At the start of this course, my goal was to find ways to create
and market a brand using social media. I have a love-hate relationship with
sales: I critique in silence every sales pitch whenever someone tries to sell
me something—nine times out of ten it turns out to be an uninspiring interaction—yet,
I really enjoy a good ad.
I’ve had many jobs in sales—brick-and-mortar retail, door-to-door, telemarketing—and I always dreaded interrupting people to sell them a product. Can you remember the last time you got excited about a telemarketer suggesting you should go on a cruise? Or about someone knocking on your door to see if you want a water-purifier? Probably not. Who likes being interrupted? Yet, there are corn-chip ads that will stop you on your tracks on your way to the fridge.
The thing about presenting yourself with a sales-pitch is that, by the time people realize you are selling something (whether they buy or not) all you are to them is that—a pitch. However, once in a while, you come across those that make you look twice and lean in; those that make you laugh, get you excited or make you think about a loved one—Those that engage you.
Social media presents a great opportunity to promote your business. One that goes beyond traditional marketing strategies designed to simply get in front of people with a transactional proposition—a common mistake that brands make when using social media; they worry more about their reach than their impact.
When a brand engages you with their strategy the focus in never
on the success of their company or their products’ features but rather, it is
focused on you: not that they didn’t show you their product, or that you didn’t
know it was for sale. It’s that something they did—not just the product itself—delivered
an experience that made you relate to their brand in an emotional way.
Before social media, small businesses could only influence a
small circle around them; you could be a baker and have a great marketing
strategy, but beyond the smell of freshly-baked bread lingering in your neighbourhood,
your reach outside that area was limited to pamphlets and spam. The alternative
were expensive ads reserved for big-budget agencies and those who could afford them.
Social media leveled that field.
With the internet and social media your small business circle is now only limited by your imagination. You can reach millions of people from… well, anywhere where one can get Wi-Fi! If you add to that, the fact that airbrushed ads and perfectly scripted voice-overs are losing trust from a generation that can sway the market with their opinion—meaning millennials value real over perfect—sky is the limit when it comes to execution.
A specific application in the field of online marketing and social media that I find appealing, is ephemeral content. I wrote an article a few months ago about the fear of missing out (FOMO) and since then, the trend continues to grow. About my earlier point, real over perfect does not mean sloppy. The reason this trend is growing is because people want to engage with stories. They want to see how the bread is baked, and then they want to know who the baker is. Stories let’s us have an intimate connection with a brand and this is a great application for a lot of them.
Another interesting way to use social media to sell your products is tagging them on Instagram. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Done right, you can tell a story with a photo—who doesn’t love a stunning visual? And, what if everything you see in the picture could be ordered by taping on it with your finger? That’s an innovative idea!
Social Media Marketing is a field with many unexplored corners. Platforms emerge and innovate every day, as do the marketers that promote brands on them. Tools aside, a business should fist pay attention to its community’s needs and craft an honest product to share with them. Marketers should think of a way to tell a story that makes people lean in, and inspire trust. Then we can focus on reaching millions!
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. What other applications do you find innovative to promote a brand on Social? I’d love to read about it.
At the start of this course, I opened a Meetup
account with this assignment in mind. While I found many groups and events in
my area that appeal to me, I am still not ready to join most of them. As a new
entrepreneur I need to network and exchange ideas with potential clients and
collaborators. But without a professional image of my brand online— or even a
business card—I find it difficult to participate in this type of conversation.
The good thing about Meetup is that there are so many people
on it, you are bound to find a connection that suits your needs. That’s when I
does it take to be and entrepreneur in Ottawa?”. This group is organized by
Mariana Rozenblum Konsolos: a savvy businesswoman with decades of
She created this space to spark dialogue amongst new
entrepreneurs about our challenges and achievements, while we build a network
of support and feed of each other’s ideas and enthusiasm. When I found out
about the group in January, it had a couple of dozen members, today it has a
little under 200.
first meeting I attended (Feb 5th), was about taking action. That is
what initially caught my eye. As per my previous posts: this is a time of
change in my life—after 20 years in a corporate job, I have decided to make it
on my own, in a field unrelated to my previous experience. Procrastination is
not an option if I want to succeed in this venture.
