Future Implications

 

There are several implications that mobility will continue to be on the rise when it comes to human behavior. Right now, people are constantly attached to their smartphone whether it is texting, checking e-mail, browsing the web, looking for directions, etc. The more significant the smartphone and tablet become to humans; the more businesses will have to adapt. The ability to check a social media page for any business within seconds gives people the need for information right away. Therefore, the casual behavior of having a Facebook page for the business without constant engagement may soon diminish. Businesses will need to make sure that they are present on social media to communicate with their consumers at a much more frequent basis than they are right now. Therefore, more businesses may have to change their strategy to have a team that monitors social media 24/7, as well as making sure that they have mobile-friendly websites and social media platforms that are available to everyone with any type of phone. As seen with the evolution of the iPhone and other advanced smartphones, businesses will need to constantly evolve their technology to assure that every person can reach their social networks. Companies are really going to have to keep up with the mobile momentum.

Wouldn’t it be nice to purchase an item right from a Twitter page? In the future, social media could continue to evolve to the degree where purchases can be made right from Twitter or Facebook. An implication of this was when a new platform called Twitter Commerce was leaked which shows a “buy button” where consumers can purchase an item right from their Twitter feed. (Fallon, 2014) An executive director of branding for Vivaldi Fifth Season explains that, “Offering a one-click purchase button would be a giant step into the realm of direct response for the social network, and a true breakthrough in how businesses market and sell to consumers. “ This button would cut the traffic to the website out of the equation, as customers can purchase right from social media.

Twitter

 

With the evolution of social media platforms, companies will need to be sure that they are captivating consumers. The Co-founder and CEO of Facebook-Integrated e-commerce platform Easy Social Shop explained that social media plays a significant role in determining how and what consumers will buy. People use social media to get opinions and look for different products. Therefore, they will need to designate more money in their social media marketing strategies to facilitate product sales. (Fallon, 2014)

Overall, the change in social media will happen due to an evolution of a combination of human behavior and technology. Before smartphones, people did not walk around with their phones attached to them. However, as technology improves and people become more and more attached, their behavior changes and they become dependent on their phones. Companies would be wise to continue allotting money in their social media strategies to being prepared for this evolution of social media.

 

Fallon, Nicole. (2014, April 30) “The Future of Social Commerce.” http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/6318-future-of-social-commerce.html

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Viral marketing can be described as “the internet version of word of mouth marketing – Web sites, videos, email messages, or other marketing events that are so infectious that customers will want to pass them along to friends”. (Sohn, 2013, pg.2) The goal of the marketing initiative is to go viral, similarly to an epidemic in which the message moves through a population by person to person transmission in a rapid manner. Marketers have achieved success at their marketing initative going viral when they have “harnessed the willingness of customers to pass along the marketing message.” (Sohn, 2013, pg. 1)

Although it may seem simple, viral “isn’t luck or chance. There is a science behind it.” (Schwabel, 2013). It is not automatic that a message will go viral immediately or easily for a marketer as there are factors that go into play. The reliability of the message, in other words the how and why a message was received is crucial because there needs to be a strong tie between the original receiver and the “pass-along receiver.” When a consumer has a positive experience, they are more likely to share it and forward on the information. (Sohn, 2013, pg. 18) Another factor that makes a marketing initiative go viral is the market conditions. As Sohn put it brilliantly, flu cannot bloom into an epidemic if it is during the wrong time of the year. Therefore, environmental distractions may distract consumers from the viral marketing campaign.

