Eight years ago, when my Dad told me that he had joined Facebook, I groaned. Being in my early adulthood at the time, when my social status meant a lot more to me, I was worried about what my friends would think. While I adored my father (and still do!), Facebook was a space for Millennials with Bieber haircuts and skinny jeans, not for Dads who wore Velcro sandals. In fact, prior to the public launch in 2006, Facebook was only available to users who were enrolled in a university or college. Fast-forward to 2017, and Facebook is a place everyone—Dads included! Most of us have grown so accustomed to social media being a part of our lives that it seems strange to think about it as a “new” phenomenon — but it is. In less than 10 years, a handful of niche sites catering to small populations have turned into thousands of apps and platforms that connect the majority of the world’s population. But where is social media and technology headed in the future?
On-line retailers have been commanding a higher share of Canadian retail spending every year. The trend is largely driven by convenience (e.g., home delivery), wider assortment (due to absence of physical shelf space) and opportunities for consumers to use social media to share their opinions about their experiences with the product. Amazon.com and its Canadian web-site, Amazon.ca, are great examples of successfully capitalizing on the above trends to provide the best in class on-line shopping experience. Amazon has become the largest on-line retailer in North America, selling over 480 million products in the USA and 133 million in Canada.
Social Media’s Impact on the Supply Chain industry is deeper than you might think. Many organizations are using the information gathered from social media to predict trends, ensure timely delivery of goods and source where a product is made.
Role of Innovation in Consumer Packaged Goods Developing innovative products for consumers is considered as one of essential marketing functions at Parmalat. Product innovation usually plays an important role in life cycle of any consumer packaged goods company. Innovation is tasked to drive incremental volume for the company, keep consumer delighted with its products and provide retailers with increased profits opportunities. In Food Industry, major players, such as Parmalat, are literally expected to come up with new products every year to inject news and dynamics to the category and “protect” their shelf space at retail.
Background Parmalat is one of the largest food companies in Canada with $2.2 billion annual revenues. The company is a marketer of such popular retail brands as Black Diamond cheese, Ficello Cheese Strings, Astro Yogurt, Lactancia Milk & Butter and Balderson cheese. The company has a large and diverse work force of 2,900 people, operating a large corporate office in Toronto, 2 major sales offices in Calgary and Montreal and 16 manufacturing plants across Canada. Challenge Given the scale and complexity of its work force, Parmalat Canada has been searching for effective ways of promoting company’s values and increasing employee engagement across many branches with their unique geography, organizational culture and regional dynamics. This challenge is especially magnified by the company’s work force composition – only about 30% of work force is full-time employees working in main offices or plants, whereas 70% of workers are part-time hourly workers at various plants. The HR Department has turned to Social Media to increase employees engagement. The idea was to encourage company’s employees to share new ideas on improve various aspects of company’s operations ranging from work processes, life balance, health & safety and even new product ideas. Social Media Solution The choice of social media tools that will allow for maximum participation in the initiative was difficult one. The company’s digital culture has been defined by work force average age (40+), and a long practice of using IBM Lotus Notes as a major source of all inter-company communication. As such, the HR department has opted for finding new ways of using existing technologies, expanding their ability to function as social media tool as opposed to creating new social spaces on Intranet or developing dedicated digital applications modeled after popular applications like Facebook, My Space etc. Towards that end, the corporate Lotus Notes was re-designed to give birth to a large digital project called “Parmalat’s New Ideas” that allowed employees to integrate social media functions with their regular activities on the Intranet. The new platform provided capabilities to share and discuss ideas on various topics and select the best ideas by employees voting (15 votes required to put the idea for the Senior Management consideration). Real Life Roll-out/Early Wins In 2015, the Communication Manager, Ambra Sultzbaugh , led the roll-out of this initiative to employees in a series of in-person meetings across different regions. Since then, the program has significantly exceeded initial expectations… Read more »
Bronzeback, Bucketmouth, Football, Lunker, Chunker, Toad, Hawgs, whatever word you choose to define fish, angling for those elusive trophy wall-hanger’s has been part of the human DNA for thousands of centuries. According to National Geographic ” Fishing is an ancient practice that dates back at least to the Upper Paleolithic period which began about 40,000 years ago”. So it should come as no surprise that this popular past time continues to remain a popular activity in the 21st century.
