Hot Chicks, Guns and “Bad Words” Sell Merchandise!

By: Cody J. Giordano

Gary Vaynerchuk is a media expert. Vaynerchuk recently said in a Facebook video that he does not want to make a conventional video. He would rather make something people enjoy watching with cues, such as logos and objects or merchandise within those commercials. All forms of advertising have a place, but newspapers and inkblots, alone, will not cut it in our technology-driven society. Advertising styles have changed dramatically.

Black Rifle Coffee Company does an amazing job at selling products without directly advertising them. The veteran-owned and operated company makes funny and outrageous videos on YouTube and Facebook. The videos depict attractive women (hot chicks), guns, extreme sports, nice cars and everything else guys, like me, can’t get enough of. Below are three videos from BRCC.

John Willis, the owner of Special Operations Equipment (SOE) and James Yeager, the “MFCEO” of Tactical Response, have gotten famous by being unapologetic business owners. SOE makes gear like gun belts, chest rigs, rifle slings, etc. Tactical Response is a firearms-fighting school. Both Yeager and Willis speak their mind. When someone doesn’t agree with them, they will fan the flames. This gets the customer fired up. That customer then runs to forums and social media outlets to complain about either businessman. This draws supporters, like myself, to defend Willis and/or Yeager. Willis says that this model works because it is like a traffic jam. Everyone stops to look at the car with a flat tire. This slows down traffic, and more people see the flat tire (his name). The people then flock to his page by the hundreds to buy products. Yeager uses this model to get new students to sign up for classes at Tactical Response. They call this firing customers. By not wasting time on one bad customer, they can help two or three good ones. Both can be seen on YouTube and Facebook doing this very well.

Times have changes, and so have advertising styles. Rather than try to convince you why their product is better or tell you all about their products/services, they give you entertaining content that has subtle hints towards their business.

A Selfie is Worth a Thousand Comments: How Kim Kardashian Turned Herself into a Media Mogul.

Whether you love the Kardashians, or love to hate the Kardashians, chances are you know the famous family’s name. The family first came into the public eye in 1995 when the late Robert Kardashian Sr. was apart of O.J. Simpson’s  defense team representing O.J. in the People v O.J. trial. The family resurfaced again in 2007 when the hit reality show “Keeping up with the Kardashians” first aired, giving a glimpse into the lives of the Kardashian-Jenner family. Ten years later the show is still running and has turned the family into pop culture icons.

The most well known and fiscally successful Kardashian is Kim,with an astonishing 89 million Instagram followers and 49 million Twitter followers. Kim’s personal brand, that keeps her social media followers satisfied, is her actual image. Everyday people, magazines, and talk shows are fascinated by Kim’s ability to accentuate her famous features, through posting controversial selfies, promoting her husband’s clothing line, or snap chatting her beauty routine. Kim created this image by living by the mantra: there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Kim turned a sex tape “leak” into a playboy cover, from there the controversy continued and so did her magazine appearances, along with a growing following from the public.

Today a key part of Kim’s marketing strategy is communication with her audiences. Kim can instantly share what products she loves (Kardashian can see profits up to $300,000 for products she endorses online), give her followers glimpses into her elaborate vacations, and post an endless stream of selfies. Why this constant communication is a key to her success is because she has forged a platform and a following to share what she’s doing or what she endorses.

Key business lessons that are components of Kim Kardashians continued success are her ability to turn scandals into positive publicity opportunities, allow constant communication with her supporters, and utilize social media. Objectively speaking, Kim’s ability to capitalize on basic marketing techniques to become one of the most recognizable figures, makes her nothing short of admirable. To see what scandal Kim will capitalize on next, we’ll just have to Keep up with Kim, which is exactly what she wants.

 

Author: Nicole Bodi- Student at IUPUC

The Rise and Fall of Paula Deen – the power of words then and now.

Who doesn’t love some good ole down home cookin’? To most of us Paula Deen in not an unfamiliar name. We’ve all heard that sweet southern mama in our TV’s sharing her secrets to her delicious food. Just recently the southern bell fell from her grace. One word a long time ago caused this women who was arguably one of the most well know TV chef to lose her empire she worked so long to build.
Being born and raised in the south during a time with segregation, the “N” word was not such a big deal. The power of words back then did not carry the same weight they do today. The “N” word said today by someone with such high notoriety would be ground shaking, 60 years ago, that was not the case.
Slang changes with time just as fads and fashion. In the early to mid-1900’s the words that were considered to be slang are now considered to be offensive terms used to degrade people of different backgrounds. Words have always had a tremendous power. Context and perception dictate what kind of power a word does or does not have.
When it comes to words that are offensive they have changed dramatically over time. These changes happen as peoples societal positions change. In the mid 1900’s where Paula Deen had been brought up African Americans were not considered equal in the eye of society, especially in the south. Referring to someone as an “N” word would be the same as today saying someone was “black”. It may not be politically correct but it was not necessarily offensive.
Today that is not the case. People have realized that all colors, races, religions are equal and we pride ourselves on being a free and equal opportunity nation. Everyone being equal and having these rights has caused a hypersensitivity to language.
There is such a diverse culture today that it is hard to tell what may or may not offend someone of a specific color, nationality, religion, or background. The nation has evolved and there are some definite words that are known to not be acceptable such as the “n” word, but there are many that are in a grey area.
Paula Deen has apologized and said many times that she thinks everyone is equal. This for many is not enough, in today’s society people find words to be extremely powerful. We as a new generation must realize that words can, and many times will come back and haunt you.
So for you Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram addicts remember you may not have a fortune to loose and Paula Deen did, but people are watching, so choose your words wisely!

