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.

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.

Modern Marketing has been a staple of doing business since the second world war. As social media has evolved, businesses have had to evolve with it to better market themselves. But what if your business is social media? Does that change your marketing plan? How can a social company thrive in the vast online marketplace? Maz Dela Cerna hails from Brisbane, Australia and is the founder of thefitnessfreedomflow.com. She is a blogger, vlogger, social media expert, and the face of her brand. She has created a social following through her personal progress in weight loss, health, travel and lifestyle. Maz has turned a passion for health and wellbeing, along with her passion for travel, into a successful online brand. She writes from the heart and puts her experiences out there with a genuine interest in helping others. It is obvious in her communications with her followers and her ever growing online presence.

Budget Marine is the Caribbean’s leading marine chandlery with retail locations throughout the Caribbean.  Budget Marine embraced the use of Facebook early on, and continues to use it to advantage today. Currently, Budget Marine uses FaceBook, Instagram and Youtube to connect with customers.  These platforms are backed by the company’s website and augmented with newsletters and sales promotions sent directly to customers via email. According to Nicole Corvellec, Budget Marine’s Marketing Manager, “Not only is using Facebook much cheaper than individual local ads but it’s also more effective as we don’t need to look at what they read [i.e. print media] and which publication would get the majority of readers – it goes directly to their phone. On the facebook page you will also see “offers” which enables us to put all the offers from all the locations in one spot so people can easily see what the specials are.”

One might say “marketing is primarily a creative thinking position”, I would have to agree, marketing is filled with many tools, concepts and strategies, but generating ideas and creating content is mainly the foundation to great marketing. To some, marketing is complex and difficult. To others, marketing is exciting and comes naturally. Marketing is a whole different world for many people, and is composed of a large list of diverse strategies that continue to grow with the assistance of technology. Social media marketing has become a hot topic and tool in the business world, it is known as one of the most used forms of marketing today. Social media marketing is not relatively new, but for some organizations they are just recently experimenting and utilizing it now. With over an estimated 2.3 billion active social media users in the world, it is becoming clearer that social media marketing is essential for any organization.

Over the past few weeks, I have shared how start-up Flashstock has benefitted from social media to stay engaged with customers, employees, and even improve product development and operations which all contribute to driving business performance across the company. Our marketing team has focused its efforts on using social media as it’s the main platform because of the relative ease of use, low cost, and data-rich insight. Start-ups find social media marketing really efficient. At the beginning, most brands are looking to just create community and brand awareness. With existing networks built into Facebook and Instagram, for example, and almost 2.5 billion active monthly users combined, gives marketers unprecedented access to consumers and data. The platforms are free to join and provide simple to use interfaces that don’t take as much effort as a website to manage. With all of these active users, marketers also get great access to data that tells them everything they need about their target audience.    

Airlines are leading brands in their own right on social media. They work really hard to develop high quality campaigns and a strong presence on social media, and it results in excellent outcomes. Airlines have performed particularly well in the latest Travel Social Media Benchmark results and dominate the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram league tables, helped, in part, by their global customer base. However, brands are also benefiting from a rising interest in the aviation industry and capitalize on this growing trend with behind-the-scenes content and information – from aircraft unveiling to flight schedules and trackers. Growing international airline Emirates is one of the travel industry’s fastest growing social media brands in the world serving thousands of passengers every day, according to the latest Travel Social Media Benchmark results from talkwalker analytics.  

