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Category Archives: Social Media Strategy for Companies
Organization: Millionair Club
Mission: Since 1921 the Millionair Club Charity has changed thousands of lives by providing jobs and other essential support services to individuals who are homeless or unemployed in Seattle and King County.
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MillionairClubCharity [679 likes]
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/millionair_club [1680 following, 680 followers]
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/MillionairClubChar [7 Subscribers]
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/millionair-club-charity [146 followers]
Giving Page: http://www.millionairclub.org/Ways-to-Give
Millionair club claims that it is funded entirely by private donations and 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to program services.
They don’t have a specific target they are trying to reach. Anyone who can donate or participate seems to be welcome to contribute. However, their social media presence is extremely weak and seems to be an afterthought.
https://www.facebook.com/Christies 90,251 Likes
https://twitter.com/ChristiesInc 47.2K Followers | 4,552 Tweets | 9,840 Following
http://www.youtube.com/user/christiesauctions 3,216 Subscribers
http://www.weibo.com/christies 0 | 26,721 | 1,206
https://plus.google.com/+christies/posts 816 Followers | 237,861 Views
http://instagram.com/christiesinc 610 Posts | 28,520 Followers | 253 Following
https://www.pinterest.com/christiesinc/ 45 Boards | 4,623 Pins | 16 Likes | 7,312 Followers | 274 Following
https://www.facebook.com/sothebys 83,556 Likes
https://twitter.com/sothebys 33.7K Followers | 3,924 Tweets | 839 Following
http://www.youtube.com/sothebys 3,593 Subscribers
http://weibo.com/sothebyshongkong 120 | 53,355 | 1,072
Youku – n/a
https://plus.google.com/108065664091826437632/about 434 Followers | 2,710 Views
http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/sotheby’s (only for posts tagged #sotheby’s)
http://instagram.com/sothebys 520 Posts | 19,136 Followers | 115 Following
https://www.pinterest.com/sothebyshomes/ 35 Boards | 899 Pins | 32 Likes | 778 Followers | 100 Following
flickr – n/a
It seems like Christie’s is bidding up on majority of the social media platform, except for the southeast Asia region where Sotheby’s seems to be more active. Based on a quick review of content and engagement, Facebook and Twitter seem be the most popular channels for both auction houses. Christie’s content on YouTube is more current and relevant from a subscribers’ perspective whereas Sotheby’s last post was a month ago and their channel is not as user friendly. Sotheby’s Pinterest site is primarily focused on their real estate business whereas Christie’s resembles their core auction business. Interestingly, their Instagram sites are very similar to one another. Sotheby’s website includes an “All blogs” section that includes detailed write-up and photos from various special events. This could be a great way to engage followers, but it seems to be utilized as a one-way communication tool. In general, there is more marketing than engagement by both Christie’s and Sotheby’s, but Christie’s seems to ahead in the social media game thus far.
Arguably the two best teams playing on autumn Sundays are the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers. Many have commented on the similarities between these two arch-rivals. They both have built their teams around stout defenses and mobile quarterbacks. They both are coached by former Pac 10 legends. Off the field, the two organizations are also battling in a different arena – social media. Let’s take a look at how these two are building their fanbases online.
The Seahawks actively engage their fans through the following social media outlets:
- Facebook (>2M likes)
- Seahawks App
The Seahawks use all of these avenues to keep their fans up to date on the team transactions, training, and community outreach. The team’s website (seahawks.com) employs a staff of writers to contribute articles on a regular basis. Instagram and Pinterest seem to be kept stocked with photos from the team, the players, and the cheerleaders. The Foursquare entry seems sparse, almost like a placeholder for future development. Facebook and Twitter are regularly updated, though, and seem to have thriving communities. It’s interesting to note that the three primary sites (seahawks.com, facebook, twitter) seem to be populated with unique content. There are some articles that show up in all three sites, but all three seem to be actively managed to cater to the strengths of the sites. In addition, the players all seem to have social media presences of their own (they have brands to manage, too), and the Seahawks regularly cross-link to the players activities.
