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.
With over 3000 Americans dying each year from food borne diseases and 128, 000 being hospitalized, keeping the fresh food supply safe is an enormous challenge. Verizon Enterprise has taken the initiative to bring light to the issue of food safety, as well as the current technical and process challenges that continue to impact humans and our fresh food supply. The issue is so large, that to put it in pure economic terms, the USDA estimates the amount of food loss in the U.S. alone each year totals more than $161B. And the industry simply accepts these losses as the cost of doing business. Verizon became involved in sensor and tracking technology a couple of years ago when they sat down with healthcare customer and asked them how they could help them be more efficient and effective with their business. They started to hear recurring themes in the pharmaceutical space about needing to be able to track in real time shipments of medicines that are compliant with the federal government regulations. They wanted to know the progress, the location, the temperature and a variety of other information that is required as they ship product around the US. They realized they were uniquely positioned to get involved with asset tracking in a bigger way. The soon translated these learnings from Pharma to food by talking to fisherman who were losing money because so many different people were involved with the farm-to-fork delivery of their product. Food quality is important, but if something happens to the fish during transit, the fishermen get blamed. Fishermen were looking for ways to protect the quality of what they deliver. Verizon understands the importance of tracking the temperature of fish from its catch to either the restaurant or retailer. Temperature control of fresh seafood (or any other perishable) is critically important for food safety. In fact, researchers have found that one of the largest challenges associated with food safety and food waste is related to controlling and monitoring the consistency of food temperatures throughout the cold chain.
You would think that creating a proper Supply Chain that benefits Creative Casuals customers, would have been an easy task to do, but it took many long years to create what is a very well run efficient company. Creative Casuals is a promotional marketing company who has grown from a single person cottage industry to a mid size company with many employees, an embroidery and screen-printing department and three locations. The main office and production warehouse is in Listowel On, with sales offices in Kincardine and Stratford. Mari-Lou Lowry Started Creative Casuals after graduating from design school. She knew she wanted to start a viable business that could withstand the test of time. The company needed to be vibrant and grow with the ever-changing environment of technology today. 29 years ago when it all started there were no computers, no fancy communication tools except a telephone and fax, but that never stopped Creative Casuals from exploring everything they needed to become a multi functional promotional company. Mari-Lou knew she would need to diversify with percentages of accounts in corporate sales, team and school sales, and also contract wholesale embroidery and screen-printing. Mari-Lou was aware to not to put all her eggs in one basket in case the market trends changed. As we all know one of the first things to disappear off a tight business budget is promotional marketing products. Creative Casuals realized they needed to look at the supply chain management carefully to succeed.
Whether you feel the draw of healing products or the distinct feeling of energy when encountering healing stones there is no denying that there is a market for these products. Has this product and belief exploded in the last number of years? Has the power and feeling of stress and anxiety from a world that goes 200 kms an hour caused people to stop and explore other ways to find peace within themselves? Yes it has! Society as a whole has become so unconnected and connected since ironically, social media has taken over our lives. Mentally and spiritually people are realizing that you have to take a step back and find peace within ourselves to be able to continue on with our crazy busy lives.
It is hard to believe that purchasing razor blades would include a little comic relief but that is exactly what you get when you subscribe to the Dollar Shave Club. My husband, a member since 2014 signed up for The Dollar Shave Club (DSC) after seeing a video shared on Facebook. The Los Angeles-based startup launched in 2011 with the goal idea to steal market share from razor powerhouse, Gillette. Founder & CEO Michael Dubin promised a better price point: for $3 a month, no contracts and no hidden fees, DSC sends you a high quality razor. He created a crude and goofy viral video to support the launch. Fast forward to 2018 and that that video has been viewed over 25 million times, and DSC has grown to include 1.1 million subscribers, a whopping $615 million valuation in 2015, and most recently a $1 Billion all-cash acquisition by Unilever. DSC is a young, smart, stylish, yet playful brand. When you join the club, you’re not just signing on for low-cost razors and blades, you’re investing in the monthly “delight” that comes along with it. As a member, you get in on the joke and belong to an exclusive community that no other brand offers. If your brand can give someone an experience unlike any other; something they can share on Instagram, or mention to their coworkers or friends, they will be that much more pleased (and loyal) in the long run.
