Much similar to experiences felt during Dallas storm season of 2011, information is being distributed at a high rate of speed and efficiency. I sat in my downtown apartment recently when I received an alarming text message from a friend. The screen shot was as follows.
As I sat on the couch enjoying my night, I happened to be watching OnDemand at the time and was therefore disconnected with current news. Typically, I am in front of a computer for the majority of my day and fully connected, however, for some reason I wasn’t paying much attention to the computer screen in front of me to learn about what’s going on around me.
Instantaneously, I flipped the channel to the local news affiliates hoping to gather some information on a course of action. Needless to say, “America’s Got Talent” didn’t provide me which much about the current natural gas leak that was occurring about a half a block from my location.
Sub consciously, it’s certainly the most plausible response to flip on the TV as it has previously been the quickest source of information. We have been become naturally acquainted with the TV as being our security blanket when learning about the things that help, intrigue, and inspire us but we are certainly heading in a different direction.
On the other hand, as I immediately became apprehensive about the situation, I logged onto my Twitter and Facebook account seeking keywords relating to the potential natural disaster at hand. Again, almost as immediately as I was able to populate my search, I received up to the second information from the sources that were handling the clean up as well as those who were physically outside my door speaking with police officers who offered a course of action.
Being in close proximity, my next move was the walk downstairs and witness the alleged “ground zero.” The situation was volatile and these types of situations are taken very seriously by municipal workers. I didn’t learn much from the officer who actually had less information on the situation as I did. As soon as I mentioned how I had learned so much about the situation, I told him about Twitter updates and Facebook posts. He seemed impressed and mentioned he had just recently created a Twitter account.
As I walked back to my side of the street, I noticed him pull out his personal smart phone and begin to browse about. I couldn’t be exactly sure on what he was looking at or who he was calling but I could only assume he was looking for more information himself, probably from Twitter…
Once again, another converted soul…
Strange timing for the social network giant that prides itself on discounts. With its recent announcement of public offering, the question remains; will you be getting a discounted stock price?
This seems to be contingent on whether or not the purchaser believes that the price will continue to rise when so many others are replicating the model. In this day in age, the original isn’t necessarily the most successful. We see that Groupon is getting killed by similar services such as LivingSocial.com, Local.com, and many others who are replicating the “deal finding” model.
One should always stand weary of something that grows so fast, all the while realizing that there must be a ceiling on the success of a particular service such as Groupon in an industry that is becoming saturated daily with upstarts of similar genre. While Groupon continues to rely on its catalysts, I.E. Forbes conclusion that Groupon is the fastest growing company ever, the tangible revenue numbers cannot continue to be denied.
Something that is in perpetual motion can only be stops if acted upon by an outside force and it seems as though profit might be that outside force. We question whether or not Groupon has ever made money despite its reporting in the first quarter of 2010. The new model of online based companies and social networks derives value of the company far exceeding their profits. However, how far does that model get you unless you are among the Facebooks and Twitters of the world?
Groupon continues to give explanations for their losses yet are certainly not hiding them. They claim that marketing expense, which is extraordinary for Groupon in particular, is factored in prior to reporting quarterly numbers which is essentially the .com model. They expect to raise $750 million in options upon their offering. There needs to be a point when they cut back with their advertising/marketing dollars and figure another, less costly method of attracting unique users. It seems the only logical answer to the question is the use of alternative social media platforms that are essentially considered competitors!
It has become excessively questionable as something that might be “To Good To Be True.” As a somewhat educated onlooker, I always question the future of something that continues to exceed expectations. Soon enough, expectations continue to rise and all it takes is one mistake to ruin the reputation quality. Word of mouth must continue to be Groupon’s sole catalyst all the while maintaining the rapport that it has with its current and future users and shareholders.
My personal opinion from someone who moderately plays the market is to buy quickly and sell quickly within 2-3 quarters. By no means is there is any way to predict where the company will be in a year or two years because of the unprecedented success it’s experienced. The powers that be at Groupon are obviously much smarter than me, but questionable moves, such as the rejection of a $6 billion offer from Google, raise red flags about pride and ego among executive leadership. Google’s plans are set to launch a similar model to rival Groupon, and they are certainly not a company with which ANYONE (with exception to Facebook in terms of future company acquisitions) wants to compete. For a company who thrives on discount, they certainly are spending out of their means, thus, are looking to lean on future share holders. Do you want to be that guy?
As we sit in the crawl space under the stairwell in a Texas home, the three full grown men and two women were fetal position with a glass of wine or a beer in their hand. No, this isn’t some cruel ritualistic fraternity hazing agenda. We were literally compelled from the couch in our living room the “safest” room in the house which happens to be about 5 feet deep and 3 feet wide. Tornado warnings are no joke. Having been in the state of Texas residentially for the 2 weeks, I’ve seen more rampant storms than my previous years of life combined. Needless to say, Southern California and Arizona does not see its share of weather.
