In today’s society everyone wants things faster, now and for less. More and more people are looking for ways to say time and money as our pace as a society is not slowing down anytime soon. The future of social media and where we are going is huge and the idea of online grocery shopping is just the beginning. Online shopping has been popular for years, being able to buy clothes, diapers, shoes, household items with the click of a button and have it show up at your door step is extremely popular because of its convenience and time saving appeal. Moving into groceries is a whole new ball game because you’re buying meat, fresh fruit and vegetables and dairy products that can’t be shipped in the mail. This is where ‘Click and Collect’ has come in. ‘Click and Collect’ is an online website that you can visit, view all the groceries in the store and add them to your cart. You then pick a time slot you would like to pick up at and arrive to the store. There are designated parking spots that you call a number when you arrive and for the small cost of $3-$5 someone will do your shopping and delivery to your vehicle. Jennifer Quesnel, Click Collect Manager commented that ‘ Convenience is that we have it all ready for you so you can spend your time doing whats important to you instead of coming in to shop”.
There are various ways in which organizations may utilize social media as a tool to help various areas of their company perform better in today’s business climate. Although many organizations already use social media within certain facets of the workplace, social media may also be applied across the whole organization to create more effective business plans throughout the entire company. For example, rather than simply focusing on using social media for only marketing and customer engagement purposes, a company may decide to work on integrating strategies to aid employee involvement, product development/design, metrics and supply chain management, to increase the effectiveness of the organization as a whole. However, in order to make this strategy possible, businesses require the integration of enterprise social media which provides the platforms necessary for all departments within an organization to communicate and share unique department data with one another. In other words, enterprise social media works to help all departments in their collaboration and planning processes in order that social media may be successfully integrated across the whole organization. In turn, enterprise social media, if implemented carefully and strategically, has various benefits to add to a company’s business performance. One company that is reaping the rewards of enterprise social media includes major food processing company MARS, who has successfully integrated social media across it’s organization. Although the first thought that may come to mind when considering the company from a Canadian perspective is the decadent Mars nougat and caramel chocolate bar, candy confectionary isn’t the only thing MARS produces. In fact, MARS also produces gum, beverages and even pet food! Another important fact to consider about the company is its global scale, as it produces and distributes products across the world.
Social media is prevalent in today’s society, so much so that it is almost more noticeable if a company doesn’t use it opposed to if they do. Looking at companies as a whole and studying how they are integrating social media through their enterprise allows us to better understand not only the company but their communication. Norwell Dairy is the largest dairy supply company in all of North America selling and servicing approx. 1700 dairy customers in Ontario. They have four locations across Ontario with the head office being in Drayton. Norwell employs just over 120 employees and communication and a social media plan is huge for them to ensure everyone is on the same page which can be done through effectively synchronizing the use of social media across the organization. Norwell’s vision as an organization is that “By continually seeking out new and innovative products to meet the ever-changing needs of our industry, Norwell has grown into the country’s largest dairy farm design, equipment and supply company.” Norwell wants to be able to provide dairy farmers with all the daily needs required to successfully milk their cows and run a profitable operation. Being able to service customers milking equipment and provide them with the tools needed to clean and care for their equipment is very important to ensure customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. It has been said that organizations are increasingly recognizing the benefits of enterprise-wide integration in the area of information technology, as they move away from legacy systems to integrated systems (often called Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP) systems. This statement is very true for Norwell, as they have moved from basic IT systems to now have two in house IT personnel and a dynamic ERP system, NAV, as well as active on Facebook and Twitter.
Social media, when used effectively, can have far reaching benefits for organizations. Those benefits can be even further maximized when an organization links and effectively synchronizes the use of social media efforts across the entire business.
