Tag Archives: Marketing and Social Media

Background Parmalat is one of the largest food companies in Canada with $2.2 billion annual revenues. The company is a marketer of such popular retail brands as Black Diamond cheese, Ficello Cheese Strings, Astro Yogurt, Lactancia Milk & Butter and Balderson cheese. The company has a large and diverse work force of 2,900 people, operating a large corporate office in Toronto, 2 major sales offices in Calgary and Montreal and 16 manufacturing plants across Canada. Challenge Given the scale and complexity of its work force, Parmalat Canada has been searching for effective ways of promoting company’s values and increasing employee engagement across many branches with their unique geography, organizational culture and regional dynamics. This challenge is especially magnified by the company’s work force composition – only about 30% of work force is full-time employees working in main offices or plants, whereas 70% of workers are part-time hourly workers at various plants. The HR Department has turned to Social Media to increase employees engagement. The idea was to encourage company’s employees to share new ideas on  improve various aspects of company’s operations ranging from work processes, life balance, health & safety and even new product ideas. Social Media Solution The choice of social media tools that will allow for maximum participation in the initiative was difficult one. The company’s digital culture has been defined by work force average age (40+), and a long practice of using IBM Lotus Notes as a major source of all inter-company communication. As such, the HR department has opted for finding new ways of using existing technologies, expanding their ability to function as social media tool as opposed to creating new social spaces on Intranet or developing dedicated digital applications modeled after popular applications like Facebook, My Space etc. Towards that end, the corporate Lotus Notes was re-designed to give birth to a large digital project called “Parmalat’s New Ideas” that allowed employees to integrate social media functions with their regular activities on the Intranet.  The new platform provided capabilities to share and discuss ideas on various topics and select the best ideas by employees voting (15 votes required to put the idea for the Senior Management consideration). Real Life Roll-out/Early Wins In 2015, the Communication Manager, Ambra Salzburg, led the roll-out of this initiative to employees in a series of in-person meetings across different regions. Since then, the program has significantly exceeded initial expectations of… Read more »

Many churches are finding benefit from promoting their services and events online through social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.  However, if we look to the education world, we may find ways that social media is being used in the classroom that can be effectively adapted into a Pastors role of teaching, including the weekly sermon and Bible study methods. Jason Tomaszewski, Associate Editor of EducationWorld.com, reminds us in his article “Social Media Has a Place in Classrooms” of the findings of Dr. Richard J. Light (Harvard School of Education) with regards to social learning theory and the learning success of college students, “People learn most effectively when they interact with other learners. According to Light, the strongest determinant of students’ success in college is their ability to form or participate in small study groups. He suggests that this is more important than their instructors’ teaching styles. Student research participants who studied in groups, even only once a week, were more engaged in their studies, were better prepared for class, and learned significantly more than students who worked on their own.” This study underlines the significant learning impact that small group type Bible studies can have, which could include those happening online.  It also addresses the lecture-style sermon delivery that is the basis for most traditional church services, which may be better absorbed if given the opportunity to be discussed among those who have listened to it.   Social media can provide such opportunities through various means available to pastors and their congregations today.

When actor Chris Hemsworth is not on screen swinging Thor’s hammer, you can usually find him in the gym crushing a weight training workout with Luke Zocchi of Zoco Body Pro. Hemsworth uses Zocchi’s expertise to get in shape for major movie roles, but Zoco Body Pro’s target market is the regular joe. Having A-list clients was enough to attract viewers to the company’s social media, but they have stayed for the incredible content. Zoco body pro has used their social media presence to create a new avenue for a business that started as a personal training, and while they still do that, their new market is global. When training local clients, Luke prefers hands on training. Some people like to be yelled at, that old-school, drill sergeant approach, but I normally train alongside the people I work with and that’s how I like to do it. This strategy is excellent for customers lucky enough to live near Zoco Body Pro, but the company has made a move on social media that will also help potential customers that can’t travel to “The Iron Temple”. They have recently launched a program called Twenty40 training that allows anyone on Earth to try the same workout regimen that has produced world famous results. This is an online venture that provides customers with step by step instructions on how to sculpt their goal physique, as well as giving nutrition tips to help fuel the new body. Zoco Body Pro uses many aspects of social media effectively to run their organization, and this new program will help spread their fitness message world wide.