San Francisco 49ers
- Facebook (>3M likes)
In contrast, the 49ers organization seems to have a somewhat smaller social media campaign. The team website is similar to the Seahawks’, but it has a cookie-cutter feel to it – almost as if they took the template the NFL gave them and just filled in the blanks. The team site does have good content, though, with regularly updated articles. However, the Facebook and Twitter sites seem to be simply mirroring the team website content. I don’t see any sign of active management of the different social media sites. For example, the 49ers Twitter account has about half the tweets of the Seahawks. The fanbase, however, is strong for the 49ers and support the sites well. Also, the players are engaged in social media, and the 49ers
For fans who know the teams and their coaches, this analysis is probably not surprising. Social media seems like it was invented for coaches like Pete Carroll. On the other hand, can anyone picture Jim Harbaugh keeping up with his twitter account? A quick investigation shows Pete tweeted yesterday, and Jim’s last tweet was October 16th. Similarly, the Seahawks seem to have embraced social media, while the 49ers seem to be participating as lightly as the NFL will allow them to.
Full disclosure – Brian is a lifelong Seahawks fan…
Both organizations are well known Japanese automakers consistently striving to increase their market share in US by launching new models and improving their reliability and comfort year over year. Toyota is focused only on passenger cars and trucks whereas Honda offers a wide range of products in US market ranging from generators, cars and even private jets as follows:
- Honda Power equipment’s – generators, lawn movers, pumps, snow blowers, tillers, trimmers,
- Honda Automobiles – Cars, trucks, Suvs, Minvans, Alternative fuels, sports, fuel efficient
- Honda Marine – portable to large motor boat engines
- Honda Power sports – ATVs, scooters, motorbikes
- Honda Jet – Jet airplanes
Social Media Presence: Following comparison shows striking difference of each company’s social media presence, its followership and activity on top 5 channels.
Overall Honda and its followers seemed to be far more active than Toyota. Both organizations have been active in posting news and updates about their new products and contest keeping their consumers engaged. I did not see either of them using these channels to receive or update on consumer complaints like many others in the industry. Upon further investigation, I found out that the local Honda dealer in Kirkland is using Twitter channel more effectively than its Toyota rival by posting information about referral bonuses as follows.
I think this is a great idea to promote sales by using peer to peer advertising. Local Toyota dealer on the other hand is using their twitter account to post updates on their new building in Kirkland.
My suggestion to both of these organizations is open channels of communication to receive compliments and complaints about their dealerships. This will allow them to gain direct information about their performance and even assist them in gaining more market share in after sales service from small mom-pop stores.
Bank of America vs. Wells Fargo Bank Winning the retail customers
Bank of America and Wells Fargo banks are leading consumer banks in United States. Bank of America has been recovering its image from mortgage mess create due to foreclosures.
Wells Fargo bank has been steadily growing in personal, small business and commercial markets.
Market Capital – 169.09B
No. Of Employees: 242,000
Wells Fargo Bank
Market Capital: 253.15B
No. Of Employees: 264,900
Social Media presence and Activities:
Bank of America helps to grow an Asian specialty grocer
Wells Fargo “Six String Dream” Behind The Scenes Video
BOA has good presence on all the social media channels and it seems to be more active than Wells Fargo on the social channels.
Wells Fargo has been growing due to their sound business practices and great customer service both in brick and mortar as well as online.
Wells Fargo messaging on social media is more fun filled and customer centric. This is probably to attract more young generation and keep them engaged with such content. On the other hand BOA has more educational and corporate announcements on the social media channel. BOA has lots of hate topic/handles on twitter, which points back to unfair business practices adopted by BOA, during the mortgages crisis and foreclosures. BOA messaging is focused on improving the corporate image and educating the customers on different financial topics such as – saving, mortgage, investment, etc. It is hard to determine who entered the social channels first, but BOA is surely leading on number of followers, fan base etc.
