Tag Archive | Marketing

Social Business: A Measuring Stick

What is Social Business?

“An organization that has put in place the strategies, technologies and processes to systematically engage all the individuals of its ecosystem (employees, customers, partners, suppliers) to maximize the co-created value” [1]

How does your business measure up?

  • Connected – Internal and external stakeholders of the organization are able to seamlessly engage in conversations.  Various communication platforms relevant to the position and accessibility of the people involved are available.  i.e. Intranet for employees, Social media sites (open for the public and closed groups for employees), Email, Forums, Chat rooms, Video Conferencing, etc.
  • Social – Authentic, honest, and transparent are the key etiquette rules for employees that are part of a social business.  Less about selling / marketing – more about engaging in two-way communication.  This is especially true when representatives are providing content for official company sites, but also when they publicly post and engage in conversation personally.  In both situations, they are ambassadors for the company while they are part of the organization (employees, contractors, etc.)
  • Present – Conversations may begin by being posted on a company website / social platform / media release   (i.e comments on the site, linking back to an article from another social site, reference in a blog or magazine article, etc).  It can also begin from an offline experience but posted online by one of their public (i.e. customer review site, video, comment on social media site, etc)
  • Intelligent  – Not only intelligent, but also responsible.   Intelligent because you will have systems, tools and resources in place to measure, monitor and evaluate results (qualitative and quantitative) against business objectives.  Always need the Return on Investment numbers.  Responsible because you will be setting the company culture.  You are saying that you are listening and showing you care by responding.  Don’t let them down – Listen and Respond!


Social Business articles:

What is Social Business?

Social Enterprise 

Social Business Overview

What the hell is a social business? 

References:

[1]  Social Business 

Wikipedia – Social business model  

Social Business Blog Series:

Savour the moment with Jackson Triggs

Wine, Music, Vintage, Classy, Fun, Whimsical, Entertainment, Relaxing, Welcoming,  Niagara

These are words that come to mind after visiting the online ‘face’ of Jackson Triggs Winery.  Whether it is their official Website or presence on other social media sites; such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube, they have a similar message to it’s viewers.

After watching their most recent television commercial, I couldn’t resist learning more about this company.

Intrigued?  Then watch, and read on…

Jackson-Triggs was established as a winery in 1993.  Their name is a blend of their founders’  – Allan Jackson and Don Triggs.  The main winery is located in Niagara-On-The-Lake, and a second in the Okanagan – Oliver, British Columbia.  Four beautiful vineyards support these wineries:  2 in Niagara (Niagara Estate, Delaine Vineyard) and 2 in the Okanagan (Okanagan Estate, SunRock Vineyard).  The architecture of the buildings, the manicured grounds of the estates, the beautiful pungent smells of the grapes fermenting on the vines in the summer months are all part of the atmosphere at Jackson Triggs.

Behind their product and services, they continue to offer  “unwavering dedication to quality, value and tradition” to their customers.  This is obvious through their Internationally award winning wines that are cultivated to ‘perfection’ by a team of experienced wine makers.  Their services reach beyond their wines, which offers their customers an extended experience. Their outdoor amphitheatre offers an eclectic assortment of music with various artists performing during the summer.  This unique investment attracts award winning artists and substantial media recognition.  Also offered are  special events, dining, tours, and wine tasting on the patio.  Stimulating all the senses with the hope that their customers will remember well, and want to return again and again.

Who are their customers?  

“Glocalization” , is a niche marketing word that they embody: A business catering to a local market as well as a global one.  Global tourism is strong in Niagara.  With Niagara-On-The-Lake only minutes from the world renowned Niagara Falls, it has the added benefit of those visiting the Falls to extend their visit to the winery.  Significant challenges for Niagara tourism:  Canadian dollar is almost at par which means our American neighbours don’t have the same incentive to come north. As well, a depressed economic situation means less disposable income.