The process of change can bring about lots of new ideas. But
if you don’t do anything with them, that’s how they will stay—as ideas. The
thought of telling my story in front of a group of strangers seemed daunting;
what would they think about my lack of action? I have all these ideas but I’m
not doing anything with them, where do I start? Despite the uncertainty I went.
Wow, what an eye-opener that was! I had the chance to meet
so many interesting people; entrepreneurs from all walks of life who deal with
the same challenges as me. Regardless of their industry—some marble paper,
others do taxes, one has a spa—we all face the same struggles and some of us
share the same insecurities.
It is amazing to listen to their stories and see how similar
we are, despite the many differences in our perspectives. The best part is the
synergy that this creates: while some share the same problems, others have already
succeeded in those challenges, or the solution so happens to be their area of
I have been able to contribute by offering branding and
marketing advice and I have received lots of helpful tips on other aspects of
entrepreneurship, where I don’t particularly excel.
I soaked in so much knowledge and positive energy from that
event that I went to the next one, and the one after that. Through these
meetings I began building a rapport with Mariana, the organizer. She took an
interest in my story and my brand. It was also clear to her that my project was
stuck at the gates of action and offered to help.
Mariana is my new mentor. Since early February we have been
meeting every other Tuesday for an hour to have coffee and talk about my
project. She not only provides a wealth of advice that helps sharpen my
perspective, she is someone I respect for her acumen and discipline—the
accountability this creates in me, makes it much more difficult to procrastinate—I
don’t want to show up to our next coffee-date with a lame excuse for not having
done what I set out to do on our last meeting. Advice, accountability and a new
As she said to us during our first meeting “-You can only
trigger change by doing”.
I will definitely continue to attend these meetings.
Networking is an ongoing practice in my brand’s strategy. Once my professional
presence is built online and I have some shinny business cards, I will be
attending larger business gatherings where I can bring my A-game and turn my social
skills into business relationships—I’ve already commited to Mariana to have
this completed in the next 3 months, so I better get moving 😉
What about you? Are you ready to take a leap but feel stuck
because of lack of action? I’d love to read about it!
I am in the early stages of creating a digital-marketing consulting brand. I know what services I want to provide and to whom. However, less than a year ago I was working for a large financial institution, managing projects in a field completely unrelated to the one I am in right now.
My network of people was provided to me by the company; whenever I was working on a project, I knew the subject matter experts from every department with a stake in it—legal, finance, management, operations, engineers. But if one member left the company, it wouldn’t take long for me to get a new name of someone who could cover that gap.
As far as my network outside of work: up until now it has been dedicated to family, and people I made friendships with, whether at work or social gatherings. Although this circle overlaps with those who have helped me professionally in some capacity, for the most part it is unrelated to my business.
I have Facebook and Instagram pages. However, they have pictures of my trips, my kids, as well as funny memes and videos that I post infrequently. I enjoy the friendship of many and the company of few; branding myself as an individual online hasn’t been a priority for me. Until now.
I have been working on a strategy to present myself as a brand, in a way that portrays a cohesive mix of the skills acquired during my former career, and those I am learning to prepare myself for this transition.
My next step is to rebuild my LinkedIn page with this content. I must admit I have neglected the platform since I signed up for it a few years back. People need to see what I have done, and if someone looks at my LinkedIn account today, they will not have a clear picture of my current skills and objectives. So this is top of the list in my networking strategy.
I have written close to a dozen articles about branding and marketing and am putting together a blog with this content. I want a place where people can visit and read about my thoughts on subjects like organic reach, content optimization, ephemeral content, customer service—to name a few. As a marketer, I think it is important to build trust by not only allowing people to see the quality of my work, but also have a window into my character and where I stand on these topics.