Markets are conversations. Trade routes pave the storylines. Across the millennia in between, the human voice is the music we have always listened for, and still best understand. — The Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999 In 2014, Sephora, a world leader in beauty retail, joined the 6 percent of brands on SnapChat, blasting their followers with special deals on new beauty products. In 2015, the beauty powerhouse teamed up with women’s lifestyle publisher, POPSUGAR, to do what no makeup brand had done before: attach a mobile shopping function to customers viewing fleeting photos in Emoticode, an app similar to Snapchat. On June 6, 2016, Sephora was the big winner for small-screen commerce on mobile devices at the Internet Retailer Excellence Awards, dubbed “Digital Innovation”. In M. Penn’s University of Waterloo SMBP case study, Sephora – A Pretty Digital Face,  the author explained the essence of digital innovation behind Sephora’s award: how smartphones and tablets contributed half of Sephora’s digital traffic, and how Sephora was one of the first to launch Apple’s expedited mobile checkout platform, Apple Pay, as a payment option in Sephora’s apps and in-store. For years, the retailer had tested beacons, small sensors that track consumers’ smartphones and send personalized messages in its stores A year later, on June 6, 2017, Sephora’s Senior VP of Digital Marketing, Mary Beth Laughton, gave the keynote address at the same Internet Retailer Excellence Awards. Laughton offered insights as to how Sephora, by partnering first with Kik Messenger in Spring 2016, and then Facebook Messenger six months later, introduced its chatbot messaging apps to leverage the power of smartphone mobile by delivering an immersive retail experience that goes beyond mobile commerce and empowers shoppers to learn, be inspired and play through the power of chat. Why the move to chatbots? According to Brian Honigman, a content marketing consultant and the CEO of Honigman Media, a consultancy focused on helping marketers and entrepreneurs see results with content marketing and social media, chatbot apps are mobile’s sleeping giant because they also embrace the power of platforms. That is why the original iPhone succeeded. It was not based on product alone but also leveraged the power of the app-store ecosystem. Messaging apps provide the perfect ecosystem for the next generation of applications. It only makes sense that a chatbot, whose ancestor was exclusively used for communication, and which was dubbed by Steve Jobs in the iPhone keynote as an “internet communicator,” would… Read more »

The way television works have changed drastically over the past years, starting from cutting cords to video on demand which lacks commercial interruption, fundamentally shifting how we watch our favourite shows. However, one of the biggest changes that happened in the past few years has been binge-watching of shows and movies. A few years ago, “Bing-watching” wasn’t a thing but now it has become a way of life and marathon watching has become a nationwide obsession. One particular company that hones in on such a movement is Netflix. Founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph on August 29th, 1997, in Scotts Valley California, Netflix became an American entertainment company that specialised in providing streaming media and video-on-demand online and DVD by mail. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production, as well as online distribution.

Marketing is the study and management of exchange relationships.[1][2] The American Marketing Association has defined marketing as “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.” Marketing is used to create, keep and satisfy the customer. As such, all commercial enterprises generally employ specific marketing strategies to assist in the management and growth of their business activities. There are numerous marketing orientations for a given organization to follow, focus upon the product, or the sales, or look to customer demand as the catalyst for any strategy. Marketing itself may become a driver for the whole enterprise itself, or an ancillary component to the business. How has social media (SM) affected the “Mad Men” world of marketing practices? What are the benefits an organization can achieve through social media marketing? We are studying the Deluxe Entertainment organization which provides “Services allied to motion pictures”.  Its mandate is transform creative content for fulfillment to delivery endpoints. This descriptor doesn’t sound very sexy here, but the Deluxe motion picture service to Hollywood, Netflix and other broadcasters, and every conceivable high end creative organization and individual film maker is actually very exciting. Deluxe seems a good place to examine SM because Deluxe is very much immersed in the SM process. Content is defined as  “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.” Is Deluxe creating and sharing online content that is valuable to its potential customers and so building continuing product reputation or is Deluxe simply promoting their service? Progressive SM theory proposes that good social media content is shared by others and contributes to a continuing social media conversation. The best content stimulates discussion that enables people who are interested in you to see what others think about you and how you respond to them. Good content marketing isn’t just about creating content — it is also about using the content to create customer and stakeholder engagement. Here is the company profile. The Deluxe company SM profile   describes Deluxe Entertainment Services Group Inc. as a global leader in digital services and technology solutions for content creation and delivery. There has been a long relationship with Hollywood studios, independent filmmakers, TV networks, online content producers, brands,… Read more »

