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.
Companies are like sharks – they have to keep moving or die; develop new products and services or improve existing ones. Without evolving product innovation, companies and products like Blockbuster and USBdrives can just wither away. A paradigm shift has happened In product development and innovation. Where once businesses marketed to their customers via broadcast channels (TV, radio, and print), now businesses broadcast using social media, highly interactive platforms which allow individuals, communities, and business to collectively share, co-create, discuss, and modify user-generated content. Social media has become a gigantic global focus group petrie dish, including blogs (Blogger), microblogging (Twitter), collaborative wiki-projects (Wikipedia), forums (Harley Davidson), professional networking sites (LinkedIn), social networks (Facebook, Google+), photographs (Instagram), and videos (YouTube) 1. What is the genesis for new or improved product ideas for business? It’s called “Open Innovation”2, a concept fathered by Henry Chesbrough, and is defined as “The formal discipline and practice of leveraging the discoveries of unobvious others as input for the innovation process through formal and informal relationships (it is the informal relationship that constitutes this innovativeness of open innovation)”. Companies are actively embracing Open Innovation, and they are relying on social media to help them generate, incubate, and give birth to new and refined products through an intricate complementary process of data-gathering, analysis, and customer communication. But what new tasks, disciplines, and organizational restructuring must communication professionals need now to consider turning Open Innovation into measurable and repeatable ROI on product innovation? Today, multi-national firms rarely innovate alone – there is a dynamic interactive process within innovative organizations to establish networks between internal and external entities, particularly in new product development3. More businesses are relying on “co-creation” to develop new or enhance existing products. The term, “co-creation”, signifies an active, creative and social collaboration process, facilitated by the company, between customers and company department producers. Customer co-creation, in short, is open innovation with customers. The idea of co-creation is to actively involve customers in the design or development of future offerings, often with the help of tools that are provided by the firm. Many excellent examples of case studies on social media’s impact on customer co-creation can be found in the University of Waterloo’s Social Media for Business Performance archives: Starbucks Ideas, Dell Computers, Dorrito’s, to name a few. But to create value from social media co-creation, firms have to develop dedicated processes to analyze its benefit… Read more »
From a marketing perspective, being able to distinguish your brand in a sea of competition is a difficult challenge. That being said, if you are the brand, this task takes on a much more strategic and personal dynamic. You are putting your personal interpretations and artistic creativity on display in an open forum for all to see. It can be an extremely daunting and vulnerable process. Your success as a artist/business, relies heavily on your ability to tell your story in a way that allows the consumer to relate to you, and your artwork. Such is the challenge for Joanna Gresik, a Canadian abstract artist by night and corporate interior designer by day, living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Joanna creates paintings that are inspired by the energy and life of towns and cities shown through sharp lines, carefully crafted colour palettes and gestural abstract expressionist marks. Joanna has a unique ability to see architecture and landscape through a different lense , and even more impressive is her ability to express those interpretations onto a canvas. With the emergence of social media as a trusted marketing tool for businesses over the last decade or so, it comes as no surprise that these same social media channels now play an important role for small business owners and artists just like Joanna. By providing a platform and a vehicle for messaging, social media marketers can now reach a wider more specific target audience with their products and services. Joanna understands the importance of creating such relationships and quickly determined that these interactions were essential for her growth, not only as an artist, but also as a business person.
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.
On the day I read the content of this case study I had a nasty headache. As I reached for my bottle of Tylenol I wondered how does the manufacturing industry use social media and the resulting supply chain management ? Having close relatives in this industry and for confidentiality reasons I decided to look into the manufacturing/vendor side as opposed to discussing a large well-known pharmaceutical company. What I learned at this level of this industry was it has various levels of complexities of graphs, processes and disconnected communications.
Eight years ago, Brian’s Custom Sports occupied a vastly different space than the one they currently hold. A hockey goalie equipment manufacturer, Brian’s was known as a custom graphic company. They made high end equipment, but customers were drawn to the custom designs they could put on the pads, rather than the specifications of the gear itself. Brian’s changed the game in 2008 when they did something no other company was doing at the time, they created a Facebook page. The introduction of this page not only gave the company a massive new following, but also started them down the path of becoming the leader in technological innovation. Brian’s used there social media reach to innovate products for the high and low end markets.
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.
Global companies are continuously communicating and collaborating with a broad community of people.1 Social media can help bridge the communication gap and help collaborate information more effectively and more efficiently. Eyewear By Olga is a luxury eyewear retailer carrying top crafted frames from around the world. It is located in the heart of Mississauga, in Port Credit. Olga Trentin, Owner of Eyewear by Olga utilizes social media in every aspect of her business, whether it is for her retail store or online boutique. “Social media has definitely helped my business, from visibility to purchasing to inventory management.” says Olga Trentin.
The Waze Craze Commuters usually know a few different ways to get to their desired destinations. There’s the everyday route, the scenic route and the back route but they are always faced with the question of which way is the best at this exact moment. That’s where the mobile app Waze comes in to play – the world’s largest crowdsourced GPS based traffic and navigation app. With over a million users in some countries, Waze connects users to create a real time traffic navigation community. It can be used for avoiding traffic jams, accidents, police speed traps, road blockages, even the cheapest nearby fuel! They call their community of users “Wazers” and add some fun to their daily commutes with status rankings within the community that are dependent on how much you use the app. Waze also offers limited time celebrity navigation voices to guide you from point A to B – imagine hearing Arnold Schwarzenegger’s voice saying “Hasta La Vista, Baby” at the end of your journey. They have even added a social side to the app with the ability to see nearby friends on the map as well as sharing your drive to see when everyone else is arriving to your destination.
