Marketing and Social Media

Social Media has dramatically changed the marketing world. Organizations that are not actively including social media in their marketing plans are now rare — there is widespread recognition that it is now necessary for all. However, the benefits of social media marketing have been elusive for some organizations — while they have expended time and resources, they haven’t seen the results. In addition, increasingly-vast data sets are being accumulated for organizations to use and this raises many possibilities and questions.

These case studies provide examples of imaginative usage of social media in organizational marketing activity. Reviewing them will help you think about your own effective use of social media.

There is a quirky phenomenon in Norwegian culture. Every year, two million sheep are released to explore  the beautiful landscapes of the Norwegian wilderness, exercising their “right to roam,” or “allemannsretten.” The Visit Norway campaign follows the adventures of four of them. Kari, The Surfer Girl, Lars, The Foodie, Erik “Mr. Chilled” and Frida The Adventurer. Their stated mission: “To help protect the cultural landscape of Norway.”

Social media marketing, or SMM, is a form of internet marketing that involves creating and sharing content on social media networks in order to achieve your marketing and branding goals. Social media marketing includes activities like posting text and image updates, videos, and other content that drives audience engagement, as well as paid social media advertising. Social media marketing is a powerful way for businesses of all sizes to reach prospects and customers. Customers are already interacting with brands through social media, and if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you’re missing out! Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business, work towards creating devoted brand advocates and even driving up leads and sale.

DoTERRA is a company that is known for selling essential oils and other related products. The company was founded in 2008 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, United States. The name doTERRA comes from a Latin derivative meaning “Gift of the Earth”. DoTERRA is a multi-level marketing company that involves direct marketing and referrals. Multi-level marketing is directed at individuals to sell and promote the brand instead of the company only using mass marketing. These individuals are called “Wellness Advocates” that work for doTERRA and usually use the products as any other customer.

MoonPie, the chocolate marshmallow treat that has been satisfying Americans for over 100 years has seen a shocking renaissance as of late. Never known as a particularly hip brand, the snack cake manufacturer has been a well-known property — particularly in the Southern United States — but has never particularly ubiquitous in the way that other snack cake, like Twinkies, have been. After a century of inoffensive marketing, the company decided to hand over the reins of their social media properties The Tombras Group, who in turn decided that the best marketing strategy for the company was to take on a new edgy tone that was more conversational and fun. It turns out, the strategy was exactly the right one.

Is social media marketing a good fit for promoting your business? Do you understand and know the benefits of being able to market your business through the use of social media marketing? A few weeks ago I spoke about the Stratford Festival on how they engaged with their customers and how they reach out through their social media. For this blog post, I’m going to stay with the theatre but on a much smaller spectrum. The Livery is a small, non-profit community theatre in Goderich, Ontario. It is operated by a Board of Directors and has one staff member. The Livery was built in 1840’s as a harness shop by Samuel Seegmuller. In 1878, there were three businesses in the building, which included a harness shop, a stable and a stone shop. When automobiles were introduced, the three businesses failed to be stainable and the Livery was left vacant for many years. In 1978 the building was being slated for demolition, but the Town of Goderich realized its historical importance and delayed the demolition schedule until private citizens could raise enough money to purchase the building. The Livery was purchased by the citizens and was known as the Goderich Arts Foundation. Many years later, in 1983, a non-profit organization called the Goderich Little Theatre purchased the theatre and opened the Livery as a community arts centre.

Staying in business for many years is not an easy task, especially for a small business. One has to constantly adjust, change, compromise and be ready for the unexpected, while doing clever advertising and marketing. A small business has to be extremely careful with its financial resources, as one wrong decision might jeopardize your entire existence. Glenn Pattison, owner of Clean-State Painting has managed to stay in business for almost three decades. He went through a number of metamorphosis during those years. The company started off with carpet cleaning, moved then to house painting and is now specializing in kitchen cabinet painting. For the last three years he has had a workshop in Waterloo, Ontario, while before he was just working out of his garage. “There was no need for a workshop, we mostly drove to people’s homes and worked there. I just needed a storage place for my equipment.”, he says. But since the business switched to kitchen cabinet painting, he needed actual work space. He still drives to people homes, but the kitchen doors and drawers get spruced up in the shop.

Josee Huard is the creator of Northern Smittens, a growing business that was started from a homemade pair of mittens as a Christmas gift for a friend. Located in North Bay, Ontario Northern Smittens just celebrated its 5th year. Northern Smittens are mittens handcrafted from recycled wool and cashmere sweaters sourced from thrift stores across Canada.  