Overall Wells Fargo is keeping light content on the social media, whereas BOA is using the social media channels for brand building. We all know the historical reasons behind it, BOA need to rebrand itself and win the customers’ confidence back. I would propose to both of these organizations to tap back into loans for higher education which is in line with current government agenda and hence may get a backing from it.
Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s are both highly successful chains that have carved out a unique niche for themselves in the grocery market industry. Let’s compare and contrast how each company uses social media to bolster its overall strategy.
Whole foods has an extremely comprehensive set of social channels:
- Twitter: 3.6M followers, of which 1M joined in the 1st year of opening the account.
- Facebook: 1.5M likes.
- Blog on wholefoods.com
- Get Satisfaction: for customer feedback and support.
Here are the key ways in which Whole Foods uses its channels…
Local Social Media Presence
While Whole Foods operates central accounts on each of the social media platforms mentioned above, it encourages each of its branches also to run its own social media channels. For example, the Bellevue Wholefoods Facebook page has about 3k likes. The store uses the channel to share local news at the store, including free samples, seasonal food, and sales.
Whole Foods also has Twitter feeds customized to specialized interests, including a feed for cheese lovers curated by the company’s chief cheese procurer.
A Specific Purpose for Each Channel
Whole Foods does not mirror its content across all its channels. For example on Facebook, the majority of its content gives recipe advice to customers. It also announces product arrivals and sales, and a photo accompanies almost every post.
Whole Foods uses Twitter largely for customer dialog and support. According to the Smartblog on Social Media, 85% of the company’s Twitter traffic is responses to customers. Only 10% of tweets are content based, and 5% are promotional.
WholeFoods uses Get Satisfaction, an online support community, to resolve customers’ questions and support issues.
Unique Content with Authentic Personality
Whole Foods’ YouTube channel is full of professionally produced videos that are full of fun and personality. For example, a short black and white comedy film “Mango Madness Sweeps the Nation!” indirectly promotes the current crop of mangoes in stores. Another video with over 125k views is a series of interviews with kids about their quirky eating habits. Whole Foods creates a very likable corporate personality with such content. Because they are cute and funny, these videos also have a decent chance of going viral.
Trader Joe’s has no company managed social media presence at all!
Its newsletter the Fearless Flyer (mailed to customers in both print and electronic format) is its main direct method of customer outreach. The flyer includes recipe ideas and news about new and seasonal products available in the stores.
For its social media presence, Trader Joe’s relies entirely on fan generated pages, such as Trader Joe’s Fan, which has half a million likes. The fact that Trader Joe’s relies on its fans for social media is a testament to the word-of-mouth appeal of the chain. As a former employee pointed out, however, the company’s lack of a public voice can be damaging in the time of a crisis. For example, Trader Joe’s had a series of food recalls in 2012. In part because the company had no good way to shape the public image of the stories, most mentions of the company in mainstream media that year were negative. A recall of Sunland peanut butter (which is sold in many grocery stores) was falsely dubbed the “Trader Joe’s peanut butter recall” in the media, because Trader Joe’s was a recognizable brand and an easy target for blame.
Whole Foods vs. Trader Joe’s: Which Strategy is Best?
There could hardly be a greater contrast between the prolific social media presence of Whole Foods and the intentional social media silence of Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s fan-generated content perhaps reinforces its image as a chain with a cult following. However, it can leave Trader Joe’s blindsided by brand damaging events like food recalls. By delegating social media responsibility out to each of its stores, Whole Foods achieves a great balance of centrally managed customer support and locally relevant content.
– Daniel S.
I’m happy to be the first to start off a series of upcoming posts comparing the social presence of various brands.
