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.
Worldwide, many people were shocked by the outcome of the U.S. presidential election of 2016. It’s been just over one full year since Trump’s electoral win and, although the race between Trump and Clinton was close, many of the electoral polls forecasted Clinton as the likely winner of the 2016 election (Perez, 2016). While the outcome of said election left many data scientists confused, many social media analytics firms are claiming that their measurements would have been a much better predictor (Perez, 2016).
Graduate business school recruiting is a high-stakes game, considering students may easily pay $100,000+ for an executive MBA program. And with 6,000 business programs around the world vying for top candidates, higher ed marketers need every advantage to reach prospects. Until fairly recently, marketers have concentrated on email campaigns to generate leads among known prospects – a hit-and-miss strategy since many prospects either don’t share their email address or don’t open the messages they receive. Social media has provided business schools with new ways to reach potential candidates. According to GMAC’s 2016 mba.com Prospective Students Survey Report, 96% of prospective students use social media and 67% use it to learn about graduate education opportunities. LinkedIn is proving to be marketers’ digital platform of choice for reaching high-quality candidates. With its emphasis on professional connections and career advancement, it’s a natural gathering place for those who might be most interested in prestigious business programs. In addition, a recent study showed that for half of the respondents “friends, family and peers were most influential when considering further education — second only to the institution’s website. And professional networks were twice as influential as personal social networks.” And as candidates look to their LinkedIn connections for guidance, marketers are able to engage prospective students through relevant content and gradually encourage them to move through the enrolment funnel.
Social Media Metrics? TechTarget defines Social Media Metrics as “the use of data to gauge the impact of social media activity on a company’s revenue”. The main goal of social media metrics is to determine the impact of social media on a company’s goals. There are many social media metric tools available now but which ones should you use? And when you use them do you know what they are used for? What are they measuring? How do they impact your company? I have discovered these questions to be quite confusing and I end up feeling unsure of even where to start when I think of measuring social media efforts.
We all have a story to tell. It could be one of personal hope, sacrifice, mentorship or despair. Others could be told from numbers or raw data – the stuff that drives work and project results. As social media becomes a more popular medium of communication and an avenue for influence and story telling, it’s the metrics that tell a bigger story and help to validate the hard work of a communications department.
CordCruncher: It’s simple, it’s easy, it makes sense! CordCruncher is a tangle free technology to all types of cords. Products in their line include Tangle-Free Earbuds and Tangle-Free USB Chargers. In partnership with Mel B, celebrity from the former girl pop group Spice Girls, the following video explains more about the product and how their revolutionary technology works. CordCruncher knows the importance of social media and measuring metrics. According to Aaron of Loyalty Solutions Digital Solutions Inc , third party digital service provider for CordCruncher, “measuring social media metrics of what was working and what didn’t work is important to understand customer’s behaviors”.
If there was a brand that is strikingly representational of the success of the millennial generation, through being an entrepreneur, believing in community, authentic conversation, and utilizing social media to create an industry leading company, Glossier by Emily Weiss fits that bill. The company was cultivated in a very “millennial entrepreneur” manner, and the use of social media metrics has been a critical component in helping to develop and build a successful platform to reach and engage their community across a multitude of platforms (Milnes, 2017). How companies use social media to engage their customers, product users and community in this day and age can be make it or break it; or at any rate, have a huge impact on their relevancy in the market and their industry. It is well discussed by course material for the Social Media for Business Performance at the University of Waterloo, of the use of social media in relation to an organization’s goals: “The starting point for all metrics is the goals of the organization. The metrics that are identified for each area of the organization should stem from these goals. Your social media metrics should be carefully aligned with your organizational goals, driving social media behaviour that will contribute to these goals’ achievement.”
Budget Marine is the Caribbean’s leading marine chandlery with retail locations throughout the Caribbean. Budget Marine has an active marketing presence via their website, Facebook page, newsletters, email blasts and ads on affiliate websites. While big in the Caribbean, Budget Marine is relatively small in terms of human resources. There is one department, called Group Services, located in St. Maarten, which provides marketing support to all locations throughout the region.