It’s clear that social media’s impact on any business is critical to its success. Gone are the days when corporations and companies, both big and small, could successfully operate without a LinkedIn profile or Facebook account. Now, having no social media presence can be detrimental to a business’s lead generation tactics, customer service and brand awareness.

Nostalgia is alive and well among the fashion industry. Consumers who are longing for styles of past generation are influencing organizations to bring back products from the 50s and 60s. In a recent nostalgia-driven feud, Adidas and Nike both brought back retro offerings, Adidas with their Superstar and Nike with their Cortez shoe. Both were wildly popular shoes of the past, yet only one of the two successfully made a comeback. Why did the Superstar win the retro battle and the Cortez fall flat? Adidas understands how to use social media to influence shoe-culture.

Private and corporate business models have not ignored the wave of the future of marketing: social media. In theory, it is an ideal, magical marketing tool best used for garnering interest, building followers and customers, and monitoring the successes and failures of digital campaigns via an alarming amount of data. These functions continue to make social media central to the contemporary corporate marketing team. But what about the small business, the entrepreneur, or the industry of community services, charity, or social enterprise, where a multi-person marketing team is not in the cards? How might social media as a marketing tool aid a non-profit organization in reaching goals, building donors, and creating buzz with (sometimes) less resources? For the marketing team at Toronto’s Furniture Bank, social media is a key, cost-efficient, and effective tool in the promotion of the organization and meeting its ongoing goals of building brand awareness, growing donors, and strengthening relationships with its sponsors.  (Below: A video giving a glimpse into Furniture Bank‘s daily operations, with a personal touch. The organization has used visual platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram in recent years to up its online content game, and give a more defined face to the brand, and how the Furniture Bank “machine” works.)

Marketing is filled with many tools, concepts and strategies. Although traditional marketing works, it’s no surprise that Social Media has become a dominant force in marketing, with over an estimated 2.3 billion active users in the world. Social media marketing is essential for any organization. What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing makes use of social media sites to raise visibility on the Internet and to promote products and services. These sites are useful for building social (and business) networks, for exchanging ideas, and knowledge and to reach a larger or targeted audience. Through branding, company engagement, consumer feedback and more, social media has completely altered the way businesses think about marketing. But what happens when your business is social media? Does that change your marketing plan? How can a social company thrive in the vast online marketplace? I personally used to think of Instagram as a mindless channel. With endless scrolling images of rock-hard abs, and 16-year-olds who have more successful businesses than anyone I have ever met. Yet even in this depiction, audiences of all ages and backgrounds are spending the majority of their time on Instagram, and savvy marketers are using this to their advantage. – What started as a hobby, turned into a career – @beautifuldestinations – an Instagram page that filled the void by tapping the online community to come up with the most beautiful collections of landscapes, cities, seascapes and attractions around the world, aiming to inspire people to get out there and see it for themselves. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jeremy Jauncey – Initially, the account started as a passion project, but little did he know the Instagram page he started had gained millions of followers. A renowned hotel reached out to collaborate, in the hopes of increasing its own social media following.

On the screen, the toddler offers the bit of food in his hand to some grazing sheep. “Num … num,” he insists. The sheep, unimpressed, bleat in the background. This slice of rural life, captured in a Twitter post, was part of a radically new marketing approach for equipment manufacturer John Deere. Founded in 1837, the company is known for its big machines, from tractors and combines to bulldozers and backhoes. But through its work with Quarry, the award-winning St. Jacobs-based advertising agency, John Deere Canada discovered an underserved market for its smaller equipment and used digital media to reach them in meaningful ways.

Ray Beaudry is a Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Nurse, and an avid social media user. By day, he works as a nurse and in his spare time, he teaches yoga. Social media is more than just a regular part of Ray’s life. Social media plays an integral role in what he does. He relies on the social media platform Instagram to market himself for his work as a yoga instructor. Ray has built a local, national and international group of followers alike on social media.

Glossier originally started off as a beauty blog in 2010 by Emily Weiss called “Into the Gloss”. The blog was drawing a huge audience and created a wonderful beauty community that was generally interested in what Weiss was discussing. The launch of this community became the perfect platform for the brand launch of Glossier. The company is currently only available online which allows the brand to only focus on digital and social channels. “This online following would then rave about her products either through their own blogs, or post photos on Instagram to their own followers. This was a perfect example of word of mouth beauty marketing in action on social media (Chong, N. (2017, June)”.