Company Overview The Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo opens its classroom doors beyond lecture halls to elementary and secondary schoolrooms in the community at large. Through contests, face-to-face workshops, nonprofit school visits, and providing online resources, the Faculty of Mathematics extends their educational doors through the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC). The CEMC is a community outreach organization that aims to increase interest, enjoyment, confidence, and proficiency in mathematics and computer science education among students and teachers within Canada and internationally. To obtain more information about their outreach activities, please follow the links provided in each section: Contests Workshops & School Visits Online Resources MMT Program In addition to outreach activities, the CEMC also offers a Master of Mathematics for Teaching (MMT) program. The MMT is designed to provide current grade school teachers of mathematics with an opportunity to expand their knowledge base and to gain a deeper understanding of the mathematics underlying the content that they teach students in the classroom. The program is unique, in that it focuses on the applications of mathematics – not on pedagogy – and is offered part-time, as well as online. The majority of the Centre’s customers are teachers. This program is a way of building new relationships with new teachers, who enroll into the program. It’s a way to tap into new networks and the program even finds that many of the teachers blog or tweet and retweet about the Centre.
The Beatles knew it all along and wrote a song about it: “All you need is love.” Yes, there can never be enough of it in the world. If only a business could pass that on to their customers. For sure a client whose heart has been touched would remember this treasured moment and will be loyal forever. But wait! There is actually one institution that succeeded in that mission. The Toronto-Dominion Bank, in short TD, North America’s sixth largest bank that serves worldwide more than 25 million customers. You are probably wondering: A bank giving love? How is that even possible? Don’t they normally have calculators instead of hearts, a general lack of compassion and the attitude of a robot? Well, don’t be so quick to judge. TD already knew that great customer service is not fully covered by saying a friendly ‘Hello’ and giving out free coffee, they knew it needs a deeper emotional connection. In 2014 they hired MARU/VCR&C, a research and consulting group, to conduct a survey with nearly 1,100 Canadian adults. They found out three important facts: Canadians are more likely to say thank you when offered unsolicited help (41%) compared to when they receive a compliment (14%). Canadians appreciate the power of personal (90%) versus digital (49%) when it comes to being thanked. For example, they like to be thanked in person (85%) rather than through text or emoji (22%). Canadians thank friends (60%) more than their partner or spouse (50%). They thank customer service professionals (48%) and colleagues (36%) more than children (30%) and parents (29%). With this information in mind, TD started the #TDThanksYou campaign. Valued customers, that just wanted to do some quick banking at the ATM, were surprised with a personalized greeting and a touching thank-you gift. The video capturing customer reactions went viral (24 million views), and gave TD’s social media profile a huge boost.
The Stratford Festival in Stratford Ontario is the king of customer engagement! When you think of the people that flock to Stratford every year to see the theatre it is amazing. Stratford Ontario has a population of 32,000 people, but in the summer that number will swell to almost a three quarters of a million people, why you ask? The Stratford Festival of course! Tom Patterson first built the Stratford Festival in October 31,1952. Mr. Patterson saw a need to revitalize the city of Stratford after acknowledging the loss of the steam powered railway. The city of Stratford was facing a horrible ending unless something happened to keep it alive. Mr. Patterson also was an avid theatre goer who cherished Shakespearean plays. Since Stratford had the name of the birthplace of William Shakespeare, it made sense to open a Stratford Festival Theatre in Stratford Ontario. The first performance of Richard III and All’s Well That Ends Well took place in July 1953 and the Stratford Festival was born!