If you were to ask someone if they know what Amazon was chances are you wouldn’t just get a ‘yes’ but they have probably purchased something off the site at some point. Amazon is the largest e-commerce company in many parts of the world and they understand the effect of a solid social media strategy. Not having physical stores and selling everything online via social media platforms, apps and their websites they really are experts at what they do. There are over 310 million active Amazon customer accounts worldwide with 90 million being Amazon Prime accounts spending an avgerage of $1300/year. The other 220 million are spending an average of $700/year. These sales have lead Amazon to an annual net ecommerce of goods totaling $52.8 billion in 2017, that is nearly 4x its closest rival Walmart. So how does a company get this big and achieve such great results all online…social media and good marketing!
Every day, new strategies are being developed to increase social media’s role in helping business performance levels. Whether social media is utilized to better employee engagement within a company, or as a tool to market products to consumers, its facets are continually updated to provide seamless integration in business structure to improve its functioning. However, if we look ahead to the future of social media and business performance, it appears that it may not be people at all who monitor and produce the different levels of communication across various social media platforms. Who would be responsible for these specific roles then? The answer lies in one simple acronym: AI. If you don’t already know, AI stands for artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence may be defined as a type of computer or machine that possesses the capability of mimicking intelligent human behaviour (hence the word artificial). In fact, we have already had such a glimpse into the future from various businesses who have already started to implement AI across their social media channels to better their own customer engagement/service practices. One such company includes ecommerce super giant eBay, who has developed their own “ShopBot,” which uses AI technology in combination with the Facebook messenger app to assist customers in finding the items they are searching for within their price range.
Technology and technological advancements move at a rapid pace. We now have more power in our pockets than ever before, and the possibilities seem endless. The Internet of Things, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) have been a fascinating concept of science fiction for decades, but now it’s a reality. As social media and technology continue to develop, other technologies will advance too, and organizations of all shapes and sizes will be affected – but how?
Social media marketing has become a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes in reaching prospects and new customers. No matter who you are, or what industry you’re in, your customers are already interacting with brands through social media. Great marketing on social media can bring remarkable success to your business by creating devoted brand advocates and driving leads and sales. Bottom line: if you’re not speaking directly to your audience through social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, you’re missing out!
As a brand or business, it’s not enough for you to simply “be online”. Companies of all shapes and sizes need to be on various marketing channels and utilize them effectively. Just like radio and television, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn are now genuine marketing channels, and they require serious attention to drive real business success. Learning how to use and read metrics that are available to businesses through social media, can have a profound impact on a business’s level of success.
Today’s marketplace is highly competitive. In order to differentiate themselves and stay ahead of the competition, companies must think of innovative ways to streamline their operations, increase efficiencies, and optimize productivity. One such aspect of achieving greater efficiency is through good supply chain management practices. Not super sexy, but super important, supply chains and supply chain management are topics that your business should be constantly evaluating!
Every organization must deal with the management of a supply chain to some extent. Often, the production/distribution of commodities does not operate at the hands of one person or group, but multiple people working together, across different locations and with expertise to produce and deliver a product to the consumer. In turn, with so many people across the supply chain to manage and coordinate with one another, social media has become a powerful tool to successfully organize logistics for any given organization.
DeLaval is the worldwide leader in milking equipment and solutions for dairy farmers, which make sustainable food production possible, ensuring milk quality and animal health. DeLaval was found more than 130 years ago in Sweden. Today DeLaval has 4,500 employees and operates in more than 100 countries. DeLaval sells alot of milking equipment including but not limited too, the VMS; voluntary milking systems robot, rotaries, parlours, milk meters to name a few. In the ever changing dairy industry its important to stay up to date with the last innovations and keep the customers engaged and intrigued with what you have to offer them. When purchasing a new barn or milking system it is a huge investment that is not made over night and customers want to make sure they are getting the best of the best for their cows.
The times, they are a changin’….a notion famously expressed by Bob Dylan some 50 odd years ago, and one that can be applied to organizations’ and their product development practices as a result of social media. In recent years, technological advancements have changed the socio-economic landscapes for organizations, and have created an ever competitive and complex market. Social media is playing a pivotal role, with an unprecedented rate of adoption that surpasses conventional tools such as the radio, telephone, television etc. Companies across all industries are having to use social media in product development in order to stay current on fine-tuned market needs and trends. Social media offers the potential to significantly improve a business’s performance. It is being used by companies to not only communicate to their customers, but also to learn about their customers, in hopes of advancing product development.