How would a museum know if it is successful? How would it measure success? The Mission Statement of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (“The Met”), founded on April 13, 1870, and the largest museum in the US, states, “to be located in the City of New York, for the purpose of establishing and maintaining in said city a Museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction”. . Daniel Weiss, president and chief operating officer of The Met, believes museums must remain relevant to a contemporary audience while upholding a mission to preserve human culture for posterity. In an interview with Yale Insights, Weiss articulated the challenges of steering America’s largest art institution, “We have to change with the times but not so much so that we lose our way … if no one is interested in our programs, then they are not meaningful programs.” . Part of the challenge managing a cultural legacy like The Met is its non-profit structure. From its 2016 Annual Report , philanthropic contributions have endowed the museum with about $2.5 billion. The building is owned by the City of New York (NYC), but the collections are owned by a private corporation, totalling about 950 persons. The City approved a pay-what-you-wish  admissions’ fee back in 1970 ($25 per visitor is recommended but a penny would comply with the City’s policy) which contributed only about 13% of 2016 revenue. However, The Met’s operating budget is about $250 million per year. Its use of performance metrics (measuring overall attendance, the number of museum members, the marketability of exhibits, the percentage of the collection on display, the ratio of adult to child admissions, etc.) are not used to plan for an increase in ROI; instead, they are used to measure its kinds of connections with the public. “Museums create social values, for which they are not compensated in monetary terms.” . The Met is deeply integrated within the life of New York City, its donors, and the art world. It plays a substantial role in New Yorkers’ leisure activities and is one of NYC’s most important tourist attractions. As visitors have a strong effect on local economies, especially in touristic locations, The Met monitors the number… Read more »
If MIT Professor Edward Lorenz hadn’t gone for a cup of coffee when he did fifty-six years ago, his 1972 seminal paper, ”Predictability: Does the Flap of a Butterfly’s Wings in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?”  may not have been written, Robert Redford may not have played a wise gambler in the 1990’s movie “Havanna”, Ashton Kutcher may not have travelled back in time in his 2004 movie, “The Butterfly Effect” to fix his childhood, and perhaps, least of all, chaos theory  may not have been discovered. For those unfamiliar with Professor Lorenz’s story, on that day in 1961, Lorenz was repeating a simulation he’d run earlier — but this time he rounded off one variable, from 0.506127 to 0.506, of the experiment’s 12 variables, representing things like temperature and wind speed to simulate weather predictability. To his surprise, when he got back after coffee, that tiny, tiny alteration (a 0.000127 difference) drastically transformed the whole pattern his program produced, over two months of simulated weather. “It was philosophically very shocking,”  says Steven Strogatz, a professor of applied mathematics at Cornell and author of Nonlinear Dynamics and Chaos. “Determinism”  was equated with predictability before Lorenz. After Lorenz, we came to see that determinism might give you short-term predictability, but in the long run, things could be unpredictable. That’s what we associate with the word ‘chaos.’ ” How does this lesson, that a minute change in variables can have an enormous impact in outcome, affect business product launches today? Let’s look at a recent failed social media effort to access millenials’ wallets. On the surface, it was a winner: the 2014 non-profit industry celebrated a huge success with its major international ALS fundraising movement, “The Ice Bucket Challenge”. The program went viral, raised over $115 million in donations, and attracted 2.5 million new donors . Naturally, the ALS non-profits ran the same program again in 2015, but to their surprise, raised only $500,000, or 0.00434783% of 2014’s donations. So what was the minute variable that had changed in just over a year to cause the failed fundraising? In Philip Haid’s article, The Ice Bucket Challenge Part 2: What we can learn from why it didn’t work , he suggests the ALS non-profits forgot to consider the “why” variable in the program’s 2015 success. “Most people don’t interact with charities on a daily basis the way they do with their favorite brands, so it isn’t easy… Read more »