In 2013, comedian Bryan Callen, asked UFC heavyweight fighter Brendan Schaub to do a podcast with him in his garage. The two were good friends, and Bryan noticed that Brendan had a natural comedic instinct, that could crack up a whole room. While both were moderately successful in their profession, nothing could prepare them for the heights their new show would soon reach. In three short years, the podcast has grown into one of the top 10 sports podcasts on Itunes. Podcasting has allowed the pair to have a stable income, while they pursue other interests. Acting and fighting are no longer their main source of income, and they can rely on income generated from their podcast. The podcast generates revenue from ad reads on the show, with many companies relying on podcasts to generate new customers. Bryan Callen had this to say about the future of social media. What’s really cool about the whole business of internet is it makes it easier and easier to have your own autonomy. The show has produced over 200 episodes, and spun off into various other side projects. Other businesses can look at The Fighter and The Kid, as inspiration to step into the future of social media.

Social Media Videos Marketing Success for Pickering Public Library

TammySabourin   November 6, 2016

In our age of digital marketing where there are so many social media options to choose from, one community library is finding success through their development and use of videos.  In addition to using Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, the Pickering Public Library is including short, in-house created videos in their Facebook Page, YouTube channel and website to communicate upcoming events, new programs and services, fun facts and promote client engagement.  These videos have become quite popular in their community and beyond. Donna Moritz of Social Media Examiner attributes the rise in popularity of short video social media content to how “snackable” they are, as a quick visual method that grabs our attention, “Short videos suit our busy lives, brief attention spans and the need to consume content easily and quickly. Because fans are consuming content via their mobile devices while they’re on the go, the shorter the content is, the better.”  

JustSaiyan Clothing is a company that specializes in manufacturing apparel that allows you to slip into the costume of your favourite cartoon characters. Catering to children and nostalgic adults, JustSaiyan features designs from popular television shows such as Dragon Ball Z, One Punch Man, and Naruto. JustSaiyan has built their entire business with the help of social media, and does not advertise traditionally. Active Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter pages allow the company to stay up to date on the opinions of its consumers, and Justsaiyan takes full advantage of their active fan base. Studying social media gives JustSaiyan great insight on how to improve their products, and more effectively market their gear.

If you’ve played sports or watched almost any team sport you know the sound of the referees whistle. Those 3 different tones are clear and identifiable and their source is a Fox 40 pea-less whistle. What you may not know is that the pea-less whistle was developed and designed by Hamilton Ontario basketball referee  Ron Foxcroft. His turning point came when he encountered the failure of his standard  cork-pea whistle. Worst of all, it occurred during a game he was officiating in the Montreal 1976 Olympics, with 18,000 booing spectators in the stands.  This event changed his life and the sports world forever. The complete story of Fox 40 whistle is on the company’s website.  

Social media and connectivity has gone through a long way in changing human lives. As to business organizations, utilizing social media becomes an emerging trend during production developments process. Especially for consumer facing product development, leveraging social media truly helps to break the geographic and segment barriers in order to be more innovative.

When you ask an old person what their biggest regret in life is, an overwhelming majority lament that they wish they had travelled more in their youth. They often cite a lack of funds, or life’s responsibilities as reason for postponing their plans. Contiki was a company that was created to address this issue. Contiki is a tour company that connects like-minded people, by offering affordable trip packages for ages 18-35. The organization’s slogan is “No Regrets” which shows that they know what note they need to strike with their customers to encourage them to book a trip. Contiki uses social media effectively to encourage their customers to tell their story, and by doing so, market the service to all of their friends. While not the only marketing technique they use, this is one of the many ways Contiki keeps their customers engaged.