Being able to create something customers want to engage with and something that catches their attention when they’re scrolling their news feeds daily is a struggle many companies are dealing with now that social media has taken over. Vacations and travel are no different, every company, resort, cruise ship wants you to pick them for your next holiday and how they approach their marketing and engaging customers could make or break their chance at earning your business. “Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. comprises six distinctive companies that share a vision anchored in excellence.” They operate in 47 countries with 50+ ships ranging with staterooms to fit 2500-7000 guests at a time. “We believe we are in the business of making tremendous memories” Michael Giresi, Chief Information Officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises. To make sure you are successful in making memories and meeting all the expectations of an amazing vacation you need to have exceptional customer experience, relationships and engagement not only during the trip but also leading up to it and afterwards. Royal Caribbean has been successful with this through their Crown and Anchor Loyalty Program, personalized emails based on recent searches and the new Royal IQ app that can be used on board. In today’s society everyone wants the newest, greatest and latest in everything they do which is why Royal Caribbean introduced Symphony of the Seas.
In recent years, the ways in which customers behave and interact with organizations has changed significantly. Social media has led to greater competition and weaker brand loyalty, where organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to control their messages. Consumers now have a stronger presence in the market, and organizations are tapping into these changes to increase customer engagement. This is why customer engagement via social media marketing is so important to a company’s bottom line.
In order to properly engage customers on social media platforms, companies/organizations are wise to deviate from conventional in-your face marketing techniques and opt instead to learn to participate in organic communication with their consumers, which in turn fosters loyal relationships among old and new customers alike. General Mills is a prime example of a company that uses social media to their advantage. Not only do they listen to customers and engage them in meaningful ways, but they also have fun doing it. General Mills is what some would refer to as a food processing super giant. The company maintains over 80 leading brands in the USA alone, not to mention various others across the globe.
Taking your kids to school, enjoying paid vacations and quitting your ‘full time’ job to run a business from your phone is something that is only possible in today’s society and because of the power of social media. Everything USANA does “aims to help you love life and live it”. At USANA Health Sciences their mission is to provide families with the highest quality, science-based health products. They are more than just vitamins; they are health and beauty products as well as weight loss management.
The modern workplace continues to evolve, in both technological advances and a shifting work culture. Companies across the globe are becoming more concerned with efficiency, and productivity, culminating in the quest for new opportunities for collaboration and resulting in employee engagement via internal social media. Social media can be effectively used internally within an organization to engage employees, the same way it is employed externally to engage customers. Increasingly, organizations are adopting internal social media platforms such as Workplace by Facebook to inspire symbiotic relationships of mutual support and trust. These platforms can help foster the necessary conditions for collaboration and facilitate cross-pollination of ideas and information throughout the organization.
Who are they? Dell is a multinational computer technology company based in Texas, United States. It is known for developing, selling, repairing, and supporting computers and related products and services. It started off as a pure hardware vendor but with acquisition of Perot System in 2009, the company ventured into IT services market. Since then it has been expanding its portfolio to include not only computers but also delivering complete solutions for enterprise customers. Working for DELL The company employs more than 103,000 individuals worldwide and was listed at number 51 in Fortune 500 list of the companies until 2014. DELL operates in over 180 different countries around the world. Very few companies have the resources available to them that we have. Jeremy Burton, Chief Marketing Officer
Would you have thought for a moment that you could use an integrated social media strategy to promote local food? It is possible and the Taste of Huron (TOH) program is doing just that. Taste of Huron is a program that has been around for over 10 years. It has encountered it’s up and downs over the years, but not because of lack of interest. It is more about lack of funding and lack staff resources to dedicate to program development and administration. The program started out being managed by Huron Tourism Association (HTA) and Huron County Economic Development. Over the years the program has made some remarkable gains in the marketplace. The lack of resources and the closure of the Huron Tourism Association could have been the death of the program, but thankfully with the insight of the Huron Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) and the final board of HTA, the Taste of Huron program was not to fall through the cracks and be forgotten. “It’s not surprising that Community Futures Huron continues to invest in our local food system. It’s one of the fastest growing components of the Huron County economy, with great prospects for business and job growth”. – Paul Nichol General Manager Community Futures Huron Taste Of Huron was resurrected in 2017 through government grants and the sheer desire to make the program work. You might ask yourself why not let it end with a painless death; the simple truth is there is too much to lose. Huron County is one of the most agricultural productive counties in Ontario. The work that has been done in the past has proven that with the proper social media tactics and a strong, event-driven, marketing plan, the brand can prosper and grow.