Emco is a wholesale and retail plumbing supplier with highly sophisticated B2B clients doing multi-million dollar projects, and also has many ordinary B2C folk who just need a new faucet for their bathroom reno. How does a conglomerate like Emco engage their diverse customer base through social media, and, how effective is Emco’s social media customer engagement? There are two types of B2B Emco customers. Let’s consider the “3 bids and a buy” customer who calls late Friday afternoon for a price comparison. Sure, the customer is just price shopping, but Emco’s local branch will gladly fill out the RFP (Request for Proposal) and email it back promptly. They’ll follow-up conscientiously, but they know only the lowest price wins with this particular client, and this time, it may not be in Emco’s best interests to match the competitor’s lowest price as margins, ROI, and the intrinsic cost of time necessary to get this sale may not fall within their sales formula. Emco’s sales professionals know that selling on lowest price isn’t going to create an ongoing sales relationship. Emco wants all their customer’s business, and they are highly motivated to take a lot of time to cultivate multiple personal contacts to develop deep customer engagement, often requiring complicated engineering solutions to alleviate their customer’s pain points along the way. Emco’s mantra is “Get your customer out of pain”, and much like the intimate relationship between a doctor and his patient, Emco works fiercely to foster strong customer relationships based on person-to-person meetings, expertise, collaboration, and transparency formulated on correct customer problem diagnosis and resolution. Emco’s core belief: develop mutual respect and confidence based on providing solutions, and the customer–corporate relationship will have deep roots, based on mutual trust, and will have long-lasting mutual value. Sometimes, that makes their products more expensive than their competitors’, but for a large B2B customer working on a multi-million dollar project, it’s getting the job done on time, and within budget that matters most. Is it even significant then, if the customer pays a few dollars more for Emco’s product if that special valve to finish this vital stage can arrive on-site tomorrow? Suppose there’s a crew of engineers stuck out in the field, ground to a halt in BC’s interior, because they can’t move on without that specialty item. The clock is ticking and time is money – big money. Often, taking the time… Read more »
WebiMax is an internet marketing company that was founded in 2008 by Ken Wisnefski. According to Wisnefski, the company was founded on the principle of providing a service that would actually help clients succeed “by working with them more as a strategic partner than merely an outsourced vendor.” WebiMax boasts that since its founding in 2008, the company continues to evolve as the internet marketing industry evolves. The company claims to have the largest number of internet marketing professionals in the US, with over 100 marketing specialists on their team to help their clients reach their organizational goals. The company provides a wide range of services to their clients such as: Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Marketing Web Design Social Media Marketing Reputation Management Conversion Optimization PR Marketing Lead Generation E-mail Marketing E-Commerce Solutions Mobile Websites Link Removal Services
DoSomething.org is one of the largest global organizations for young people and social change. They mobilize their members “to make the world suck less” by by participating in campaigns impacting causes from poverty to violence to the environment.
Social media content developers and strategists are often tasked with the seemingly ambiguous task of increasing brand awareness. While ambiguous, this task is not impossible, and many large firms rely on in-house metrics tracking to determine their success. Smaller businesses typically turn to social media companies to manage their strategy and analytics. When determining which metrics are worth tracking, it’s imperative to have a clear business goal or objective. Call it the observer effect – you don’t know what you’re going to get until you measure it.
In 1912, Juliette Gordon Low, affectionately called Daisy, started a movement. This movement focused on learnings she had gained abroad, in the form of outdoor and educational programs. This became a program of female empowerment and the Girl Scouts became a place where girls could truly participate in life beyond the classroom and home. Girl Scouts served as a community of girls who wanted to change the world, and build lifelong bonds along the way. Many years later, the Girl Scouts organization is synonymous with uniforms and badges, charitable endeavours, and of course, cookies! But in the same way that retailers have had to understand how to engage consumers online, so have the Girl Scouts. Starting in 2015, Girl Scouts USA launched user-generated Facebook, Twitter and Instagram campaigns that created massive upticks in online engagement and product sales.
