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.
Once upon a time, store flyers were delivered on a weekly basis, house to house, to aware consumers about what sales were going on in store so that they could take advantage. There also was a time, where families would tune into TV stations at a specific time of the day so they could watch their favourite TV shows and commercial ads of various companies to know what new products are in store. With the world developing into the modern era, now comes a day where a well-known company Calvin Klein is says bye-bye to its print ads, and are focusing solely on digital media marketing. Calvin Klein has just announced that they will be focusing on a digital-first media strategy beginning in February 2019.
Letterfolk, is a small husband and wife company that has modernized the retro letterboard. Each hand crafted felt letterboard comes with a full set of characters that people can personalize and showcase on their walls, use for milestones and the list goes on. Early in their business Letterfolk took to social media to help market their products, most notable Instagram. Since their launch in 2015, they currently have 300k followers on Instagram and were recently named 5th on HubSpot’s 17 best brands on Instagram. Letterfolk follows the 80/20 rule of content marketing; using 20% of the content to promote your brand and dedicate 80% to content that interests your audience and engages in conversation. This isn’t necessarily a new strategy when it comes to social media, however, it is one that reinforces the idea that social media should be a dialogue not a platform for aggressive marketing. In a podcast for Tradeshow Camp, Letterfolk owners Johnny and Joanna Galbraith, talk about how very early they wanted their posts to feel like conversations, as if they were “injecting ourselves in an existing conversation happening between friends on Instagram.” Letterfolk excels at Instagram and Instagram proves to be an excellent platform to use for marketing your business. According to Later, Instagram users are more engaged than the average social media user. Not only more engaged but they are also more willing to make online purchases. According to a study, 72% of Instagram users report making a purchase decision after seeing something on Instagram. Embracing Instagram should be part of your marketing strategy. Lets look at other ways Letterfolk is using Instagram to market their products.
Have you ever been part of the “Sandwich Generation”? If you are not sure what this term means, it references being an adult child of aging parents and having your own family. The struggle is trying to make enough time to meet everyone’s needs. Usually, your needs are the only one’s not met and you are exhausted however you lovingly help your parents. Shaz’z Organizing Solutions rescued me in 2006 by helping to downsize the family home in preparation for my Mom to go into assisted living. She was so professional and prepared as items were sorted into categories based on my input. Take a look at the before and after photos. Fast forward to 2018 and it is no longer a one-person operation. They have a great website and work all over the lower mainland of British Columbia. The majority of this success can be attributed to traditional marketing methods such as cold calling real estate agents and moving companies. These resulted into referrals along with referrals from referrals. How does an established business transition fully into utilizing social media marketing?
Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada’s largest independent home improvement retailer. Founded in 1964 and owned by close to 1,100 independent small business owners, the company is found in communities all over the country, and remains 100% Canadian. Home Hardware is working hard to respond to a changing market and demographics. Having ranked first in Canadian Customer Experience, they are committed to helping Canadians with all of their project needs.
How can a 50+ years old family farming business still be relevant in 2018? By evolving at the same pace of its millennial consumers, without alienating its older clientele. Heeman’s Garden Centre & Strawberry Farm is a must for the majority of families in London, Ontario. Everyone here love their strawberries and most people are also know their garden centre, with all the plants, gardening needs and home decor essentials. When Bill and Susan Heeman’s bought the land in 1963, they got working on their strawberries field that was soon growing by 1 acre each year. Now the 3rd generation is working on the farm and on social media: Will Heeman, Chief Daymaker, is running the online presence of Heeman’s quite effectively. The family feel is really present on their social media accounts, but also during any visit to the greenhouse, making the whole experience very authentic for all their customers.
If you were to ask someone if they know what Amazon was chances are you wouldn’t just get a ‘yes’ but they have probably purchased something off the site at some point. Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in many parts of the world and they understand the effect of a solid social media strategy. Not having physical stores and selling everything online via social media platforms, apps and their websites they really are experts at what they do. There are over 310 million active Amazon customer accounts worldwide with 90 million being Amazon Prime accounts spending an avgerage of $1300/year. The other 220 million are spending an average of $700/year. These sales have lead Amazon to an annual net ecommerce of goods totaling $52.8 billion in 2017, that is nearly 4x its closest rival Walmart. So how does a company get this big and achieve such great results all online…social media and good marketing!