Successful viral marketing campaigns may have one or all of a variety of characteristics that interests the viewer. In my opinion, there are five characteristics that can really boost a marketing initiative. These are:

Emotion-Evoker – “The goal is not just to be recalled or remembered but hitting a nerve and becoming share worthy and meaningful. (Smith, 2013) An example of this would be Dove’s campaign “Real Beauty Sketches.” This three minute ad used an FBI trained sketch artist to draw women based on their own self-perception compared to that of a stranger. (Stampler, 2013). It was viewed over 114 million times and quickly became the 3rd most shared ad. The VP of Dove Skin, Fernando Machado released a statement that the moment the campaign film was “uploaded to the Dove YouTube page, it quickly started to gain traction around the world with men, women, media and even other brands sharing the film.” (Kelly, 2013) This film elicited such intense warm emotions within the women both participating and people watching the film, that they wanted to share with their friends and family members. The film was easily shareable because of the widgets that allowed people to just click “like” or “share” to their social media platforms.

Story-Telling – Following a story can be really interesting and entertaining for a consumer. Marketers who can tell a story effectively can really gain the customer’s attention and therefore brand loyalty. Chipotle Mexican Grill used Story-Telling in their “The Scarecrow” short film advertisement. The brand teamed up with Academy Award-winning design team with this short film in addition to accompanying games. The story showed the fictional “Crow Foods Incorporated” which dominates food production and staffed it’s factory with scarecrows who were displaced from their jobs on nearby farms. When one “demoralized” scarecrow returns home after a long work day and picks a red pepper, everything changes. (Ankeny, 2014) The main goal of the video was to increase the customer awareness of animal confinement, synthetic growth hormones, and toxic pesticides. The story was tightly woven with this goal and quickly become a YouTube hit with over 6.5 million YouTube views in less than 2 weeks as well as an accompanying app which was downloaded over 500,000 times in 6 weeks. (Ankeny, 2014)

Humor – Making consumers laugh can make for a successful marketing initiative with a message that people want to share. There are so many advertisements on a daily basis that people find humorous that they share on Facebook and Twitter with their friends. Aside from the desire to share with family and friends, a funny advertisement will stick in the consumers’ mind for the future. An example of this is Evian’s Baby & Me YouTube marketing campaign. The YouTube video has fun, upbeat music as CGI-aided babies are performing with adult actors. As the adults move and dance, they see their “baby” reflection in the glass with humorous CGI babies doing what they do. (Ankeny, 2014). The advertisement itself received over 50 million YouTube views and 100 million total views within weeks including a Facebook page, sweepstakes to promote the ad and other promotional tools. With the success of the campaign, a mobile application was introduced where people could “baby-fy” their photos and share the results over Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the global hashtag #evianbabyandme. (Ankeny, 2014)

 

Celebrity Endorsement – Including celebrities in the marketing campaign in some way definitely has its benefits. These well-known figures already have a large following and engaged audience therefore that is a market that may not have otherwise been exposed to the brand’s campaign. For example, Lay’s Do Us a Flavor campaign used a celebrity judging panel composed of Eva Longoria and Michael Symon. Eva Longoria is an award-winning actress, bestselling cookbook author, and philanthropist with a very expansive following of over 6 million Twitter followers and Michael Symon is from the daytime talk show “The Chew” as well as boasts being the owner of four award-winning restaurants. Both of these celebrities come with followings that will be interested in any promotion that they do, therefore exposed to Lay’s campaign. Additionally, TV personality Wayne Brady would give consumers shout-outs on Twitter when they submitted their ideas for the new flavor of chips on the Lay’s Twitter page. When consumers would submit their idea for a custom flavor, they can share it over Facebook, Twitter, Pinterst, Tumblr and Instagram with the use of a widget on Lay’s page. In addition, Lay’s also used the hashtag #DoUsAFlavor to publish the ideas that they received over social media. (Johnson, 2014)

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Out of the box and interesting content – Burger King thought out of the box with their “Subservient Chicken” marketing initiative. Promoting their new Chicken TenderCrisp Sandwich television ad used the tagline “chicken the way you want it.” To follow up with this tagline and television ad, Burger King launched the online branch of the initiative. There was a male dressed in a full chicken suit on a website in which people could type commands and the “chicken” would have to follow them. These commands ranged from anything that the consumer wanted it to do, all promoting how this new sandwich was just how the consumer wanted it. People were “absorbed and actively interacted with the ad campaign. They would just go on for the activity if nothing else.” (Horovitz, 2014). There were over 1 billion online views and this was considered one of the first major online-driven campaigns. (Taylor, 2014) One of the reasons that this viral marketing campaign was so successful is because it was so out of the box. People’s attentions were grabbed because they were not expecting this campaign that they shared it with their family and friends who also wanted to join in on commanding the chicken what to do.

