Adam and Hannie Van Bergeijk were first farmers and cheesemakers in The Netherlands, and purchased their dairy farm just outside New Hamburg, Ontario in 1996, with a dream to return to cheesemaking. They started making Mountainoak Cheese in 2012 when dairy farmers were now permitted to handcraft artisan cheese. On their land, they grow, feed, care for, and milk their herd of over 200 dairy cows. They turn 4,000 litres of high-quality milk into each batch of delicious artisanal Mountainoak cheese, and they try to make cheese 2-3 times each week! In today’s fast-paced world, even farmers need to be on social media. It’s become a key tool for marketing and communicating with customers; social media gives farmers a platform to tell their story to consumers. In Mountainoak Cheese’s case, for showing how the cheese is made, sharing excitement about competitions, and keeping customers informed of their weekly specials and new retail partners where their cheese can be found.
The City of Dawson Creek, BC has a population of 14,245. Dawson Creek is also referred to as Mile ‘0’ of the Alaska Highway. The primary industries are agriculture, natural gas & oil and lastly tourism. It is a delight to visit Dawson Creek. It has a very artsy feel to it. Vintage & Restoration Love is a shop reminds me of something I would see in St. Jacobs, Ontario. It was a pleasant surprise to find it in a city close to Fort St. John. It is an eclectic mix of vintage and new home décor items, upcycled furniture and restored furniture. Natasha Lacourse, the owner promotes local artisans and her store also features delicious local and BC food items. Natasha is a great resource when you are working on a paint DIY. If you have issues with your project talk to Natasha she will be pleased to help you. Vintage & Restoration Love is a thriving business and I wondered how Natasha uses social media for supply chain management.
Trisha Yearwood is a lifestyle maven. She’s an award-winning singer and author of 3 best-selling cookbooks, who also has both a furniture and a cookware line, a signature fragrance and an exclusive collection of goods with Williams-Sonoma. She’s also the star of a Food Network show, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen. To top it all, she’s utilizing social media brilliantly with her weekly Facebook Live show, Ts Coffee Talk, where she connects with her audience. Trisha began broadcasting her weekly Facebook Live in January 2016.
Magna International Inc. is known as North America’s largest global automotive supplier. Magna’s headquarters are located in Aurora, Ontario. “The Magna’s unique Fair Enterprise culture, based on fairness and concern for people, recognizes that your engagement and commitment is fundamental to our business success.”
“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of supportive women who have her back.” A quote printed in the online Issuu of Stella & Dot’s October 2017 Opportunity Brochure. Browsing their beautiful products, Manifesto, inspirational testimonials from Stylists: It is clear Stella & Dot strongly defines themselves as a company “that is inspired by, created for, and run by strong women”. Stella & Dot currently has over 18,000 active independent Stylists and were listed as an Inc. 500 fastest growing company. Their Stylists are independent contractors that represent the line of jewelry and accessories. But with so many women representing globally, how do they create this tribe? Stylists are equipped with newsletters, online and live training events as well as the app, MIMI. However, in this case study I’ll be focusing on their effective use of Facebook groups and how by using them it enhances their Stylist’s engagement with each other.
Social media is prevalent in today’s society, so much so that it is almost more noticeable if a company doesn’t use it opposed to if they do. Looking at companies as a whole and studying how they are integrating social media through their enterprise allows us to better understand not only the company but their communication. Norwell Dairy is the largest dairy supply company in all of North America selling and servicing approx. 1700 dairy customers in Ontario. They have four locations across Ontario with the head office being in Drayton. Norwell employs just over 120 employees and communication and a social media plan is huge for them to ensure everyone is on the same page which can be done through effectively synchronizing the use of social media across the organization. Norwell’s vision as an organization is that “By continually seeking out new and innovative products to meet the ever-changing needs of our industry, Norwell has grown into the country’s largest dairy farm design, equipment and supply company.” Norwell wants to be able to provide dairy farmers with all the daily needs required to successfully milk their cows and run a profitable operation. Being able to service customers milking equipment and provide them with the tools needed to clean and care for their equipment is very important to ensure customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It has been said that organizations are increasingly recognizing the benefits of enterprise-wide integration in the area of information technology, as they move away from legacy systems to integrated systems (often called Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems. This statement is very true for Norwell, as they have moved from basic IT systems to now have two in house IT personnel and a dynamic ERP system, NAV, as well as active on Facebook and Twitter.
Facebook is a globally known and utilized social media platform. It is a platform that allows users to share their thoughts and images, and companies to offer ads, shopping, and data acquisition. It is ultimately a tool in which people can communicate with others, business and human alike, across the world.
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!