About the company: The Kraft Heinz Company is the third-largest food and beverage company in North America and the fifth-largest food and beverage company in the world, with eight $1 billion+ brands. In 2015, the Kraft Heinz Company had 13 different brands with $500 million or more each in annual sales. Kraft has served American families for over 100 years now. This has positioned them in a unique way where the products they offered fits into American lifestyle and the way they raise their families. Kraft Heinz are running a campaign for almost a year now supporting modern families. Family Greatly Kraft’s research showed that 80% of parents today feel pressured to be ‘perfect’ parents whereas 80% of the children would prefer having great parents over the perfect ones. “There’s no one perfect way to family, as long as you’re doing it with love and conviction, we support how you family.” says Anne Field, director of brand building for Kraft. Kraft believes that parents don’t have to be perfect in order to be great therefore they launched a campaign called #FamilyGreatly that emphasizes that there is no wrong or right way to raise a family as long as you do it with conviction and love. Rather than hiring professional artists or reality show families, Kraft decided to get the ‘real American families’ onboard. “When we first identified this insight, we knew it clearly spelled out what we believe as a brand. When we shared it with families, we felt such power in this universal truth. And as mom of two young daughters and a daughter myself, I couldn’t wait to share this message.” Anne Field, Director of Brand Building for Kraft Kraft, as a part of its communications campaign, invites families to engage with #FamilyGreatly on social media, sharing the realities, joys and challenges of family life on @KraftBrand Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. In order to set the ball rolling, Kraft got its employees to kick start the conversation on behalf of the brand. Audience and participants will hear from these Kraft parent employees about their own genuine and heartfelt experiences.
Social media marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes in reaching prospects and new customers. No matter who you are, or what industry you’re in, your customers are already interacting with brands through social media. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business by creating devoted brand advocates and driving leads and sales. Bottom line: if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’re missing out!
In today’s current social media climate, older companies sometimes struggle to maintain their relevance if they are not quick to develop and sustain an effective social media marketing strategy. A product like LaCroix, with its 37 year history, proves that old brands can emerge like “brand new” again, through the proper implementation of social media marketing. LaCroix is a brand of natural sparkling water offered in a variety of fruity flavours. Despite its French sounding name, LaCroix is actually an American brand distributed by the Sundance beverage company. Although the label was developed and released nearly 40 years ago in 1981, LaCroix is often mistaken as a new, trend-setting beverage due to its ever increasingly popularity with millennials. However, this affinity between the younger generations and LaCroix did not just happen overnight, nor was it a coincidence. In fact, LaCroix came up with a very specific social media strategy in order to win over its now prominent millennial consumers.
Shop B, formerly Blush, is an independent women’s fashion boutique on Quebec Street in downtown Guelph, ON. The shop opened in 2004 and has grown into a leader of fashion boutiques in the area. Michele Lee, the owner and creator of Shop B, grew the shop based on her love of fashion, design, and creativity. She has a history in merchandising, which is made immediately evident in the beauty her shop exudes, both in person and in its online presence.
Jennifer Lopez has been a fashion icon for many generations. Her unique style has been consistently used as a “must have” from casual days to re carpets. She decided to finally create her own line to enable all women to have the “jlo glow” look. “We could not have asked for a better partner than Jennifer. She is a true beauty visionary,” says Grzegorz Inglot, Vice President of US Operations for Inglot. “In addition to having great style, Jennifer is also quite a beauty expert herself. After years of working with the best in the business, she has unique insight into what women want as well as which products are necessary to create that beautiful glow that she made famous.” The most impressive part is that Jennifer has partnered to sell her line entirely online with Inglot. she has been so brilliant in her ability to connect with all her fans and to use her fame to reach a massive base of potential customers.
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)”.