I signed up for Meetup earlier this year and joined a group of start-up entrepreneurs. We meet weekly and talk about the challenges that we face in our own journeys. I find these meetings very refreshing; I enjoy hearing about the same issues that roam through my mind, from someone else’s perspective—there is almost always someone in the room who has the answer. I even found a new mentor with a solid business background! I’ll write more about her, and these meetings on my next article.
To listen for conversations that other marketers and freelancers have online, I built a Netvibes dashboard. Often I land on Reddit forums to listen and ask for advice on trends, market pricing and freelancer services. There is a big community of people on this platform with whom I could collaborate on future projects. I am still scoping this landscape and doing mostly listening at this time, but I intend to contribute actively to these conversations in the near future.
Within the next three months, I plan to have a solid image as a professional brand online—a crisp website with my brand’s statement, the services I offer, my bio and blog. As far as social platforms, for now I will start with a LinkedIn page that matches the look-and-feel of my site, paired with a Twitter handle to promote my content and communicate with partners and customers.
After building this presence, my next step will be to ramp up social interactions while I continue with my listening strategy. This will be an ongoing practice.
I will sign up for larger local Meetups and other gatherings where I can interact with local business owners, marketers, designers, programmers, writers, photographers, and anyone else who aligns with the goal of bettering business brands, creating stunning content, and engineering a remarkable customer experience.
As an effective way of closing conversations: I need a business card that stands out, with a memorable domain—that aligns with my Twitter handle—and phone number.
Through listening, I will continue to target forums that will spark content ideas, where I can participate with questions and advice and share my articles.
The goals is to attract people to my site with useful content that is relevant to the conversation, where they can subsequently read about my brand and its services—the blog content will provide the vision, and my services tab will back it up.
In regards to publishing, the focus will be on quality rather than frequency, but I will maintain a consistent editorial calendar to make it predictable. I will begin by posting an article on my blog twice a month and grow my subscribers list.
Producing and promoting content is a complex strategy but as far as building a professional network goes, I will use my current list of family, friends and acquaintances to start. For the most part the audience on my Facebook page does not align with my brand, but there are a few people who could be interested in subscribing to my newsletter—or following me on my business platforms (LinkedIn and Twitter) where they can also access my articles.
Collecting people’s information, both online and at in-person events, will be essential to future communications and campaigns. To manage this data, I intend to use Mailchimp and have my email list organized by: clients, prospects, partners and collaborators. This will allow me to target an audience about a particular topic that is only of interest to them.
I have learned that networking is likely the most powerful tactic in growing your business. It is not only about finding clients—surrounding yourself with talent and resources empowers your brand to deliver an even better product. Interdependent relationships can create a win-win outcome that can be replicated and improved every time.
Word of mouth has always been powerful, but nowadays it is everything. Your customers and partners must vouch for your services. They must be the ones to tell others that you are not just a stunning website or an impressive resume.
Ultimately, your brand is only as good as its image over time, and social media puts your reputation on centre stage. So in order to be successful, you must have social proof. In effect, networking is at the heart of you getting your community’s approval, and thus their business.
How do you network? What techniques do you use when meeting people? Let me know, we can chat, maybe we’ll end up shaking hands one day!
At this point, every large brand that I know has a social media presence. Some have adopted one or two platforms, some have accounts on every possible one. You see brands investing heavily on advertising to promote their content and others trying to build their base by working with influencers to get the word out about their product.
But having a presence and promoting your content is only secondary to having a cohesive strategy. A plan that involves more than interrupting a large audience so that they can take a couple of seconds to hear what you have to say.
A social media strategy needs to be interdependent and work in synergy with your brand’s communication, customer service channels and marketing strategies; in other words, it should be one strategy deployed across the organization. The brand should look, feel and deliver a consistent experience regardless of the channel. Platforms should also have a defined purpose; are you using them to reach? To react? Most importantly, how are your customers using them?
There are many variables in creating a strategy and this requires lots of work in coordinating all moving pieces, but there is a great deal of value in putting all those thoughts upfront before you start making noise. Having a plan built around your company’s values and objectives becomes the compass that guides your actions through unexpected changes in the market or your customers’ sentiment.