Chili’s Grill & Bar is an American casual dining restaurant chain that features Tex-Mex-style cuisine. The company was founded by Larry Lavine in Texas in 1975 and is currently owned and operated by Brinker International. It wasn’t long ago that the words used to describe Chili’s was “It’s a place I remember my mom and dad taking me as a kid. There’s no growth and development around the company, and I never hear any buzz surrounding it.” Those were the words that Chili’s Director of Workplace Community Chris Ebbeler heard after surveying employees of other restaurants. They polled the audience to understand how Chili’s Grill & Bar brand was perceived by restaurant workers and whether they’d even consider working for the restaurant. In short, the responses left him and other members of the Chili’s brass disappointed. The company listened to those concerns as well as concerns from their own team members and made the crucial decision to turn their organization around and transform the old-school perception into something powerful, modern and attractive to the next generation workforce.
Is it really necessary in 2018 to teach your staff and colleagues to be more socially engaged in social media? The quick answer is yes it is necessary, but it can also be risky at times. Social media is one of the strongest most powerful tools we have at our fingertips. It is the way that we now do business. 20 years ago it was mostly being used as an internal tool and many didn’t dream that it would become a part of everyday life for business in general.
With well-represented brands like Axe, Dove, and Ben and Jerry’s, each of which has a strong online following, Unilever has proven itself to be a social media veteran. With so many strong sub-brands residing under the Unilever umbrella, a certain level of consistency and organization is necessary to maintain order, eliminate waste, and create a cohesive vision. Unilever uses social media for a variety of purposes across the entire organization to support several important functions.
Toronto’s Furniture Bank is in the business of doing good. As a social enterprise dedicated to providing gently-used furniture to women, children, refugees, and those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, Furniture Bank has grown steadily since its inception. Over time, it has rallied a series of sponsors, donors, social agencies, and other partners to provide thousands of families in need with dignified furniture in the Greater Toronto Area. And most of this has been accomplished through marketing and outreach strategies outside the realm of social media. But as more people turn to social media and online publishers for their news, and overall exposure to products, trends, and “ways of giving”, over the past year the organization has begun to weave social media into its overall marketing strategies, particularly by creating an online-only silent auction and ramping up its social posts to promote its annual fundraiser, the Chair Affair. The incredible impact of this small change (surpassing previous fundraising targets, growing followers, and increasing brand awareness by leaps and bounds online) has set a course for the organization to follow suit with a more dedicated online strategy. With its goals of growing the organization to a national level, and reaching record-breaking fundraising targets in order to serve the most families it can, it is clear that social media lends itself very well as a marketing tool, not only in relationship to its future events, but for the organization as a whole. Below: Executive Director Dan Kershaw discusses Furniture Bank’s mission and functions.
Blogger, Alice Katter, says it best, “We’re all guilty of it: Snapping a photo of that pizza or ice cream we couldn’t wait to dig into, and Instagramming it. Why? Because, we’re obsessed with #foodporn. We love seeing what others eats and showing off with our own dishes.” With the boom of social media, the food and restaurant industry has forever changed. In order for any business in the food industry to succeed, their engagement on social media is paramount. The industry which once relied heavily on word of mouth, has shifted to social media being the major influencer.
Data collection and artificial intelligence can be very disconcerting to social media users. Regardless of how consumers feel about the common availability of their personal information, it is often unavoidable when one chooses to participate in online activity. There are many well-know negative impacts of the publication of personal information; however, there is an almost endless list of positives available to consumers when their information is made available to technology. Google’s ability to reroute drivers proactively in the case of an upcoming incident helps drivers get from A to B as quickly as possible. how does it work? It relies on Google’s ability to monitor the location, speed, and direction of travel of almost all drivers, anywhere in North America, by tracking drivers’ cell phones in a passive, undetectable manor. This is a great example of how personal information being made public, and it’s combination with powerful artificial intelligence software networks, can provide major benefits to those who can tolerate the risk.
Without doubt, the future of social media is growing, influential and ever-powerful. As the digital divide shrinks worldwide, more and more people are joining the billions of conversations taking place in the realm of social media. Social media is the place to be. Whether you’re looking to keep in touch with friends, find the latest trends, or learn about what someone thinks, social media is where this is happening! The world of social media is highly influential. People are turning to social media to learn about and get information on important topics, such as healthcare. Traditionally, healthcare was something that people relied on healthcare professionals, such as doctors, to learn about. With the advent of the Internet, and more recently social media, people are using social media to learn about healthcare. Social media has evolved beyond a platform used to share pictures and connect with friends. Social media is now a powerful influencer for healthcare and medical advice.
