Chapter 9 – Social Networking
- a. Australia
- b. Viral marketing
- data about their members’ likes and dislikes
- MIT professor Sherry Turkle has written a book, Alone Together, which is highly critical of social networking. She argues that the manner in which some people frenetically communicate online using Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging is a form of modern madness. Turkle thinks that under the illusion of enabling improved communications, technology is actually isolating us from true human interactions. Others disagree and argue that Facebook, Twitter, and instant messaging have led to more communications, not less. What do you think?
Responses will vary. Some students may agree with Ms. Turkle, noting that Nielsen estimates that 22 percent of all time spent online is spent on social networking and blog sites, with the average visitor spending almost six hours per month on such sites.
- Keep track of the time that you spend on social networking Web sites for one week. Do you think that this is time well spent? Why or why not?
Responses will vary. It might be surprising to some students to learn how much time they are actually spending on social networking Web sites, time that could be used in more productive ways.
- Do you think that college instructor–student friendships on social networking Web sites are appropriate? Why or why not?
Responses will vary. It depends on the type of site and the nature of the friendship. Many instructors and students successfully use social networking Web sites, such as Facebook, to keep in touch after graduation, to keep informed about their employment status, and to alert graduates when jobs become available in their field. Other instructors use social networking sites to help students keep track of their coursework, assignments, due dates, etc.
- Develop an idea for a social media marketing campaign for one of your favorite consumer products. Document how you would turn your message viral.
Responses will vary. Students may include the use of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in their design.
- Discuss the following idea: The information posted on social networking Web sites about news events occurring in foreign countries is an excellent source of up-to-the-minute news.
Be sure to point out during the discussion that it may be an excellent source of up-to-the-minute information, but whether it is news or gossip or purely propaganda may be impossible to determine as there is very little control over what is posted and by whom.
- Identify two significant advantages that social network advertising has over other forms of advertising.
- Advertisers can create an opportunity to generate a conversation with the viewers of the ad
- Ads can be targeted to reach people with the desired demographic characteristics.
- What advice would you give a friend who is the victim of cyberstalking?
If the offender is known, have your friend send the stalker a written notice that the contact is unwanted and that all further contact must cease. Evidence of all contacts should be saved. Your friend should inform his/her ISP provider and the stalker’s ISP if possible. You should recommend your friend speak with law enforcement officials or at least contact one of the Internet Safety groups such as Working to Halt Online Abuse, SafetyEd, or Cyber Angels. Make your friend promise to never meet with the stalker in person, even if the stalker claims to want to “talk things out.”
- Studies have shown that people using their phones while driving are four times more likely to cause an accident than nonphone users. Yet 75 percent of adults with cell phones have talked on their phone while driving and 47 percent admit to sending text messages while driving. Do you think that more needs to be done to discourage the use of cell phones when driving? If so, what additional actions could be taken? If not, why not?
Responses will vary. Additional actions may include a total ban of cell phone use while driving – including hands-free devices, an increase in fines, and the possibility of jail time.
- What measures would you use to gauge the success of a social networking promotion designed to get people to try a new consumer product?
Responses will vary. Metrics to consider include:
- Search volume – the number of people who are searching for your brand on Google
- Inbound links – track the number of links pointing to your Web site and/or blog
- The number of Facebook fans who click “like” and leave a comment
- Sales conversion – the number of people who buy the product as a result of the campaign
- Can role playing illegal and violent fantasies in a virtual world affect individuals and society in the real world? What are the social and ethical implications of such role playing? Should limits be placed on what players can do in virtual worlds?
Responses will vary. Many students seem to enjoy the more violent role-playing games and might feel that role-playing illegal and violent fantasies in a virtual world is a safe way to vent frustrations or release tension without causing harm. There is concern that illegal activity in a virtual world might actually be linked to illegal activity in the real world.
- Do a search of the Web and develop a list of 10 companies that have created their own social networking Web sites.
Nissan, IBM, BP, Portland Trailblazers, Nike, Reebok, Toyota, University of South Carolina, and many more.
- What type of online information about a job candidate should employment managers consider when screening candidates for an interview? Give three examples of information that might be found that should automatically disqualify a candidate from a job offer. Give three examples of online information that should increase a candidate’s chances of a job offer.
Employment managers should consider a candidate’s intelligence, job skills, education, employment history, and soft skills (oral and written communication, how they interact with others, etc). Information that should disqualify a candidate for a job interview: criminal history (depending on the type of criminal activity and the type of job applied for – i.e. if the candidate is applying for a position as an IT technician in a middle school and has a criminal record for child molestation, they should be disqualified), illegal activity (such as using illegal drugs), revealing confidential information about a previous employer are three examples.
Three examples of online information that should increase a candidate’s chances of a job offer: clear demonstration of responsible behavior (and no indication of any irresponsible behavior), having a complete, professional profile on all social networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc), a YouTube video demonstrating a skill that would be valuable in the workplace.
- Review your user profile on your most frequently used social networking Web site. Do you think you need to make any changes to this profile? If so, what changes?
