to do around it.My purpose is that when people read this paper they come across details they didn’t know or encourages them(like me) to get to know more about this social media world in business.This is where I want to thank all the people who made it possible for me to have this experience. It’s a big added value for me in the future and I gained knowledge in many ways.Special thanks to Stephen Lernout, CEO Miiatech through who I got connected to Bill Rom, CEO 151 Ventures.In the teeth of how this paper will appeal to experienced business people, I gained a lot of knowledge and I amplanning to keep up with everything around social media marketing nowadays. I became a fan of it and without thisresearch I would never have known that my interest field lies here.Complementary I can proudly say that I can keep working for 151 Ventures as a contractor. I will be doing this workfrom Belgium and in the mean time I cherish this big interest in going back to New York City one day because itoffers so much more opportunities and I am eager to get to know more about business. 23
  26. 26. SOURCESWebsites mentioned below are all visited between 05/25/2011 and 06/10/2011.PREFACE, FACTS AND SOCIAL MEDIA IN BUSINESS INFORMATION - documents Social Media Weekend at Columbia University - Social Media blog - B2B blog - information Generation Y - history World Wide Web - Internet World Statistics - The Global reach of Social Media - Social Networking - A social Media plan - SocialMedia Strategy - KISS methodTRENDS - Top 50 brandedFacebook pages. - 5 trends of SocialMedia summer 2011 - differences use of Social Media in US and Europe – Check-in predictions for 2011 - Facebook US Infographic -Facebook users 24
  27. 27. - InfographicFacebook and Twitter - Statistics Facebook – Belgium statistics Market telecom - types of Social customers - Social Media MarketingIndustry report 2011 - 10 NYC start-ups - social media strategies - patents concerning social media LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION IT’S A GROUP THING MOBILE 25
  28. 28. DISADVANTAGES - Mr YoungEXTRA - video Pepsi Diet / Twitter / David Beckham - New York Reveals Plan To Become America’sNext Top Digital City© Kelly Raeds – 26