Brands becoming more Digital Consumer packaged goods companies have started to spend more for digital and social media to better meet changing needs of their consumers who are increasingly looking for education and inspiration on-line. Digital and social media helps companies to craft a more personalized and better targeted message to their consumers and, as such, often achieve higher ROI vs. traditional TV media based on one-size-fits-all approach. Parmalat Canada views Social Media marketing as an essential tool in brand building and promotional plans for its flagship brands President, Galbani, Black Diamond, Balderson and Astro. These brands have on-going digital presence at major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. The company seems to having embraced Social Media practices that require more message customization, more personal approach to consumers and faster response time vs. some traditional marketing media like TV and print.

According to the Instant Pot website, this “intelligent multi-cooker, [is] capable of completely replacing [a] pressure cooker, slow cooker, rice cooker/porridge maker, sauté/browning pan, steamer, yogurt maker and stockpot warmer.” Currently one of Amazon’s best selling items, Instant Pot has a huge online fan base. With an official community site on Facebook boasting more than 434K members and a number of satellite communities (e.g. Instant Pot Recipes with 122K members and Instant Pot Cooks with 60K members), the Instant Pot is an internet sensation. That said, it may be surprising to find out that Instant Pot is not a brand new product . According to Grace Hwang Lynch in her article Not Just a Crock: The Viral Word-Of-Mouth Success of Instant Pot,  the electric pressure cooker “has been around since 2010, but really became the buzz during the last six months of 2016.” Let’s take a look at the clever social media strategy that created all that buzz.

Victoria’s Secret is a brand known around the world for it’s glamours images of it’s elusive Angels creating a goal that many aspire to.  In the fast paced world of today the excitement of receiving their catalogue in the mail has been replaced by a few easy clicks to  order a little piece of the magic.  Though this provides quick and easy access to the customer,  the company has been faced with the question of how to reinvent that same excitement in today’s world?  Enter social media.    

As one filters through the literature on social media marketing, it becomes glaringly obvious that the rift between digital and traditional marketing has undergone some reverse tectonic movement. No one in any respectable marketing position will make the faux pas of comparing Facebook ads with print ads (unless they intend to elicit judgmental stares). Digital marketing in all its strategic glory is here to stay for the overnight cross continental long-haul.

Synchronized swimming is a relatively small sport when comparing it to sports like hockey, soccer, speed swimming, and gymnastics.  Synchro’s numbers in Ontario, in Canada and in the world are a mere fraction of those of the larger, more popular sports.  So how does a small club, in such a small sport get noticed? For the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club, located in Elmira, Ontario, the answer came to them this past summer.  While most club’s take a break from everything for a few months in the summer, the Waterloo Synchro Club aimed to increase the club’s profile not only in the Waterloo Region, but across all 7 continents. Erika Lindner, president of the local club, noted that at the beginning of summer 2016 “our follower numbers on Instagram and Facebook were low, and limited to current and past swimmers and their families”.  In the pool, the local club is top dog, having earned the Provincial title of top club in the Province for 7 of the last 10 years.  “We’ve always been trend setters and now that our club was on social media we wanted to set ourselves apart from others in this arena too”.

If you’re like me, it’s hard to scroll through your Facebook feed without having a video from Tasty pop up. Launched in December of 2015, this Buzzfeed-owned online food channel is garnering attention from across demographics. Tasty’s videos demonstrate how easy it can be to create mouthwatering food.  Through simple marketing, Tasty has managed to attract consumer interest by creating a winning formula of customer engagement. Tasty has capitalized on the fact that people are looking to be able to make delicious food without having to watch a long step-by-step video, or follow a deeply detailed recipe. By promoting trendy videos across multiple social media channels, Tasty has managed to ingrain itself into social media culture across the globe.