DB Schenker supports industry and trade in the global exchange of goods: in land transport, worldwide air and ocean freight, contract logistics and supply chain management.1 Globally they employ over 66,000 employees at over 2000 locations.  Their Canadian operations account for over 1600 employees at over 40 locations.  Roughly 3 years ago, DB Schenker started to utilize social media as part of their marketing strategy.  

Coca-Cola has found a way to stay relevant in a market that is slowly turning away from sugary drinks like soda. Coke’s integrated marketing strategies utilize both traditional and new media to create unique ads that tell a brand story across multiple channels. Coke employs social media as a way to invite consumers to be a part of their story. Using social media as a marketing tool allows Coke to onboard younger generations and creates a call to action. Personalized content and an innovative delivery system are what make Coke so popular. No matter which way you slice it, Coke is winning the social media ad game. Because after watching these videos, you’re probably going to be thinking about having a Coke.

When it comes to purchasing makeup products today, the first company that typically comes to mind – and even conversation – is Sephora.  Approach most women and men who have carefully applied a swipe of indigo eyeliner or a dusting of rose-gold eyeshadow where they bought the product from, and you’ll almost always hear, “Sephora!”  In a world that is so obssessed with image and beauty, Sephora continues to build their customer relationship based on a simple ideology – understanding customer wants and needs, and connecting that customer with the right product.  

ModCloth comes from humble beginnings in a dorm room. The company, founded in 2008, has grown in leaps in bounds since its inception. Including a 600% growth rate over the last two years and an annual revenue of over 150 million in 2014. One of the mainstays of ModCloth’s expert marketing strategy is their customer engagement. The company leverages their brand advocates and creates inclusive social media communities where fans can review products, post pictures of themselves wearing Modcloth apparel, take part in the design and purchase of inventory, and discuss all things ModCloth.

Today’s marketing landscape is ever changing, and with it, the way we engage with our customers.  It is no longer about selling a service or a product; now it is all about the customer experience.  Companies like T by Daniel, a Brampton based tea house, strive to provide a genuinely exceptional experience for each and every person they meet.  Lovers of tea, fashion and especially people, Daniela and Renata Lewis had a vision to start something that could speak to all generations and could bring people together 1. It began when Daniel Lewis overcame a tragedy and used his new found passion for life to follow his dream with his loving wife by his side.  “From the moment a person walks into our store, our immediate goal is to wow them” says Renata Lewis, co-founder.  Their friendly staff focus on getting to know their customers, whether in person or online.

Employee engagement is a vital element of a successful and productive work environment. 1  Companies like Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants (herein referred to as “O&B”) have been empowering their employees for years, which has helped them become one of Canada’s top fine dining restaurant companies. Their employees are passionate, energetic and have a sense of pride when speaking about their employers. O&B operates a portfolio of unique and innovative restaurants across Ontario3.

When someone says the words “social media” often the first thing that comes to mind are sites like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. While these social networking services are definitely an extremely popular— and important—part of social media, the true definition of encompasses much more than just social networking. “Social Media is the future of communication, a countless array of internet based tools and platforms that increase and enhance the sharing of information.“ – SocialMediaDefined.com It is undeniable then that as social media continues to grow and adapt, it increasingly presents new opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers. Companies are always looking for new ways to market their products and sometimes the opportunity exists to reach to consumers in a way that puts them in control of the interaction.

Whether it has been with a talking chihuahua, or jamming Doritos into all parts of Tex-Mex fast food, Taco Bell has taken a thinking outside the box approach to marketing and advertising for years – long before social media was really a thing. Though, of course, they’d say they’re “thinking outside the bun.” Taco Bell thrives on the bizarre, the unconventional, and the uncommon. They’re all of these descriptions and more! – Wrapped in a Cool Ranch Doritos shell and smothered in sour cream, salsa and gooey, orange, plastic-y cheese. While marketing is a subject that is relatively difficult to go too crazy with, on the surface, Taco Bell manages to find a way to go against the grain here as well. While the 2015 Social Media Marketing Industry Report shows that many corporations have low interest in utilizing Snapchat in their marketing at this point, Taco Bell is embracing the platform and using it really effectively.

