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The promoters of quick and easy healthy food option, Healthy Choice, took to Facebook in the fall of 2010 in an attempt to better promote their products via their social media site. The goal of the campaign was to primarily engage customers in their Facebook page while also promoting and exemplifying their reputation for good value products. The campaign turned out to be a huge success for the company with a significant increase in Facebook followers. Additionally, coupon promotion sky rocketed via the page increasing the target market as well as product revenue.

Healthy Choice currently has presence on Twitter and Facebook. Via their Twitter page, Healthy Choice has over 6,000followers and 2,256 tweets. The site is very interactive with useful tips and a significant amount of tweets made on a daily basis. Healthy Choice’s Facebook page is also very updated and well kept. As of now, they have over 223,000 like and nearly 1,500 people talking about their brand. Further, they have 11 posted videos, and post on a regular basis; their most recent post has over 170 “likes” alone.

In order to achieve their goal, Healthy Choice decided to use the “like” feature of Facebook to monitor a campaign that focused on the distribution of brand coupons. The company promoted the coupons via status updates, and although the numbers of coupons available were limited, the more “likes” the coupon received, the greater their value (ie: .75 to 1.50 to Buy One Get One). This was very useful because it encouraged people to like the coupon offers and allowed for user to user promotion that Facebook is useful for.  To make things even better in terms of promotion, Healthy Choice gave users the opportunity to sign up for their email mailing list when “liking” the coupons-60% of people did so expanding the campaign more than imagined. In the end, and with over 50,000 coupons, distributed, Healthy Choice went from just over 6,000 followers on Facebook when the campaign began to 60,000 by the end of the two week campaign.

From this case study I have learned that facebook is an efficient and great way to gain engagement. It was very smart of Healthy Choice to utilize the “like” feature on Facebook to gain customer and new target attention, as well as spread the word of the campaign through that same “liking” source. This campaign also acts as the perfect exemplar that people will engage more with the brand, the more the brand is willing to engage with them (ie: increasing coupon worth to increase audience size). To me, this is truly a facebook campaign done well.

In 2011 GranataPet successfully used social media to not only gain product awareness but gain new customers. The campaign, which took place in Agenta, Germany, used the pet food to catch people’s attention while walking their dogs down the street. How did it work? GranataPet strategically placed a billboard on a highly travel street where dog walkers could see an advertisement for their dog food. On the billboard also appeared a prompt explaining if you checked in at the location on Foursquare a machine would automatically and immediately dispense dog food for the animals to eat. All in all, the campaign was a success with an increased number of sales, and more billboard placements throughout Europe to gain the same promotion.

GranataPet is present on both Facebook and Twitter despite their relatively small followings. They are a bit more active on Facebook than they are on Twitter, however. Posts on Facebook are slim and they have only 936 likes, and on Twitter they only have 46 followers and 84 tweets. It would be extremely beneficial for them to take advantage of both of these platforms.  I have been unable to identify the actual page Foursquare page to the campaign, however, it is clear from my research and other findings it was quite impactful. Today, you can check in via GranataPet at various different pet stores throughout Europe and the United States.  

In this case GranataPet accomplished its goal by using product placement to give their target market what they wanted (ie: free dog food when checking in). This was strategic, because the billboards were placed in areas where they knew their targets would be on an everyday basis, and immediately allowed their audience to experience their product. It was especially useful to Foursquare to get people to interact because it was a quick and immediate way for people to get what they wanted, promoted the campaign through virtual check-ins that other people could see, and ultimately gain interest because the whole scheme was so interactive. Because the check-in system proved to be so successful in getting people to participate, the campaign expanded from 10 billboards in Germany to over 100 billboards in throughout Europe. Additionally, the campaign increased product sales by 28% following the campaign, and by 14% that year. Furthermore, there were 100 check-ins at the billboard sites during the first day alone.

 

This social media campaign taught me that immediate interaction works. People want to know “right now” why they should invest in a product/company, and the immediate product distribution did just that for GranataPet. Although sometimes target audiences have to be reeled into an idea, this serves to show that the use of convenient marketing through available means of social media is extremely effective.

