Using the Groundswell to Your Advantage

This blog is a response to chapter 11 of the groundswell textbook called “how connecting with the groundswell transforms your company” for my MARK4474 course.

Sidenote: I finally got my hands on the latest edition of the groundswell textbook! I wish all of my textbooks cost $15! 🙂

Chapter 11 gave a few examples of how companies used the groundswell as a marketing vehicle. One great example is a video called, “Dove Evolution” which became a viral success in 2006. Currently it has over 17 million views on YouTube. Check out the video below!

The video caused a surge of traffic to Dove’s Campaign For Real Beauty website, which is more than double what their 2006 Super Bowl ad drove. The 30-sec Super Bowl ad cost Dove $2.5 million, whereas the cost of uploading the “Dove Evolution” video on YouTube was zero (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pp. 216). This shows the power of the groundswell, and how companies can use it to their advantage!

Another company that comes to mind and shows creativity when using the groundswell is Old Spice. The videos they post to YouTube are hilarious, and their campaigns are interactive. My favorite is when Wolf Dog took over as the new chief director of marketing for Old Spice. They created him to promote Old Spice’s new Wild Collection Cologne. From what I can remember, they conducted interviews with people who applied to be Wolf Dog’s assistant, and people could ask him questions and he’d respond via live chat – the amount of interaction in this digital campaign was unreal. And it was hilarious. You can read more about it here. Unfortunately, all of the YouTube videos regarding Wolf Dog are now set to private.

How can a company prepare for transformation to repeat the success that Dove had? (Or Old Spice?)

  • Start small. Change takes time. Start small, see what works and go from there.
  • Educate your executives. Get executives to use the technology, and maybe start using the tools internally to show the value.
  • Get the right people to run your strategy. Get someone who is passionate or interested in starting a relationship with customers.
  • Get your agency and technology partners in sync. Get them to invest time and resources, so everyone is on the same page.
  • Plan for the next step and for the long term. Nothing much more to say here (Li & Bernoff, 2011, pp. 230).

The company I have been looking at in for my activities/blogs, the Alberta Motor Association, has been dipping their feet into the water that is the groundswell. Here is quick look at what they are doing:

  • Facebook: 19k likes. Post updates on where AMA is at (ex. sponsorship events), reminders, news about Alberta (ex. flood watch) and share blogs.
  • Twitter: 1.2k followers. An account focused on AMA in the community. Tweets reminders about events, car care, etc.
  • Blogs: AMA creates content that is shared via Facebook, and an Newsletter. This content is seasonally relevant, and also shows the value of an AMA membership.
  • YouTube: 175 subscribers. Not much going on here. Just a few commercials posted, and a few other videos. None of them have gone “viral.”

AMA so far has started out small in each area, and has done many things that other companies are already doing. They are listening and responding to people on social media, and writing blogs about content that members may be interested in. In order to excel more in the groundswell, they may need to invest more time and resources to see better results including more likes, shares and interactions with people in the groundswell. I am sure there are many ways AMA can show that they are “practically family” by using the groundswell.



Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press


MMOs are Social Media?

Hello Internet,

As a part of my Social Media Marketing Class (Mark474) at NAIT, I’ll be writing a blog each week! 🙂

This blog is in response to an article called, “Users of the world, unite! The challenges of opportunities of Social Media” by Andreas M. Kaplan and Michael Haenlein.

Something that definitely piqued my interest was the classification of virtual game worlds as social media – I guess it just never occurred to me. Now, I played World of Warcraft (WoW) from Grade 11 to my first year in college (I quit before Mists of Pandaria), and I’ve always thought of massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) as just that – video games!

According to this Wikipedia article:

Social media is the interaction among people in which they create, share or exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks.

So by this definition, MMORGs like WoW are considered social media…?

The picture below is an old one from “back in the day” with a few guild members which I guess could also be called a virtual community. We interacted with one another; we talked, we raided, we helped each other out. BAMMO! That sounds just like the definition! Case closed, MMORPGs are social media.

ImageHowever, I personally think the definition is a bit to broad.

Similarities & Differences:

I can see how a virtual social world like Second Life can be considered social media because that’s what it was meant for – socializing. But MMORPGs are just so much more than socializing – it’s about grinding levels or gear, progressing in game and reaching different achievements. Not to mention, you don’t even have to be social. Some MMORPGs, like World of Warcraft, have a tool that helps you find other people to queue with for dungeons, etc. – no socialization required.

On the other hand, if you want to be social in MMORPGs you can add friends, block people, join a guild, have a conversation… Sounds a bit like Facebook, right? (But the guild would be a “group” instead.)

Both MMORPGs and social media are also similar though, in the sense that people want to do well or achieve something. On Twitter, you want to gain more followers and popularity, on Facebook you want your status updates to get tons of likes and in MMORPGs you want to gain more skill, gear and achievements so you are seen as “better”. Everyone loves getting rewarded, and both social networking websites and MMOs deliver that. Lots of people use social media for “bragging rights”.

Another similarity between MMORPGs and social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter, is that they are very customizable. People want their profile or avatar to reflect who they are in a good light. Whether it’s having an amazing profile picture or having the best looking gear in the game, it’s essentially the same thing. People that use these mediums want to out their best face forward.

One of the main differences that I see between MMORPGs and social networking sites like Facebook and microblogs like Twitter, is that you have companies actively trying to engage you and get your attention. Maybe this is why my brain says, “NO! MMORPGs aren’t social media!” Maybe this is also a huge opportunity that is being missed by companies? … Who knows? Virtual game worlds have a high social presence and media richness, allowing for them to be a powerful medium.

