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.
Throughout FIFA’s divisions, I believe that FIFA has created the most significant collaboration between two of its departments such as Marketing, and Communications & Public Affairs Division. Each department is in charge of developing different aspects of FIFA’s goals. FIFA’s most important goals are; creating opportunities for fan engagement, providing best experiences for fans, players and all stakeholders at events, providing up-to-date information on game time, scores, and ticket information. FIFA accomplishes this through FIFA’s web site, FIFA’s App, and all Social Media channels. Marketing at FIFA consists of many sub-divisions that include Brand & Marketing Communication, FIFA Marketing Russia, FIFA Quality Concept, Hospitality, Licensing, Marketing Alliances, Marketing Event Management, Production, Sales, Strategic Development and Ticketing. FIFA’s Marketing is committed to providing sponsors with “right packages”, promoting events to fuel fan excitement at host nations, managing premium hospitality events, creating innovative and tailor made marketing programs enhancing fan experiences, managing brand identity at FIFA and events. Communications & Public Affairs Division handles public relations, internal communications, and FIFA weekly magazine. FIFA’s digital department is in charge of FIFA.com, social media platforms, FIFA app, and video content through FIFA TV. The digital department is also in charge of the storage of data, photographs and documents. FIFA’s media department handles the communication to the media and media facility services for FIFA events. FIFA’s public affairs department handles the communication, relations and engagement with public, authorities and policymakers. FIFA has established a group to develop a comprehensive mobile and digital strategy designed to improve engagement with FIFA’s stakeholders. The work was built upon FIFA’s established platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and the FIFA app, which was downloaded 30 million times around the FIFA World Cup 2014. I wonder how many times the FIFA app will be downloaded in the 2018 World Cup in Russia? In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube
It’s clear that social media’s impact on any business is critical to its success. Gone are the days when corporations and companies, both big and small, could successfully operate without a LinkedIn profile or Facebook account. Now, having no social media presence can be detrimental to a business’s lead generation tactics, customer service and brand awareness.
Nostalgia is alive and well among the fashion industry. Consumers who are longing for styles of past generation are influencing organizations to bring back products from the 50s and 60s. In a recent nostalgia-driven feud, Adidas and Nike both brought back retro offerings, Adidas with their Superstar and Nike with their Cortez shoe. Both were wildly popular shoes of the past, yet only one of the two successfully made a comeback. Why did the Superstar win the retro battle and the Cortez fall flat? Adidas understands how to use social media to influence shoe-culture.
Figuring out your content marketing strategy is, like many things, a bit of a dance: You make choreographed choices, pause, look backward, figure, and then move forward with a new set of designed steps, all in the spirit of wowing your audience and reaching the right people. This is certainly the case in figuring if and how social media will find its place in the future marketing strategies of organizations, across most industries. Deciding to ditch or dedicate your time to social media channels depends largely on assessing the successes and failures of its use in the past (and following suit with a similar or wildly different strategy, depending on your research findings). It also depends on your key objectives, goals, and measurable targets. Toronto’s Furniture Bank, a charity and social enterprise bringing gently-used furniture into the homes of people coming out of poverty, sees a hopeful future for social media in its overall marketing scheme in future. With goals to build brand awareness, strengthen relationships with partners over the social sphere, and market its charitable and industry events, the future is bright for social media in the context of this social enterprise. (Below: A personal story distributed on social channels on the impact of Furniture Bank’s work.)
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.)
It’s the season of giving. And with more than 85,000 registered charities in Canada, the competition for your discretionary dollar is heating up. For traditional non-profits like the United Way, dealing with dwindling donation dollars is compounded by the rise of online, crowd-sourced and increasinlgy niche charitable initiatives. How does one of Canada’s largest and oldest charities break through the clutter, especially during the prime giving season, to successfully engage local, distracted and digitally savvy donors? While bricks-and-motar organizations like the United Way certainly have their work cut out, the increasing use of social media and the resulting metrics are helping organizations focus their marketing efforts to maximize awareness, engagement and, ultimately, donations.
Search Engine Land defines social media marketing as referring “to the process of gaining traffic or attention through social media sites”. Marketing has changed dramatically as marketing strategies now incorporate social media platforms to help with marketing plans. In an article titled “Social Media marketing for Businesses” from WordStream, a plan is emphasized as the first step in creating a Social Media Marketing strategy. Asking questions such as: what are you hoping to achieve, who is your audience, what message are you trying to send and what are the best social media tools should be the first place to begin. WordStream also focuses on choosing the best social media platforms for your organization and the article offers suggestions for many platforms, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Reddit, and Location Based Media such as Yelp.
