In order to properly engage customers on social media platforms, companies/organizations are wise to deviate from conventional in-your face marketing techniques and opt instead to learn to participate in organic communication with their consumers, which in turn fosters loyal relationships among old and new customers alike. General Mills is a prime example of a company that uses social media to their advantage. Not only do they listen to customers and engage them in meaningful ways, but they also have fun doing it. General Mills is what some would refer to as a food processing super giant. The company maintains over 80 leading brands in the USA alone, not to mention various others across the globe.
Is social media marketing a good fit for promoting your business? Do you understand and know the benefits of being able to market your business through the use of social media marketing? A few weeks ago I spoke about the Stratford Festival on how they engaged with their customers and how they reach out through their social media. For this blog post, I’m going to stay with the theatre but on a much smaller spectrum. The Livery is a small, non-profit community theatre in Goderich, Ontario. It is operated by a Board of Directors and has one staff member. The Livery was built in 1840’s as a harness shop by Samuel Seegmuller. In 1878, there were three businesses in the building, which included a harness shop, a stable and a stone shop. When automobiles were introduced, the three businesses failed to be stainable and the Livery was left vacant for many years. In 1978 the building was being slated for demolition, but the Town of Goderich realized its historical importance and delayed the demolition schedule until private citizens could raise enough money to purchase the building. The Livery was purchased by the citizens and was known as the Goderich Arts Foundation. Many years later, in 1983, a non-profit organization called the Goderich Little Theatre purchased the theatre and opened the Livery as a community arts centre.
Chevrolet is one of the world’s largest automotive brands, doing business in more than 140 countries. In the Middle East (ME), Chevrolet has a strong heritage that has come to represent a trusted automotive brand that fulfills transportation needs and aspirations of customers. In 2015 – Chevrolet approached Traffic Digital, and their event partners Blink Experience, with an admirable corporate social responsibility (CSR) idea. This encouraged people to give back during the Holy Month of Ramadan. The idea involved a widespread on social media, posting about the campaign meant truly contributing to it. For every post, Chevrolet would donate Iftar meals to workers residing in labor camps across 6 selected cities (Jeddah, Riyadh, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Doha). Social Media Marketing is an ideal way reach an audience. Real time sharing and the ability to ride your consumers’ emotional waves provides a top notch marketing opportunity. “Having been in the Middle East for nearly 100 years, Chevrolet understands the importance of Ramadan as a special time to reflect and give. And we want to give: to our customers and to the community in general,” said Markus Leith, Managing Director (ME) Commercial Operations. An analysis of the IPAdataBANK has shown, campaigns with purely emotional content performed about twice as well as those with purely rational content.
Showing off your bare feet might not be the most glamorous trend on Instagram, but you might be able to argue it’s the most impactful. (Couch, 2017) One company that is performing digital engagement exceptionally well is TOMS. TOMS is based in Playa Del Rey, California. The company was founded in 2006 by Blake Mycoskie, an entrepreneur from Arlington, Texas. The company designs and sells shoes based on the Argentine alpargata design they also manufacture eyewear, coffee, apparel, and handbags. TOMS thrives on the philosophy that if they sell a pair of shoes, a new pair of shoes is given to an impoverished child. As well, when TOMS sells eyewear, part of the profit is used to save or restore eyesight for people in developing countries. The company launched TOMS Roasting Co. in 2014, and with each purchase of TOMS Roasting Co. coffee, the company works with other organizations that they refer to as “giving partners” to provide 140 liters of safe water, equal to a one week supply, to a person in need. In addition in 2015, TOMS Bag Collection was launched to help contribute to advancements in maternal health. Purchases of TOMS Bags help provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help women practice safe childbirth. (Wikipedia, 2017)
Organizations of all sizes have seen immense success in the use and integration of social media. The tools, data, and many other capabilities that these platforms provide, have shown to deliver significant benefits for any organization’s overall performance. Despite all the known qualities social media platforms have to offer, the true reason these organizations see positive results is because of the proper application, structure, management, overall strategy and its effectiveness when it comes to integrating social media across the whole organization. We have seen how social media can benefit organizations in a variety of areas, but once social media has been integrated across the whole organization and working in unison, we can also see more powerful and substantial results.
Recently I was invited over to my Friend Jeff’s for dinner. He mentioned that he recently had purchased a new VR (Virtual Reality) system and thought, while the kids were playing after dinner, the adults could take turns exploring his new toy. I was hesitant at first, as some of the POV video games makes me feel light headed and unbalanced. I’m not one to turn down an opportunity to try new technology, so after setting up all the proximity sensors, I slipped on the Oculus system and was immediately transported to another world. VR and AR (Augmented Reality) are two technologies that are changing how social media adapts and individualizes experiencesfor consumers. While the experience wasn’t tailored to me, I did get a first-hand look at how realistic the experience can be through VR. The individualization of experiences for consumers is setting the tone for new ways to use technology. One company in the hospitality industry that has done this is Marriott International. A massive hospitality and entertainment company. They have long been using social media to help drive business performance but they also use it to help create experiences for their guests. Listening to their guests’ needs helps Marriott ensure that the guests’ every wish is fulfilled while they are in their care.
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.