Sunday, December 1, 2013

Good bye Texting, Hello Kakao Talk

Social Media is spreading globally like wildfire. Day by day, everyone around the world is getting connected through different social media platforms. One of the most interesting example of such a global phenomena  is the case of the application called Kakao Talk that originated in South Korea. Launched in 2010 by Kakao Corp. in South Korea, Kakao Talk is a free talk/text app that uses wifi or 3G/4G connection. The app has no limits on the amount of texts and calls that can be made. Such convenience made conventional texting obsolete in South Korea. Since its creation, the application has reached over 100 million users and has an average rating of 4.1 stars. To put this growth in perspective, Kakao Talk currently has 80% market share in South Korea. 80% market share in any business environment is unheard of. Kakao Talk is definitely turning many heads.

The genius of Kakao Talk does not lie just in their free text/call. The true genius lies in supplemental services within the application such as games and social media platform called Kakao Story. These supplemental services create more opportunity to generate revenue and increase consumer engagement. All of the games are designed so all the friends in your network can keep track of your activity and achievements. These games have premium items and skins that could be purchased with money. Such luring features and convenience draws users and makes them stay. I personally downloaded the application when my sister in Korea recommend it to me, and I can't get enough of it. Below is a screenshot of what my home screen looks like for the application. 

With increasing popularity and revenue, Kakao Corp. expanded their market in Japan, China, Vietnam, and some parts of Europe. They made smart advertising decisions in featuring highly popular Korean celebrates recognized across Southeast Asia (link to commercial below). Since its creation, Kakao Talk has seen enormous success.From what I can tell, it will only continue to grow.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I am the Champion of Tetris Battle

Social gaming is growing in popularity year by year. Given that 44.8% of these gamers are engaged through social networks, social media platforms have a huge opportunity in marketing through this medium. In my personal opinion, Tetris Battle is one of the best example that shows the true significance of social gaming in the marketing sense.

Tetris Battle is a social game played on Facebook developed by Tetris Online, Inc. Of the three apps developed by Tetris Online, Tetris Battle is the most popular app and the most fun. It has over 5 million active players and ranks 75th for monthly active users rate These numbers are not surprising when you realize the addictive game play combined with effective marketing strategy. Tetris Battle seeks to make money and grow their consumer base. The game meets these goals by emphasizing co-op and versus mode among your Facebook friends. From the moment you start playing the game, you see a list of friends who already have the application who are ready to play with you. Tetris Battle also ranks you among your friends, and encourages you to make others friends to play the game.

At the end of the day, Tetris Battle seeks to make revenue through their application. They are successful at this through ads and mainly in game purchasing to further enhance the experience. These items include such things as different levels, skins, and game modes.

All of this components makes Tetris Battle a wonderful game with effective marketing. I personally was borderline addicted to this game. At one point, I was ranked in the top 5 among the hundreds of my friends who played the game. My friends and I took great pride in being ranked in the top 10 in Tetris Battle. Social gaming is a constantly growing trend. If you don't believe it, try Tetris Battle for yourself; you won't regret it!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Social Media in Disaster Aid

Social media has revolutionized the way people collect information. One field where this is evident is in the reporting of natural disasters. Conventionally, news outlets would be the first to cover disasters upon which the public would be aware of the situation. Today, the order has shifted. People affected by the natural disasters are often the first ones to cover the unfolding of events, damages, and casualties as they happen. It has become less of collect then publish but rather publish then collect.

Most recent example of such a phenomenon is the country of the Philippines devastated by the Typhoon Haiyan. Recorded as the worst case of typhoon in the history of earth, the Typhoon Haiyan left thousands dead and brought horrible damages. As a response, the victims and supporters united and utilized social media to provide relief. Due to under resourced government, victims are using social media to bring attention to different communities. They list different supplies needed and send out mayday calls through whatever social media possible. In addition, social media is incorporated to account for causalities and locate people who are missing.  

In many ways, the increasing relevance of social media has brought many positive changes in the distribution of information. It is much easier for people across the world to be aware of disasters such as one in Philippines and increase relief efforts from across the world as well.