A company that uses social media in a strategic way is Shopify. This Canadian software company offers entrepreneurs every tool they need to create and run an online business. Shopify’s brand is innovative and it sets trends by solving other people’s problems with creative solutions.
Shopify is spread across platforms. Their brand is found on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Snapchat. You cannot do this effectively unless you have a cohesive strategy that not only uses each platform as intended but also ensures that content, publishing frequency and interactions deliver value to your audience.
Shopify’s content is aligned with their mission: “Deliver a hassle-free platform for people to build their retail business. Merchants use Shopify for every aspect of their business–from products to orders to customers, selling online, in retail stores and on the go”.
Their posts are visually appealing, trendy, informative and published with a consistent brand voice. One that encourages businesses to rely on them. They post frequently, which is rarely effective on its own, unless the content has value, blends into the conversation and becomes shareable.
Shopify’s content puts heavy emphasis on the stories of the entrepreneurs. Their passion for their business, their pride behind their products or services and most importantly the happiness of their customers.
Another clear aspect of their strategy is to educate people on how to use their platform and tips on how they can grow their business online.
Last but not least, they have their eyes open. Shopify answers and acknowledges people on social media in a timely manner and with a high degree of unpretentious professionalism.
They entice people with stories, educate them about their product and support them in real time. Those 3 elements of Shopify’s social media strategy make them effective and in line with their brand’s message.
Another company with a cohesive strategy is Wayfair. What initially drew my attention to the brand was their appealing visuals with well designed and decorated rooms, showcasing different lifestyles.
An entry for the nomination of the 2017 9th annual Shorty Awards written by the Wayfair Social Team gives us a glimpse of the goals they had set for each platform, their plans and subsequent achievements.
At the time Wayfair had a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Their strategy had one objective per platform:
Expand the reach of their organic posts on Facebook
Drastically grow the following of their branded profile on Instagram.
Leverage Twitter to decrease negative sentiments shared in their replies and find solutions to customer’s problems.
Wayfair created a team of specialists tasked with conceptualizing, producing and editing content that would resonate with their audience on Facebook. They tested different ideas until they determined what their audience liked best. Once they found out what worked, they scaled up to produce this type of content more consistently. The result? They increased their platform reach by 409% YoY.
Partnering with influencers was part of their approach to grow their Instagram base. Sean and Catherine Lowe helped them drive traffic to their account. They also created #wayfairathome to entice user-generated content and also rolled out campaigns related to their registry and the holiday season. Wayfair increased their Instagram audience by 114% YoY.
To decrease negative sentiment on Twitter, Wayfair invested in customer service specialists to help them optimize their response time and increase their focus on each customer. Wayfair wanted to portray a more transparent image on this platform and according to their results, this approach helped them decrease negative sentiment by 20%.
In 2017 Wayfair began posting the pictures of the rooms on Instagram and tagging the furniture and accessories in it. By tapping on the picture’s tag, Wayfair sends you to a landing page where you can purchase the item. And below this item you can find all of the other pieces that were tagged in the original picture.
So, if you were thinking on buying that end table that you liked, you can also purchase the lamp featured in the same post. Or why not the entire room?
Their Social Media Team developed a cohesive strategy with specific goals for specific platforms. Once these goals were set, campaigns were created in order to help then drive the results. They not only managed to achieve their goals, they were successful at innovating a new way to link their content with purchases, delivering a new experience for their customers.
Since Wayfair released this report, they have also adopted Pinterest. A smart move when you consider they can lean on their visual appeal and generate content and campaigns consistent with their presence on other platforms. Today, their Pinterest account has half a million followers with 10m+ monthly viewers.
In contrast, a brand with a social media presence but no apparent plan is Delta Airlines. Delta is a global airline that boasts about helping more than 180 million travelers each year. They are present on Facebook and Twitter. While their accounts have an impressive follower base—3.1M on Facebook and close to 1.5M on Twitter—it doesn’t take long to see the sentiment is not very positive and that they lack engagement with their audience; in other words, Delta is not getting a lot of love.