Every day, new strategies are being developed to increase social media’s role in helping business performance levels. Whether social media is utilized to better employee engagement within a company, or as a tool to market products to consumers, its facets are continually updated to provide seamless integration in business structure to improve its functioning. However, if we look ahead to the future of social media and business performance, it appears that it may not be people at all who monitor and produce the different levels of communication across various social media platforms. Who would be responsible for these specific roles then? The answer lies in one simple acronym: AI. If you don’t already know, AI stands for artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence may be defined as a type of computer or machine that possesses the capability of mimicking intelligent human behaviour (hence the word artificial). In fact, we have already had such a glimpse into the future from various businesses who have already started to implement AI across their social media channels to better their own customer engagement/service practices. One such company includes ecommerce super giant eBay, who has developed their own “ShopBot,” which uses AI technology in combination with the Facebook messenger app to assist customers in finding the items they are searching for within their price range.
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!
FabFitFun was founded in 2010, has approximately 50 employees and is based out of Los Angeles, California. FabFitFun is a lifestyle brand inspiring women to lead a happier, healthier life. The company sends a monthly selection of curated, full-size products across lifestyle categories including beauty, health, fitness, technology, and home. Members can go online and choose to sign up for one box or the subscription which gets them a box every season; four times a year in March, June, September and December. FabFitFun has shipped millions of boxes to women across the US and Canada and also offers online content about various products including tutorials. Being a subscription you sign up for there is no physical store, everything is done online and because of social media being so prominent in today’s society companies like this are thriving.
Every organization must deal with the management of a supply chain to some extent. Often, the production/distribution of commodities does not operate at the hands of one person or group, but multiple people working together, across different locations and with expertise to produce and deliver a product to the consumer. In turn, with so many people across the supply chain to manage and coordinate with one another, social media has become a powerful tool to successfully organize logistics for any given organization.
J. Darius Bikoff was brilliant. He was a random guy in New York City, who enjoyed being active and one day combining water and some vitamic C gave him what would turn out to be a brilliant idea, Vitamin Water! Vitamin water is now sold under the glacéau vitaminwater® mostly known as Vitamin Water. It is sold in over 20 countries and new products and flavours are developed often.
Reworked by Regis is a custom home decor and refurbishment artisan based out of Edmonton, AB. Regis Mahoney, the artist behind Reworked by Regis, takes discarded furniture and restores, redesigns, and rehomes it. Customers can commission custom projects through Regis, or can purchase items she has already made at local markets or through Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy.
The adage “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” isn’t always necessarily true with respect to a company’s product development/design. Sometimes, it can be “what’s on the outside” (the packaging) that really “counts” when it comes to a consumer choosing which brand to buy. One company that proves looks really DO matter is Orbit, the makers of a sugar-free chewing gum. Through their Spotlight Series Campaign, customers were invited to submit their own original designs for packaging of the brand. Moreover, this campaign is not the only time the company has stressed the importance of “stylish” brand packaging. In fact, it is a key aspect of Orbit’s product development. Take this Orbit gum commercial as an example.
Home Depot is a popular home improvement supplies retail company across the United States and Canada. In Canada alone there are 182 stores and over 27,000 employees. The company stands on eight core values; Taking care of our people. Giving back to our communities. Doing the right thing. Excellent customer service. Creating shareholder value. Building strong relationships. Entrepreneurial spirit. Respect for all people.
Would you have thought for a moment that you could use an integrated social media strategy to promote local food? It is possible and the Taste of Huron (TOH) program is doing just that. Taste of Huron is a program that has been around for over 10 years. It has encountered it’s up and downs over the years, but not because of lack of interest. It is more about lack of funding and lack staff resources to dedicate to program development and administration. The program started out being managed by Huron Tourism Association (HTA) and Huron County Economic Development. Over the years the program has made some remarkable gains in the marketplace. The lack of resources and the closure of the Huron Tourism Association could have been the death of the program, but thankfully with the insight of the Huron Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) and the final board of HTA, the Taste of Huron program was not to fall through the cracks and be forgotten. “It’s not surprising that Community Futures Huron continues to invest in our local food system. It’s one of the fastest growing components of the Huron County economy, with great prospects for business and job growth”. – Paul Nichol General Manager Community Futures Huron Taste Of Huron was resurrected in 2017 through government grants and the sheer desire to make the program work. You might ask yourself why not let it end with a painless death; the simple truth is there is too much to lose. Huron County is one of the most agricultural productive counties in Ontario. The work that has been done in the past has proven that with the proper social media tactics and a strong, event-driven, marketing plan, the brand can prosper and grow.