Be sure to check out for ways of providing donations and support for this disaster.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Don't Eat It Till You Instagram It

Social media marketing has worked wonders for any food or beverage company.
It has now become common for the Y and the Millennial generation to take pictures of food before eating. You could almost say it's a social media version of saying grace. Food and beverages is one of the most popular topics covered in social media platforms, and smart enough restaurants and cafes take advantage of it in every way possible. Although there are many companies who get this right, Starbucks takes the gold medal in social media marketing advertising. As shown in the picture below, Starbucks ranks first in terms of reach, loyalty, and influence across many social media platforms:

6 Reasons Starbucks Excels at Social Media Marketing image starbucks image1

Starbucks makes sure to utilize different social media platforms accordingly that meets the different platform's dynamics. On facebook, there are always new promotions and gift card of some sort. On twitter, there are refreshing posts and pictures that announces new products and behind the scenes snippets of Starbucks. Such utilization of social media marketing led Starbucks to amazing success by continuously engaging its audience with the content that matters. As a reward, Starbucks gains unwavering loyalty from its consumers worldwide.

The next time you see someone taking pictures of their food or drink, try to appreciate the influence and power of social media marketing.

Monday, October 21, 2013


With all the football craze this time around, today we look at the use of Twitter in college football. College football has had their share of success and familiar with Twitter. With fans, coaches, players, and the teams themselves contributing their tweets, twitter can be quite an interactive marketing platform. One of the downsides to this, however, is that there is no way to control what is being said. The power is really entirely left to the people.

Who can forget seeing actual hashtags on actual football fields back in 2005. As shown from the picture below, there once was a time that all college football teams cared about was to generate more followers and more buzz through twitter. Realizing that this kind of aggressive marketing took away from the game and generated unwanted traffic, college football did away with posting hashtags on the actual football fields.

Now days, twitter for college football has been more refined. It is rather a tool to enhance brand royalty and add to the game experience. Sentiments of fans and haters alike fuel excitement, and followers receive exclusive content in the form of tweets by coaches and players regarding trades and recruitment. College football has come a long way in their social media marketing strategy for sure.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Government Shutdown Causes Social Media Throwdown

The recent government shutdown has caused an outrage among social media platforms. People are expressing their complaints and call to action through pictures, posts, hashtags, and etc. NBC even reported a story on this topic earlier today which marks the seventh day of the shutdown.

The fact that social media trends are frequenting the news outlet more often shows how significant social media has become in gaging sentiment and spreading news. A particular website has caught the attention of many people weighing in on this issue.

As shown from the picture above, the website displays real time data of how much Congress has earned since the shutdown. 

In response to all this, the damage control from the government and the congressmen involved with the shutdown has been insufficient to put it nicely. The amount hostile activity through various social media platforms are proving to be too much to handle. Although there is some response and engagement from the government through social media, the overall sentiment is against them. 

It will be interesting to see how much longer this social media outrage will continue to go on until the government decides to deal with it properly.

Monday, September 23, 2013

You may not vote, but you do tweet.

Social media platform used for advertising is nothing new. However, the current trend for for various government organizations to reach out to their constituents and citizens via social media platform is all the buzz.

Two social media platforms stand out in this trend are Twitter and Facebook. Twitter gives the constituents and citizens a direct way to speak their minds and communicate with the government organizations. Forget the email and snail mail, direct your tweet to your politician and organization. There is no wait time and, there is maximum visibility. When government organizations reply to people's tweets, people get a sense of significance and connection. The more content and interaction between the followers and  content creator, the better the bond. Take this White House Twitter account for example:

White House Twitter accounts uses their twitter to inform, educate, and appeal. Other political organizations are getting more involved as well.

Another way government organizations are using social media platform is to reach out and gauge certain demographics that are hard to grasp via orthodox means. In United Kingdom, Rushmoor Borough Council is using Facebook to gauge community opinion to help structure and plan their new bills.
As more government organizations become aware of the implications of the social media platforms can have on establishing bonds between their citizens, the better policies will reflect the opinions and concerns of the respected communities. Social media platforms are giving everyone a voice.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Twitter filing for IPO: Ingenious or Stupid??