A recent trip to Cleveland, Ohio got me thinking about one of the biggest presences in the Cleveland area: The Cleveland Clinic. With an overload of commercials and radio spots it was hard to ignore how much an impact the facility has on the area. For those of you who may not know, The Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic and medical center that provides clinical and hospital care. Additionally, it is one of the leading research centers in the region.

After deciding that I should focus on the clinic for my social media policy assignment, I quickly found their social media policy. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy and accessible it was to find. The Cleveland Clinic’s policy is linked directly to their website and is a separate document that appears on the ‘About This Website’ section of their page. Because it is directly linked to a specific page and appears alone, it is clear that the social media policy does not belong to a bigger policy of the organization. I think this is something important to note because it shows that the clinic values the social media aspect of the organization enough to separate it from another policy.

Highlights: One of the highlights of the policy is that is protects against any individual posting information regarding a patient to any affiliated social media site (ie: pictures, videos, information etc). This is extremely important, and relevant, because it is a medical facility and they must secure the rights of their patients. It is for this same reason, that I find it very smart to include this in the first portion of their media policy.

Aside from this, I believe it was smart for them to include a clause that prohibits endorsements, or influence of any political parties. Many times on the web, especially sites that allow for commenting, individuals attempt to feature endorsements, pitches, and comments related to personal branding/marketing. All of these things take away credibility of a website or media platform. Therefore the fact that the Cleveland Clinic is working against that is very smart. Again, because it is such a well-known and reputable institution, content must be monitored and secured in a way that only relevant information may appear.

Low Lights: The only aspect of the policy that could poses problems in my mind  is the fact that a clause is included which states that all content posted is subject to be reproduced, distributed, published, or displayed. While I do think that the organization has the rights to monitor, remove, terminate, or modify posted content to t heir sites, I do not find it necessary for the automatic rights of distribution etc. to be signed off on content posted. To me, this should be something separate that an individual must adhere and agree to before the clinic would go ahead and do so.

Overall, I think the policy is well thought out, as well as, well presented. My only recommendation would be to adapt the clause stated above that appears within the policy. Again, I would do this because I think people should have the right to post content to given social media sites without the automatic distribution or replication of their work to other sources.

While we may not agree with every term in a social media policy, they are extremely important. What people put on the web is a huge reflection of the organization or company, and it is that company or organization’s job to protect themselves against the will of the public. Just as we need to protect and “button” up the content that appears on our social sites, they need to protect the content that appears on theirs. Reputation really is essential, and social media is a place where that could be tarnished.

While some people view lung cancer as the ultimate end, what many people don’t know is that early detection leads to successful outcomes. Recent research shows that individuals who detect cancer early on before malignancy spreads have a 50% survival rate. This is in comparison to a 2% survival rate for those individuals who are diagnosed beyond the period where the cancer is still localized. Additionally, only 15% of those diagnosed with lung cancer are aware of their cancers while it is still localized.

While these are scary statistics regarding the topic of lung cancer, they are nevertheless, a reality. The problem with such information is that it is not widely known to the general public. Whether you have been exposed to lung cancer yourself, or you have never even really thought of the issue, it is essential for people to become more aware of issues pertaining to their health. If I knew seven years ago what I know now, things may have been different in my family.

Seven years ago in March, my father went in for a routine x-ray to examine what he thought was a bruised rib. Unfortunately, it was not, and he began a nine month battle with lung cancer. Doctors and radiologists informed us that malignancy was found throughout his lungs. Yes, that is right—my father had stage III lung cancer. Although he had been a cigar smoker for nearly 23 years, he never experienced any health problems other than a heart surgery related to blocked arteries and high cholesterol.

Following the shock of the news, and spending time being baffled by his lack of symptoms, my father began a journey that would ultimately result in his death. Despite several rounds a chemo, he fell ill to the terrible disease in December of that same year and passed away.

Through hours and hours of research and consultations at area hospitals, my family and I have gained new insight, and truly have become advocates of early detection. Having gone through the experience myself, and watching a family member suffer, it is now my goal to inform others on what we were never told.

So, whether you know someone who has suffered from lung cancer, have a ‘history’ of cancers in your family, experience any type of symptom, are subject to second hand smoke, or are a smoker yourself—GET SCREENED. You simply cannot go wrong.

In the words of Lung Cancer Alliance, “No More Excuses, No More Cancer.”