Using Twitter to Drive Value to Your Business

Driving value into a business is what every business owner and/or leader needs to accomplish. Using Twitter, along with a common-sense marketing plan, can drive value to any business. Twitter is currently being used effectively by various sizes and types of businesses to connect with customers, build brand, advertise and increase sales – and you can too.

As with any type of marketing or communications (marComm), using Twitter should be done with planning and rigor. However, it can still be fun, creative and impulsive. Using the following elements in this simple equation will provide a solid foundation and set you free to tweet.

(Plan + Content) + Brand x Consistency (Followers x RT2) = Value

I’m not a math major, so the equation might not make perfect sense. However, let’s focus on the elements which make the equation work. This article will help you understand the basics of each element and how they drive value into your business.

Plan:  As part of your marComm plan, develop a high-level plan that drives goals and provides a strategy for communicating with Twitter. Simply state a goal to gain 500 Twitter followers and convert  5% of them monthly is a good start.

You will also need to develop a tactical plan of weekly and daily Twitter activity of when you will communicate and when you will market to your followers. Tools like HootSuite can help schedule tweets so you can keep working!

Content: Any marComm plan is only as strong as the content that you deliver.  Not everyone can film, edit and soundtrack a video that rivals professionally produced media, but you can still produce quality content that is in line with your followers’ expectations.

Good content can be as simple as your opinions and thoughts (based on your plan) or as complex as multiple media streams (photo, video, animation, illustration). Following industry thought leaders and reTweeting (RT) their comments, as well as your replies, is another good way to provide valuable content to your followers.

Brand: Brand is simply a relationship that is based on a set of expectations that drive a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over others with similar features and benefits. So, like any other relationship you have via social media, your Twitter followers should easily get an idea of ‘Who you are’ and ‘What you do’ so they can begin to understand ‘What you can do together’ and ultimately, make a purchasing decision.

Businesses that do not establish and reinforce their brand in marketing and communications, usually struggle to keep long-term followers. Establishing a strong brand is essential to drive value to your business.

Consistency: Before stepping too far out into the social world, you need a consistent voice and brand personality. The best way to develop your voice is to practice tweeting in smaller social venues (church, alumni group, friends, etc) not associated with your industry.

Driving consistency doesn’t mean all your content is similar, but rather it feels like it is coming from the same entity (person, business, organization, etc). Without consistency, your followers may feel as though they are developing a relationship with someone who has multiple personalities.

Followers: Quality trumps the quantity of followers every time. In Twitter, find people who post frequently in your industry, then follow and re-tweet (RT) their content if it fits inside your content strategy. Then, build a relationship with these ‘thought leaders’ and drive value back to them.

You can also use Twitter’s search function to find people and businesses in your industry. When they show up multiple times, follow them. To keep a high-functioning list, block and remove all spammers and content that is not ‘on your brand’.

Value: Follow your plan and deliver good content. Stay on brand and be consistent. Follow the right people and build your list. Including these elements will drive value to your business and leave more time for focusing on your real job.

Richard Whitney,
IUPUC Student

Works Cited

“How to Use twitter for Business” by Jill Duffy  |  PCMag.com  |  April 16, 2013
(http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417647,00.asp)

“How to Use twitter for Business and Marketing” by Charlene Kingston  |  socialmediaexaminer.com  |  April 10, 2013
(http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-use-twitter-for-business-and-marketing/)

“10 Reasons Why Your Business Should Use Twitter” by Aaron Lee  |  askaaronlee.com  |  2013
(http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2417647,00.asp

Maintain the Message

Properly communicating the company message is the responsibility of everyone within an organization, from the receptionist on up to the CEO.  But how do you ensure that the person answering the phones is speaking the party line?

To guarantee a consistent message tape answers to frequently asked – and crucial questions – near the main phone bank.  But don’t post and forget it!  Check it on a monthly basis and update as necessary.  In challenging economies, information often grows stale quicker than you can say audit.

Also, provide updated facts and figures on a regular basis.  Communicate any noteworthy information to the receptionist and his/her backup ASAP – sometimes their need to know is actually more immediate than middle managers who aren’t necessarily speaking with the public and customers on a daily, if not hourly, basis.

