COM015 Blog Post #2: Strengths (eating food) & Weak (eating too much food) Organizations

I’m very much on a food and drink kick these days so please don’t read this post hungry! Or at least don’t click on the links! The organizations that I feel have impressive social media strategies, based solely on their web and social media presence, and that just happen to be focused on food and drink are: Pete’s and David’s Tea.  These two organizations also happen to combine food and drink with my other passion – Canadiana.  And just to prove that I’m not automatically swayed by pictures of exotic fruit or the promise of the ‘holiday collection’ I will also highlight an organization, related to food and drink, that needs to adopt a social media strategy: The Tea Store (in Ottawa’s Byward Market).

My initial draw is, alas, my (sometimes overwhelming) love for food and drink, but I also enjoy following (or liking) brands and organizations that I actually support because I feel like there’s an added feeling of ‘connection’ via the social media channel to brands that I don’t always get to visit on a regular basis.  Social media is a way for me to keep in touch with brands without actually having to get into a specific physical location and I like being part of the ‘community’ that looks at pictures of delicious grapefruit, copies out tea latte recipes etc.

On one hand…

Pete’s

I think that Pete’s is doing a lot of things really well on social media.  Pete’s presence includes Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.  The content on Twitter and Facebook is similar – which is not unusual for organizations.  Although the content appears differently it’s still easy to find the same general storylines.  Pete’s seems to be really active which I think is necessary for an organization, a company, that is centered on produce and subsequently, customer service.  This recent post shows that the company interacts with their customers on social media, for good or bad.

snapsshot

Also, as Pete’s provides a service/product that can generally be replicated elsewhere it must brand itself as unique and special and reach out to audiences that will make the choice to go to Pete’s for their produce, or coffee, or lunch rather than next door.  Highlighting exotic as well as ‘normal’ products should be a part of their social media activity and based on overviews of all three accounts I am confident in saying that this is true.

David’s Tea

I believe that David’s Tea is doing a lot of really great things on social media.  The organization is present on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Steepster (an online tea community).  Again, the content on Twitter and Facebook is similar.  For David’s Tea I want to focus on their Pinterest presence because I think that they’ve managed something really special – to reach beyond their brand to a wider community of tea drinkers and potentially anyone who stumbles across their page.  Why you ask.  David’s Tea reaches past the traditional tea drinker to the alcoholic drink maker, the baker and the average, everyday tea drinker.

I want to focus particularly on the ‘David’s Tea (By You)’ board described as “David’s Tea through the eyes (and lenses) of our amazing fans.”  This is a step further than retweeting someone’s post about the great cup of tea they are drinking or the great service they just received at a shop.  This tells me, as a potential purchaser of the organization’s products, about the people who already drink it/use the products and about the brand’s willingness to engage with its clientele.  The board itself puts a really human face on the brand and personally, that’s the feeling I get in store – so in that sense, David’s Tea was acting on a genius idea when it began this board.

A snapshot (taken on November 3, 2013) of the board

Screen Shot 2013-11-03 at 12.41.15 PM

And on the other end…

The Tea Store

I feel as though The Tea Store would benefit from a social media strategy because it appears to be drowning in a tea-filled social media universe and even one of its fans (ME!) has a hard time finding it!  I think The Tea Store should be interacting with its current audience and reaching out to potential customers by using new tools and techniques because it’s a really saturated market and it needs to stand out if it wants to, and I presume it does, attract new clientele and give existing customers a reason to come back.

I think that the biggest thing it should do is to work on its existing Facebook page and potentially establish a Twitter or Pinterest presence.  I want to be clear that quality is more important than quantity (i.e. number of accounts or platforms) because three sucky social media accounts will just drive more people away.  They should work on keyword recognition as it took me several tries to find its page amongst a plethora of tea stores across North America.  I had also searched on Twitter which ended up giving me a listing for David’s Tea, one of the Tea Store’s direct competitors.

This organization has already stepped into the world of social media, but it doesn’t seem to have planned for ongoing content development, etc. which means that it hasn’t attracted as many followers or ‘likes’ as it should or could compared to attraction to David’s Tea.

The physical location of the store (Ottawa’s Byward Market) could also play into the identity of the shop/brand if that’s of interest to it – but that’s just one of many things that could spice up their social media presence.

Until next time!

Rebecca

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