FIFA’s use of Social Media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube in the Marketing process and campaigns is very bold, organized methodical and innovative for a non-for-profit association. FIFA is a non-commercial, not-for-profit association that uses significant funds in developing the game of football/soccer around the world, organizing its own international competitions and drawing up regulations for association football/soccer. This legal status as a not-for-profit association has helped FIFA to develop into a multibillion dollar company. The current partners of FIFA listed for the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM are Adidas, Coca Cola, Hyundai, KIA, Qatar Airways, Wanda group, Gazprom and Visa. The current FIFA sponsors are Budweiser, Hisense, McDonalds, Vivo, HANDSHAKE FOR PEACE, FIFA FOOTBALL FOR HOPE, and FIFA.com. If you are interested in applying to be a sponsor for the next FIFA World CupTM in 2022, please click on the following link that will lead you to FIFA’s sales department email address. Become a sponsor email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) The above listed companies dominate advertising boards, receive free tickets and have the privilege of inviting guests at special rates and have rights to use the World Cup Logo exclusively. FIFA is effectively using Digital Marketing to advertise and sell tickets for the future World Cup events, such as 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM. FIFA fans can apply for 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM tickets using the following link apply for tickets. Soccer fans can also check prices in US dollars by clicking check prices. Benefits to Partners FIFA’s Marketing platform reaches millions of people in over 200 countries worldwide this is done through the support of commercial affiliates providing vital services and product support for the entire event’s operations. The standard rights package includes: Use of Official Marks Exposure in and around stadiums, in all Official FIFA publications and on official website, http://www.fifa.com Acknowledge of sponsor support through an extensive FIFA World Cup sponsor recognition program Ambush Marketing protection Hospitality opportunities Advertising/promotional opportunities and preferential access to FIFA World Cup™ broadcast advertising Partners can also tailor their sponsorship according to their Marketing strategies and needs. They can individually use the official logo and create composite logos allowing them to be creative in their Marketing strategies. In order to watch the video, FIFA has granted permission via YouTube
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are all free platforms in which business’ can promote themselves and engage with your audiences. Especially if your audiences is part of the millennials. Poo~Pourri, the brand that has designed a spray to eliminate odor while doing your business, and aims to target woman mid 20s to late 50’s and has managed create buzz with thier hilirous videos and get heads turning with its first ever social media marketing campaign “Girls Don’t Poop”. Poo_Pourri knows they’re target audience is a large portion of the millennial generation those born between the early 80s and early 2000s, Millennials live life online. Also known as Generation Y or Generation Me, this is a group that has become defined by the digital world and has prompted the huge cultural shift towards capturing every moment on camera phones. Poo-Pourri social media objectives where ; Create Media Buzz Gain Users Trust Build Brand Loyalty
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.
Media. Monitoring. No one understands the utility of social media in the development of products better than than those in the thick of the media monitoring industry, the champions of multiple products which, like digital butterfly nets, capture curated data from the far corners of the online world, with the aims to organize, analyze, and report on that data in an impactful way. In effect, social media research in this industry IS the product. In Canada, a competitive set of top industry players, such as Cision Canada, have made the monitoring, organizing, and analysis of traditional and social data their full-time business by developing digital media monitoring/analysis platforms and bringing them to market. And, given the nearly daily shifts in digital technologies and modes of communication, pushing out new user-friendly, contemporary communications products for clients (mostly those in PR, marketing, advertising, and communications across an expansive list of industries), and meeting the demands of the market in a timely and effective way, are vital in staying relevant to the needs of the communications and PR professionals who’s primary need is to keep their fingers on the pulse.
Social media (as its name suggests) seems to function best for customer engagement when companies bypass the impersonal and take the customer firmly by the (digital) hand. This courting is difficult to do, yet Lay’s Canada (a PepsiCo company), a brand which largely relies on *actual* consumer consumption of their products, recognized that giving the customer agency, or the feeling of ‘a say’ in the design or production of a product is a highly effective, person-to-person way of engaging consumers, relying on them to buy Lay’s products with the subtle feeling that they have had a personal investment or stake in the brand. As a marketing tool, this kind of consumer-business enmeshment is prime territory for social media, which functions largely (and hopefully successfully) as a means of engagement. By researching a consumer’s stake in the product offering, companies like Lay’s assess which viral topics or trends are meaningful to their customers, and follow suit with an effectively-designed interactive digital campaign to increase daily or ongoing engagement with the public. And the outcome of this kind of campaign can be unprecedented.
Competition and teamwork is at the core of human motivation. What many of us struggle to achieve on our own, without supervision and benchmarks, can often be achieved when we are pushed beyond our comfort zone and joined by others with a common goal. Nike has repeatedly leveraged this fundamental element of human nature, and has successfully gamified the typical shopping experience through their online community: NikePlus.
Welcoming employees into your digital content strategy isn’t always easy, especially if your company represents a niche product or service that might not lend itself to community-building on social channels. For Penguin | Random House Canada, however, demonstrating employee engagement appears easy enough. Like many successful shops, Penguin recognizes that the core of their business is a widely-celebrated object, for customers and staff alike: the book. Through its recent content strategy, followers have come to understand that Penguin employees are a fans as well.
