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Pepsi Refresh Project

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Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media. This paper contents five items: 1. Evaluate the reasons Social Media Marketing has become exceedingly popular among businesses of all sizes. 2. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Social Media Marketing for business entrepreneurs. 3. Assess how Social Media Marketing is helping Pepsi gain more customer insight than it would have otherwise. 4. Discuss two other businesses that have used Social Media Marketing to their advantage. 5. Speculate what impact Social Media will have business over the next decade and identify what skills you need to improve to take advantage of the changes. (Nix, Gary Jul 18, 2012)

Pepsi Refresh Project
Online and interactive media have already changed the nature of advertising. Starting with simple banner ads, Internet advertising has become much more complex and sophisticated. Miniature television screen images, called widgets or gadgets, can carry marketing messages only a few inches high on a Web site, blog, or desktop display. And they contain embedded links to their home sites. Online advertising can take other forms as well example would be viral advertising, which creates a message that is novel or entertaining enough for consumers to forward it to others, spreading it like a virus. The great advantage is that spreading the word online, which often relies on social networking on sites like MySpace and Facebook, costs the advertiser nothing. While viral marketing can be risky, the best campaigns are edgy and often funny. While other viral campaigns rely on personal word‐of‐mouth promotions, or sometime ordinary consumers are recruited as “brand ambassadors” for pays then that leaves a question about ethics. (Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. Contemporary business) As the cyber world gets bigger social media marketing is become exceedingly popular and who knows what else could be invented because of it.
Social Media Marketing Has Become Exceedingly Popular
As much as social media has moved toward becoming the norm in business, there are still a significant amount of decision makers who dismiss it, question it or don’t know how to take the time to be successful with it. Truth be told, the decision to use social media as part of your integrated marketing program is data driven and based in the concepts of traditional marketing finding the channels used by your target market and using those channels to communicate with them. Social media marketing involves the use of social networks, Consumer’s online brand related activities (COBRAs) and electronic word of mouth (eWOM) to successfully advertise online. Cobras are another method used by advertisers to promote their products. Activities such as uploading a picture of your “new Converse sneakers to Facebook” is an example of a COBRA. Another technique is eWOM an example of eWOM would be an online hotel review; the hotel company can have two possible outcomes based on their service. A good service would result in a positive review which gets the hotel free advertisement via social media; however a poor service will result in a negative consumer review which can potentially ruin the company's reputation. (Nix, Gary Jul 18, 2012)
Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide advertisers with information about the likes and dislikes of their consumers. This technique is crucial, as it provides the businesses with a “target audience”. With social networks, information relevant to the user’s likes is available to businesses; who then advertise accordingly. Of course with everything you do in the world there will be some advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Social Media Marketing For Business
The main advantage of social media marketing is cost-related. The majority of social media sites are free to access, create a profile and post information. The advantage of reaching your targeted market for little or no cash investment is substantial, and the audience wanting your information voluntarily joins or follows you. Pay-per-click advertisements on sites such as Facebook are "geo-targeted" according to specific criteria, to reach the correct audience. The viral nature of social media means that each person who reads your posts has the capability to spread the news farther within his own network, so information can reach a large number of people in a short time. (Milligan, Brian November 1, 2012)
Updating your social media accounts takes time and effort. A senior person with knowledge about the company and products should handle your social media presence, and the cost in time means the media is not completely free. It is ongoing work to find new angles about your products continually and to post and re-post information. The information is only visible for a short time before newer posts replace it. In addition, publishing obvious advertising copy is unacceptable in the social media world, therefore you must present the information in the form of conversation or you will lose followers. (Debono, James June 13, 2012)
Internet and social networking leaks are one of the issues facing traditional advertising. Video and print ads are often leaked to the world via the Internet earlier than they are scheduled to premiere. Social networking sites allow those leaks to go viral, and be seen by many users more quickly. Time difference is also a problem facing traditional advertisers. When social events occur and are broadcast on television, there is often a time delay between airings on the east coast and west coast of the United States. Social networking sites have become a hub of comment and interaction concerning the event. This allows individuals watching the event on the west coast (time-delayed) to know the outcome before it airs. The 2011 Grammy Awards highlighted this problem. Viewers on the west coast learned who won different awards based on comments made on social networking sites by individuals watching live on the east coast. Since viewers knew who won already, many tuned out and ratings were lower. All the advertisement and promotion put into the event was lost because viewers didn’t have a reason to watch. (Milligan, Brian November 1, 2012)