„Beam me up, Scotty “, says Captain Kirk to his chief engineer, and the next thing we see is Kirk’s body disappearing from Planet X and reappearing on the starship. “Wow”, you think “I wish we could do that for real. The places I would travel to…..” Well, we are not there yet – but with the rapid development of electronic devices, Internet, ERP and the digital age in general, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could build a beamer that powerful within the next 10 years. A university in Germany that concentrates in IT systems engineering, already came up with a machine that can scan an object, transmit it over the internet and rebuild it using a 3D printer in a new location. Imagine you can do that in retail: Sit on your sofa buying a handbag with one click on your device and 20 minutes later it appears magically at your doorstep. Cool, right? But is it really that far off? No, to tell you the truth, it is not even considered to be science fiction anymore. We already buy things with one click, we just need to wait a bit longer than 20 minutes right now to receive the product. But wait – isn’t Amazon already testing delivery by drone? So who knows, the time of purchase to delivery in 20 minutes could actually happen sooner than you think. Especially when it pertains to your Amazon shopping experience.
Fashion company Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most recognizable and iconic fashion brands in the world. Founded in 1985 by the titular designer, the company has grown to encompass 1400 free-standing retail stores in 90 countries. Of course, like nearly all other consumer fashion brands in this day and age, Tommy Hilfiger relies heavily on online shopping to drive sales — and they’re on the forefront of social media technology to help them move forward.
I don’t know about you, but I do know that I can’t tell the future of anything, let alone social media. Trust me on this one, if I could, I would be super wealthy and be way more advanced. Unfortunately that isn’t the way it is, so your best chance with knowing the future of social media is to search and investigate new products on the market. After I did a lot of searching to determine what I would write about this week, I decided to go with the company that I believe has been a pioneer in e-marketing since the beginning. Constant Contact is an email-marketing program that helps small businesses succeed and excel in the online world. Back in the day when email programs were only used to view emails from friends, the people at Constant Contact knew there could be so much more to it. Constant Contact was founded as “Roving Software” in 1995 and set up shop in Brookline, Massachusetts. Randy Parker was the brains behind this very valuable marketing tool that helps small businesses succeed against the large businesses out there.
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.
Being responsible for product launching for a Global company I have seen first hand over the years how important it is for attendee engagement. In the past we measured success of a corporate event by the number of attendees along with feedback from a post conference survey. Today attendee engagement is measured at every contact point from registration, pre-conference event, and conference day and post conference and experiential is critical in ensuring an engaged attendee.
Nestled in Waterloo’s tech park, surrounded by beautiful nature lies one of Canada’s biggest software companies – opentext. It started with three University students in 1991 – and has now transformed into a multibillion $ corporation with offices worldwide. It is no surprise that opentext, a company driven by commitment to technological innovations, jumped on the social media train right after the invention of Facebook in 2004. And with the growing access to WIFI and social networking services, the social media landscape of opentext just became broader. A massive website, accounts with Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it, the company surely has a presence. None of those accounts created millions of followers, but considering that the social media approach is specifically about enterprise information and content management, opentext is doing quite well to get their message out. When the company discovered the power of social media for promoting their services and products to the world, it didn’t take long to find out that it can also be used to motivate and engage employees. With the goal to make it as easy as possible to connect with team members, who potentially work in three different countries across the globe and need to solve problems quickly, even when one just started his day when it’s almost bedtime for the other, opentext encouraged employees to use traditional social media outlets before implementing internal equivalents. While opentext’s social media team conveys the company’s messages to external audiences, the corporate employee communicators look after the internal audience. This includes writing emails to announce company news, employee stories and the management of the company’s Intranet, internal blogs and of course, social media channels.
When you have the warmth of a beautiful day, the soft sand between your toes and the stunning shores of Lake Huron, you have the perfect location and attraction to promote tourism. There is nothing better than walking on the boardwalk in Goderich, enjoying the beauty of the marina in Bayfield, touring around local food producers purchasing fresh Ontario grown food, eating at the amazing restaurants, and enjoying all the craft breweries and wineries that are scattered around Ontario’s West Coast. The Ontario’s West Coast (OWC) tourism brand represents Huron County, along the shore of Lake Huron. The County of Huron has a population of 60,000, which soars to 800,000 in the summer months. Beautiful cottages, B&B’s, motels, hotels and campgrounds are spread throughout the shores of the West Coast. Luckily for Ontario’s West Coast they knew enough to engage in social media and add metrics to their programming and promotion of tourism many years ago. If they weren’t using social media and tracking their metrics, they would be walking blind through the process of tourism. Huron County is home to approximately 60,000 people and a visitor destination to approximately 800,000 people a year.1 SOURCE: The County Planning and Development Department, “County of Huron Annual Tourism Report” (May 2012), 4.