The Canada Science and Technology Museum opened in 1967 as part of Canada’s Centennial celebrations. The idea for the Canada Science and Technology Museum was born out of the Massey Commission. In 1951, the report recommended that the Canadian Government do more to support the arts and sciences in Canada; further emphasizing the need for a Canadian Museum of Science. Between the time the Massey Report was issued and Canada’s Centennial year, many proposals were submitted for this new national institution of science; many of which were costly in a very uncertain funding environment. Finally, at the beginning of 1967, Dr. David Baird was appointed as Director for this proposed national museum; set to open at the end of the Centennial year. Due to time constraints and funding uncertainty, Baird decided to house the Canada Science and Technology Museum in a former bakery and distribution centre in Ottawa. The bakery was meant to temporarily house the Museum; however it remained in the same location until 2014 when it was forced to close due to the discovery of mould. As unfortunate as this reality was for the museum, it finally received the funding it initially deserved. The Canada Science and Technology Museum’s facility will be renewed to ensure the continued education of ‘Canadian innovation and to inspire the next generation of great innovators’, as stated in their mission. The renewed Canada Science and Technology museum is slated to open in November of 2017; and appropriately so, as it is Canada’s Sesquicentennial year!
When Social Media was in its infancy many managers (I am guilty as well) felt, how do we limit this distraction in the workplace? Work is a place to contribute to the organizational goals and sales, in other words, to ensure there is a return on the investments being made. Well despite early avoidance there is no doubt that Social Media is a powerful tool and can contribute to an organization’s success. But how do we know? The simple answer is to calculate the return on investment from Social Media. No matter what industry that you are involved in, it is vitally important to be able to explain simply why the agency/organization should invest in any particular tool. Social Media is no different and social media metrics can help you do that. The Nottawasaga Inn is using simple metrics to track their progress. When it comes to Social Media metrics there are seemingly endless possibilities as to what you can measure. However, the key is always to identify the business outcome you are trying to achieve. This will drive determining what you should be measuring in order to identify if you are reaching that goal. In Swift 6: Measuring your social media success a number of key metrics are defined. These range from the size of your audience to the response rate to customers. Again the business objective should be identified and then the measurements you will track to provide information as to whether your activities are moving you towards that objective.
JustSaiyan Clothing is a company that specializes in manufacturing apparel that allows you to slip into the costume of your favourite cartoon characters. Catering to children and nostalgic adults, JustSaiyan features designs from popular television shows such as Dragon Ball Z, One Punch Man, and Naruto. JustSaiyan has built their entire business with the help of social media, and does not advertise traditionally. Active Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter pages allow the company to stay up to date on the opinions of its consumers, and Justsaiyan takes full advantage of their active fan base. Studying social media gives JustSaiyan great insight on how to improve their products, and more effectively market their gear.
Brandwatch is the world’s leading social intelligence company, they are used throughout large corporations as a tool for analyzing and sharing insights about social media. Brandwatch’s objective is to take regular analytics and share them with their clients in way that is attractive and understandable. The information shared by the company tells their clients about the conversations, trends, and people impacting their business. Their technology spans over 80 million online sources to ensure they, ‘never miss a mention that matters’. Brandwatch is a unique and futuristic company that, “gathers millions of online conversations every day and provides users with the tools to analyze them, empowering the world’s most admired brands and agencies to make insightful, data-driven business decisions.”