Social media marketing carries several risks. Unless you have someone check your social media accounts several times a day, disgruntled customers or employees can publish negative comments that are not always removable. For example, every post on Twitter is public and you have no control over what people say. Bad news can go viral as easily as good news and can do your business irreparable harm. IT governance group the Information Systems Audit and Control Association released a report in June 2010 ranking viruses and malware, brand hijacking, lack of control over corporate content, unrealistic customer expectations and non-compliance with record management regulations as the top five risks of social media. (Nix, Gary Jul 18, 2012) So what did Pepsi do to make take the advantages of social media?
Helping Pepsi
Pepsi had announced that it would not be advertising in a costly spot during the Super Bowl, and instead posted a video on the Web on the Pepsi Refresh Project. The video quickly went viral (spreading quickly through the process of Internet sharing); with visits to the Refresh Web site soaring an astonishing 800% after the Super Bowl, and staying consistent thereafter. According to Pepsi’s CEO the company is now investing one-third of its marketing budget in social media. For the Pepsi Refresh Project, PepsiCo accepted 1,000 videos each month and posted them online so that visitors to the site could vote for their choice. At the end of each month, they awarded grants of varying amounts to the winning projects. All in all, the company gave away a total of $20 million over the year. Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. Contemporary business)
The Pepsi Refresh Project witnessed its viral growth and visibility increase substantially. There was an increase traffic gain to its website since the week prior to the Super Bowl which then remained steady. Additionally, the number of live Twitter Feeds relating to the Pepsi Refresh Project being streamed across Google grew tremendously in a short time. (Betancourt, Leah. January 28, 2010) Facebook and Twitter have revolutionized Internet marketing. Facebook has roughly 300 million members worldwide and Twitter claims to log 50 million tweets per day. (Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. Contemporary business)
Some may think that Pepsi made a mistake by not the tying the Refresh Project in with a Super Bowl Ad however Pepsi claimed that they have made the right move considering three key measurements: relationships with consumers, social media activity and sales lift. For Pepsi, marketing the project on the web had some advantages and disadvantages: Traffic to the website seemed to drop during the first three weeks of each month, and then spike during the last week in the final round of voting, so announcing winners every month was an advantage. Also, people hoping to win grants set up their own local social media campaigns using Facebook and Twitter, thus generating more publicity for the project. However, as time went on, these contestants and some celebrity contestants became the sources of most of the publicity. (Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. Contemporary business)
Social media marketing campaigns are now providing customer involvement and insight that companies wouldn’t have otherwise had. PepsiCo is going to extensive length to foster this type of collaboration with fans, and so far the payoff has been big. The Pepsi Refresh Project is part of a crowd sourcing effort that’s part of the larger PepsiCo plan to more closely integrate consumers with the brand. Traffic to the website seemed to spike during the first three weeks of each month and then drop during the last week in the final round of voting. During the Pepsi Refresh Project, the number of live Twitter feeds relating to the project being streamed across Google dropped tremendously in a short time. (Betancourt, Leah. January 28, 2010)
Other Businesses That Have Used Social Media Marketing To Their Advantage
Cell phone usage has also become a benefit for social media marketing. Today, many cell phones have social networking capabilities: individuals are notified of any happenings on social networking sites through their cell phones, in real-time. This constant connection to social networking sites means products and companies can constantly remind and update followers about their capabilities, uses, importance, etc. Because cell phones are connected to social networking sites, advertisements are always in sight. Also many companies are now putting codes along with products for individuals to access the company website or online services with their smart-phones. (Roeder, Laura. 2012)
Company’s like Sprint and Boost mobile benefit from it more because they offer plans that has “unlimited everything”. This included Unlimited calls to any mobile phone, unlimited web surfing, Blackberry access, unlimited Direct Connect, unlimited text, picture, and video, and unlimited weekend minutes start at 7pm. Not only is this giving Sprint advantage over AT&T, it also help people stay connect to social media.
Small businesses also use social networking sites as a promotional technique. Businesses can follow individuals social networking site uses in the local area and advertise specials and deals. These can be exclusive and in the form of “get a free drink with a copy of this tweet”. This type of message encourages other locals to follow the business on the sites in order to obtain the promotional deal. In the process, the business is getting seen and promoting itself (brand visibility). Brand Visibility is on the market and there is no reinforcement, it will become stagnant and lose ground. It is important that you continue to build your brand by communicating with the market regularly (i.e. Facebook or Twitter) consistent communication, will ensure that your brand appeals to consumers on an emotional level, and increase their awareness of it. (Mullaney, Tim May 16, 2012) So how will social media help small business over the next decade?
Impact Social Media Will Have Business over the Next Decade
Glad you ask, today’s public relation (PR) is about more than media, it is about impact. Social media provides the tools and tactics to empower PR and prove its value. As PR has grown in importance and companies are making large investments in its value, the expectations of its impact on the organization as a whole have also grown. (Roeder, Laura. 2012) Evaluating each area of your programs to improve your PR programs and gain control over the landscape will help you increase your impact on the organization and provide a greater ROI. Determine where efforts have had the greatest impact and where they are working and use the new channels to help achieve your public relations goals and create a solid PR strategy. (Mullaney, Tim May 16, 2012)