subserv

Overall, making a marketing initiative go viral is not a simple task and requires grabbing the attention of consumers. While consumers do not share just any content, the content of a marketing initiative needs to be compelling and give them the want to share on their social media platforms. As stated earlier in this post, making an initiative go viral is not just luck, but knowing the science behind it.

 

 References:

Ankeny, Jason. (2014, April 23) “How These 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits.” http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233207

Horovitz, Bruce. (2014, April 27) “Burger King Brings Back Subservient Chicken.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/04/27/burger-king-subservient-chicken-big-king/8161483/

Johnson,Lauren. (2014, January 15) “Lay’s Bets on Instagram, Twitter to Expand Year-Long Campaign.” Mobile Marketer. Retriveed from: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/16980.html

Kelly, Samantha. (2013, May 20) “Viral Dove Campaign Becomes Most Watched Ad Ever.” http://mashable.com/2013/05/20/dove-ad-most-watched
Stampler, Laura. (2013, May 22) “How Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches Became the Most Watched Viral Video Ad of all Time.” http://www.businessinsider.com/how-doves-real-beauty-sketches-became-the-most-viral-ad-video-of-all-time-2013-5#ixzz32x2PtZWx

Schwabel, Dan. (2013, April 25). “Jonah Berger: How to Make Your Campaigns Go Viral.” Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2013/04/25/jonah-berger-how-to-make-your-marketing-campaigns-go-viral/

Sohn, Kyonsgsei. (2013, Feb) “Viral Marketing – More Than a Buzzword.” The Journal of Applied Business and Economics. 14.1 21-42. Retrieved from: http://ezproxy.snhu.edu/login?url=http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/docview/1450694047?accountid=3783

Taylor, Kate. (2014, April 28) “Burger King Bets Subservient Chicken Ad Campaign Will Go Viral Again.” Entrepreneur. Retrieved from: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/233455#

Torkildson, Adam. (2012, Nov 8) “The Top 22 Viral Marketing Tactics You Need in 2013.” Retrieved from: http://socialmediatoday.com/adam-torkildson/1038526/top-22-viral-marketing-tactics-you-need-2013

Differentiation

 

Anyone that’s traveled by plane knows that it can be pretty stressful. With the rise of social media, consumers have the ability to vent their experiences for the world to see regarding flight cancellations, delays, lost baggage, etc.  Two airlines that I have traveled and feel have really utilized social media well are United and JetBlue. Social media allows both companies to stay alert and in tune as customers vent about delayed flights, uncomfortable seats, and any difficulties they experienced during their flight. From 2012 to 2013, Twitter posts regarding travel rose 54% to 12 million tweets per week. (Gilbertson)  Customers are also finding it easier to contact the airlines, as they may have a difficult time reaching the company over the phone and are able to receive a response over Twitter within minutes.

Both companies use social media to promote special deals, push loyalty memberships, links to booking tickets, and any contests that they may be offering. It is a way for them to remind customers about deals and also entice last minutes decisions. In March for example, JetBlue tweeted a picture of crystal blue water and white sand with a promotion for their 3 night getaway in the Bahamas. Someone on Twitter may not have known about that promotion and now is enticed to look into the getaway. I noticed that this happened a lot more during the winter months, as the company posted pictures of beaches baiting people out there who were stuck in the cold and dreaming of a getaway.  United posts pictures of their new airplanes, boasts awards that they have won, and push their Mileage Plus program. It seems as though United tries to differentiate themselves from other airlines through making sure that customers know their progress at every step and everything that they are doing to better the customer experience. Posts like, “See how we are working to get you connected at 30,000 feet” or “Learn more about the innovative changes we’re making to your digital experience.”

