Marketing and Social Media

Social Media has dramatically changed the marketing world. Organizations that are not actively including social media in their marketing plans are now rare — there is widespread recognition that it is now necessary for all. However, the benefits of social media marketing have been elusive for some organizations — while they have expended time and resources, they haven’t seen the results. In addition, increasingly-vast data sets are being accumulated for organizations to use and this raises many possibilities and questions.

These case studies provide examples of imaginative usage of social media in organizational marketing activity. Reviewing them will help you think about your own effective use of social media.

Josee Huard is the creator of Northern Smittens, a growing business that was started from a homemade pair of mittens as a Christmas gift for a friend. Located in North Bay, Ontario Northern Smittens just celebrated its 5th year. Northern Smittens are mittens handcrafted from recycled wool and cashmere sweaters sourced from thrift stores across Canada.  

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.

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.)

Marketing is filled with many tools, concepts and strategies. Although traditional marketing works, it’s no surprise that Social Media has become a dominant force in marketing, with over an estimated 2.3 billion active users in the world. Social media marketing is essential for any organization. What is Social Media Marketing? Social Media Marketing makes use of social media sites to raise visibility on the Internet and to promote products and services. These sites are useful for building social (and business) networks, for exchanging ideas, and knowledge and to reach a larger or targeted audience. Through branding, company engagement, consumer feedback and more, social media has completely altered the way businesses think about marketing. But what happens when your business is social media? Does that change your marketing plan? How can a social company thrive in the vast online marketplace? I personally used to think of Instagram as a mindless channel. With endless scrolling images of rock-hard abs, and 16-year-olds who have more successful businesses than anyone I have ever met. Yet even in this depiction, audiences of all ages and backgrounds are spending the majority of their time on Instagram, and savvy marketers are using this to their advantage. – What started as a hobby, turned into a career – @beautifuldestinations – an Instagram page that filled the void by tapping the online community to come up with the most beautiful collections of landscapes, cities, seascapes and attractions around the world, aiming to inspire people to get out there and see it for themselves. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jeremy Jauncey – Initially, the account started as a passion project, but little did he know the Instagram page he started had gained millions of followers. A renowned hotel reached out to collaborate, in the hopes of increasing its own social media following.

On the screen, the toddler offers the bit of food in his hand to some grazing sheep. “Num … num,” he insists. The sheep, unimpressed, bleat in the background. This slice of rural life, captured in a Twitter post, was part of a radically new marketing approach for equipment manufacturer John Deere. Founded in 1837, the company is known for its big machines, from tractors and combines to bulldozers and backhoes. But through its work with Quarry, the award-winning St. Jacobs-based advertising agency, John Deere Canada discovered an underserved market for its smaller equipment and used digital media to reach them in meaningful ways.

Ray Beaudry is a Registered Yoga Teacher, Registered Nurse, and an avid social media user. By day, he works as a nurse and in his spare time, he teaches yoga. Social media is more than just a regular part of Ray’s life. Social media plays an integral role in what he does. He relies on the social media platform Instagram to market himself for his work as a yoga instructor. Ray has built a local, national and international group of followers alike on social media.

Glossier originally started off as a beauty blog in 2010 by Emily Weiss called “Into the Gloss”. The blog was drawing a huge audience and created a wonderful beauty community that was generally interested in what Weiss was discussing. The launch of this community became the perfect platform for the brand launch of Glossier. The company is currently only available online which allows the brand to only focus on digital and social channels. “This online following would then rave about her products either through their own blogs, or post photos on Instagram to their own followers. This was a perfect example of word of mouth beauty marketing in action on social media (Chong, N. (2017, June)”.

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is an American retailer that focuses on upscale casual wear for young consumers, its headquarters are in New Albany, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The company operates two other offshoot brands: Abercrombie Kids & Hollister Co.  The company operates 1,049 stores across all four brands. (Wikipedia, 2017) Once known for its sexy ad campaigns, the company has toned down its imagery and no longer displays nearly nude models in their advertisements. According to Chairman Arthur Martinez, Abercrombie and Fitch is now targeting an older consumer, from ages 18–25. These changes provide the hopes that the audience will see the company is evolving along with its consumers, and boost sales. (Wikipedia, 2017) The field of digital content marketing is maturing, and companies need to make sure that their content campaigns and strategies are keeping up (James, 2017) and being published on time. Gone are the days of free publishing tools, paid third party platforms are paving the path for content publishing. Spredfast can assist many companies including Fortune 500 companies succeed with publishing their content, listening and responding. Thus making social media marketing, real, more human like receiving more engagement and having ads that stand out. Spredfast is a U.S.-based social marketing software company that provides community management, content management, social care, and social analytics tools to brands and agencies. Spredfast was able to assist with Abercrombie & Fitch with publishing and finding those crutial conversations online, and knowing exacting when to take a stab at a conversation, and know when to monitor it, chime in and provide customer support.  

Mushrooms Canada is a non-profit organization that represents its membership which include mushroom growers, processors and other allied industries. Mushrooms Canada works to advocate for food safety, good nutrition, and the proper care of Canadian mushrooms. (MushroomsCanada.ca, 2017) They do this through various methods that include attending trade shows such as the Gourmet Food & Wine Show in Toronto. They also maintain a strong presence on social media where they work to promote mushrooms to consumers.