If you aren’t using social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, you are missing an opportunity to find, reach out to (and perhaps retain) existing and new customers. Pepsi has tapped into the social media. Small business owners are adopting the use of social media sites like Facebook, Google and Twitter alongside with mobile technology to give their businesses a boost. Entrepreneurs currently use mobile apps to run their business and are embracing mobile devices to improve productivity, particularly for branding visibility. So as technology increase so does Social Media.


Betancourt, Leah. January 28, 2010. Social Media Marketing: How Pepsi Got It Right.
Barbara, Juliet. November 11, 2012 Is Social Media Bad for Business?
Boone, L. E. & Kurtz, D. L. (2012 Update). Contemporary business (14th Ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons
Debono, James . June 13, 2012. Social Media in Business- Are you being Unsocial?
Milligan, Brian BBC News Are business suing social media to their advantage?
Mullaney, Tim May 16, 2012 USA TODAY. Social media is reinventing how business is done.
Nix, Gary J Jul 18, 2012. 6 Traditional Reasons to Use Social Media in Marketing.
Roeder, Laura. 2012 Roeder Studios, Inc. Social Media Marketing: A Small Business Primer
Sandilands, Tracey. Demand Media. Advantages and disadvantages of Social Media Marketing.
Due Week 8 and worth 190 points
Using the Wiley Plus resources, go to the “The Pepsi Refresh Project: Viral Marketing” example.
Write an eight to ten (8-10) page paper in which you:
1. Evaluate the reasons Social Media Marketing has become exceedingly popular among businesses of all sizes.
2. Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of Social Media Marketing for business entrepreneurs.
3. Assess how Social Media Marketing is helping Pepsi gain more customer insight than it would have otherwise.
4. Research two (2) other businesses that have used Social Media Marketing to their advantage. Discuss how each of these businesses has utilized Social Media Marketing and provide examples with your discussion.
5. Speculate what impact Social Media will have business over the next decade and identify what skills you need to improve to take advantage of the changes.
6. Use at least five (5) quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other Websites do not quality as academic resources.

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