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Ben & Jerry’s Did It Right

BEN & JERRY'S

I recently read an article about Ben & Jerry’s social media marketing campaign that caught my eye.  Ever hear of “Free Cone Day?” I participated in the event last year at their shop in Manchester, VT.  It’s when Ben & Jerry’s serves anyone and everyone with one, free regular cone of any flavor they choose on the first day of their open season. The tactic they chose to promote this event spread the message like wildfire across the U.S. through social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and more: the huge component being the use of their hashtag, #FreeConeDay.

They ended up reaching over 10% of the entire population. Ben & Jerry’s goals were the following:

1) Engage a global audience

2) Drive awareness about the event and traffic to their stores

3) Fuel customer participation that would propel word-of-mouth and increase their brand reach

All it took was a paid promotion through Twitter. Once people saw the ad, they shared, and shared…and shared.  I find this story so particularly interesting because it shows how incredibly far a small investment in advertising can take a business. As a junior business student interested mostly in marketing, Ben & Jerry’s success is awesome and super exciting. Social media is hugely transforming the business world.  Can any of my readers enlighten me about some good marketing success stories? Thanks, and to those approaching finals right now like I am…good luck!

Facebook on a Generational Decline

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Recently, I’ve started to notice that more of my friends (ages 18-25) are deleting their Facebook accounts, posting less, responding less frequently to private messages and spending lots of time on other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and Tumblr.  I’ve also heard some buzz about the number of users nation-wide decreasing as well.

Apart from trying some classic Google searches, I tried to think about what I could personally come up with as for why people might be losing interest. I generated a list of possible annoyances my fellow generation may have experienced (that I feel mutually annoyed about), causing them to give up or decrease Facebook use:

  • Increased use of sidebar ads and promoted pages that show up at any given time
  • Facebook’s tendency to spy on your other Internet browsing activities, and show you ads according to these activities (a pair of boots I was thinking of buying were displayed on my sidebar from Overstock.com for about two weeks)
  • By clicking on someone’s profile one time, Facebook thinks you want to see that person’s every post or activity displayed on your newsfeed – your newsfeed then shows the activity of about 20 random people out of the 500 you are friends with, plus a small handful of the people you interact most with
  • Most of what people post is about some silly status game, where if you “like” the post, they will assign you what to do next in the game (i.e. List a number of facts about yourself, list things you like, or dislike that all start with the letter “B”, etc.)
  • Frequent game invitations that you have no interest in
  • The increased use by adult and elderly family members
  • The increased rate of employers searching to find out about us through Facebook profiles and tagged pictures, which supplies anxiety
  • Has become heavily business-focused – every business is on Facebook, promoting and sharing – it feels like a world full of ads at times
  • Left and right, it feels like a space for people to brag about how cute their baby is, how nice their new house is, how gorgeous their vacation is, or how healthy and beautiful their relationship is…

(Feel like you can relate, now?)

There are probably more reasons that I haven’t noted personally, but from what I’ve come up with, I see plenty of reason for the site to slowly phase out of the interest of younger generations. As more and more social networks are generated and spread throughout the world, the more options people have, leaving less need for tolerance.  People freely drop one account and replace it with another, fresher, more innovative one.

Adults and businesses are using Facebook as often as ever, so it won’t phase out at any foreseeable time in the future.  In fact, according to Forbes, Facebook stocks have increased by 2.23% today.

Sources

Marks, Gene. “Why Facebook Is In Decline.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 19 Aug. 2013. Web. 20 Nov. 2013.

Bosker, Bianca. “Facebook’s Rapidly Declining Popularity With Teens In 1 Chart.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 23 Oct. 2013. Web. 18 Nov. 2013.

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