Some chocolate lovers are easy targets for many chocolate distributors. But how does a company successfully compete with hundreds of different chocolate bars on the market? A chocolate company may have to develop new products like new flavours to continue to increase sales. Some companies like Snickers stick to their original flavours that the world loves. The classic Snickers has continued to promote their quality chocolate bars and continues to increase sales and brand awareness. Snickers is owned by Mars and has a long history with 5 principles that they promote on their website. The 5 principles that the company follows are; Quality, Responsibility, Mutuality, Freedom and Efficiency. Snickers is able to effectively build their chocolate empire based on their 5 principles.
Lumberjack Sports is an online sports based company from Brantford Ontario, specializing in Baseball and Softball, in game and off field workout gear. Their focus is on exceptional quality, and providing consumers with a reliable, long lasting product. “In creating Lumberjack sports, we wanted a name and logo athletes could relate to. Lumberjack sports is not only a brand, it is a mentality. Hard work, strength and all around commitment to getting the job done, and done right, is what we have built Lumberjack sports on” says founder Nick Shailes.
I don’t know about you, but I do know that I can’t tell the future of anything, let alone social media. Trust me on this one, if I could, I would be super wealthy and be way more advanced. Unfortunately that isn’t the way it is, so your best chance with knowing the future of social media is to search and investigate new products on the market. After I did a lot of searching to determine what I would write about this week, I decided to go with the company that I believe has been a pioneer in e-marketing since the beginning. Constant Contact is an email-marketing program that helps small businesses succeed and excel in the online world. Back in the day when email programs were only used to view emails from friends, the people at Constant Contact knew there could be so much more to it. Constant Contact was founded as “Roving Software” in 1995 and set up shop in Brookline, Massachusetts. Randy Parker was the brains behind this very valuable marketing tool that helps small businesses succeed against the large businesses out there.
Shopping has changed a lot over the years from shopping online to wireless debit machines to credit card readers for smartphones and almost any kind of delivery that can be tracked. Did you ever wonder what would be next? Amazon designed and built a supermarket style store called Amazon Go that was created through advanced technology. The purpose of this store is to provide people a shopping experience without having to wait in check-out lines or be served by cashiers. Amazon Go was first launched for employees in December 2017 and opened up to the public in January 2018. If someone wants to shop at Amazon Go they first must have an Amazon account and the IPhone or Android app downloaded on their smartphones. This app is required to be downloaded for the customer to enter the store, as the customer enters the store they have to scan their smart phones to begin their shopping experience. Customers are provided with reusable shopping bags to use and leave with, there are no shopping carts or baskets for customers to use. The store is filled with many cameras along the ceilings that watch every move a customer makes. In addition to cameras, the shelves are equipped with weight sensors that sensor if an item has been removed from the shelf or put back. Every time a customer takes something off the shelf the item is charged to the customer’s account. The customer can always put something back on the shelf and it will be taken off their account. A customer can even return items after leaving the store. The store isn’t completely “staffless”, there are employees in the kitchen prepping fresh food, there are also employees around the store that restock and organize shelves to maintain the store. Another position that is still filled by humans in the store is checking IDs in the alcohol section. Once the customer is ready to leave all they have to do is walk out of the store. A few minutes after walking out of the store, the customer receives a digital receipt that shows the total of their bill. The Amazon Go app will also inform the customer with data on how much time they spent shopping.
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.