JetBlue seems to have social media  by the reigns, and I believe that this truly differentiates them from the other airlines. In February 2007, there was a storm that cancelled over 1,000 flights creating a storm of angry customers. The founder and CEO David Neeleman posted a three minute clip apologizing for the failures and explained the company’s plans on how to improve. (Gianastasio) Back in 2007, JetBlue seemed to really have the use of social media down. They seem so dedicated to social media and the image that is being portrayed about the brand, which definitely can cause an abundance of loyal JetBlue customers. I myself have had a great experience with them when I tweeted the JetBlue Twitter handle to get answers for a school assignment focusing on the company. Within minutes, I had a tweet back from a representative who talked to me about how much they love the company,  even giving me I the email of Morgan Johnston, JetBlue’s manager of corporate communications and social media. They were just so open about giving this information and were an open book to any questions that I had.  From this short conversation alone, I have become a loyal fan of the brand.

twitter jetblue

To me it seems as though JetBlue focuses more on customer relations and establishing loyal customers and less on campaigning for ticket sales and membership sign ups. JetBlue seems to utilize all forms of social media from Twitter and Facebook to creative YouTube videos. Recently, JetBlue created Shoo the pigeon who posts videos in a weekly series with the tagline “Air on the Side of Humanity.” (See the episodes here: http://jetbluecentralperch.com/) I feel as though JetBlue creates a relationship with their customers and lets their service speak for itself. They don’t need to boast on social media about how wonderful they are, but let the customer experience what they have to offer for themselves. Instead, they focus on building a personality around the brand.

 

 

References:

“Fliers Getting Silence From Airlines Turn to Twitter.” Gilbertson, Dawn. USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/flights/2014/01/08/frustrated-fliers-turn-to-twitter/4368629/

“JetBlue Knows How to Communicate with Customers in Social, and When to Shut Up.” Gianastasio, David. Adweek. http://www.adweek.com/news/advertising-branding/jetblue-knows-how-communicate-customers-social-and-when-shut-152246

Tips and Tricks to Social Media Success

Even though social media can seem simple, it is not always used to the extent that it could be used. It’s easy to post every now and then, but do you know what these platforms have to offer for business? I collected some of the best practices for blogging and tweeting that businesses can use to further their social media success.

Twitter

Twitter has a lot of benefits for business that can really boost sales and brand awareness! Did you know that there is a site called http://twellow.com/ which can be described as the “yellow pages of Twitter?”  (Schaefer, 40) With this website, you can find and follow users by category, interest, industry and more!  As a dance studio, I could research dancers in the area of downtown Chicago to recruit to my dance studio as a student or teacher.

Some other beneficial tips for Twitter?

1)      Use Listorious.com to search all of the Twitter lists available by hundreds of interest categories! (Schaefer)  You can even look into your competitor’s followers to follow yourself and possibly their interest!

2)      Twitter search by interest!  Hashtags can be a beautiful thing in business.  As a business, you can search for people with the same interests that can be potential customers. As a new fitness gym in the area, I could search for #fitness, #chicagofitness, and #gym.

3)      Finally, MEANINGFUL CONTENT! Content is extremely important when it comes to any social media, but on Twitter it is really important. As Schaefer explained in Tao of Twitter,  “content is the currency of the social web.” Tweet meaningful links, ideas, and make sure to have conversations with your followers – it creates a relationship and builds trust.

4)       Re-Tweet! Read the tweets that your followers post, and re-tweet some of these valuable messages at least once a day. This creates a community between your followers and shares information that you find valuable.

Google +

Google+ is linked to Google, which is the #1 search engine in the world as well as Youtube, which is the #2 search engine! This social network aims at making sharing online just like sharing in person, which gives companies a free way to share information and build lasting relationships.

