Nestled in quaint Niagara-on-the-lake is home to Mori Gardens. Since 1974, Mori Gardens has provided exceptional trees, perennials, flowering shrubs, roses, colourful annuals and the list goes on. More than simply a garden centre they offer award-winning designs with free consultations as well as inspiring gardening and decorating ideas from knowledgeable, friendly garden consultants. They also are one of Canada’s only green rentals, meaning you can rent out their beautiful greenery to use at events such as weddings, galas, corporate events, etc and they are doing events themselves. Walking into Mori Gardens is an experience in itself. They have transformed the space so that you will leaving “feeling a greater love for nature.” You can stroll through their gardens, around the pond, or sit in gazebo surrounded by beautiful greenery. This same feeling is embraced and mirrored in their social media. Its easy to browse thorough their pages and be inspired. Their beautifully curated images and videos reflect their storefront and the Mori Garden brand.
You’ve found the perfect boots. The problem is they are on a photo on Instagram that isn’t shoppable nor does it have a tag or mention. So, you pull up google and start describing keywords “winter boots, no-heel, brown, tall” and hope something similar comes up. Wouldn’t it be easier to take a screenshot and be directed to the same pair of boots in the photo or a similar pair? This is exactly what visual search can do. Users can upload an image and conduct a search to get more specific results. With visual searches, the image is the query, and rather than just identifying the image, search engines understand it. According to a study done by Slyce, 74% of consumers they asked in the study replied that text-based keyword searches are inefficient in helping to find the right product online. Taking photos with our phones is so ingrained in our lives and posting photos on social media is part of our daily lives. With visual search, every image becomes an opportunity to engage and convert consumers into customers. Images and video content on social media outperform written content and so it seems natural that we would want to search by using an image.
Houzz is the ultimate social media platform for home renovation, interior design, house building and decorator enthusiasts. It’s an award-winning app and website that connects homeowners with designers, contractors, vendors, etc. to help streamline home renovations and decorating projects. Their platforms are a wealth of design ideas and inspiration through millions of pictures and images from professionals to homeowners and DIYers. I have been using it for year myself to browse and save beautiful photos to – someday – use for my dream home, or in the meantime to plan my semi-detached house renovations.
Anena Flavia was wrongfully accused and after one year and seven months in Gulu Main Prison she was released. After her recruitment in Bits, she was able to forgive the people who imprisoned her on baseless accusations. She started growing spiritually and started to embrace positively. Laker Kevin feels like everyday her work is valuable. She grew up in a difficult way, but her life is changed. After her first paycheck from 31 Bits she was so happy she couldn’t even walk. She sat under a tree and kept opening and closing her purse to see if the money was there. Every product has a story – and the company 31 Bits is using social media to make their story transparent. Anena and Laker’s stories were featured on 31 Bits Instagram feed with so many other women and lives the company has changed. 31 bits is a company that not only makes their supply chain transparent, but they make it as important as the products they sell. Thirty one bits was started by five college friends who had an idea for a mission based business to help the artisans in Uganda by selling their necklaces that were made from bits of paper. Now, they are working with artisan communities throughout Uganda and Indonesia to bring unique and ethically made accessories and home goods. They care both about the how the products are made as well as the products themselves and of course the consumers who are purchasing them. Their company’s slogan reads, is “How its made that matters” and speaks volumes for their company.
Looking for a house used to begin by circling classifieds in the house section of the newspaper but now, buyers are looking on social media to help them on their search. In fact, according to one study, 94% of millennials and 84% baby boomers are looking online for their future homes. It’s without a doubt that realtors need to have an online presence to succeed. One-way realtors can succeed at social media is paying attention to their metrics. According to Forbes, measuring social media metrics is one of the top ten marketing musts for realtors. By checking and understanding some simple metrics they can learn what is working and what isn’t working for their audience. This will guide their activity to better improve their performance.
Home Hardware Stores Limited is Canada’s largest independent home improvement retailer. Founded in 1964 and owned by close to 1,100 independent small business owners, the company is found in communities all over the country, and remains 100% Canadian. Home Hardware is working hard to respond to a changing market and demographics. Having ranked first in Canadian Customer Experience, they are committed to helping Canadians with all of their project needs.
How can a 50+ years old family farming business still be relevant in 2018? By evolving at the same pace of its millennial consumers, without alienating its older clientele. Heeman’s Garden Centre & Strawberry Farm is a must for the majority of families in London, Ontario. Everyone here love their strawberries and most people are also know their garden centre, with all the plants, gardening needs and home decor essentials. When Bill and Susan Heeman’s bought the land in 1963, they got working on their strawberries field that was soon growing by 1 acre each year. Now the 3rd generation is working on the farm and on social media: Will Heeman, Chief Daymaker, is running the online presence of Heeman’s quite effectively. The family feel is really present on their social media accounts, but also during any visit to the greenhouse, making the whole experience very authentic for all their customers.
