“Behind every successful woman is a tribe of supportive women who have her back.” A quote printed in the online Issuu of Stella & Dot’s October 2017 Opportunity Brochure. Browsing their beautiful products, Manifesto, inspirational testimonials from Stylists: It is clear Stella & Dot strongly defines themselves as a company “that is inspired by, created for, and run by strong women”. Stella & Dot currently has over 18,000 active independent Stylists and were listed as an Inc. 500 fastest growing company. Their Stylists are independent contractors that represent the line of jewelry and accessories. But with so many women representing globally, how do they create this tribe? Stylists are equipped with newsletters, online and live training events as well as the app, MIMI. However, in this case study I’ll be focusing on their effective use of Facebook groups and how by using them it enhances their Stylist’s engagement with each other.
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.
The Cara Operations Limited group owns 10 restaurant brands such as Milestone’s, Harveys and Swiss Chalet. Cara recently decided to bring all their social media marketing in house after a pilot project in which they were able to test out how responsive they could be for all their brands without relying on agencies. At the end of the day it is a difficult decision for any business to decide whether to source out their marketing and social media or to bring it all in house. The Cara brand has such a broad reach of customers with different demographics, incomes, geography, etc that the information crossover would be a big loss if they gave it all away to an agency. By making the decision to bring all their marketing in house, their team can quickly react, respond and request information directly from their customers. The group’s marketing team uses different social media tools like Instagram and Twitter to seek out immediate feedback, buy-in and build momentum and excitement for upcoming changes such as menu or toppings!
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!
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.
Reworked by Regis is a custom home decor and refurbishment artisan based out of Edmonton, AB. Regis Mahoney, the artist behind Reworked by Regis, takes discarded furniture and restores, redesigns, and rehomes it. Customers can commission custom projects through Regis, or can purchase items she has already made at local markets or through Facebook, Instagram, or Etsy.
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.
About Kuch Khaas Kuch Khaas is a community space for discourse, learning, meaningful entertainment and participation in Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan. Kuch Khaas was founded in May 2010 when Pakistan was experiencing an ever increasing security threat due to the war on terror. As a result, common people in the country were starved of meaningful recreational options. Amidst this chaos, Kuch Khaas provided the residents of the capital city with a venue to not only unwind but also to exercise their creative expression. “A not-for-profit social enterprise, it advocates the pursuit of knowledge and civic engagement to slowly bring about “lasting social change in Pakistan.” (Mussadaq, 2010)
LoYoBo Fit is a fitness program run by Courtney McCarthy in Guelph, ON. LoYoBo Fit, standing for Love Your Body Fitness, is about exercise and activity that promotes body positivity, healthy living, building self esteem, and having fun. Classes range from fun and energetic cardio like Zumba, to strength building exercises like Tone & Flex, to relaxing stretching and flexibility like Mind/Body Unwind. There are options for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
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.
„Beam me up, Scotty “, says Captain Kirk to his chief engineer, and the next thing we see is Kirk’s body disappearing from Planet X and reappearing on the starship. “Wow”, you think “I wish we could do that for real. The places I would travel to…..” Well, we are not there yet – but with the rapid development of electronic devices, Internet, ERP and the digital age in general, I wouldn’t be surprised if we could build a beamer that powerful within the next 10 years. A university in Germany that concentrates in IT systems engineering, already came up with a machine that can scan an object, transmit it over the internet and rebuild it using a 3D printer in a new location. Imagine you can do that in retail: Sit on your sofa buying a handbag with one click on your device and 20 minutes later it appears magically at your doorstep. Cool, right? But is it really that far off? No, to tell you the truth, it is not even considered to be science fiction anymore. We already buy things with one click, we just need to wait a bit longer than 20 minutes right now to receive the product. But wait – isn’t Amazon already testing delivery by drone? So who knows, the time of purchase to delivery in 20 minutes could actually happen sooner than you think. Especially when it pertains to your Amazon shopping experience.