On a happier note, Canadian wineries can now celebrate the passing of bill C-311.  C-311 is law, passed this month,  that allows wineries to sell their wine between provinces: Either purchasing wine from a winery and then travelling home to another province, or through online purchases.

Company needs to give back to it’s community

And I don’t mean just through engagement with it’s online community (upcoming blog, stay tuned) but give back through CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) projects.  Jackson Triggs’  auctioned off best-seat tickets to their Summer Concert Series on eBay.  All proceeds went to support War Child’s work with children whose lives have been devastated by war.  (Pretty great, don’t you think?)

As for their social business? Are customers talking about them?  Are they sharing this excitement?

Social Business Blog Series:

Note:  This series is for a “Social Media for Public Relations” course at McMaster University.  I am not an expert on wineries, but definitely enjoy my wine.  I live in Niagara and have a passion for health, wellness & community.  To read more about my experience, please read my about section.  All references and images in this blog are from the Jackson Triggs Winery website or otherwise noted.

Magic words of Motivation

“I believe” :  the strongest two words that motivate all of us.  What made crowds appear in Washington on a hot summer’s day to listen to Martin Luther King speak about civil rights?  ” I believe “.  And not what HE necessarily believed, but what they believed as well.  What made the Wright Brothers push through their challenges to invent a flying machine?  Because they believed in that what they were doing would positively change life forever.

Simon Sinek speaks here about the motivation behind WHY people do what they do.  What changes people’s behavior?  The ‘golden circle’ is a visual showing us that we act from the inside out.  The WHY or what we believe in is truly what motivates all of us.

Once we realize this, we will be able to achieve what we want to achieve.

  • Career  – because we will want to get up every day for work knowing the WHY you are doing it.  Your vision will be clear.
  • Hiring – you will know who to hire, because now you know what to look for in those that will be your team mates.  They will believe in what you are doing more than just wanting to be there for a paycheck, which is the ‘what’.
  • Customers – your customers will buy from you because they know the WHY behind why you are offering this product / service ( Simon uses the example of APPLE )

What is really incredible is that this circle, and all of what it means, is rooted in biology – the design of our brain.  Science tells us that WHY is what motivates us, not WHAT.

Trouble viewing the TED talk video?I Go to your TED talks app  and search on Simon Sinek.

Related articles:

The Golden Circle

Following your passion – Easier said than done – Jeremy Floyd

PR Pros are Sharpening their Virtual Pencils

We are never too old to stop learning, and in the fast-paced and ever-changing world that we live in, this statement could not be truer as it pertains to communications.  This is why, Public Relations professionals are back in the classroom and sharpening their virtual pencils.

With the introduction of new technology, a real paradigm shift has happened in the way people interact with each other (Clay Shirk’s Book – “Here Comes Everybody”).  They now have the ability to hold two-way conversations ‘on demand’, and they like that.  These same people know that organizations and companies have the tools to converse with them in a similar fashion, and they expect it.   So, as PR professionals we need to develop our skills to stay current, so that we can offer the best possible service to our customers.  This is why I have gone..

Back to School

Last semester I had the privilege of taking the introductory social media for public relations course at McMaster University.  Under the direction of Martin Waxman, we had the opportunity to become better acquainted with  certain social media ‘tools of the trade’, learn some best practices and network with other professionals in our field.

This semester, led by Jared Lenover, we will learn various strategies, tools, techniques and best practices for :  Researching, Planning, Implementation, Management, Evaluation and Measurement for social media as it relates to public relations.

Key questions

that I will be asking from this course are:

  • Engagement:  How do I increase the quality and quantity of engagement with my audiences on various social media platforms?
  • Strategy:  How to best align social media within the overall business strategy to receive the greatest success?
  • Tools:  What are the best tools on the market for the best value, and when do I use them?

Class in session >>>> Let the learning begin!

Sales, Marketing and Public Relations – Convergence means success

ImageEvery organization has objectives. Even if they are not clearly written, they are there.  Every part of that organization is working to meet those objective.  Even if they are not guided, or have clear information on what those objectives are, they are hired for a purpose.