1)      Fit Google+ into your schedule.. it’s worth it! Chris Brogan suggests posting and sharing 2 times a day, and to converse with your followers at least 2 times a day as well.  The more you interact, the more chance you have to really striking up a great relationship with customers.

2)      Post pictures!  Giving customers a look into your business through pictures is a great idea on Google+.  Post virtual video tours of your gym or maybe a snipped of a class that may be going on, as well as pictures of products or different gym areas.

3)      Hold a Hangout session!  Hangouts are the live video chat feature by Google+ to allow either specific groups or a large open group of people to connect over video. For business, it is a great way to connect with followers and answer questions.  For a gym, it would be a great idea to hold a Hangout session with followers and maybe give a sample of a workout class where they follow along from their computer, or have a Hangout session with a nutritionist to talk about wellness and diet routines.

4)      Post contests and promotions! Create engaging experiences by posting giveaways and contests on your Google+ page. This attracts potential business as well as keeps current customers engaged.

Top Two Tips for Any and Every Social Media Platform

1)      Pay attention! Listen to what your followers say. It is extremely crucial to reach out and make contact with the people that follow you – they are your potential customers!  (Schaefer, 22)

2)      I liked it best when QSR Magazine wrote their tip to “Engage Fans (a lot). Keep your fans in the know about all of your promotions, discounts, deals, events and more. Keep them in the loop about what is going on in your business.  (QSR)

The fitness industry follows these tips well because whether it is a fitness clothing company or a gym, there is a lot of engagement with followers in many of these companies. The fitness clothing company Lululemon uses Twitter as their “communication hub” to focus on inspiring their followers and creating a buzz. They post interesting articles, fitness tips, tips on how to set fitness goals and even respond to guest’s feedback.  Nike uses their slogan as a hashtag in almost every Tweet that they send. They send inspiration to their followers who tweet their fitness goals, and always include #justdoit at the end of the tweet. (See it here https://twitter.com/nike)

nike

References:

“5 Fitness Brands Kicking Butt on Social Media.” January 6, 2012. Lauren Drell.  http://mashable.com/2012/01/06/fitness-brands-social-media/

“5 Must-Haves for Social Marketing Success.”  May 2011. QSR Magazine. http://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/5-must-haves-social-marketing-success

Brogan, C. (2012). Google for business: How Google’s social network changes everything.

Schaefer, M. W. (2011). The Tao of twitter: Changing your life and business 140 characters at a time. Charleston, SC: Create Space.

Don’t take the risk…Go Social!

Social media is not only fun, but it serves a purpose to brands across the spectrum of industries.  Without social media such as Facebook and Twitter, companies would not be able to communicate with their customers and build a relationship outside of the brick and mortar store.  It was best said in a Forbes article that social media “bridges the offline and online worlds.” (Chandler).

If a brand decided not to go social it would be a risky decision because of all the benefits that social media platforms provide. Bridging the gap is important because consumers have your brand constantly on their mind when your products are popping up on their social media accounts. Some of the risks of a brand not becoming social are:

  1. Not Getting Repeat Exposure.  It is a belief that it takes the customer 6-8 exposures before they decide to buy a product. In the fitness world, this could be 6-8 times of passing by a gym or receiving an advertisement in the mail to decide to join as a member.  With social media, a gym or fitness clothing company can repeatedly post and expose their product to the consumer more often.
  2. Not Building a Community around the Brand. “When followers become a part of your community, you gain instant access to them. You find out what challenges they are facing, what they don’t like about your offerings.” (Chandler).  In the example below, lululemon was receiving feedback about various products such as their classes or a customer’s new bag. Nowadays, people post their purchases right on social media right away. Without social media, the brand would not be able to gain immediate feedback.

lululemon-4

lululemon

3. Virtual Fundraisers Can Raise Money and Exposure of the Brand. The Equinox brand hosts social media fundraisers such as Cycle for Survival promotion, which donates $1 for every new Like to benefit rare cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering. “This helps to build our community as well as stimulate conversations about Cycle for Survival and increase donations to the cause,” CMO of Equinox says. (Drell)

Crunch Gym ran a Check-In for Charity campaign that donated $1 to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center for each checkin to Crunch on Facebook. There were 12,573 check-ins during that campaign, and  due to Crunch checkins floating around on Facebook — Crunch acquired 1,431 new Facebook fans, 5,822,148 media impressions and nearly 17,000 checkins, clicks and Likes. (Drell).