Fashion company Tommy Hilfiger is one of the most recognizable and iconic fashion brands in the world. Founded in 1985 by the titular designer, the company has grown to encompass 1400 free-standing retail stores in 90 countries. Of course, like nearly all other consumer fashion brands in this day and age, Tommy Hilfiger relies heavily on online shopping to drive sales — and they’re on the forefront of social media technology to help them move forward.
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.
DoTERRA is a company that is known for selling essential oils and other related products. The company was founded in 2008 in Pleasant Grove, Utah, United States. The name doTERRA comes from a Latin derivative meaning “Gift of the Earth”. DoTERRA is a multi-level marketing company that involves direct marketing and referrals. Multi-level marketing is directed at individuals to sell and promote the brand instead of the company only using mass marketing. These individuals are called “Wellness Advocates” that work for doTERRA and usually use the products as any other customer.
MoonPie, the chocolate marshmallow treat that has been satisfying Americans for over 100 years has seen a shocking renaissance as of late. Never known as a particularly hip brand, the snack cake manufacturer has been a well-known property — particularly in the Southern United States — but has never particularly ubiquitous in the way that other snack cake, like Twinkies, have been. After a century of inoffensive marketing, the company decided to hand over the reins of their social media properties The Tombras Group, who in turn decided that the best marketing strategy for the company was to take on a new edgy tone that was more conversational and fun. It turns out, the strategy was exactly the right one.
Staying in business for many years is not an easy task, especially for a small business. One has to constantly adjust, change, compromise and be ready for the unexpected, while doing clever advertising and marketing. A small business has to be extremely careful with its financial resources, as one wrong decision might jeopardize your entire existence. Glenn Pattison, owner of Clean-State Painting has managed to stay in business for almost three decades. He went through a number of metamorphosis during those years. The company started off with carpet cleaning, moved then to house painting and is now specializing in kitchen cabinet painting. For the last three years he has had a workshop in Waterloo, Ontario, while before he was just working out of his garage. “There was no need for a workshop, we mostly drove to people’s homes and worked there. I just needed a storage place for my equipment.”, he says. But since the business switched to kitchen cabinet painting, he needed actual work space. He still drives to people homes, but the kitchen doors and drawers get spruced up in the shop.
TVibes saw the glut of video sharing/storing/streaming sites and decided they wanted to create a new way for users to share their video. In addition to giving users unlimited video storage, TVibes, lets users create, what amounts to, their own TV channels. Users can upload their videos to a controlled audience, which can include family members and friends for personal videos, or the general public for anything else they’d rather share.
Nestled in Waterloo’s tech park, surrounded by beautiful nature lies one of Canada’s biggest software companies – opentext. It started with three University students in 1991 – and has now transformed into a multibillion $ corporation with offices worldwide. It is no surprise that opentext, a company driven by commitment to technological innovations, jumped on the social media train right after the invention of Facebook in 2004. And with the growing access to WIFI and social networking services, the social media landscape of opentext just became broader. A massive website, accounts with Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest – you name it, the company surely has a presence. None of those accounts created millions of followers, but considering that the social media approach is specifically about enterprise information and content management, opentext is doing quite well to get their message out. When the company discovered the power of social media for promoting their services and products to the world, it didn’t take long to find out that it can also be used to motivate and engage employees. With the goal to make it as easy as possible to connect with team members, who potentially work in three different countries across the globe and need to solve problems quickly, even when one just started his day when it’s almost bedtime for the other, opentext encouraged employees to use traditional social media outlets before implementing internal equivalents. While opentext’s social media team conveys the company’s messages to external audiences, the corporate employee communicators look after the internal audience. This includes writing emails to announce company news, employee stories and the management of the company’s Intranet, internal blogs and of course, social media channels.
Major League Baseball has been around since the late 1800’s and the New York Mets were born in 1962. But that hasn’t guaranteed that the next generation of fans are ready to jump onboard and younger people today are less likely to follow baseball than the generations before them. Enter social media. Teams are using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other online communication channels to engage their fans and promote their players, creating the link between their brand and their customer. Years ago, getting an autograph from your favourite player may have been the ultimate thrill, now it’s getting him to like your tweet.