Anyway, as we sit their cramped and relatively unconcerned, I took it upon myself to risk life and limb (no so much, or any at all) to casually walk into the living room to grab my computer… and a fresh beer. Being somewhat in the weatherman’s digitally generated storm path, their color coding ranged from green to black in severity of the storm with green being least and black being most. Speaking with my uncle, a lifelong Texas native, he had said that he’d never seen black before. Needless to say, we were in the path of the black digital funnel cloud!
With my laptop in hand, I considered my options for connectivity to not only to track the weather but also watch the Bulls vs. Heat. I’ll preface by saying that I continuously try to express to my 60+ year old uncle the concept of social media and although he usually responds with an expression of understanding, I can tell that the gears aren’t fully turning. I decided to conduct an experiment to gather empirical evidence proving to my Uncle the value instantaneous connectivity and information provided on TWITTER!
“What’s ‘Tweeter’ going to tell us about the weather?” he responds. After logging on, I searched key terms such as ‘Tornados,’ ‘Funnel Clouds,’ ‘Storms,’ ‘Dallas,’ etc. Then began following as many weather service handles, storm chasers, and any handle that has Tweeted something including those key terms with or without links attached. I created a list to view all of them together as they continued to respond with pictures and updates on funnel cloud sightings and locations.
It became an informational war between TV and Internet as we were able to return to the living room television to gather updates. The next and final battle occurred as we sat, my computer still in hand, to watch the weatherman on the evening news. I was armed with weather.com’s live, up to the second, tracker and Twitter. Uncle was armed with the TV weatherman. Needless again to say, I was reporting the news minutes before the TV was able to relay the message much to the intrigue of Uncle.
Game, Set, Match. Another converted soul.
Chad Ochocinco has become a bi-product of professional football and social media. No more is he famous for the underachieving on the field that has occurred in the last two years but for his over the top personality presented on his social media platforms. Chad has recently legally changed his name back to Chad Johnson for the sake of being something after his football career is over. Let’s be honest, FOX Network is not going to hire a man named “Ochocinco” as an analyst after his career is over. However, we can look to Chad as an icon in the social media industry.
Not only does social media have to capabilities of creating A, B, C, & D list celebrities, but it also has to power to send one who might be an A or B lister down to the ranks of a C, D, or even E lister. It is a phenomenon that has the power to work both ways, therefore, shouldn’t it be in the hands of someone who understands what is socially accepted to post or tweet? On the other hand, what might cause a complete and utter self implosion. Take for example, Chris Douglas-Roberts and Rashard Mendenhall. I can’t even express the stupidity compiled in the heads of these two athletes.
You might remember Douglas-Roberts from the 2008 Memphis Tigers team, featuring also Derrick Rose, which fought all the way to the NCAA championship but ultimately crapping the bed to a more experienced Kansas team. It feels like CDR hasn’t scored a point since college but we are proved wrong by his whopping 7.7 points per game in, thus far, three NBA seasons. Mendenhall, on the other hand, has become the focal point of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense boasting 13 rushing touchdowns in 2010.
Their status as public figures is questionable seeing as Mendenhall wears a helmet and Douglas-Roberts just plain sucks. In the media industry, “no press is bad press.” I put very little stock into this concept as there is much press that is indeed BAD press. CDR was the first to sound off from his Twitter account condemning the American people for celebrating when Osama Bin Laden was assassinated. His general message stated that he opposed American lives being lost in the search for the terrorist and questioned whether or not it was worth it. This triggered a backlash amongst tweeters instantly creating 3,000 replies and retweets condemning the Milwaukee Bucks’ swingman.
Mendenhall had a slightly different angle on the situation with similar results. Mendenhall is a conspiracy theorist and decided it was smart to express his feeling about 9/11 to the Twitter world claiming, “We’ll never really know what happened. I just have a hard time believing that a plane could take down a skyscraper demolition style.” Easy Rashard, it’s certainly true that you went to the fine institution of the University of Illinois, however, I also had friends who went there and remembered you being enrolled in their class, yet they never remembered actually seeing you there. It’s obvious you should stick to avoiding tacklers, not angry American citizens. If that wasn’t bad enough, Mendenhall continued by posting, “What kind of person celebrates death? It’s amazing how people can HATE a man they have never even heard speak. We’ve only seen one side.” I’m not even going to touch this one…Champion Athletics released Mendenhall from his sponsorship deal over the comments resulting in millions of dollars lost for the running back. Should athletes have an employee that censors their social media?