Additionally, an intranet is a great tool for spreading the word to everyone while maintaining a consistent message.  For it to work and be effective, however, someone needs to commit to keeping it updated on a regular basis.  Also, the information needs to be pertinent, otherwise employees will soon recognize it as a waste of time and will readily drop it out of their information line up.

Last but not least, don’t forget those all important water cooler conversations.  Monitor the company grapevine and if the message you hear is NOT consistent with the message you want, it may be time to make a more concerted effort to communicate with employees.  Remember, if YOU don’t provide the information, someone else will.

– Robin Fritz, Adjunct Lecturer, Division of Business, Indiana University-Columbus

The future of email-is there one? And, if not, what will fill the void?

In my opinion I think that email is surviving because of the business world. The future of email is slowly starting to diminish because of all the other ways that we as humans can communicate. Since facebook, and twitter has come along email is taking a back seat to these new and improved ways to communicate. With the formation of technology that we will see in the near future email will slowly disappear, and I think in as few as ten years will be non existent.
Since we have so many people working in the widely varied business world, some of the older people aren’t up to the new technology as the we the younger generation is. They are used to using email because it is really the only way they have ever communicated. The newer, and younger generation know what email is but are given many other ways to communicate in a fast way. Facts show teens between 18-24 share 76% of there content via facebook. The same age group only 70% share there content by using email.
As I stated before the older the age group the more that generation still uses email. The same chart shows that people that are ages 65 and older use email 97% of the time, and facebook only 24% of the time. The good thing about email is that your content is a lot more private that if you post something on facebook. If you post something on facebook you are more likely to say something wrong, and pay the price for it. In the same aspect when writing an email to someone the only person that knows what you said is you and that person, not the whole world.
I think that email will survive for a few more years than facebook, and twitter will eventually take up the internet. Why I say facebook is going to fill the void is because of how huge it has become in just the few years it has been available. Facebook has become so huge and is involved with everything we do. Technology is going to keep changing, and new ways of communicating are going to keep being available for humans. Email was the start of something good that has now changed the new ways we can communicate. If it wasn’t for email I don’t know where we would be today, but facebook is the new communication tool, and the future of communication for a long time to come.

Written By: Kyle Martin

Tweeting one’s self out of a job – how do you juggle social media and your career?

The following is an article written by Will Brown for his x204 business class:

Facebook, Twitter and other social media are all freely used at the job site and during the hiring process. Even if you are searching for a job social media can be helpful. So, how do humans balance using them and actually working? I think it really depends on the type of job itself and whether you have the job or are searching. Do you really think fast food places actually take the time to look at a possible employee’s Facebook or twitter account? Lies! Those places are so busy and are always hiring that it probably doesn’t matter at all. I know from personal experience in my younger teen years working at McDonalds there were times I would walk in that place and post on my wall how much I hated it, or when someone dropped someone’s food and still served it. It happens all the time. Fast food restaurants simply do not care, in my opinion. As far as businesses like car dealerships, government jobs, sporting equipment stores etc. These companies care a little more about the kind of employees it hires. During the hiring process, from the time you fill out the application until about a week after the job applied for has been filled, these companies check people’s social media sites. As long as you know not to post degrading comments about the place you are looking to be hired by, DUH! Or post pictures with you holding alcohol or smoking weed and that drunk/high look on your face from the crazy night you had last night at a friend’s 21st birthday party. You will be fine.  Personally I work at Hibbets Sporting Goods in Greensburg, Indiana and I have known people to get fired over social media.  The kid just simply did not get the fact that they couldn’t have their phone in the store during their shift. Let alone be on Facebook posting and commenting to his friends about last night’s run from the cops. They would post dumb things like, “wish I was at the house with a beer in hand watching TV.” Come on man.  Then they were smart enough to add their boss, on Facebook, while at work. The boss knowing that we did not have a extra computer to get on Facebook, therefore knowing the employee was on their phone that they can’t have in the store. Not Smart!

                Let’s look at some instances that social media has literally cost someone. Chad Ochocinco, National Football League (NFL) wide receiver, was fined 25,000$ for using Twitter during a game in violation of the social media policy in the NFL, an actual policy that he broke and was fined for it.  The NFL and other professional sports have social media policies. What makes you think businesses don’t? Just about every big name in professional sports have twitter accounts, LeBron James, Drew Brees, Chad Ochocinco, Tom Brady, Alex Rodriguez, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Ray Lewis, even commissioner of the NFL Roger Goodell. All they are doing is providing entertainment for sports followers, not saving a life, fixing the economy, working in the government, working in a sport store or working at Wal-Mart.  They get fined big money for using them while they are at work. Social media is huge, very easily accessed and equally as detrimental to whether you get a job, or keep a job. Balance wisely possible employees.

                Now on the other hand social media could be good for the hiring process. If you fill out your bio page, and your profile and keep them updated employers have something else to look at when deciding whether to hire or not to hire. Always post up to date information on those pages and keep them updated. Also, in this world of technology we, social media users, know there are ways to keep people from looking at your pictures, posts, comments and statuses. It’s called the privacy setting or just not friending your boss on Facebook.