When a drop falls into the ocean, it immediately becomes part and parcel of the Whole. The drop gets accepted and connects with all the other drops and together they become one powerful body of water. When a person joins a corporation with 12,000 employees in 120 offices across 40 countries, the part with becoming One, could be a little more challenging.
With well-represented brands like Axe, Dove, and Ben and Jerry’s, each of which has a strong online following, Unilever has proven itself to be a social media veteran. With so many strong sub-brands residing under the Unilever umbrella, a certain level of consistency and organization is necessary to maintain order, eliminate waste, and create a cohesive vision. Unilever uses social media for a variety of purposes across the entire organization to support several important functions.
Toronto’s Furniture Bank is in the business of doing good. As a social enterprise dedicated to providing gently-used furniture to women, children, refugees, and those transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, Furniture Bank has grown steadily since its inception. Over time, it has rallied a series of sponsors, donors, social agencies, and other partners to provide thousands of families in need with dignified furniture in the Greater Toronto Area. And most of this has been accomplished through marketing and outreach strategies outside the realm of social media. But as more people turn to social media and online publishers for their news, and overall exposure to products, trends, and “ways of giving”, over the past year the organization has begun to weave social media into its overall marketing strategies, particularly by creating an online-only silent auction and ramping up its social posts to promote its annual fundraiser, the Chair Affair. The incredible impact of this small change (surpassing previous fundraising targets, growing followers, and increasing brand awareness by leaps and bounds online) has set a course for the organization to follow suit with a more dedicated online strategy. With its goals of growing the organization to a national level, and reaching record-breaking fundraising targets in order to serve the most families it can, it is clear that social media lends itself very well as a marketing tool, not only in relationship to its future events, but for the organization as a whole. Below: Executive Director Dan Kershaw discusses Furniture Bank’s mission and functions.
Ten trees planted for every item purchased seems like an unobtainable goal selling clothes, but Tentree has made it their mission. At Tentree, their goal is to become the most environmentally progressive brand on the planet. They don’t want to just reduce the negative impact of the apparel industry, they want to use it as a vehicle for change. Their purpose is to revitalize our environment and inspire a generation to believe that they can do the same. Their current goal is to plant 1 billion trees by 2030. (Tentree.com, 2017) TenTree’s a socially oriented company, that is already on track to have over 17 million trees planted by the end of 2017. This significant achievement showcases the level of success that the company’s current high-cost business model enjoys. As a start-up business that is already making profits in the early stages of its life, TenTree’s is a great example of social entrepreneurs that employed a premium differentiation strategy and succeeded. In addition to this, TenTree’s has accomplished putting their products onto the shelves of 300 Canadian stores; doing so indicates the level of demand for their product in the market despite the high pricing. A last example of this is the company’s ability to garner strong internet sales; proving their marketing strategy’s impact in action is a force that can be relied on throughout its future. (Ho, 2017)
Blogger, Alice Katter, says it best, “We’re all guilty of it: Snapping a photo of that pizza or ice cream we couldn’t wait to dig into, and Instagramming it. Why? Because, we’re obsessed with #foodporn. We love seeing what others eats and showing off with our own dishes.” With the boom of social media, the food and restaurant industry has forever changed. In order for any business in the food industry to succeed, their engagement on social media is paramount. The industry which once relied heavily on word of mouth, has shifted to social media being the major influencer.
Social Media has become a widespread way of marketing for organizations. While many of us have used social media in a variety of ways, the question is what are some best practices in using social media? Now and in the future? I decided to pull together a few sources to see what others are saying about best practices in social media. Read on and decide for yourself. In a How to Guide by Lithium, 10 Best Practices in Social Media Marketing, summarizes 10 key ways to use social media in effective ways. These ten suggestions include: respond promptly, engage your organization, share conversations, use data to decide when to post, talk with your customers, optimize your efforts, make technology your friend, measure your success, learn about your customers, and enjoy the process!