It’s true that athletes have public relations employees, some having to work harder than others. We have previously witnessed the rise and fall of employees in that particular industry, most recently, Terrell Owens PR employee who was unceremoniously fired after allegations of TO attempting suicide. Her response to the situation, “TO has 11 million reasons not to kill himself.” This obviously in reference to the lucrative contract he had recently signed with the Dallas Cowboys. How far does their influence reach with egotistical professional athletes? When you put the power of the written word into the hands of someone who might not have even attended class in college or even high school, its leaves the door of disaster open. As professional sports goes, with millions of dollars at stake, it’s risky to put that in the hands of someone who has spent their entire life succeeding physically and not necessarily intellectually. There is certainly a large amount of jealousy I have towards professional athletes as all American children, I included, aspire to be rich, famous, and talented. However, it might be smart to leave the literary mass messaging to those who know what they’re doing.
What do Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and President Obama have in common? Other than the fact they are ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively for having the largest Twitter following in the world. The leader of the free world is the most recognized icon in the world but apparently not the most followed. Bieber Fever has swept the nation absorbing everything in its path like a runaway tornado surpassed only by the unusual exploits of Gaga. Obama will not take a backseat in the social media realm as he was the first presidential candidate to adopt and successfully use social media as a political forum. Moreover, with the unrest happening all throughout Muslim nations, the only information stream out of the country happens to be Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
A fine line is being drawn between celebrity and political figure. Our media is saturated with glorified images of our civil leaders jogging on the beach or on a family vacation thereby making it ‘political’ and therefore newsworthy. Media outlets have converged on this type of messaging not only to close a credibility gap with their viewers, but also giving them something more than issue based politics that many feel is boring and mundane. There are exceptions to this particular theory but each of which is still driven by money and ratings. For example, FOX and NBC expand based upon power and influence that they gain over time. Fox News, CSNBC, and MSNBC were created in order to present fact based news reports. Their demographic is much smaller with these networks geared to those who ACTUALLY want to stay informed with important issues and not Italian sex parties thrown by its Prime Minister. Although that particular story is certainly news worthy, it deals nothing with political mechanic or policy yet is still consider political news.
Price and value have been made distinctly different entities when determined the ‘worth’ of a web based company. For example, Twitter is at an estimated value of $10 billion while revenue exceeds slightly over $50 million in 2010. This leads people to question, “Where’s the rest of the $9.95 billion?” The answer lies in innovation. The social networking world is becoming highly saturated with innovative forums with over zealous entrepreneurs looking to capitalize on consumer intrigue. On the other hand, business owners in other industries recognize the innovation and don’t want to be left behind. Where else can a local business owner target primarily the consumers already interested in purchasing their product or service within their geographic region? Wasted advertising dollars are a thing of the past as we transition into specifically driven marketing.
Keyword search enhances the ability to be found. The more a brand name shows up in search results, the more likely the viewer will retain that particular word or image. How do we increase those numbers? Big business is being drawn not only from those who offer ‘search engine optimization’ but also those who participate. Paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion are the three aspects the comprise SEO marketing. Is it right for my business? Multi-leveled SEO marketing allows something for all levels of business. The more placements across multiple channels provide heavy resources for large companies with low to mid level businesses rely on strategic placement. No mom and pop store is going to spend tens of thousands of dollars reaching the masses when their service is provided locally.
On the other hand, social media is providing a shift in business mechanics not only for the largest of companies, but it is developing a call to action for local businesses who offer a service or product that is relevant nationwide to create an online presence. For example, as social media channels continue to expand, they continue to add more commerce friendly components to what had previously been strictly social. For example, imagine a local store providing a valuable product or service that can benefit a consumer on the east coast, west coast, or Midwest. Facebook does not currently allow for companies to conduct direct online transactions from business to consumer. They have allowed for a variety of Ads which mirror off to the company’s official website. But what if they haven’t quite established a website? How do they convert an ad into a sale without the use of a phone? The next wave of social media seems to be online transaction. Imagine social media platform that can not only establish the popularity but also provide means to a sale. This allows smaller companies to save money and establish a social media page without having yet to establish an official website.
The goal of attracting attention to a product or service is to make a sale and online transaction has become the number one method of consumer purchase but also offer connectivity to eventually lead a consumer back for multiple purchases. An isolated transaction is all well and good but however the ability for that purchase to be replicated is invaluable. The ultimate goal of those who provide web based marketing is to maximize the number of hits in a day, month, year, 10 years. The supplemental goal is to figure out how they achieve this goal in as little clicks as possible. As a business owner I leave you with this question… Do you want to be left behind or would you like to join the rest of the world and ultimately setting yourself apart by becoming an industry thought leader? Always think about the ways you can use SEO marketing and social media to create an online center of commerce.