So let’s talk success and team work.  Is it not common sense that we should all work as a team to achieve what we set out to do?  Is not a chain stronger when they are all linked together?  Now there is no excuse.  We have the technology to make this happen, but unfortunately the ‘old way’ of doing things is getting in the way.

Sales, Marketing & Public Relations have been acting like oil and water.  It is time for change.  It is time to shake things up a little and start being exceptional.  Let’s start thinking and acting ‘outside of the box’.  It does not mean that we throw everything out the window that we have been doing over the years, but stepping away and looking at your processes and cultural ways with fresh eyes will give you rejuvenated perspective.  Conversations across various departments will give you skills and talent that you perhaps didn’t even realize you had.

Tips below on how and why sales and marketing should converge.

  1. Culturally increase cross conversations between Marketing & Sales so that it is more ‘our’ thing rather than yours or my thing.
  2. Pay your staff to perform as a team.
  3. Look at the details (i.e. make sure your team can articulate your story) – no one person is going to close deals.
  4. Single objective – everyone doing their job to achieve this objective
  5. You have to be extreme (outside the norm of what you have always done) – you are ALL in the mission to sell, ALL in the same team.  Get rid of org chart and build a team.”

The 5 tips above are from Todd & Dan’s video segment: Marketing vs. Sales, or Breaking Down the Silos in 2012: From SalesChaosTV Video Discussion . Great reference for forward thinking tips on how sales and marketing should be done now and moving forward.

Related Resources:

Lee Odden Digital Convergency: Marketing & Public Relations

Clay Shirk’s Book – Here Comes Everybody

Arbinger Group – Leadership and Self Deception:  Getting out of the box

Social Media: Part 3 – The Budget

Budgeting for your Social Media Program


First thing we must understand is that there is a difference between a Social Media Program and a Social Media Campaign.  Programs (Plans)  are developed within your overall strategy and will often have smaller programs / campaigns within that plan. Tactics are used to achieve the objectives for these programs and campaigns.   Even if you only decide on a limited program for social media, (i.e. Facebook profile with a contest once a month)  please go through the planning exercise to make sure that it supports your overall business objectives.  Offering SMART objectives (S- Strategic, M-Measurable, A-Achievable, R-Realistic and T-Time-bound) will help build your case to get the budget that you seek for your program.  If you are the owner of your business, part of a charitable organization or an employee at your company, you will need to justify this budget to measure your return on investment and for forward planning.  (Refer to my Social Media Research and Plan blogs for steps 1 & 2 ).

  1. Research – Do you need to do anymore research?  Are you going to have to include any of this in your budget (i.e. Focus groups).  Some organizations will do a research budget first and then based on the results move to the next step to acquire more budget for the program.  For small businesses, much of your research can be gathered at the most a nominal charge:  Free information available on the internet, informal conversations with key customers, and marketing data that you have collected over the years.
  2. Social Media maturity – If you already have certain social media platforms set up (i.e. Facebook page, Linked in company, Twitter account) this will save some time.  If you have staff that can assist and you, and you yourself  have some familiarity with using social media, this will give you some support and background to getting started.  Much of the start-up budget is just getting your online profiles set up.  Much of Social Media budget is allocated to TIME.  If you have someone on staff that can create, manage and monitor your profiles, consider this as an option; BUT,  think this through because it is your reputation and money that is being used.  Source out a social media expert to get some quotes, you might be surprised.
  3. Hire a Social Media Consultant, or not? Your biggest portion of budget will be to your ‘Community Manager’.  Salaries for this position varies depending on the time commitment, expertise and what part of the world you live in.  I have seen salaries ranging from $35-$50K on LinkedIn.  If you decide to bring in a consultant to help you develop your strategy, this will be an added cost as well. Make sure you do your research on what to expect out of someone who will assist in developing your strategy.  Not only will you want them to have experience in Social Media and Public Relations, but you will want them to have a good grasp of overall business strategies.  Check out the Related Resources section below for tips on hiring, or ask me any questions in the comment section.
  4. What do you want to achieve?  The more you want, the more it will cost.
    • Profiles – how many?  How many updates needed on each profile?  How often?
    • Where will you get your content?  Time – who will do this?
    • Monitoring – Will you have someone monitor social media for trends, competitors, etc.
    • Will you be having campaigns throughout the time period?  What will this look like?
  5. Tools – There are many free tools that are very effective.  As your programs grow, you may want to purchase a subscription to a social media tool to assist in the area of management, monitoring and analysis.  Hootsuite, Hubspot, Constant Contact and Radian6 are examples of some social media tools on the market.  Some of these tools offer a Free trial, or a Free limited version of their product and this is fine for starting out, but as your team and program grows, you really should consider a software tool to support your efforts.  Automation will not only save you time, but will help with efficiency.