The beauty industry is a multi-billion dollar market and social media is becoming a beauty battleground as companies compete for their share of the pie. Companies are constantly looking for new ways to engage their customers, build brand loyalty and of course increase sales through their social media efforts. With a number of major players in the industry thriving in the social media landscape, beauty companies constantly have to come up with new and innovative ways to garner the attention of their sometimes fickle target market. One company that has been very successful in accomplishing just that is L’Oréal. Not only has L’Oréal amassed an impressive base of followers on their social media accounts but they have also been praised for their innovative campaigns that continue to raise the bar for competitors and inspire companies in other industries as well. “Globally, L’Oréal has an objective of building 100% love for our brands, and social media is crucial to driving engagement and affinity for the brands that sit under the broader L’Oréal group banner.” – Emma Williamson, Manager, Consumer Affairs and Social Media ANZ The following video provides a quick look who L’Oréal is and at some of their social media successes to date.

How the Communitech incubator in Waterloo ON, is leveraging social media to market its services to Silicon Valley North start-ups in need of just the right guidance to get their big idea off the ground.

  Through its innovative My Starbucks Idea, the company known for fresh roasted beverages, wholesome food on the go, and the decadent Iced Caramel Macchiato, is looking your way for their next great product idea.  

I will admit that until very recently I was not familiar with the brand Chobani. You see, despite being the number one Greek yogurt in the United States, Chobani’s line of all-natural, non-GMO products aren’t currently available in Canada. However, when I started researching companies using social media as a means to engage their customers I kept seeing the Chobani name come up, so I decided to explore this brand and its strategy a little deeper. And now I’m thinking it might be time for a road trip south to see what all the fuss is about. Founded just over 10 years ago by Kurdish-American businessman Hamdi Ulukaya, Chobani has quickly risen to the forefront of the yogurt industry capitalizing on the market shift towards the creamier Greek-style of yogurt. In a 2013 interview Ulukaya stated that at the time of Chobani’s product launch in 2007 “Greek yogurt market share in the United States was less than 1 percent. And today it is almost 60 percent.” Becoming the top brand in that marketplace is quite the accomplishment, and proves that the company is doing something right not only with its product but its marketing strategy as well.

  While engaging your audience is usually not a bad thing, giving up total control for one of your most prestigious annual events can be. Which is why the NBA is rethinking the process for how All-Star votes are cast.

Fundraisers – Facebook’s New Tools for Charities.

Forrester Hinds   November 20, 2015

Organization name: Facebook Website: https://www.facebook.com/ Industry: Social Media. Advertise Your Cause, Attract Supporters, Accrue Donations, and Align Graphics to Show Goal Progression. In 2013, the developers at Facebook began testing tools for non-profits and charities to raise funds on their platform and allow for easy sharing of content. The popularity of social media for both business and consumers is no… Read more »

From Facebook to Oracle – The Future of Social Media is Data-Focused, Far-Reaching and Highly Intelligent

jvaishnav   November 19, 2015

Organization Name: Oracle Corporation Industry: Software Name of contacts: Greg Robinson, Solutions Consultant Manager Web references: imediaconnection.com – 5 Predictions For the Future of Social Media go-mashmobile.com – What is the Future of Social Media Marketing? youtube.com video – The Future of Social Media? youtube.com video – The Future of Social Media Intelligence – An Interview with Greg Robinson business2community.com – The… Read more »

SMART content for mobile power users is the way of the social media future

ASeymour   November 16, 2015

Company:  UNC School of Media and Journalism Industry:  Education Contact:  Gary Kayye, Adjunct Professor Web references:  UNC, YouTube, Adobe Digital Marketing blog, ello, Tinder, Buzzfeed, Entrepreneur   What WAS life like before we all were engaged almost 24/7 with our smartphones? Entrepreneur’s staff writer, Laura Entis’ column “Life with Smarphones” suggests that while the devices have only been around for a decade,… Read more »