Adam and Hannie Van Bergeijk were first farmers and cheesemakers in The Netherlands, and purchased their dairy farm just outside New Hamburg, Ontario in 1996, with a dream to return to cheesemaking. They started making Mountainoak Cheese in 2012 when dairy farmers were now permitted to handcraft artisan cheese. On their land, they grow, feed, care for, and milk their herd of over 200 dairy cows. They turn 4,000 litres of high-quality milk into each batch of delicious artisanal Mountainoak cheese, and they try to make cheese 2-3 times each week! In today’s fast-paced world, even farmers need to be on social media. It’s become a key tool for marketing and communicating with customers; social media gives farmers a platform to tell their story to consumers. In Mountainoak Cheese’s case, for showing how the cheese is made, sharing excitement about competitions, and keeping customers informed of their weekly specials and new retail partners where their cheese can be found.
“I wish every outfit I liked on Instagram would magically appear in my closet.” This popular meme from 2014 is almost a reality now with the LIKEtoKNOW.it app. Nowadays, pretty much anybody and everybody can be an influencer of some level and make money through social media. Top influencers are making 7-figures income (yes, $1M – you read that right) and are growing their brands from blogging to fashion line, online retail, home décor, modeling and much more. In 2011, Amber Venz Box, President and Co-Founder of rewardSTYLE & LIKEtoKNOW.it created her company as a way to make money through her own blog. Now, bloggers’ influence on their followers is very tangible through online sales.
Social media is all about building relationships. The application of social media in businesses is easy to understand and to witness in areas of marketing and customers engagement. But how can businesses use social media to improve their supply chain? By amalgamating consumers’ relationships with supply chain management, McCormick Spice Company offers a way to use social media to improve the transparency of its processes and to differentiate itself from the competition. McCormick Canada (Club House) was created in 1883 as Dyson & Co in London, Ontario. The company was acquired in 1959 by McCormick & Co from Baltimore, Maryland USA. Since its humble beginnings, McCormick Canada has grown to be one of the most well-known food company in the country. “Open any pantry or cupboard in any kitchen in Canada, and you’ll likely find a variety of our products, whether it be the spices for Grandma’s cookie recipe or the seasonings that add flair to your barbecue routine”. (source: McCormick Canada). The company is committed to pure flavour, which, in addition to the need to show consumers that McCormick herbs and spices offer a greater purity, has led to the Club House Pure Flavour Manifesto (source: McCormick Canada). The Manifesto is a multi-platform campaign, launched in 2016 that was created in part in reaction to the oregano ‘food fraud’.
This week, I started my research by Googling “what percentage of new products fail”. The featured snippets in search showed 80%. In other words, if you launch a new product, it will most likely fail. Some flops are now part of pop culture (Crystal Pepsi), some were just too “avant garde” (McDonald’s Arch Deluxe), others were painfully annoying (Windows Vista), and others just plain out dangerous (Samsung’s Galaxy s7). As it turns out, lack of preparation, speedy research & development to launch early and even sabotage from a competitor are all factors that contributes to most products failures. Good market research has always been a way to help with the preparation of a successful product launch. Nowadays, social media can replace old school focus groups in most companies and reduce the number of missed product launch, turn around quickly to avoid a disaster – or become Internet famous for the wrong reason.
Business mogul Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, has said last month that obsessing over their customers was the secret of his success. Who can argue with him? Marketers know the importance of developing authentic relationships with customers as a key strategy to ensure repeat sales. Furthermore, social medias have increase the proximity between the brands and the customers. Clients regularly interact online with their favourite brands to share posts, ask questions, comments, complain and give feedback. This is important because 95% of Millennials are following a brand through social media (source: Dreamgrow). When customers are positively engaged with a brand or a public figure, they do not even have to promote themselves on social media: it is their customers who do it for them. The vast majority of consumers (71%) who have had a good social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it to others (source: Dreamgrow). Therefore, how does positive customer engagement look like? In her article 7 Customer Engagement Strategies That Marketers Can’t Ignore, Audrey Ference states that “Customer engagement is about encouraging your customers to interact and share in the experiences you create for them as a business and a brand. When executed well, a strong customer engagement strategy will foster brand growth and loyalty.”
It’s a common thinking that human resources are the most important asset of an organization. Big companies, small start-ups, non-for-profit… no matter the size, most businesses understand the benefits and ROI of employee involvement. In my research to find companies excelling in this strategy through social medias, I was particularly drawn to the story of Legal Monkeys. They manage medical records for medium to big American law firms. Their expertise and field of work is so far from the company I work for, however the fact that they are, too, a small organization (80 employees), got me thinking about the use of social medias in smaller scale businesses – such as where I spend my own 9-to-5.
Award winning, Influential and Ahead of the Curve It’s hard to imagine that ten years ago, the term “social media” was only just stepping foot onto the main stage of popular culture and that social media giant Facebook was in it’s infancy. What’s more; Facebook “Pages” for businesses (as we know them today) were not even a “thing” yet (launching… Read more »
Technology has allowed us to increase our efficiency at being “connected”. Whether the connection is for work or pleasure, we use computers, tablets and smart phones to have a constant “connection”. Social Media continues to show its diversity on Smart TV’s. Television manufacturers caught on to the social media trend several years ago and continue to develop… Read more »