As a gamer, I’m always going to think of MMORPGs as just games, but there are definitely many parallels between them and today’s popular social media platforms. This article on Mashable does a good job of explaining them! 🙂


What did I do this summer?

Hello! Yes, I’m alive. 🙂

Since I haven’t blogged all summer I thought I would do a “master blog” and talk about it all in one post! Get comfy folks, this is going to be a long one…

1. Completed my marketing diploma!

Due to credit transfers and all that jazz, I had to take two courses during the spring semester (May/June) to finish my diploma in marketing! I completed both the Business Law and Management Information Systems courses. Out of the two, I’d have to say Business Law was a lot more interesting and I learned a lot! I received my diploma in the mail with honors – go me! 😀

2. Watched a bunch of movies in theaters.

There were so many good movies out this summer! Me and my boyfriend love going to the movies together, and pigging out on popcorn. Don’t judge! This summer we watched:

–          Iron Man 3

–          Star Trek Into Darkness

–          Man of Steel

–          Great Gatsby

–          The Internship

–          The Heat

–          Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

–          City of Bones

A few movies we wanted to see but didn’t get the chance to include: This Is The End, Kick Ass 2 and Pacific Rim. World War Z would have been cool to see too, but I wanted to read the book first!

Other movies I look forward to include Enders Game, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Thor: The Dark World, The Book Thief, The Hobbit pt. II, Divergent, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spiderman II. Maybe I’ll also see Gravity if I am brave enough…

I absolutely love that all the books I read while I was in Jr./Sr. high have been and are being turned into movies! I also love seeing comic books come to life as well!

Henry Cavill is a hunk!

3. Attended Otafest in Calgary!

Otafest was my first “con” of any kind. It was awesome seeing people dressed up as their favorite video game and anime characters. It also made me really wish I brought my Sailor Venus outfit to cosplay in! Oh well, maybe next year.

There was a bunch of vendors, and so much stuff that I wanted to buy! In the end, I opted for Espeon and Umbreon plushies for my brother and sister as a gift. I only went for one day, so I only saw a few panels. My favorites were “Steampunk 101” and “A Brief History of Video Games”.


Amazing Shana cosplay from Legend of the Dragoon at Otafest!

I really wish I could afford to go to San Diego Comic Con or another huge convention! SOME DAY! For now, I’ll live with just going to The Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo this September.

4. Went camping with the family.

When I visited my family for a bit, we went camping somewhere outside of Bonnyville. They have a nice lot with their trailer and trees surrounding it on top of a hill.

It really isn’t summer, if I don’t go camping. When I lived in my hometown, most of my summer was spent in the outdoors, camping. Nothing beats cooking and eating food outdoors, or eating s’mores around the campfire. Mmmm.

5. Used my taste buds to explore Taste of Edmonton.

It was delicious. From The Three Amigos Authentic Mexican Restaurant, I had a burrito norteno with a side of rice, which was delicious with just the right amount of spice. I was REALLY disappointed that they didn’t have churros as advertised. I really wanted one. The freshly squeezed lemonade from Lemon Heaven was DIVINE. I then continued to spend the rest of my tickets on deserts (mostly). I grabbed a chocolate crêpe from The Creperie and a chocolate lava cake with raspberry sorbet from Hong Kong Bakery. Since I had a few leftover tickets, I also tried their green onion cakes, which were good too. I didn’t eat anything that I didn’t like, so I’d say it was a success going there. 🙂


Chocolate lava cake with raspberry sorbet from Hong Kong Bakery. Trés cute!

6. Had my wisdom teeth removed.

When I went to the dentist last year, they told me in about a year I would need my wisdom’s removed or my teeth would start to crowd. Low and behold, exactly a year later they start to ache. So, I decided to get them out – I didn’t want my front teeth to crowd and they had already begun to a bit.

I have never had surgery before, and was a bit anxious beforehand but overall, it wasn’t terrible. I remember them sticking the needle in my hand and thinking, “I don’t even feel drowsy.” Then, nothing. I was out cold. I don’t even remember waking up, just looking at my hand and them taping a piece of cotton to my hand and walking out asking, “Are you sure you got them all?” with a mouth full of gauze. The first thing I ate was a small chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s. Boy, was it good. Unfortunately, my entire mouth/jaw area being numb made eating it a very tough feat.

Now, fully recovered, I am definitely more appreciative of have a pain-free mouth to eat with. I missed solid food for a good couple of days. Eating real fruit juice freezies just wasn’t as satisfying as I thought they would be.

7. Was a couch potato and played video games.

Me and my boyfriend decided to go back and play some video games we played when we were kids. Since he has only been down on the weekends, we’ve only had time to play a few, including Legend of the Dragoon (PS1), Super Mario RPG (SNES) and Final Fantasy VII (PS1). We have a bunch more lined up, but first we have to finish FFVII.

And of course, I’ve been playing League of Legends all summer. I’ve been so lazy though, and haven’t played any ranked so I’m still in silver division. I won’t delve into that anymore though, haha.

8. Was even more of a couch potato and became addicted to Doctor Who.

Doctor Who ruined my life summer. It’s seriously so GOOD though. Don’t watch it! Seriously though, watch it. I haven’t finished it yet (I would be though, if I didn’t have such horrible amazing self control). I am currently on season 5, while my boyfriend is on season 2. So, when he’s back for good, I’ll have to backtrack so I can watch it with him. This isn’t a bad thing though, because I absolutely ADORE the 10th Doctor (David Tennant). *swoon*

You know you want to! 😉

Overall, I’d say it was a pretty productive summer! … Who am I kidding?!

What has everyone else been up to during the summer? 🙂