Social media platforms are always looking for new and futuristic ways for their audiences to interact with one and other. Creating a social media platform that is more humanizing, more compelling and lifelike is exactly what Facebook is trying to accomplish. Oculus VR is an American tech company founded in 2012, by Palmer Luckey, Brendan Iribe, Michael Antonov, Jack McCauley and Nate Mitchell in Irvine, California now based in Menlo Park. It specializes in virtual reality hardware and software products. (Wikipedia, 2017) In March 2014, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg agreed to acquireOculus VR for US $2.3 billion in cash and stock. In 2015, Oculus VR acquired Surreal Vision, a British startup focused on 3D reconstruction and mixed reality, stating that it could be possible for Oculus VR to develop products with the concept of telepresence. (Wikipedia, 2017) The company also partnered with Samsung to develop the Samsung Gear VR in November 2015, for the Samsung Galaxy smartphones. (Wikipedia, 2017)
Prior to Social Media one of the earliest types of advertising was through word of mouth followed by engraving or drawing images on a cave wall, those images told a story, and promoted ideas. Early printing in the 15th (1401 to 1500) and 16th (1501 to 1600) centuries created a mark in advertising and companies were able to reach a wider audience. In the 18th (1701 to 1800) and 19th (1801 to 1900) centuries advertising was expanded to newspapers. One of the first advertising agencies was set-up in Philadelphia in 1842 by Volney Palmer, the agency acted as a broker for newspaper space and later on they became a full service by offering ad-placement services and a full production that organized advertising by a target market and population. In the 20th (1901 to 2000) century the radio was born and was part of a new era on advertising it offered a complete new way of reaching potential audiences. Followed by television which introduced a new type of advertising that was more visual than the previous advertising methods, by the end of the 20th century the internet was introduced to the masses and it became a valuable communication tool for businesses to advertise in a complete different way. According to Visually technology and the use of Social Media and Internet has accelerated the pace in which people are able to connect, be engaged and be informed. Below is a list of the time frame it took for various modes of communication to reach 50 million users. Telephone: 75 years Radio: 38 years Television : 13 years Internet: 4 years Facebook: 3.5 years IPOD: 3 years Angry Birds Space app: 35 days Many organizations still depend on word of mouth as the main form of communication mostly used in marketing and advertising initiatives. These companies are considered to be in the stone ages as compared to organizations that are using Social Media in a big way. A good example of a company that is using Social Media very well is FIFA. FIFA was taken by surprise in the last World Cup in Brazil when 1 billion people attended FIFA’s Global Stadium, according to the current Deputy Head of FIFA Digital. Senior Manager – Social Media & Video, Alex Stone they began evaluating the data collected from the 2014 World Cup in 2015. Based on the 2014… Read more »
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.)
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)”.
Building a business starts with a mission, an idea, a desire to bring a product or service to a wanting market. But what if you alone are the product, the marketer, the designer, and the administrator, a one-woman business band? How can you maximize your reach, market yourself, and cultivate your business in an effective, timely way? Luckily, social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Google analytics, Twitter) and their measurement systems have provided a relief in this entrepreneurial scenario, giving easy insights into potential target markets, post performance, reach, follower growth, and more. This technological milestone in marketing has allowed small business owners to reach a wider audience, gauge the success or failure of digital campaigns, and have a wide-angle view of potential consumers. The ease and availability of social metrics in these realms have also made it possible for individuals to pursue their areas of interest, making careers out of things they love to do. Nancy Silverman, a Toronto-based yoga instructor and Kombucha expert, did just that.
Worldwide, many people were shocked by the outcome of the U.S. presidential election of 2016. It’s been just over one full year since Trump’s electoral win and, although the race between Trump and Clinton was close, many of the electoral polls forecasted Clinton as the likely winner of the 2016 election (Perez, 2016). While the outcome of said election left many data scientists confused, many social media analytics firms are claiming that their measurements would have been a much better predictor (Perez, 2016).