Now, in all fairness. This is an airline. A large brand that services over 3 million people every week is bound to create some negative experiences amongst the positive ones. But while it is not difficult to find comments from people who are connecting with the brand and expressing their loyalty publicly. The overwhelming feeling from reading the comments on their content posts, is one of a dissatisfied majority.
One of the things that I couldn’t help but notice in Delta’s Facebook and Twitter accounts is that the overwhelming majority of Delta’s content is more about Delta than it is about its customers. They talk about their pilots, travel waivers and new planes… which are not bad topics, but they don’t deliver an experience, it rather feels more like a company brochure.
Most importantly, the biggest fault I see on their strategy is the lack of engagement. The sentiment around a brand like this is polarizing; people willing to comment on their posts either love Delta or hate it. Despite overwhelming customer feedback, acknowledgement from Delta is not consistent on the comment strings.
I think Delta should stay with the two platforms that it has. Facebook is a good platform to reach to your audience and Twitter is a good channel to interact with them in real-time. But content and engagement strategies are key.
For Facebook I would focus on posts featuring locations worldwide, in a format that resonates with their audience. Perhaps people will be more forgiven about that cold quiche lunch, when they remember you took them to Rome.
I would also create content aimed at showing a more transparent and human side of the brand. Give people an inside look and educate them on why sometimes they have to wait two hours for a four-hour flight—to a destination that would likely take them weeks to reach by any other form of transportation.
Open up the conversation and maybe people will see you under a different light.
I would also take a page from Wayfair’s and Shopify’s strategy and invest in a customer response solution that invites people to send them direct messages so their issues can be addressed individually. While Delta undoubtedly has been successful at delivering hundreds of thousands of positive experiences. The overwhelming sight of negative comments ignored by Delta on its social media accounts immediately portrays an image of neglect.
Having a social media “strategy” that it is not aligned with a cohesive marketing and communication strategies leaves your brand in a disorganized, reactive position. If there is a clear pattern in a winning strategy is that they are aimed at reaching a defined objective. Using social media to “weather the storm” is not a strategy, is adding one more item to your list of things to worry about.
Your brand should think about its customers first. Then create a plan to make their experience richer and bring value to your interactions with them. Before, during and after they bought your product or service. More than a tool or a channel, social media is the public display of your brand’s image. There is nowhere to hide.
What do you think? Have you had a different experience with any of these companies? I would love to read about it. Thanks for taking the time to read my article 😊
During a previous course (Monitoring and Measuring) I had the opportunity to select a company and perform a listening strategy based on my topic of choice. I won’t get into the details of the search but it involved a large outdoor retailer, 3 questions related to the sentiment of snow sports and over 20 brands or skis, snowshoes, splitboards and fatbikes.
At the beginning of this exercise I tried different tools like TalkWalker and Google Alerts and I routed the query results to a temporary inbox instead of using RSS feeds. I quickly learned that while this set up can work with a simple query, it was not ideal in my case. With different topics and many keywords, tracking all of these results in a single inbox made it difficult to stay organized.
I looked at a few dashboards and two in particular caught my attention: Hootsuite and Netvibes, which are now my favourite monitoring tools. I like them because they make it easy to manage different topics, they have a visually appealing format and are very versatile.
Hootsuite Professional is my preferred tool for social media management. Once you integrate your social media accounts into Hootsuite you can manage and monitor them all from one place and follow any topic or track any mentions on all the main platforms at the same time. This level of integration makes Hootsuite a very powerful dashboard. It does however come with a price tag of $29/month.
Since the exercise above did not require me to manage my own posts, I focused on Netvibes to get the answers to my questions. Netvibes autodetects the RSS, RDF, ATOM or XML feeds from the URL which saves you time. It also comes with dozens of apps that can be set as widgets on your dashboard to perform targeted searches to blogs, forums and social media platforms. One of my favourite features on Netvibes is something called “potions” which are conditions that you can set within the apps and tabs in your dashboard to further refine and organize your results (When X happens take this action or otherwise). Not bad when you consider a VIP package is only $2/month.