By having a social media account, you can raise money while also exposing the brand to a larger audience.  A friend of a fan may see that they liked Equinox’s Cycle for Survival and like it as well, which spreads to a broad base.  Without social media, word of mouth would have to be the way that fundraisers like this spread, which is not as powerful as just “liking” the page on Facebook and donating to a great cause.

equinox

4. Social Media Spreads Brand Awareness!  Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter allow information to be broadcast about events and new products. These pages such as lululemon’s Facebook page offers sneak peeks into the brand’s culture, community, ambassadors and products – something that customers would not see just by going into the store.  In addition, social media was used with the athletic clothing guru Under Armour for their Ultimate Intern Program. Students submitted a 140 character paper telling the company how they would “ignite the brand.” Two college students were chosen to be social media specialists for 5 weeks, and were giving the chance to live-tweet from events like MLB All Star Game! (Drell) Zumba Fitness has also been able to promote it’s brand by “showing off” their latest segment on Live with Michael and Kelly!

zumba

Risks of Taking the Brand Social

1.      Content, Content, Content! It is often a struggle for companies to find the right strategy of what to post on their social media pages. Pushing the product or brand too much can turn consumers away, so the balance of conversation and promotion needs to happen on any brand’s social media page.  Equinox Gym faced this challenge when opening their social media accounts. At first, they were “purely promotional,” but soon learned that this strategy was boring and stale. To turn it around, they have changed their content to conversations about fitness, yoga and health. (This was a great success because they jumped from 22,000 to 48,000 likes on Facebook.)  (Drell)

 2.     Will you attract your target audience?  Under Armour, the company that keeps athletes and gym goers comfortable needed 12-24 year olds to market to on social media when they first started. Digital Media Director Dan Mecchi said in order to achieve this goal, they activated athletes like Michael Phelps, Lindsay Vonn.  (Drell)

In my opinion, the rewards of a brand having a social media account are greater than the risk. That constant connection with the consumer that social media offers can really build the business. Personally, I have more connection with the brands that show me their culture through their social media and want their consumers to get involved.

References:

“5 Fitness Brands Kicking Butt on Social Media.” Lauren Drell. Jan 6, 2012. http://mashable.com/2012/01/06/fitness-brands-social-media/

“The Hidden Benefits of Social Media Marketing.” Stephanie Chandler. March 12, 2013. http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2013/03/12/the-hidden-benefits-of-social-media-marketing-why-your-strategy-may-be-working-better-than-you-think/

Get Motivated with These Apps!

Meet Virginia Champoux, resident of Canada and user of an app called Fitocracy. She is 42 years old, a mother and works in retail so she is always on her feet. She decided she wanted to become active again so she was looking for an application to help. This busy mom uses the fitness app Fitocracy to track her fitness goals, but more important she feels it is motivational. “It’s literally a social network for working out, like Facebook for fitness,” she told CNN.

Just like Virigina, most people are reaping the benefits that social media has contributed to the fitness industry. Whether you are an exercise “newbie” or a marathon runner, there are several mobile applications that can improve the way that people exercise and the overall view of fitness in general.  No longer is it just a paper journal and your treadmill, but it is an entire support system of people with the same interests cheering on your successes! People carry their smartphones on them all day long, so what better way to use your phone than to motivate and track your fitness goals?