Social Media screening of candidates has become common practice in today’s fast passed recruiting process. Is it ethical, or does this behavior infringe on ones freedom of speech, and how efficient is it really?
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.
It seems like not that long ago that my previous employer instated a company-wide ban on social media websites and blocked us from accessing any of them from our company computers. It also seems like it wasn’t that long after that they lifted the ban and rolled out the enterprise social network Yammer and encouraged its use. So why the about-face? How did social media go from being a workplace pariah to an invaluable business tool? For companies like my previous employer—and many others that deal in consumer products—one of the key benefits to an enterprise social network is collaboration. Collaboration breeds innovation and innovation is key to success when new ideas and products are your business.
Industry: Social Media Web References: CNET, Fastcompany.com, niagarafallsreview.ca, coldwellbanker.ca, apple.com/ca, fwthinking.com, cavesocial.com There is little doubt that Social Media is the next level in the technology revolution. It has crossed over the point at which it is no longer a fad and has become common place; the new normal. It’s integration into daily life has fundamentally changed society and as it morphs into the next wave,… Read more »
Organization name: TEVA Canada Industry: Pharmaceuticals Name of contact: Antonio (Tony) Martins, formerly Vice President, Supply Chain at TEVA Canada and Ratiopharm Web references: Supplychain247.com – The Social Side of Supply Chain Management The WallStreet Journal – Teva to Acquire Generics Firm Computerworld.com – Drug maker goes social to end supply chain crisis Article: Want a Fast-Response Supply Chain? Facilitate People-to-People Communication… Read more »
Organisation name: Man Crates. Website: http://www.mancrates.com/gifts-for-men Industry: Curated and themed masculine gift boxes. Brag-worthy Gifts for Guys, Crowbar Included. With only the $1000 he was allowed by his wife, Jonathan Beekman created the business that is today known as Man Crates. Man Crates offers customers the ability to purchase and ship themed gifts contained in unique and memorable packaging; and contents… Read more »
Organization Name: Liberty Linehaul Inc. Industry: Trucking Name of Contact: Ron Cameron, Safety & Compliance Web References: Liberty Linehaul Website, Liberty Twitter, Liberty Facebook, Wikipedia, SM and SCM, Effective SCM through Social Networking, Trucking SM, Waze, Business Wire, Truck News, Trucking HR Canada, fun facts, RoadsideAmerica, Arnold Schwarzenegger, RealtyToday Description: Using social media within your supply chain got your truck stalled? Okay, so the… Read more »
Industry: Retail, Publishing Contacts: David Black for The Beat Goes On, Sophie Blom for The New Quarterly, Jessica Burman for Cocoon Apothecary Web References: SMBP Blog, The Beat Goes On, The New Quarterly, Cocoon Apothecary It’s the hot topic that anyone who has anything to do with marketing talks about; What is the next big thing? I believe that the… Read more »
Organization Name: The Future of Social Media Industry: Social Media Name of contact: varied (below) Web References: varied (below) The Future of Social Media: Social media has reshaped our society unlike any others; it is the future of how people will communicate and do business. However, many would still argue that social media is a time waster. Much like people… Read more »
Organization Name: McNeil Consumer Healthcare, The subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, Family of Companies Ranking #11 on the Top 50 World’s Most Admired Companies 2015 by Fortune, with over $72 billion in sales, Johnson & Johnson, through its family of companies, operates three business segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical (McNeil Consumer Healthcare) and Medical Devices & Diagnostics, with more… Read more »
Organization name: University of Waterloo, Center for Extended Learning Industry: Education, Professional Development Name of contact: Peter Carr, PhD, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance Web references: Social Media for Business Performance Using Crowdsourcing to Develop a Student Resources Application WordPress is a relatively easy program to use. However, for novice users who are not widely computer experienced, and… Read more »
Organisation Name: ASOS Industry: Online fashion retail Web references: http://www.asos.com London –based ASOS is a global on-line fashion player that targets urban 20-something customers. ASOS aims to be the ‘hub of a thriving fashion community’. Their numbers are impressive – over 80,000 branded and own-brand products shipped from warehouses in the UK, US, Europe and China to almost every country in… Read more »
Posted on February 6, 2015 by: Dolores Montavez & Christian Ismodes Organization Name: American Airlines. Industry: Airline Name of contact: Doug Parker Web References:www.americanairlines.com American Airlines Gets Social Media Right From a business perspective, social media allows a company to extend its reach, gain visibility and build meaningful relationships with customers worldwide. Darren Booth In this video Jonathan Pierce, Director… Read more »
Organization Name: Harrods Harrods is a luxury department store located in London,United Kingdom. They have been in business for over 160 years and currently employ 5000 employees with an additional 3500 agency and concession employees. Industry: Retail Web References: Twitter.com/Harrods, facebook.com/Harrods, LinkedIn, engagedforsuccess.org, businesscasestudies.co.uk Internal Social Networking… In 2010 ownership of Harrods changed hands and the incoming owners, Qatar Holding, knew that… Read more »
Organization Name: Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Industry: Social Media/Social Network Web References: www.facebook.com, www.twitter.com, www.linkedin.com Description of how social media is used for business performance: When you look back as to early 1990’s as to how everyone from all walks of life used to communicate and collaborate as they currently do today. Often wonder how simpler times were when we didn’t have… Read more »