My listening strategy was a success and these dashboards not only helped me get the information I wanted, it also allowed me to tune into other trends that I was not aware of. In a little over a month I was on top of the snow sport industry’s hot topics and became aware of the biggest influencers during that time; I could speak with confidence about a subject that only five weeks earlier was foreign to me!
I have been experimenting with these dashboards since and I’m aggregating news and searches for all my current projects. Since my goal is to provide social media marketing services to small and medium-sized business, I am trying to absorb as much information as I can on social media marketing. I currently have a social media marketing dashboard with different keyword queries to stay current on the industry and future competitors.
As far as my preferred sources of news and updates I have many. I particularly like the posts from Hootsuite’s blog and the Sprout Blog from Sprout Social (another great social media management tool). I find they both have current, informative and well supported articles.
These tools are still new to me and I am only scratching the surface when it comes to their capabilities. There are many more tools out there that serve different purposes when it comes to listening. I’m curious to know which ones you use. What are you favourite social media monitoring tools and why?
Storytelling is the cornerstone of engagement. The internet is as diverse as our globe and almost everyone we know has a window into the story, of anyone willing to write in its pages. So how do you engage with a stranger for more than a couple of seconds? What makes someone take pause from their frantic scrolling and read your work, let alone follow you?
Good content is a story that evokes interest by virtue of being relatable. Regardless of the channel or medium, as storytellers we need to understand and read our audience. Most importantly, we must be true to ourselves so that the audience knows we’re real. This is how we can emote naturally.
Authenticity leads to emotion, which leads to engagement. Regardless of what you say, someone out there is not going to like it. Knowing you are not for everyone makes it easier to be yourself and attract those who find your story compelling.
My brand wants to build a community of everyday people who want to take a break from their digital world, connecting them with those that cater to provide remarkable outdoor experiences. I want to tell people about great trips. I want them to see themselves cooking by the side of a lake, watching the sunset from the top of a mountain or watching their kids catch their first fish. I want people to come with me on that journey. That is why I think it is essential that my content be guided by story. And I know I already said this in another blog: but what better place to tell a story than around a campfire?
Ooh…. The Internet. Some of you may be too young to remember (I can’t believe I just wrote that) but it’s true. There was a time when you had to pay your bills at the bank, stop and ask for directions or drive around in circles. Memorize a dozen phone numbers, and hope you wouldn’t get a busy signal once you found a payphone and some change. Yes! Life was full of mundane hurdles.
You could only shop at those stores near your house, unless you ordered something from a catalogue. A trip to the video store was always an event but nobody liked returning those movies. A project for school? I know someone who has a good encyclopedia!! Seriously. How lucky are we to live in this connected world?….
There was a time when camping a few hours from the city, meant disconnecting in the “remote” wilderness without outside contact. When renting a cottage meant spending much needed time away from screens, worrying about nothing but lighting a fire and deciding, what time coffee needed to be made in the morning for the first fishing run. A time with less “likes” and more “let’s”… Away from WiFi
My secret for my business? Embrace the changes but keep the bearings. We live in a planet where we can have virtual human connections in real time across the globe. We are now able to build communities greater than ever before. Why not build one that understands the benefits of disconnecting for a moment, spending time under the stars and bonding with someone over a fire?
There are lots of places out there begging to be discovered. Technology can help us find them, it can help us connect with those who want to join us, and it can help us get there. But we owe it to ourselves, and those who come after us, to embrace this world though our own eyes and not through a five-inch screen. Would you care to join us?
My name is Andres, and I want to brand myself as a Social Media Consultant specialized in eco-tourism in Ontario and Quebec. I want to level the field for the small eco-tourism business, by expanding their online presence and maximizing their network-outreach in order to help them drive more customers to their business.
I love nature. Over the last 25 years I have developed a serious enthusiasm for outdoor activities in all seasons. I have spent a significant amount of time talking to business owners in this sector (wilderness schools, fishing outfitters, bed and breakfasts, dogsledding, canoe lessons, etc) and have a clear understanding of the market appeal of this industry.