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is an American retailer that focuses on upscale casual wear for young consumers, its headquarters are in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The company operates two other offshoot brands: Abercrombie Kids & Hollister Co.  The company operates 1,049 stores across all four brands. (Wikipedia, 2017) Once known for its sexy ad campaigns, the company has toned down its imagery and no longer displays nearly nude models in their advertisements. According to Chairman Arthur Martinez, Abercrombie and Fitch is now targeting an older consumer, from ages 18–25. These changes provide the hopes that the audience will see the company is evolving along with its consumers, and boost sales. (Wikipedia, 2017) The field of digital content marketing is maturing, and companies need to make sure that their content campaigns and strategies are keeping up (James, 2017) and being published on time. Gone are the days of free publishing tools, paid third party platforms are paving the path for content publishing. Spredfast can assist many companies including Fortune 500 companies succeed with publishing their content, listening and responding. Thus making social media marketing, real, more human like receiving more engagement and having ads that stand out. Spredfast is a U.S.-based social marketing software company that provides community management, content management, social care, and social analytics tools to brands and agencies. Spredfast was able to assist with Abercrombie & Fitch with publishing and finding those crutial conversations online, and knowing exacting when to take a stab at a conversation, and know when to monitor it, chime in and provide customer support.  

Mushrooms Canada is a non-profit organization that represents its membership which include mushroom growers, processors and other allied industries. Mushrooms Canada works to advocate for food safety, good nutrition, and the proper care of Canadian mushrooms. (MushroomsCanada.ca, 2017) They do this through various methods that include attending trade shows such as the Gourmet Food & Wine Show in Toronto. They also maintain a strong presence on social media where they work to promote mushrooms to consumers.

It’s the season of giving. And with more than 85,000 registered charities in Canada, the competition for your discretionary dollar is heating up. For traditional non-profits like the United Way, dealing with dwindling donation dollars is compounded by the rise of online, crowd-sourced and increasinlgy niche charitable initiatives. How does one of Canada’s largest and oldest charities break through the clutter, especially during the prime giving season, to successfully engage local, distracted and digitally savvy donors? While bricks-and-motar organizations like the United Way certainly have their work cut out, the increasing use of social media and the resulting metrics are helping organizations focus their marketing efforts to maximize awareness, engagement and, ultimately, donations.

Search Engine Land defines social media marketing as referring “to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites”. Marketing has changed dramatically as marketing strategies now incorporate social media platforms to help with marketing plans. In an article titled “Social Media marketing for Businesses” from WordStream, a plan is emphasized as the first step in creating a Social Media Marketing strategy. Asking questions such as: what are you hoping to achieve, who is your audience, what message are you trying to send and what are the best social media tools should be the first place to begin. WordStream also focuses on choosing the best social media platforms for your organization and the article offers suggestions for many platforms, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and Location Based Media such as Yelp.

FIFA’s use of Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in the Marketing process and campaigns is very bold, organized methodical and innovative for a non-for-profit association. FIFA is a non-commercial, not-for-profit association that uses significant funds in developing the game of football/soccer around the world, organizing its own international competitions and drawing up regulations for association football/soccer. This legal status as a not-for-profit association has helped FIFA to develop into a multibillion dollar company. The current partners of FIFA listed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM are Adidas, Coca Cola, Hyundai, KIA, Qatar Airways, Wanda group, Gazprom and Visa. The current FIFA sponsors are Budweiser, Hisense, McDonalds, Vivo, HANDSHAKE FOR PEACE, FIFA FOOTBALL FOR HOPE, and FIFA.com. If you are interested in applying to be a sponsor for the next FIFA World CupTM in 2022, please click on the following link that will lead you to FIFA’s sales department email address. Become a sponsor email address (sales@fifa.org) The above listed companies dominate advertising boards, receive free tickets and have the privilege of inviting guests at special rates and have rights to use the World Cup Logo exclusively. FIFA is effectively using Digital Marketing to advertise and sell tickets for the future World Cup events, such as 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM. FIFA fans can apply for 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM tickets using the following link apply for tickets. Soccer fans can also check prices in US dollars by clicking check prices. Benefits to Partners FIFA’s Marketing platform reaches millions of people in over 200 countries worldwide this is done through the support of commercial affiliates providing vital services and product support for the entire event’s operations. The standard rights package includes: Use of Official Marks Exposure in and around stadiums, in all Official FIFA publications and on official website, http://www.fifa.com Acknowledge of sponsor support through an extensive FIFA World Cup sponsor recognition program Ambush Marketing protection Hospitality opportunities Advertising/promotional opportunities and preferential access to FIFA World Cup™ broadcast advertising Partners can also tailor their sponsorship according to their Marketing strategies and needs. They can individually use the official logo and create composite logos allowing them to be creative in their Marketing strategies. In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all free platforms in which business’ can promote themselves and engage with your audiences. Especially if your audiences is part of the millennials. Poo~Pourri, the brand that has designed a spray to eliminate odor while doing your business, and aims to target woman mid 20s to late 50’s and has managed create buzz with thier hilirous videos and get  heads turning with  its first ever social media marketing campaign “Girls Don’t Poop”. Poo_Pourri knows they’re target audience is a large portion of the millennial generation those born  between the early 80s and early 2000s, Millennials live life online. Also known as Generation Y or Generation Me, this is a group that has become defined by the digital world and has prompted the huge cultural shift towards capturing every moment on camera phones. Poo-Pourri social media objectives where ; Create Media Buzz Gain Users Trust Build Brand Loyalty