Fitocracy

What is it? Two fitness buffs got together and decided to make working out into a game. (Sounds great, right!?) They founded Fitocracy on the fact that it can be addictive to reach the next level of a game, beating your friends or coworkers in a certain level and seeing yourself reach a certain goal.  The overall mission of this app is to make fitness fun.

Benefits –  It’s claim to fame…providing motivation! Its users can complete activities to earn points leading to leveling up which ultimately leads to earning badges!  The app connects you to world’s best fitness coaches, nutrition experts and more to receive help and advice in your fitness. 

This app was developed with inspiration from video games, which is really appealing to people who want to make working out fun!

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GymPact

Wouldn’t you like to earn money for meeting your fitness and dieting goals? Meet GymPact!

What is it? Users make a pact to exercise, log meals or eat vegetables for a certain amount of days. When you sign up, you select a certain amount $5 or $10 that is taken from your bank account for each day that you miss your pact. If you hit your goal, you get paid a reward, which often ranges from 30 cents to $5 per week! Where does the money come from? The money that is taken from those who do not meet their pact, is pooled together and used for rewarding those that has. To keep it’s users honest, the app uses GPS, photos and other services.

Benefits: Motivation! People are more motivated to meet their goals because of the risk of losing money. With the new diet pact that was added in January of 2014, the Founder explained “I’m not good at keeping a food diary, so I signed up for the diet pact as soon as the app went live and I already feel the pressure of my potential $5 per day penalty motivating me to log all my meals.” (Shu).

As of February 2014, there were 5.2 Million total workouts, 37,000 meals, and 54,000 veggies eaten logged. The app boasts a 92% success rate.GymPact-iPhone

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 11.00.45 PM

Both of these fitness mobile applications really strive to boost motivation and serve as a support system. The success is measured when the users themselves achieve success in reaching their fitness goals. With GymPact, for example, the success is measured by how many exercise goals are reached and how many “pacts” are not broken in the process. Without these applications, people would not have the support system of strangers with the same interests that they do now.

 

 

“Best Iphone Fitness Apps.” Drew Prindle. December 31, 2013. Retrieved from: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/best-health-and-fitness-apps-for-iphone/2/

“GymPact, The App that Pays You for Working Out.”  Jan 1, 2014. Christine Shu. Retrieved from: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/01/pact/

“Want to get fit? Pull out your phone.” Jareen Imam.  June 29, 2012. CNN.  Retrieved from: http://www.cnn.com/2012/06/29/tech/social-media/tech-fitness-irpt/

Let’s Get Social!

“Social networks that focus on fitness can link you up with a community of people who share your goals. It’s like taking the perfect training partner and multiplying him by a thousand.” This was shared by fitness and nutrition expert Alan Aragon at Men’s Health magazine. Social networks such as Facebook and Pinterest can help you to communicate your health and fitness goals with your close social circle or people from around the world who share the same interests.

                Pinterest

This visual social media website allows users to find fitness motivation and inspiration from all angles of wellness. With the Health and Fitness board, users can browse thousands of Fitness motivational quotes, recipes for healthy eating, workout samples and pictures, and even articles.  If you are looking for something specific, just type it in such as “Fitness Motivation Quotes,” and find hundreds of quotes to get you going!

fitness - good

                Facebook

Whether it is joining groups such as “Female Fitness Motivation” or posting your own exercise statistics on your personal Facebook, this social media site can definitely help you stay motivated.  You can even post pictures of your own progress to share with your friends!

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                 Strava

More than 1/2 of social network users find fitness and diet related posts annoying. (Narins). So social media sites that are geared towards those of the same interest can be more beneficial than posting on Facebook or Twitter. Strava gives runners and cyclists their very own social network to communicate. What’s interesting is that any status updates that are posted are only centered around your workouts.  There are also user defined trails, where all users who use that trail have their stats uploaded to the server for ranking. (Purewal)

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Map My Fitness

This social media site boasts as being the largest online community of fitness fanatics!  Just log in with your Facebook credentials, then record your outdoor workouts using Google maps to automatically tally mileage. You can also connect with friends from your other social networks to swap routes. There is also an option to access others members’ routes and join groups through the sites to find local events.

map my fitness

  The evolution of social media has really changed the fitness industry. I think that with the growth of social media, there are communities being built between people in other states and countries that share the same interests.Someone in Chicago that is a newbie to the running world can find a mentor in New York that may become a mentor to them as they go on their running challenge.