Many churches are finding benefit from promoting their services and events online through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. However, if we look to the education world, we may find ways that social media is being used in the classroom that can be effectively adapted into a Pastors role of teaching, including the weekly sermon and Bible study methods. Jason Tomaszewski, Associate Editor of EducationWorld.com, reminds us in his article “Social Media Has a Place in Classrooms” of the findings of Dr. Richard J. Light (Harvard School of Education) with regards to social learning theory and the learning success of college students, “People learn most effectively when they interact with other learners. According to Light, the strongest determinant of students’ success in college is their ability to form or participate in small study groups. He suggests that this is more important than their instructors’ teaching styles. Student research participants who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” This study underlines the significant learning impact that small group type Bible studies can have, which could include those happening online. It also addresses the lecture-style sermon delivery that is the basis for most traditional church services, which may be better absorbed if given the opportunity to be discussed among those who have listened to it. Social media can provide such opportunities through various means available to pastors and their congregations today.
In 2013, comedian Bryan Callen, asked UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub to do a podcast with him in his garage. The two were good friends, and Bryan noticed that Brendan had a natural comedic instinct, that could crack up a whole room. While both were moderately successful in their profession, nothing could prepare them for the heights their new show would soon reach. In three short years, the podcast has grown into one of the top 10 sports podcasts on Itunes. Podcasting has allowed the pair to have a stable income, while they pursue other interests. Acting and fighting are no longer their main source of income, and they can rely on income generated from their podcast. The podcast generates revenue from ad reads on the show, with many companies relying on podcasts to generate new customers. Bryan Callen had this to say about the future of social media. What’s really cool about the whole business of internet is it makes it easier and easier to have your own autonomy. The show has produced over 200 episodes, and spun off into various other side projects. Other businesses can look at The Fighter and The Kid, as inspiration to step into the future of social media.
Throughout history, The Church has been challenged with continuing to share its unchanging, relational message of the love of God in a world that is constantly changing. Many churches are embracing social media as part of society’s undeniable move towards digital communications, in an effort to build relationships and maintain their voice into the future. In his article, Communication In the Church of the Future, Christopher Harris states, “As the church we not only need to be mastering the tools of social media to connect with and communicate with society, we also have to be studying how these transitions in communication will transform how we are community and how we exist as church.” Glebe Road United Church, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with a history dating back to 1851, has found great benefit in utilizing social media not only as part of building relationships through today’s ministry, but also in looking to their future.
The media itself has been the news lately. The Trump campaign has made the press headline news. This conversation is not new. Since ancient Rome when important announcements were carved out on stone tablets and placed in busy squares, the public has measured the quality, delivery and merit of information/content. We are a society obsessed with being “in the loop” and up to date with news that is important to us. This is evidenced by the ubiquitous and near-constant use of electronic devices. I chose The Hamilton Spectator, one of Canada’s oldest newspapers and media outlets, for this week’s case study. I wanted to know how TheSpec.com measures their performance using web and social media metrics.
On the day I read the content of this case study I had a nasty headache. As I reached for my bottle of Tylenol I wondered how does the manufacturing industry use social media and the resulting supply chain management ? Having close relatives in this industry and for confidentiality reasons I decided to look into the manufacturing/vendor side as opposed to discussing a large well-known pharmaceutical company. What I learned at this level of this industry was it has various levels of complexities of graphs, processes and disconnected communications.