In this day and age, most people are glued to their mobile device and information gets thrown at us from left, right and centre. So when a brand is competing for attention, especially through social media, they need to be eye-catching, useful and trustworthy – and maybe a bit humorous.

Traditional marketing isn’t what it used to be.  Most people are no longer as susceptible to, or trusting of what they’re being sold.  According to a recent study, 84% of Millenials do not trust or like traditional advertising.  Yet, everywhere you look, almost any and every little available space tends to be plastered with an advertisement of some kind.   So how do you break through this resistance and connect with your target market in an authentic and lasting way?  Ipsy has found a way. Ipsy is a personalized makeup subscription service available online that sends users monthly bags filled with different and personalized cosmetic products.  Here’s more about what it is and how it started: “Michelle Phan has inspired countless women around the world through her beauty video tutorials on YouTube. Every day, the question Michelle gets asked the most is: “What are the right products for me?”  With infinite beauty product combinations in the marketplace, choosing the best items for your needs can be a challenge! That was why Michelle created ipsy. Michelle and her team of stylists have selected products they love, for you to try.  Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using.” 

I am one of those people who is fascinated by branding and marketing. Who brands are, why they are who they are, how they share and connect with their targeted audiences… why did that ad campaign work? How did that company figure to target that audience in that way? And of course, why is some marketing such a failure? In my love for branding and marketing mixed with my passion for social media, I came across Gary Vaynerchuk years ago (if you don’t know him, Gary is “…one of the most sought after public speakers alive today. He is a venture capitalist, 4-time New York Times bestselling author, and an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber. Gary has been named to bothCrain’s and Fortune’s 40 Under 40 lists.” (GaryVaynerchuk.com, 2017)) I follow Gary on social media, and was excited to see he was part of a series Apple is releasing on iTunes, Planet of the Apps. This show “…a sort of hybrid of The Voice and Shark Tank lets app developers make their pitch to four potential celeb mentors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Will.i.am who then help coach their mentees through developing their pitches and courting venture capitalists for investments.” (Howard, 2017) One of the most successful pitches on Planet of the Apps was Dote. Dote dons itself a mobile mall in your pocket (Dote, 2017). “The app curates products from over 130 stores, including Sephora, Forever21, and Urban Outfitters, in one place. All you need to do is enter your credit card once, and you can buy a product with a single tap, without wasting time shopping on individual store websites.” (Buxton, 2017) Dote also landed a 5 million dollar investment from VC’s from a pitch on Planet of the Apps, “one of the largest ever doled out on a TV series.” (Vogue, 2017)

Nowadays social media marketing has become incredibly important for businesses all sizes. One reason behind marketers’ attention to social media is technology: new platforms, networks and apps. Another reason are people, who use social media to create, publish and share content. The same people are consumers, who share their thoughts about their experiences and are looking for new ones. So what does the future hold for the world of social media?

Over the last few years Social Media has changed not only the world, but also the world of marketing.  The benefits that social media provides business owners include: Increase brand Awareness, Legitimizing their Brand, Increasing sales, Improve Customer Service and Distributing Content to engage customers  The following video explains some of these as well as includes additional benefits.