In my post I’ll compare the social presence of Nike and Reebok. Brands we all love that started with shoes and are now selling various apparels. Let’s start with some dry data about each brand’s online assets:
|Joined||June 2010||October 2013|
|Likes||17.1 million||2.8 million|
As we can clearly see – Nike has a much more popular presence all over, but that’s not all. Nike has separate assets for each of its brands. Can you believe they manage approximately 16 Facebook pages and 17 Twitters handles? Not to mention more YouTube & Instagram accounts. Clearly Nike has a much larger presence. But is larger better? Not necessarily. For example, while Reebok has only about a tenth of Nike’s followers on Twitter, it has only about half of the amount of posts. Similarly, on Instagram, while Reebok only has about 1% of Nike’s followers, it has about half the amount of posts. It looks like Reebok is not willing to lose to Nike!
Both companies are updating their online assets at about the same cadence – usually only on weekdays. Nike has been online for a while, since March 2006 on YouTube, and June 2010 on Facebook. Reebok is a relatively newer entrant: It joined Facebook just a few months ago.
I would venture a guess that Reebok has only recently realized the importance of social media, but they aren’t starting slow. They’re going full speed ahead and joining all the networks and posting all the time.
I am not that active in Social media but I have account on Faceboob,Google+,Youtube, Twitter etc.So when I was looking for what social media tool to review I was looking for something which managed my Social interaction on different channels easily without any hassles. Yoono claims to fit that need so I thought of trying Yoono ,http://www.yoono.com/
It supports both Brower(plug-in) and desktop based version. The setup is pretty simple and fast.
Access multiple social networking accounts all in one place with Yoono. This desktop application provides a dashboard where you can manage, interact with, and browse a handful of sites and IM platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, and AIM. If you have multiple social and instant messaging accounts, Yoono provides a great way to use them all at once. With its organized user interface, alert system, and ability to turn into a fast browser, this application is a must-have for anyone who spends a lot of social Web time.
After Install You can different accounts or channels to sign in for to manage your interaction.
From the top, this view tells me which account I’m viewing, gives me an update box, displays a row of icons for Updates, Friends, DM’s, Replies/Mentions, Lists and a Search Button.
If I have unread DM’s or Replies/Mentions a count will appear beside each icon and I can click on the icon to respond.
So I have everything I need to know at a glance.
If you want to reply to a tweet, hover over it and three options appear: Reply, ReTweet and More.
Clicking the reply option brings up this screen:
On the web page in the browser window two options will appear, allowing me to share either the entire page or just portions of it.
Make your choice and the link is automatically shortened and inserted into the tweet.
This compact application can save you some time spent clicking through windows and tabs.
Yoono keeps track of your social and IM accounts in a streamlined view, eliminating hassle and clutter for users immersed in the social stream.
Synapse was rated as third place for best place to work for in Seattle Business Magazine in large company segment.
Company bio: http://www.synapse.com/about
Company innovation: http://www.synapse.com/wall-of-cool
Fun stuff: animated development process video clip
Simply put, Synapse is a company that makes cool stuff. Whether it’s building a best-of-breed GPS sport watch with Nike and TomTom, creating new AirFloss technology with Philips’ Sonicare, or designing field-ready DNA analysis devices, Synapse is always building something brilliant. Aside from their thrilling work, Synapse’s employees—including inventors, designers, engineers, technologists and strategists—are rewarded with full medical coverage for themselves and their dependents, a 4 percent match on employee 401(k)s and company-sponsored health savings accounts. Those benefits, combined with a sparkling, newly remodeled downtown office complete with rock-climbing wall and foosball table, place Synapse amongst our top three large companies in 2012.
Looking at Synapse facebook and twitter, they are still working on social media fan base at about 500 leads on Face book and Twitter. Would be nice for these cool product to be introduced in social media more actively from this local Seattle company to get their presence more known. Synapse seem to be active on Startup community in Seattle. We may see their presence in UW business competition and technology innovation events. Their product innovation seems to be all over the map but that makes it kind of interesting to keep eye on to see what they come up with.
A company’s social media strategy is unique to its business model. It need not necessarily be centered around the popular social media sites such as Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter etc. A company that realizes this has the potential to become the leader in the space it is competing in. In my opinion, Amazon is one such company that has built a social media strategy which is completely integrated into and tailored for the products it sells.
