Organisation Name: ChickAdvisor Inc.
Industry: Online Product Reviews/Brand Advocacy
Name of Contact: Ali de Bold, Co-Founder
Web references: chickadvisor.com
Description of how social media is used for business performance
ChickAdvisor is a product review and brand advocacy website. In their own words, “ChickAdvisor is about helping you make better purchasing decisions on everything from electronics to electrolysis.” In its ninth year, the Toronto-based ChickAdvisor’s online community is made up of approximately 60,000 registered users, connected by ChickAdvisor’s own social media platform with which users create a unique profile, post reviews, interact on discussion boards and earn profile-enhancing badges for their participation. Additionally, ChickAdvisor engages users through their Product Review Club, blog, e-newsletter, and is plugged-in to external social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest.
Almost all members of ChickAdvisor’s seven-person staff participate in social media one way or another, which was Co-Founder Ali de Bold’s goal from the start, as she explains in email, “I didn’t want ChickAdvisor to be about me. I wanted it to be a collection of cheerful, smart women.” Where individual identification is possible staff are named, for example as authors on the blog or when appearing in videos such as this mascara product test featuring de Bold and another staff member.
Social media content needs to be respectful to ChickAdvisor’s audience, which consists of consumers and brands. Staff have guidelines to follow when posting, but there is room for when inspiration hits. Says de Bold, “It has to fit in with our tone, which is cheerful, a little bit cheeky and fun. No swearing, no politics, no ranting.”
The company’s decision to lend multiple voices to their social media content comes organically, as de Bold explains, “A number of the staff I’ve hired over the years have had backgrounds in on-camera work, theatre, or as writers so giving them air-time is a great way to help them use those talents. I also think it’s more interesting for the audience.” Company use of social media exists in-office as well, “We like to post fun behind-the-scenes stuff so if we’re testing something in the office we might snap a picture or take a little vid and post it to Instagram. We also tend to follow each other’s accounts.”
When asked whether there are any negatives from engaging staff in social media, de Bold says, “Not so far!”
Lessons for Others
The decision to individually identify employees as contributors to company social media must be based on whether the company’s goal is to market the brand as one voice. In ChickAdvisor’s case, de Bold says that she herself has less visibility as a personality, which was her goal. In establishing a multi-voice brand representation, a company would avoid the disruption of recasting a singular starring role, should the need arise.
Beyond ChickAdvisor’s online environment, de Bold aims to engage her staff in real life. “We go out for lunches, dinners or ice cream a few times a year. This is an area I would like to do more. Sometimes we get so busy we hardly have time for staff meetings but going out socially makes a huge impact on the work environment and their commitment to the company.”
Submitted By: Catherine Muss, SMBP student, University of Waterloo
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