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 (sales@fifa.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

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)

Nowadays social media marketing has become incredibly important for businesses all sizes. One reason behind marketers’ attention to social media is technology: new platforms, networks and apps. Another reason are people, who use social media to create, publish and share content. The same people are consumers, who share their thoughts about their experiences and are looking for new ones. So what does the future hold for the world of social media?

Over the last few years Social Media has changed not only the world, but also the world of marketing.  The benefits that social media provides business owners include: Increase brand Awareness, Legitimizing their Brand, Increasing sales, Improve Customer Service and Distributing Content to engage customers  The following video explains some of these as well as includes additional benefits.

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.

Budget Marine is the Caribbean’s leading marine chandlery with retail locations throughout the Caribbean.  Budget Marine embraced the use of Facebook early on, and continues to use it to advantage today. Currently, Budget Marine uses FaceBook, Instagram and Youtube to connect with customers.  These platforms are backed by the company’s website and augmented with newsletters and sales promotions sent directly to customers via email. According to Nicole Corvellec, Budget Marine’s Marketing Manager, “Not only is using Facebook much cheaper than individual local ads but it’s also more effective as we don’t need to look at what they read [i.e. print media] and which publication would get the majority of readers – it goes directly to their phone. On the facebook page you will also see “offers” which enables us to put all the offers from all the locations in one spot so people can easily see what the specials are.”

One might say “marketing is primarily a creative thinking position”, I would have to agree, marketing is filled with many tools, concepts and strategies, but generating ideas and creating content is mainly the foundation to great marketing. To some, marketing is complex and difficult. To others, marketing is exciting and comes naturally. Marketing is a whole different world for many people, and is composed of a large list of diverse strategies that continue to grow with the assistance of technology. Social media marketing has become a hot topic and tool in the business world, it is known as one of the most used forms of marketing today. Social media marketing is not relatively new, but for some organizations they are just recently experimenting and utilizing it now. With over an estimated 2.3 billion active social media users in the world, it is becoming clearer that social media marketing is essential for any organization.

Over the past few weeks, I have shared how start-up Flashstock has benefitted from social media to stay engaged with customers, employees, and even improve product development and operations which all contribute to driving business performance across the company. Our marketing team has focused its efforts on using social media as it’s the main platform because of the relative ease of use, low cost, and data-rich insight. Start-ups find social media marketing really efficient. At the beginning, most brands are looking to just create community and brand awareness. With existing networks built into Facebook and Instagram, for example, and almost 2.5 billion active monthly users combined, gives marketers unprecedented access to consumers and data. The platforms are free to join and provide simple to use interfaces that don’t take as much effort as a website to manage. With all of these active users, marketers also get great access to data that tells them everything they need about their target audience.    

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.  

Markets are conversations. Trade routes pave the storylines. Across the millennia in between, the human voice is the music we have always listened for, and still best understand. — The Cluetrain Manifesto, 1999 In 2014, Sephora, a world leader in beauty retail, joined the 6 percent of brands on SnapChat, blasting their followers with special deals on new beauty products. In 2015, the beauty powerhouse teamed up with women’s lifestyle publisher, POPSUGAR, to do what no makeup brand had done before: attach a mobile shopping function to customers viewing fleeting photos in Emoticode, an app similar to Snapchat. On June 6, 2016, Sephora was the big winner for small-screen commerce on mobile devices at the Internet Retailer Excellence Awards, dubbed “Digital Innovation”. In M. Penn’s University of Waterloo SMBP case study, Sephora – A Pretty Digital Face,  the author explained the essence of digital innovation behind Sephora’s award: how smartphones and tablets contributed half of Sephora’s digital traffic, and how Sephora was one of the first to launch Apple’s expedited mobile checkout platform, Apple Pay, as a payment option in Sephora’s apps and in-store. For years, the retailer had tested beacons, small sensors that track consumers’ smartphones and send personalized messages in its stores A year later, on June 6, 2017, Sephora’s Senior VP of Digital Marketing, Mary Beth Laughton, gave the keynote address at the same Internet Retailer Excellence Awards. Laughton offered insights as to how Sephora, by partnering first with Kik Messenger in Spring 2016, and then Facebook Messenger six months later, introduced its chatbot messaging apps to leverage the power of smartphone mobile by delivering an immersive retail experience that goes beyond mobile commerce and empowers shoppers to learn, be inspired and play through the power of chat. Why the move to chatbots? According to Brian Honigman, a content marketing consultant and the CEO of Honigman Media, a consultancy focused on helping marketers and entrepreneurs see results with content marketing and social media, chatbot apps are mobile’s sleeping giant because they also embrace the power of platforms. That is why the original iPhone succeeded. It was not based on product alone but also leveraged the power of the app-store ecosystem. Messaging apps provide the perfect ecosystem for the next generation of applications. It only makes sense that a chatbot, whose ancestor was exclusively used for communication, and which was dubbed by Steve Jobs in the iPhone keynote as an “internet communicator,” would… Read more »