Ontario and Quebec have a wealth of opportunities in the eco-tourism industry, particularly for small businesses in the social media arena. Some have a great deal of appeal and also potential that has not yet been exploited. Often you find a beautiful physical infrastructure and very passionate owners, but some are not adapting to our evolving way of communicating. However, their customer base often does extensive online research prior to making a reservation. At a basic level, they expect a written description that matches their needs, a list of amenities and appealing visuals.
My passion for the outdoors combined with a solid skill set in advertising, writing and multimedia, strengthened by new formal training in social media, makes me an ideal supporting partner for the small business in the outdoor industry. My brand’s model is inspired by both: a great appreciation of how technology connects us, and a firm believe that we all need to put our phones down from time time time and learn how to enjoy nature.
It is an honest brand that connects everyday people who want to spend time outside, with the ones who look forward to have them as their guests.
When was the last time you bonded with someone by a campfire?
The Canadian Outdoor Equipment Co. One of my favorite brands! This company sells high-end outdoor equipment for bush-craft and survival, known for durability and craftsmanship. A small business from a market-savvy entrepreneur with great customer service.
They are present on social with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. They have appealing visuals and engaging content, and promptly reply in the professional, yet unpretentious style, that their audience expects. They maintain their place in the community through Facebook: a little over 3500 followers is not bad for a small brand catering to a narrow niche. However their editorial calendar needs some help.
While they’ve been on Facebook for almost a decade, their publishing frequency has not been consistent. Lately they have released content every couple of days, however in the past two years they averaged two to three posts per month. They adopted Instagram in 2014 and had posted 68 times (956 followers). Their first Tweet was in 2010 they have tweeted only 80 times (282 followers). They also have a YouTube channel with 13 videos (895 subscribers).
The Canadian Outdoor Equipment has all the right intentions: they care for their customers and want to connect quickly whenever they reach out. However, they are spreading themselves thin by using too many tools and not publishing material consistently.
I would focus on the tools generating engagement. Continue posting gear reviews, coverage of outdoor shows, recipes and interesting references for the outdoor community on Facebook. Evaluate that Instagram account and determine its value; a good percentage of those followers might also be Facebook followers. While their Twitter base is small, it is good to have a tool to react to customer’s needs. Although there is a high demand for outdoor gear reviews on YouTube, I would consider a robust content strategy or not have it at all.
As per any social account, low activity could be perceived as neglect by your audience. Would you agree?
My brand will support small to medium Outdoor/Eco-tourism businesses in Ontario and Quebec with their marketing strategies. To become an influential voice, I plan to use a blog to draw the attention of my own demographic: people between the ages of 30 and 49, who like the idea of road trips and outdoor adventures in these two provinces.
My blog will have reviews of destinations as well as instructional posts addressing one of three trip scenarios: Travelling alone, with friends or with small children. I want to connect directly with those anticipating the challenges of camping with children, or looking for a good cabin to rent in the winter to ski all day and cook and drink wine with friends at night, or someone who is thrilled about planning a first solo hike or portage in the back-country.
The influencers in this group are people in the middle to upper class (outdoor gear is not cheap). They shop in specialized stores like MEC and follow brands like Patagonia and Arc’teryx. They research their products well and can be trendy with their choices. While some may not follow professional sports, most could be considered intermediate athletes (running, biking, swimming).
While the outdoor adventure market is considered to be predominantly male, women are closing the gap. And in cases where couples decide where to spend their vacation time, the female voice tends to be the greater influence, more so when children are part of the trip.
I intend on using Facebook and Instagram to reach out to the audience and help them find my blog and eventually Twitter to react to their needs. My blog will have clear categories so members and visitors can go directly to what is relevant to them. Once I have a follower base my blog will be a place where local businesses such as fishing cabins, outfitters, cottages for rent, canoe lessons, dogsled tours, to name a few, can promote their business.
In other words, I want to link like-minded people with the services we enjoy.
Have you been to the great outdoors in Ontario and Quebec? What place comes to mind when you think about an outdoor adventure?