As everyone should know by know, Twitter is following the footsteps of Facebook. No, they are not changing their privacy policy, but they are filing for IPO. This leaves the world of social media marketing to wonder, "Will Twitter be annoying now?" There is logic to this question in that with going public and offering stocks, every company is burdened with the pressure of making the stockholders happy. This means generating target profits or beyond every quarter in every way possible.

Investors are not exactly in the best interest of making social media marketing more pleasant and consumer friendly. They want returns, returns, and returns. This kind of risk makes Twitter be subject to advertisements. Although I personally have only been using Twitter for over 3 months, I am very happy with the power it gives me to directly interact with celebrities and brands. However, with the possibilities of advertisements, I may turn away from it entirely. I feel that this sentiment is shared by many users of Twitter who are likely at least be less satisfied if there were to be advertisements.

As a company that provides a great platform for social media marketing, Twitter needs to have the social media savvy consumers at the top of their list. Twitter is one of the greatest playgrounds for marketers and consumers alike to experiment with the possibilities of social media marketing. Just think about the impact of hashtags!

As of this moment, we cannot do much other than hope for the best for Twitter. This has the potential to make or break the company. I certainly am hoping for the best.  

When will you learn marketers????

Social media marketing has been prominent for more than a decade; however, we still see marketers fail miserably in utilizing such wonderful tool. This article by Steve Olenski points out one of the most costly mistakes marketers make to this day: focusing on selling rather than building a brand in social media.

In discussion of this saddening trend, I want to focus on the two of the many points highlighted by Mr. Olenski: 
1.Marketers are putting more emphasis on selling than they are at establishing relationships with consumers via branding.
 2.Marketers would rather try and sell you something than say tell you a story.

It's surprising to find out that marketers still continue to put more emphasis on selling. From Mark 4450, we have learned plenty of reasons of why this does not work in social media. More than anything else, consumers these days are just too smart to fall for such cheap tactics. Everyone is savvy to realize when marketers are trying to sell something than establishing relationships. Most consumers disregard any message or content on social media when it turns out to be an advertisement.

What consumers want out of brands in social media is real content. Content that tells you a story. Consumers want to be involved with the brands, and stories help them connect. The more connected you feel to a brand, the more your loyalty grows. Stories generate interaction which can increase brand equity. As a consumer myself, I love to be involved when brands tell me a story. It makes me feel like the company cares about what I have to say.

Hopefully, marketers will learn from these mistakes. There is so much to be gained from social media marketing. It is not about who has the more likes and the most traffic. Utilizing social media marketing the right way will be beneficial both to the consumers and the companies.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

If any company gets this down, I am buying whatever they are selling

I read an intersting article on social media marketing by Syed Ali. (Link shown above)
My overall thought on the article: this guy knows what he is talking about.
I have spent most of my 22 years of life as a consumer, so I can relate more to the various points Mr. Ali is making on what companies are doing right and wrong in terms of social media.

Having grown up with social media, social media makes sense to me. It's a great way for me to feel involved with the products and brands I am interested. Most importantly, social media marketing makes me feel important. It gives me power. The power to voice my opinions. When companies interact with me, I really feel as though I am making an impact. However, only few companies are able to get this right. The companies that do get it right, I tend to be strongly loyal.

Given my personal experience and background with social media marketing, I agree the most with point number 6 of the article (Committed Interactions).  So many companies just make social media marketing so annoying. When companies significantly lack in any of the components of convenience, attractiveness, relevance, and emotional appeal, it is hard to relate to the brand. When companies interact with me via social media, I should feel as though I am talking to someone face to face. The thought of talking to a brand like Coca Cola as if it is a person is exciting on its own. When they reach out to me or responds to my input, I am engaged.

In conclusion, I do hope that more companies start paying attention to the significance of social media marketing. If more and more companies start to take notice and engage us consumers the right way, it will be better for the businesses and the consumers. Now go and engage me all the companies out there. Make me feel important. I like attention; who doesn't??