In this day and age, most people are glued to their mobile device and information gets thrown at us from left, right and centre. So when a brand is competing for attention, especially through social media, they need to be eye-catching, useful and trustworthy – and maybe a bit humorous.
Traditional marketing isn’t what it used to be. Most people are no longer as susceptible to, or trusting of what they’re being sold. According to a recent study, 84% of Millenials do not trust or like traditional advertising. Yet, everywhere you look, almost any and every little available space tends to be plastered with an advertisement of some kind. So how do you break through this resistance and connect with your target market in an authentic and lasting way? Ipsy has found a way. Ipsy is a personalized makeup subscription service available online that sends users monthly bags filled with different and personalized cosmetic products. Here’s more about what it is and how it started: “Michelle Phan has inspired countless women around the world through her beauty video tutorials on YouTube. Every day, the question Michelle gets asked the most is: “What are the right products for me?” With infinite beauty product combinations in the marketplace, choosing the best items for your needs can be a challenge! That was why Michelle created ipsy. Michelle and her team of stylists have selected products they love, for you to try. Each month, subscribers will receive a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using.”
I am one of those people who is fascinated by branding and marketing. Who brands are, why they are who they are, how they share and connect with their targeted audiences… why did that ad campaign work? How did that company figure to target that audience in that way? And of course, why is some marketing such a failure? In my love for branding and marketing mixed with my passion for social media, I came across Gary Vaynerchuk years ago (if you don’t know him, Gary is “…one of the most sought after public speakers alive today. He is a venture capitalist, 4-time New York Times bestselling author, and an early investor in companies such as Twitter, Tumblr, Venmo and Uber. Gary has been named to bothCrain’s and Fortune’s 40 Under 40 lists.” (GaryVaynerchuk.com, 2017)) I follow Gary on social media, and was excited to see he was part of a series Apple is releasing on iTunes, Planet of the Apps. This show “…a sort of hybrid of The Voice and Shark Tank lets app developers make their pitch to four potential celeb mentors: Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Gary Vaynerchuk, and Will.i.am who then help coach their mentees through developing their pitches and courting venture capitalists for investments.” (Howard, 2017) One of the most successful pitches on Planet of the Apps was Dote. Dote dons itself a mobile mall in your pocket (Dote, 2017). “The app curates products from over 130 stores, including Sephora, Forever21, and Urban Outfitters, in one place. All you need to do is enter your credit card once, and you can buy a product with a single tap, without wasting time shopping on individual store websites.” (Buxton, 2017) Dote also landed a 5 million dollar investment from VC’s from a pitch on Planet of the Apps, “one of the largest ever doled out on a TV series.” (Vogue, 2017)
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.
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.
Social Media has played an important role in the growth of modern businesses. Due to the massive shift in global digitization, companies have been arming themselves with teams of people who monitor social channels, the performance of their brand and ROI of advertising dollars across channels such as Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinerest and more. With 700 million active daily users, Instagram alone, combined with the exponential growth of other social channels, continues to be a draw for consumers and businesses alike. Since social media channels provide this convergence of consumers and brands, it makes it quite easy for marketers to start to collect data on the habits of consumers and serve up relevant and engaging content. Sometimes referred to as KPI’s or Key Performance Indicators, this data has mostly been used for reactive purposes. This type of data can help marketers and product developers understand what specifically drives customer engagement. Questions frequently ask include, was it a picture that was shared and was it a piece of literature sharing key information that served an audience. Listening to what consumers want and serving them up when they want it is a great way to connect and build brand awareness and ultimately help grow the business. Monitoring the positives does not go without measuring the negatives or the “risks” to achieving business objectives. Social Media KRI’s can also be very helpful in understanding how to quickly adjust based on operational, financial, strategic, and regulatory risks. This significantly can improve how a business weathers a storm as well.
At FlashStock, operational efficiency is key to the growth and success of the company. Our core product is custom images and videos taken by our network of global contributors which is delivered to brands around the world through our machine learning technology. Even with this automation, we need to ensure that the customer is properly managed throughout the customer lifecycle. Having better insight into the process, through the collection and use of data, allows FlashStock to scale resources as needed for all client project sizes, effectively manage the pipeline of business, and ensure the proper management of those resources for optimal productivity. Some say having a well-oiled supply chain is a key competitive advantage. FlashStock views the supply chain as key for tracking and measuring that we are going above and beyond for our clients delivering what we promised.
In the midst of this Social/Mobile Marketing Era, business has changed its focus from being all about maximising a company’s financial return, to real-time connections, and social exchanged based on relationships driven by the consumers. An industry that understands and uses customer engagement as a tool is the beauty industry.
Sephora has made a global presence in the last few decades in the cosmetic industry. Founded in France 1970, by Dominique Mandonnaud, which was then sold to LVMH in 1997. The company had quickly evolved with retail stores expansions and a wider variety of products. Sephora offers a large range of products such as fragrance, makeup, skincare, hair products, and accessories. In the last few years Sephora has taken a massive transition into digital retailing as the company uses social media as a main platform to expand the brand.
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”.