Answers will vary, but most students will find that they would likely want to modify their profile prior to beginning their job search. Most changes will involve removing pictures and/or statements involving irresponsible behavior (or what would appear irresponsible to a prospective employer). Pictures of drunk people at parties, provocative photos, statements about religion, race, sexual orientation, and even political preferences might be things that one would want to consider removing before beginning a job search.
Social shopping Web sites:
- Buzzillions: will not rent, sell, or disclose personal information to third parties without your consent.
- Crowdstorm: will never sell your personal data to anyone and states that you can have your personal data removed from their site at any time by giving them a 30 day notice.
- Kaboodle: does not sell or rent any of your personal information to third parties for marketing purposes, however if you elect to become a “fan”, you may get in-system messages containing commercial and promotional messages.
What Would You Do?
- Try to contact the job interviewer to find out why you were rejected. It sounds like something ugly came up during the background check. If the interviewer is willing to tell you why, use this information to clean up your background information, if possible, so that this does not happen again. If you are unable to get any information from the interviewer, do your own background search on yourself – perform an Internet search on your name and see if anything negative shows up. If so, take steps to remove it. Review all social networking sites where you have accounts and make sure everything is professional or delete the profile and account altogether. Note that some search engines cache information and it may take several weeks or months for the information to entirely disappear.
- Responses will vary. At this point, you could keep a copy of the message (and all future messages) on file as evidence, in case the situation escalates. You may also consider reporting the matter to your landlord.
- You should tell your employer that you will be happy to post positive messages about the product just as soon as you have had an opportunity to try it yourself and are convinced the shoes are as good as they are claimed to be, but you cannot in clear conscience make statements about a product you know nothing about. Perhaps you can suggest your employer give you a complimentary pair of these running shoes for you to try so you can see how great they really are.
- He sounds like a possible stalker. Since you do not know much about him, find out more before deciding whether to friend him. Review his profile, perform a search on his name, ask other friends (that you know and trust) about him. If you still have doubts, ignore his friend request. If he is still creeping you out and you feel he might be stalking you, tell him that you prefer not to be friends and to stop contacting you. However, if he seems OK, and you decide to join his friend list, first make sure that you can easily remove yourself from the list if you later change your mind.
- You should recommend the coworker look at more than just the limited information she found on Facebook (which may or may not even be true) before making the decision to drop the candidate without even an interview. The information she cites does not necessarily indicate irresponsible behavior and may not be an accurate indication of future behavior. Point out to your friend that she cannot discriminate against someone because of their marital status.
- It sounds like a bad idea. To begin with, you would likely be spending time during work hours shooting this video, when you should be working. Additionally, you risk violating policies and/or revealing private corporate information in this video. You should recommend your friends not make the video.
- Do what you would do in real life – Just say NO. Then you do not need to find out whether the person is role playing or serious.
Case 1: Procter & Gamble Turns to Social Networking
- No. It all depends on the objective of the marketing campaign. One of the main goals of a social media marketing campaign is to engage the audience and encourage them to participate in discussions. If the focus of the campaign is the promotion of products, people will lose interest quickly.
- P&G’s main argument seems to have been that over the years, women—their target audience for soap operas—had made a huge shift in their TV viewing habits as they moved into the workplace, became more interested in talk and reality shows, and, more recently, began spending more of their leisure time online.
- Responses will vary. The criteria may include:
- Number of visitors who visit the Web site after viewing the commercials
- Number of Web site visitors who buy the product
- View count
- Inbound links
- Customer engagement
Case 2: Social Networks for Chronic Health Condition Sufferers
- Yes. Many patients network as a means to deal with the anxiety, depression, and stress that frequently accompany chronic conditions. Your grandmother may be able to find online what she lacks in her day to day life – people who truly understand what she’s going through.
- Examples of social networking sites for gambling addiction include http://www.dailystrength.org and http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/GettingPastGambling/.
- It is important for the patient to understand that experimental drugs are not therapies; they are used in the research community to increase knowledge. Note also that the doctor may not have enough information available to make the decision about the effectiveness of the drug to treat the patient.
Case 3: Cyberbullying Results in Death
- Answers will vary although most students will likely feel that violating the terms of a Web site’s service agreement should not be punishable as a serious crime with substantial fines and jail time. Students might argue this should only be a minor civil crime, and that most people who use the Internet violate terms of service at some time or another.
- Example Defense: The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act was designed to protect against hackers, not people who violate terms of a Web site’s service agreement. To say that someone is an unauthorized user and a felon because they violated the terms of a Web site’s service agreement is clearly not what Congress had in mind when they passed the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
Example Prosecution: Clearly Lori Drew knew she was violating the terms of service when she used the fake account for the purpose of inflicting psychological harm on Megan Meier. A 47 year-old adult chose to use a computer illegally to harm a 13-year old girl. The Defense probably has a stronger argument, although the prosecution may get the sympathy of the jury because there was a death involved.
- Answers will vary. Several factors contributed to Megan’s death, including Lori Drew’s actions. The laws as they existed at the time of the trial did not adequately address this unusual case. Most people will feel that Lori Drew shares some responsibility in the death of Megan and that new laws should be created to address similar future cases.