While Amazon offers a variety of products and services such as online shopping portal, cloud computing, handheld devices, digital content, prime etc., I will focus on Amazon’s online shopping offering and discuss the social strategy that enabled Amazon become the leader in e-commerce business.
Let me start by saying that Amazon does have presence on popular social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. for various reasons such as raising awareness about certain products, publishing lightning price deals, recruiting great people to work at Amazon etc. However this presence does not form the core of Amazon’s social media strategy for its e-commerce business.
Amazon’s social strategy for its e-commerce business dates back to its early days when the company was formed in late 90′s. Shoppers were used to touching and examining products before they made the decision to purchase – This was one of the biggest advantages of shopping at a retail store. This was the biggest hurdle Amazon had to cross – “Enabling customers make informed purchase decisions online” and Amazon invented a social strategy that the company has been successfully using ever since. This strategy is centered around two pillars – “Customer Reviews” and “Similar Products”.
“Customer Reviews” also called “Product Reviews” enables online shoppers to write reviews about a product that they bought and liked. This helps social exchanges of unbiased opinions about products. While many more e-commerce sites have replicated this strategy now, Amazon still serves as the leading source of customer created unbiased product reviews. To make product reviews more useful to customers, Amazon enabled community moderation by letting customers vote to measure the usefulness and relevance of the reviews. Amazon also enabled discussions that let shoppers ask follow-up questions directly to the reviewer.
“Similar Products” on the other hand enables shoppers understand the vast number of choices available to them within the scope of the product they are looking to buy. Some examples of how Amazon has implemented this: “Customers who viewed this item also viewed”, “Customers who bought this item also bought” etc. These services provide information necessary for shoppers to make informed purchased decisions without compromising privacy of other shoppers.
Amazon has adopted its core social strategies to fit the evolving technology creating more threat to competitors – One such example is the “scan-it” feature in amazon’s smartphone app. When I am at a brick and motor store, I always use the scan-it feature to scan bar code of the product I am looking at. This helps me read customer reviews on Amazon and also look for similar products to understand my choices. Most of the times I end up buying the product on Amazon because I discover a better alternative or find a lower price. With the raise of technology, Amazon’s social strategy has helped the company convert its brick and motor competitors into its collaborators (showrooms).
In summary, Amazon has built a long-term social strategy to overcome some of the challenges associated with e-commerce business model. While popular social media networks can help a company to a certain extent, a long term social strategy is one that is built on a company’s strengths to solve the unique challenges associated with its business model.
This is an era of brands, advertisement and marketing. But do brands really matter when it comes to milk? I did not care about the brand as long as I knew it was Cow’s milk. But, soon I realized that there is more to the process than I ever imagined; there can be tons of differences in the way the cow is raised to the way milk is packaged and delivered. Yes, brand does matter, and Smith Brothers Farms (SBF) is my milk brand. I met the milkman at a stall in one of the farmers market, sampled their milk and got detailed information about the company and the various products they carry. That was the first time I could associate a human face to the carton of milk I take out every morning from the refrigerator. After switching to SBF, I knew where my milk was coming from, how it was processed and handled – I actually knew my Milkman!!
SBF is a local family-owned and operated dairy farm serving the greater Puget Sound area. Located in the Kent Valley, Smith Brothers Farms have been in business since 1920. They are one of the largest home delivery dairies in the country. Currently they deliver products to more than 45,000 homes every week. In addition to the convenience of online order management and home delivery, SBF got my taste buds so used to fresh milk that there was no going back to the typical store-bought ultra-pasteurized milk.
Their marketing strategy relies mainly on word-of-mouth referrals, door-to-door marketing and participation in special events and local farmers markets. In most of these events, they hand out product samples. They also support various organizations throughout the Puget Sound area, like Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS), Woodland Park Zoo, Issaquah Salmon Days and Denny’s Milk Carton Derby.