Patagonia is a hugely succesful company that grew out of humble beginnings. It all started when 14 year old Yvon Chouinard developed a love for the sport of climbing, as a member of the Southern California Falconry Club. As Chouinard became more involved in the sport, he soon realized that the only pitons available for climbing were made of soft iron and were placed in the rock once and left there. He found that this was not ideal. Chouinard then met John Salathé, a Swiss climber who made his own hard iron pitons. Chouinard thought that if John Salathé could do it, so could he! In 1957 Chouinard bought a coal-fired forge, an anvil, tongs and hammers and taught himself how to blacksmith. Chouinard made chrome-molybdenum steel pitons and before he knew it, he was in business. He could forge two pitons an hour, and sold them for $1.50 each. Over the years, this company grew to officially become Patagonia in 1973; a company that’s roots remain in alpinism but have expanded to include clothes for climbing, skiing, snowboarding, surfing, fly fishing, paddling and trail running. Patagonia focuses on these silent sports, where “the reward comes in the form of hard-won grace and moments of connection between us and nature.”

Social media networks connect people across the world in real time.  Sharing has now become second nature.  This new paradigm has many businesses spinning.  With the objective of building brand awareness and enhancing business growth, businesses embark on many different social media strategies. With the help of data analytics, businesses can determine which of the strategies are most successful in meeting their objectives.  The world of social media is continuously evolving.  It is becoming more and more difficult  to remember a time when the world wasn’t sharing. As a powerful tool utilized by businesses to market their business and generate sales.  Some of the key benefits include: Heightened brand awareness Increases in sales generated by successfully targeting existing and potential customers Heightened communication with customers leads to improved customer service Heightened customer engagement opportunities Social media has had a strong impact on the photography industry.   Some may argue that the impact has been negative as the high usage of photography apps with various filters has diminished the value of quality photography. On a positive note, social media has also provided photographers with an opportunity to share their photographs with the world and to establish a fan base using affordable marketing tactics.  Instagram has become one of the most powerful tools used by photographers. The social media platform gives photographers across the world an opportunity to have their work viewed by thousands, if not millions of people and fellow photographers.  Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest have become vehicles for photographers to share their works with their peer group and inspire possibilities for marketing collaborations. Another popular social media tool used by photographers to market their businesses is Youtube.  Youtube photo galleries and Youtube Channels are developed with the objective of showcasing photographic prowess and providing tutorials with valuable photography tips.  The channels provide photographers with an opportunity to build brand awareness, develop a fan base in addition to giving their followers an opportunity to share the posts and contribute  comments.

It’s happened more than I’d like to admit. I’m scrolling through my Facebook feed when suddenly I find myself making a mental list of the improvements I’d need to make to my home in order to sell it quickly and purchase one of the new listings Adam DeGroote has posted to his real estate page. I’m not even looking to buy but the beautiful photos and creative headlines always seem to draw me in. The Brantford and Brand County Real Estate agent has been using social media for years to help showcase his listings and grow his business. “That’s where people’s eyes are,” he told me when I asked him why he uses social media in his marketing campaigns. “Social media helps me to reach a broader audience. The younger generation is on social and if I can put my client’s properties on there, it helps to get the word out — you have to go where people are paying attention and everyone is glued to social media now a days.”

It has been almost six months since a video made by a group of friends at Edward H. White High school went viral on the internet and social media. Mannequin Challange is what this video is known for, Although the name ” Mannequin Challange” implies some challenge or contest, in reality there wasn’t any, or at least it is unknown to me at this point. This is how the story started for me, surfing on my Instagram account quite while ago, found an entertaining video made by group of close friends in the middle east in which, they were all frozen in action as if the time machine stops them all but the background sound was still alive and playing, filmed by a moving camera, I was quite mesmerized the way the video was professionally shot, and the idea was lit and quite entertaining. In fact, it got me and peaked my curiosity. I started to look for more detailed information on the video then the caption under the post; # MannequinChallenge Unbelievable what I found, hundreds of funny videos on Hollywood stars, NBA, NFL  athletes, and some videos posted on social media from people across the world in a variety of different situations, funny that this trend even found it’s way in the corporate world amongst employees in some companies.