If you were using social media for personal or business use in Canada during the summer of 2016, you will have no doubt heard at least something about The Tragically Hip. The favoured Canadian band was touring in what likely would be their last, due to frontman Gord Downie’s onset of brain cancer. Concerts sold out and media of all sorts took note of what was developing into a notable time in our country’s music and lifestyle history. As the final concert came to pass in August – complete with the attendance and interaction of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – an influential social media phenomenon was occurring. Ensight Canada reported, “In addition to multiple trending topics throughout the weekend of the concert, social media posts about The Hip and (Gord) Downie’s First Nations comments generated roughly 20 million potential impressions across Canada over the past week. What’s really telling is that Canada has about 14 million daily Facebook users, so when we look at the impressions generated, we can conclude almost everyone in the country who used the internet or social media came in contact with the story in some way.”
When you ask an old person what their biggest regret in life is, an overwhelming majority lament that they wish they had travelled more in their youth. They often cite a lack of funds, or life’s responsibilities as reason for postponing their plans. Contiki was a company that was created to address this issue. Contiki is a tour company that connects like-minded people, by offering affordable trip packages for ages 18-35. The organization’s slogan is “No Regrets” which shows that they know what note they need to strike with their customers to encourage them to book a trip. Contiki uses social media effectively to encourage their customers to tell their story, and by doing so, market the service to all of their friends. While not the only marketing technique they use, this is one of the many ways Contiki keeps their customers engaged.
Going to the dentist for most of us can be a stressful visit and many patients suffer from anxiety before going to the dentist. At a visit to Gardner Dental Group (Burlington, Ontario) they do their best to make the patient visit a relaxing and enjoyable experience. From the moment you step into their office you are greeted with a friendly smile in a modern environment. You have the choice of three waiting areas; a quiet reading room, a TV room or an arcade room that actually includes retro video games! This made me think …the patients are likely at peace in this setting…but how does the practice maintain the morale and engagement of the employees?
No matter which social media platform I’m on, there it is…. No matter which conversation I join, someone brings it up…. Turn on the news and there is again… Pokémon GO. Pokémon GO is officially the biggest mobile game in the United States, with 21 million active daily users.1 According to Wikipedia it is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company. It was released in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices. The game allows players to capture, train, and battle virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear on device screens as though in the real world. It makes use of the GPS and camera of compatible devices. Although it is free-to-play, the game supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, the Pokémon GO Plus, is planned for future release, and it will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.2
Social media continues to change the way we experience the world, especially the way we shop and interact with brands. What does the future hold for the world of social media shopping? Behold, The Internet of Things. The future of everything is directly tied to the Internet and how fast it connects to people, places, and things. What is the IoT? Well, put simply, it’s the ability of anything to be connected to the Internet such as coffee makers, fridges, a FitBit or products in a store. All you have to do is use your imagination to see what possibilities lay before us. The Internet is completely unfettered now. In the past, you had to be physically wired to a screen in a fixed location to access the net. The advent of mobile technology changed all that, and you can access the internet anywhere, anytime, with an array of devices large and small.
Who remembers ICQ and MSN Messenger? Back in my youth, that was the way friends and family generally stayed in touch virtually. In the early 2000’s things slowly started to change…let’s say for the better! Myspace, Hi5, and Friendster were introduced and it took the world by storm. People were able to generate personal profiles, share photos, music and more with friends and loved ones around the world. Facebook soon followed and eventually took over and blew away its fellow social media competitors and has managed to stay on top! Why? At first, its features were very much like its cousin Myspace. However, Facebook began to grow and develop with the changing times of the social network world and the development of technology. Youtube eventually came along as well. This platform took flight as being one of the first social media sites primarily focused on videos. Finally, people had a place to upload, store, and share videos with friends, family, and the rest of the world. Social Media platforms that are able to consistently stay relevant are those that were able to keep up with the social needs of its users. As accessibility became mobile, the platforms that still exist today are the ones who were able to adapt to that change. Many of us are glued to our mobile phones, so if your platform is not mobile-friendly, or just simply can’t keep up, it may just have a hard time getting off its feet. One great example is Friendster, the social media platform has decided to “take a break” last year in June 2015 as they “rethink their strategic priorities”.