“The Best Social Networks for Fitness Junkies.” (March 20, 2013). Elizabeth Narins. Retrieved from: http://blog.womenshealthmag.com/scoop/the-best-social-networks-for-fitness-junkies/

“The Five Best Fintess Social Media Networks for Men.”  (May 1, 2013.) Sarah Jacobseson Purewal. http://www.menshealth.com/techlust/five-best-fitness-social-networks-men#.

Are Visually Centered Social Media Platforms taking over?

Social Media is everywhere – it’s in the way we post our videos and photos, and how we share with the people around us. Facebook is the most popular social media platforms out there; however there seems to be a shift in what people are interested in.  I believe that visually driven social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest are becoming popular because of the visual stimulation.  The most popular activity on Facebook is uploading and sharing photos, which prove the shift from written updates to visual posts.

                Pinterest is an interesting take on photo-sharing social media. It allows people to pin photos in categories as well as posting their very own pictures to share.  There are categories for users to search through such as DIY, Wellness and Fitness, Women’s Fashion, and Food which contains hundreds of photos in each category.  This seems to be a really personalized social media platform, as users can chose to create boards and re-pin pins of their choice.  You can tell a lot about a person based on the boards that they have on their site – what kind of food they like, their favorite fashions, if they are working out and interested in fitness, etc.  However, if one would like to keep their pin choices confidential, they can chose not to share their pins with their followers, creating a secret board.

                Whereas Twitter and Facebook allow the text updates in the form of statuses, Instagram is a way for people to update in the form of pictures. The user captures a photo, applies a filter and shares it with their followers on Facebook, Twitter and on the application itself.  As of January 2014, Instagram is the most rapidly growing social media site with an increase of 23% active user base in the last six months.  (Lunden) The popularity seems to come from the ability to add filters to pictures to feel “artsy” or maybe the fact that writing a status can be tedious, however uploading a beautiful flower or funny picture can be the perfect way to post how you are feeling.

In the chart below the increase in use of both Pinterest and Instagram is displayed.

In the aspect of Fitness, the Wellness and Fitness category on Pinterest allows those to search pins dedicated to feeling and looking your best. There are pins with workout tips, diet tips, motivational quotes that are displayed on the thousands of linked boards from other pinners. I personally enjoy Pinterest because I can collect all kinds of workout tips and exercises to put on one board and be able to reference it later.  Instagram allows people to post pictures of themselves or others and include tags such as “#gym” or “#workout” to add their photos into the community of those who may also be at the gym or at the dance studio posting pictures.  There are many people on my Instagram friend list who post pictures of them doing workouts at the gym and even tag their work out routine such as #crossfit or #zumba. I also find it an interesting way to connect with those fitness buffs or dancers when you click on a tag such as #balllet or #zumba, to see others that are also posting pictures with the same interests.

All in all, I find that the text social media platforms will not be as popular as the visual social media platforms because people really enjoy seeing and experiencing instead of just reading text.

Please take the poll below and share which Social Media Platform you use the most.

References:

“Awesome Social Media Facts.”Jeff Bullas. (n.d) http://www.jeffbullas.com/2013/09/20/12-awesome-social-media-facts-and-statistics-for-2013/

“Instagram is the Fastest-Growing Social Site Globally..” Ingrid Lunden. http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/21/instagram-is-the-fastest-growing-social-site-globally-mobile-devices-rule-over-pcs-for-social-access/

“Social Media Update.” December 30, 2013. Pew Internet. http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Social-Media-Update/Main-Findings.aspx