SBF’s customers manage their orders via an easy-to-use and intuitive website, http://www.smithbrothersfarms.com. They have also maintained a Facebook fan page, https://www.facebook.com/SmithBrothersFarms and twitter account, @SmithBrosFarms. Despite being a local brand, they have over 23K Facebook likes and over 4K twitter followers. Their Facebook fan page contains product and event updates, sales info, fun facts and much interaction and testimonies from consumers. They are regular on twitter with gathering views and reviews on various products they offer, event reminders for followers and some casual conversation too. SBF has a strong traditional marketing strategy which they have adopted for over 90 years and has been very effective for them. However, they have identified the need to embrace the new generation social media strategy and they are on their way connecting with their e-Age fans.
Jones Soda Company, the once popular Seattle beverage brand has fallen on hard times. However, you probably wouldn’t know that based on recent activity on its social media channels. It has a focused and active online marketing strategy, befitting its image as the beverage of choice among the young and hip. The strategy puts the customer front and center on its website rather than relying just solely on connecting through conventional channels, e.g.: Twitter, Facebook, Google+. If you evaluated its strategy only on the measure of followers on Twitter or likes on Facebook you would conclude it was a mediocre effort of an uninspired campaign. No doubt, having over 1 million likes on Facebook is nothing short of amazing for a company that only did 17 million in revenue last year, but even Sunkist has over 3 million.
First, some context. Jones Soda Co. is not doing well financially. The company has been through a rough couple of years with revenue dropping from around $40 million in 2007 to under $17 million in 2012, taking an almost $3 million loss. It finished last year with a devastating “delisting” on the Nasdaq with its stock hovering around 40 cents from a high of over $30 in 2007.
What Jones Soda is Doing Well with Social Media
The company is active on Facebook and Twitter and promotes its various brands, new product launches and event campaigns through these channels, actively engaging customers on a daily basis.
It has developed a customized social media strategy on its website that encourages fans to post photos of their favorite moments with Jones Soda. It’s looks like an impressive effort that has a lot of potential, but hard to tell how active fans are and if there is any dialogue between fans and company.
What Jones Soda is Not Doing So Well with Social Media
Some of the content is dated. In fact, a huge disappoint occurred earlier today when I visited the blog page. The last entry was from 2012 promoting the movie, “Snow White and the Huntsman.” The entry before that one was from September 2011. Having old content is sometimes worse than not having it at all, especially for a brand trying to seem trendy, young, fresh and in the moment. Fellow TMMBA colleague, Pranav Nambiar’s blog article on which social media strategy works best, cites a study that concluded “blog content posting” as the most important tactic to use for effective B2C campaigns. If this is true, Jones is making a big mistake by not updating its blog content. I even went so far as to tweet the company with the following exchange occurring:
While I can forgive the obvious error in grammar (it’s Twitter!), I don’t think the tone was the best way to answer a customer. Granted, I was kind of being a jerk by pointing out the old blog, but the answer back should have been more playful and should have not taken 5 hours to respond.
Social media IS marketing and when cuts happen, marketing budgets are often the first to go and the case with Jones is no exception. Jennifer Cue, Jones Soda’s current CEO, stated in their 2012 Q4 earnings call that, “During the latter part of 2012, we needed to align our operating expenses to the company’s capital resources and the size of its current business. We eliminated top-heavy corporate overhead along with marketing expenditures that did not fit our brand image.” This all happened around the time the blog entry stopped, which is probably not a coincidence.
Can social media save a company? Probably not. Can it add value to a cohesive and structured marketing campaign? Absolutely.
You wouldn’t think I’m a fan based on my most recent post (yes, shameless plug) trashing the soda industry on GeekHealth! But, I truly hope Jones Soda Co. is able to weather the storm and make it, as I AM a fan (who DOESN’T like Tofurkey & Gravy Soda?!) and occasionally enjoy their products—especially on an Alaska Airlines flight! If you are a fan as well, help them out by following them on Twitter and like them on Facebook!