Social media has come a long way since its debut with Friendster in 2002 and MySpace in 2003. Back then, no one could have predicted the exact future of social media, not even the most forward-thinking genius. Or have they? One young entrepreneur might have understood the importance of prediction and automation a while ago…
When someone says the words “social media” often the first thing that comes to mind are sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. While these social networking services are definitely an extremely popular— and important—part of social media, the true definition of encompasses much more than just social networking. “Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information.“ – SocialMediaDefined.com It is undeniable then that as social media continues to grow and adapt, it increasingly presents new opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers. Companies are always looking for new ways to market their products and sometimes the opportunity exists to reach to consumers in a way that puts them in control of the interaction.
Imagine for a moment a world without crimes. Sounds like something right out of the movie ‘Minority Report’ right? This movie starring Tom Cruise looks into the not so distant future 2054 A.D. when crime is virtually eliminated, thanks to an elite law enforcing squad called “Precrime”. They did this using three gifted humans (called “Pre-Cogs”) that have special powers who see into the future and predict crimes before they happen.  Even my favorite show Person of Interest plays into this obsession. For those who haven not seen this show it’s about “The Machine”- a futuristic man made system used to predict violent acts through analyzing various government agency feeds, combined with data collected from various other sources, including video footage, phone calls,GPS, electronic transactions, e-mail, and social media helps its inventor to stop crime before it actually happens. Please take a look. Yes these are fictional representations, however they are not a far stretch of what is actually happening today. Are we really living in a police state where big brother is watching our every move? This blog will highlight some of the technologies used by police forces around the world,, and like it or not they are accessing your social media posts to do so. “Big Brother is Watching You.” ― George Orwell, 1984 Researching this topic I have learnt that countries around the world are adopting technologies and software to further their pursuit to stop crimes before they happen. These proprietary systems are using public data though various social networks and running it through their algorithms to detect possible threats. Recently, there has been a huge wave of organizations predictive software. The new approach to policing is that it has shifted from being good at reacting to crime to becoming better at predicting it. Here are just a few examples of technologies out there that are providing new arsenal for policing around the globe. Honestly, I am not so convinced that these types of artificial intelligence systems can formulate an opinion about a person based on what they post on Facebook, I guess you can draw your own conclusions.
Social Media screening of candidates has become common practice in today’s fast passed recruiting process. Is it ethical, or does this behavior infringe on ones freedom of speech, and how efficient is it really?
At this point, many people are likely using Snapchat just for fun. Business Insider reported in Summer 2015 that nearly half of the app’s users were under the age of 24 years old (while only 19 percent of Twitter users, and 16 percent of Facebook’s are of the same age demographic). That’s huge! So Snapchat possesses a massive chunk of the 18 to 24 year old age group, and while right now, many of those people are using it to share videos of their dogs, clips from the big concert, or shots using the face swap lens…at some point one could see them wanting more.
Everyday there are creative people all over the world working towards building new futuristic inventions and making advances in the world of technology. This week I will be exploring the Future of Social Media and its relation to these new inventions. There are many different directions to go in, when talking about a topic like this, so I will try to give you as much useful content as I can. What do you think of when I say the words the evolution of social media? And more importantly what does the future hold for us with its use? With social platforms at our disposal, company’s are changing the way they conduct business, thus impacting the way society functions. Social Media is being used as a tool to aid in every aspect of the business chain yet one area that still hasn’t made much headway are the CEO’s of today and how they are using Social Media to interact with their customers. I will also share with you some insight about amazing advancements in the digital world and end with a brief discussion on the importance of providing true content when putting out posts.
Through its innovative My Starbucks Idea, the company known for fresh roasted beverages, wholesome food on the go, and the decadent Iced Caramel Macchiato, is looking your way for their next great product idea.
Industry: Social Media Web References: CNET, Fastcompany.com, niagarafallsreview.ca, coldwellbanker.ca, apple.com/ca, fwthinking.com, cavesocial.com There is little doubt that Social Media is the next level in the technology revolution. It has crossed over the point at which it is no longer a fad and has become common place; the new normal. It’s integration into daily life has fundamentally changed society and as it morphs into the next wave,… Read more »