Budget Checklist

  • Who – Human Resources to start, implement, manage and evaluate the program and/or campaign
  • What – Objectives – What does success look like ?
  • When – Timeline – milestones and final evaluation
  • Where – Social Media sites to be used
  • How – Tactics:  How are you going to achieve this?  Monitoring and Measurement:  Tools to be used?

These questions will frame your budget.  Human resources will be your largest contribution to your budget.  Be realistic, but also understand that you set up opportunity for evaluation so that you can review your budget for long-term planning.  Consider too that you may be paying  less now for traditional media (i.e. print) to free up some budget dollars for human resources and other social media resources needed for this initiative.

Related Resources (articles, books, blogs):

Mashable:  How to Optimize your Social Media Budget

Brian Solis – The State of Social Marketing 2011-2012 – Brian talks about the situation of Social Marketing today.  181 Brand managers, agency professionals, and experts were surveyed and Brian offers highlights, graphs and other social media statistics on his blog.  Not surprising, but one of the greatest challenges in keeping social from being main stream in organizations is budget challenges.  BUT keep reading because statistics are showing that organizations are planning to increase social spending over the next few years.

Alia Haley (guest blogger) SocialWayne.com- Budgeting for Social Media:  Who pays for it and why

SMART Objectives – http://topachievement.com/smart.html

Neil Schaffer : Hiring a social Media Consultant

Ann Gregory:  Planning and Managing Public Relations Campaigns (book on KOBO)

Spin Sucks:

Sam’s Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 minutes: E-Book review

Recently I purchased a KOBO e-book.  Yes, I balked at this for a long time as I am one that still likes the touch and feel of a good book in my hands.  Having a wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor library has been a life long dream, but the reality of it is, e-books just make sense in today’s fast paced, transient and information overloaded business world.  It gives you the ability to carry a very large library with you at all times (very appealing) and for someone who is a compulsive highlighter and note taker, the ability to do it right on the e-book is a bonus.   Not to say that I won’t be giving up all my paper books right away, but I find I am gravitating to the e-book more and more.  What finally convinced me to purchase it?  It was the fact that books were available for me to download immediately from my KOBO account and I save money on shipping.

I have only had the opportunity to read a couple of books, and Sam’s Teach Yourself Facebook in 10 minutes was my first.  The book offers a background to what Facebook is all about, why you should have a Facebook page for your business, and simple step-by-step instructions on how to set up a business page.  The book offers advertising tips, best-practices, how to plan a campaign and links to other related articles.  Of course measurement is key and they touch on how to do this as well.  If you purchase the e-version, it allows for online registration to get updates of the book when they are available.

Overall a very simple and quick read, especially if you are just starting out and need the basics.  If you already have a Facebook page and want more in-depth advice on how to make your page and campaigns more effective, this might be a little light for you.  But don’t pass this off, even if you are experienced, the price is right for this inexpensive reference tool.

So for someone just starting out,  I would give this two-thumbs up.

Price:  Amazon offers it for $14.99,  my KOBO purchase was $8.79

Do you have any other books that were helpful for you as you built your Facebook business page?  Would love to hear from you.