When it comes to social media marketing it is important, to build a solid foundation to ensure that your efforts have the greatest chance of success.  A solid foundation really is about getting the basics right and remembering the purpose of social media is to engage with people.  Engagement is not announcing carefully crafted advertising pieces to your intended audiences it is about adding value to conversations that are already happening, building your reputation and remembering that social media is about listening and communicating.   Geranium gets social media marketing right.

From a marketing perspective, being able to distinguish your brand in a sea of competition is a difficult challenge. That being said, if you are the brand, this task takes on a much more strategic and personal dynamic. You are putting your personal interpretations and artistic creativity on display in an open forum for all to see. It can be an extremely daunting and vulnerable process. Your success as a artist/business, relies heavily on your ability to tell your story in a way that allows the consumer to relate to you, and your artwork. Such is the challenge for Joanna Gresik, a Canadian abstract artist by night and corporate interior designer by day, living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Joanna creates paintings that are inspired by the energy and life of towns and cities shown through sharp lines, carefully crafted colour palettes and gestural abstract expressionist marks. Joanna has a unique ability to see architecture and landscape through a different lense , and even more impressive is her ability to express those interpretations onto a canvas. With the emergence of social media as a trusted marketing tool for businesses over the last decade or so, it comes as no surprise that these same social media channels now play an important role for small business owners and artists just like Joanna. By providing a platform and a vehicle for messaging, social media marketers can now reach a wider more specific target audience with their products and services. Joanna understands the importance of creating such relationships and quickly determined that these interactions were essential for her growth, not only as an artist, but also as a business person.

From a business perspective social media marketing can result in improved brand awareness and loyalty, higher conversion rates, improved customer service, audience insights and decreased marketing costs—if utilized well of course. But so many companies, both large and small, struggle with social media marketing. It is a whole different ball game in comparison to networking with friends and family on your own accounts, although the principals of building and maintaining relationships are still the primary focus. If you’re looking for tips to improve your social media marketing efforts, read on. Illbury + Goose, is a small company that has mastered the art of social media marketing and have implemented strategies that companies of various sizes should take note of. Illbury + Goose creates sustainable, locally made clothing, accessories and home décor, and their brand is built on the foundation of Canadian patriotism. Starting as a local business a few years ago in London, Ontario, they have since expanded their team and have orders coming in from customers all across the country.

What binds together four University of Waterloo Alumni, millennia moms, and celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Heidi Klum, and Reese Witherspoon? Mabel’s Labels. They have developed a brand and social media marketing platform that responds to the needs of moms worldwide. What is unique about this story? The founders of Mabel’s Labels are pioneers. They started their company before the words “social” and “media” were put together in sequence (note that Facebook was founded in 2004). When founders Julie Cole, Julie Ellis, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby created Mabel’s Labels through their social networks with other moms, they knew they were on to something… 2003, four busy moms noticed a huge gap in the market for durable kids’ labels. Frustrated by their children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, knew they could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. Presently, Mabels Labels has 163,600 devoted Facebook followers with a conversion rate of 5.1%.  In January 2016 they were acquired for $12 million by Canadian-based CCL Industries for its Avery North America division.

Rolling around on a skateboard is a right of passage for most children growing up in North America, many of them dreaming of becoming the next Tony Hawk, or Nyjah Huston. While many of these people will never attain these goals, they will still have a blast pushing around town on their boards. Skateboarding is a wonderful tool for transportation, but it has a few key limitations. The main problem is hills, and everyone who has ever stepped on a skateboard has a deep fear of the dreaded “speed wobble“. While going down a hill on a skateboard, you don’t have many options for braking and going up hills is also an issue, as it becomes a battle against gravity. Boosted Board is a company that was founded to improve some of the issues that have plagued skaters for years. Boosted Board is an electric skateboard controlled by a small handheld remote. You can adjust your speed and even brake! Skateboarders everywhere now have a solution to some of their problems. Boosted Boards has turned to social media to showcase their product to the skateboarders of the world and get everyone skateboarding again.