Whether you are for or against social media one thing is for certain: social media has changed our relationships and the way we interact. Now, some argue that social media has changed this for the better, and others argue that it has tarnished society so much that future generations are in serious communication trouble.

I see both sides to the story. On one hand, it is clear that technology, and certain forms of social media, have severed our ability/willingness to communicate with our counterparts on a more personal basis—ie: Facebook chat over a phone call, tweet potential plans to someone, simply stop communicating with friends in any other way other than through Facebook messages.) Yet, on the other hand it is clear that social media has excellent capabilities.

For starters, social media allows us to connect with a wide audience with little effort on our behalf. Second, it is extremely efficient, and things can be completed in a relatively quickly period of time. While these are just a few examples, the list could go on and on as to how social media can facilitate clear personal and business gain.

Why people are either on or off the social media bandwagon differs, but I think it is safe to say that there is no right or wrong opinion regarding the topic. 4 Ways Social Media Is Changing Your Relationship is a good read that illustrates some basic points for both teams.

In my opinion, no matter which side of the fence you may decide to jump over, it is important to keep a good balance in terms of social media usage. Sure, working non-stop with social media channels may be good in the work-force in certain fields, but it may also be detrimental if you are constantly walking around Tweeting what your plans are for the evening.

Balance is Key. And if you keep that in mind, “nay-sayers” for both sides can hopefully come to a mutually understanding.

Several months ago my five roommates and I sat in the living room in our house as I got ridiculed for not accepting any of their invitations to Pinterest. They spoke of it as their “new obsessions”, and the perfect tool for a great study break. I, however, had no interest and my roommates thought it to be quite absurd.

To be honest, six months ago, I didn’t even know what Pinterest was. Now, it seems as if it is the one social networking site that I can’t stop hearing enough about. At first, it absolutely baffled my mind as to why people would sit on a computer and endlessly put together pages on the color “grey” and “tiny animals.” But over time, I have come to terms with the fact that all it really is, is an online scrapbook/collage—and who ever said there is anything wrong with a good ole’ fashion collage.

I remained hesitant to the idea of getting one until a good friend took it upon herself to make sure I got one. With an upcoming wedding, she explained how it was imperative to get one for the wedding process. While I have to argue that it is not imperative, and that magazines still prove to be useful, I must admit that Pinterest is fun.

As this article from the Insider highlights, Pinterest has gained some serious heat and has truly taken the internet world by storm. In February alone, it grew by 21% in addition to entering into the top 30 websites in terms of page views.

While it may seem that Pinterest is simply a new past time among internet users, the fact that it can be used for business and corporate purposes should not be ignored. Many companies and small business owners use it as a platform to display their interests, talents, and resources, which in turn, works as a useful promotional tool.

As I sit here on my computer, I must say, that my roommates may not have been so wrong on the whole idea. With a growing rate of expansion, Pinterest has even tapped into my heart. Where it will end up in the future is unknown, but I truly believe its capabilities may be even greater than the perfect past time.

The other day as I was endlessly searching the web for meaningful social media content, I came across an article that caught my eye—Social Networking May Affect Kids’ Health. It is a topic that necessarily never entered my mind when thinking of different social channels, nevertheless, captivated me into actually taking a look.

The article highlights the risks youth and adolescents face when becoming involved with popular media channels such as Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter. Recent studies show that access and participation in online sites such as these put kids at risk for bullying, cyber-sexual behavior, and exposure to inappropriate content—all of which can lead to depression and social out casting.

While I do not believe that social media outlets are the heart of the problem, it is impossible to deny that social media allows kids into areas that facilitate, and don’t protect against such issues. Adolescent issues such as bullying are never going to go away; it is part of history, part of society, and unfortunately, part of growing up. However, online mediums present a wide variety of new ways for kids to publicize their message, and expand their audience.

So what is my stance on the matter? While I believe that certain issues will never go away, I do think that social media poses great problems for youth in today’s society. Yes, we had instant messenger and email growing up, but sites where pictures can be posted, and statuses and “tweets” can be made takes it to a whole different level.

While it is a dream of yesterday, and gone to the future, I know that the days where kids come home from school and take a Pogo stick to their driveways are far in few between, but that is exactly what kids should be doing.

With age comes responsibility. And even with that, nothing is bullet proof.