For personal trainers and other fitness professionals, your ability to be a top-notch fitness leader in the field can no longer be established solely on your ability to help clients see results. In addition to being able to inspire people to get off the couch and get moving, educating client’s on the latest fitness trends and research findings, and possessing the knowledge to develop fun, innovative and effective fitness programs, it is now a necessity to incorporate social media into your business plan. To say the competition is fierce is an understatement – a quick Google search of ‘personal trainer Ontario’ yields well over a million results. So how is a privately owned studio or personal trainer to get a lead on the pack? Social media. Not just engaging in social media but using metrics to ensure that you are getting value for your efforts. In preparing for her participation in the 2013 ITU World Championships, Amy Moss-Archambault, a dedicated triathlete and personal trainer faced a quick learning curve to fulfill social media contractual obligations with sponsors. “Six years ago Twitter was really successful for my goals,” she said noting the model of stream of consciousness and earlier use of hashtags allowed for unique and powerful posts. Today, the Twitter climate has changed and so has Ms. Moss-Archambault’s business focus. The busy mom of 3 is no longer focused on sponsorships but now operates the very popular TriMom Fitness Studio in Millgrove, Ontario. She uses her earlier leap into social media to engage with her clients and further develop the Tri-Mom community primarily through the use of Facebook and Instagram.
On Sept 22 my trip to The Toronto Premium Outlets in Halton Hills included a surprise lunch! That day Halton Region hosted an event promoting local agricultural and retail businesses. Grilled cheese, pumpkin soup and pumpkin brittle were amongst the tasty offerings. Next to the complimentary samples there was a “selfie spot” sign for the Pumpkins to Pastries Trail, also known as #p2ptrail which caught my attention. Selfie photos taken at any of the 37 Trail locations (featured on the Halton Region website) and posted on social media with tag #p2ptrail were entered into weekly contests. Gift basket prizes from local vendors have been awarded to the contest winners. This program ran from Sept 12 through to Oct 31, 2016.
Social Media Metrics can be used to benefit virtually any business, but are even more beneficial for small businesses and those in the early stages of growth and establishing themselves. Metrics help to illustrate and clarify which aspects of the business are gathering the best response and most traffic over various social media platforms. This allows marketers to select and focus more attention on the platforms that are getting the best response rate, to keep doing what’s working, and to improve upon what’s not.
When I think of a women’s lingerie store, my mind automatically goes to Victoria’s Secret, La Senza and La Vie en Rose. When walking by these stores in the mall and while going inside the stores, women are constantly bombarded with images of perfect looking models wearing the products. I think that trying on the products with these images in your head makes a lot of women reluctant to buy the items. Most women forget that yes, these models are beautiful and have thin bodies, however even they don’t look like the photos. Countless hours of retouching and photo shopping go into making them look like they do in the posters. Modern American standards have created this perfect image of what women should look like, resulting in low self-esteem and dangerous eating disorders. Body image has become extremely important to women, especially at a young age.
To take a picture is to capture a moment in time. Each captured image has the potential to carry its own unique feeling through time, and bring you back with happiness and wonder to the origins of that moment.1 “I grew up around lenses, my dad worked in television and seeing life through a lens seemed more real to me” 2 says Paula Capella. Paula Capella Photography not only captures those precious moments, but uses social media to capture important information to help grow her small business.
If everything around running a small business or non-profit organization (NP) isn’t tough enough, try adding social media performance metrics to your list of tasks. Metrics for social media can be scary and confusing for small businesses and non-profits when they have no time, no extra staff and no budget. But not all social media metrics need to be relegated to the doghouse. Some easily taken metrics are important and can measure a level of success. As I was driving on highway 11 through North Bay, Ontario, the fun looking storefront of Lisa’s Doghouse caught my eye. So, I went in and talked social media metrics with the owner of this upscale healthy pet food store, Lisa Rousseau. The business is only four years old and she has relied primarily on Facebook and her website for staying in touch with her customers. On the success of their social media efforts on their business, store associate Brendan Vandermeulen says, “ It’s a hard one to gauge. It does not bring in new people as much as engage those who are already keeping an eye on us.”. And about translating their social media efforts to sales Brendan explains, “Again, it is a hard one to gauge because the other advertising overlaps.” Right now, Lisa and her team are comfortable with their current social media strategy and look forward to when there is more time to improve and measure the success of what they are doing.