In the online world of social media, some organizations get it, and some don’t. Sometimes it boils down to availability of time and money, but even a small business, with enough dedication, can set up engaging social media accounts to attract a large following. Below I outline two businesses with successful social media presence, and one that needs a bit of help.
BarkBox is an online subscriber-based company that sends out unique boxes of toys and treats to dogs (care-of their humans) each month. The company is active on all the popular social media sites. One of the reasons I believe they are so successful is because they understand their own brand. BarkBox has truly been able to identify their target audience (crazy/obsessive dog-people) and communicates in a fun way, sometimes speaking to the dogs rather than their humans. What I find most appealing is that BarkBox does not push their products on their followers. Instead, the social media pages are FULL of light, fun, and humorous content, focusing more on maintaining their overall brand. This has helped them gain a substantial social media following, with the potential to turn these people (and pups) into customers.
I have been following Starbucks for the past year or so, and have done a lot of work for this certificate program focusing on their success in the world of social media. Starbucks is at the top of their game when it comes to customer engagement – they even made Forbes’ top 20 list of companies to follow on social media for this reason. They ask questions, create discussions, and make sure to respond to every individual comment, whether it is positive or negative in nature. They do a lot of advertising on their page, but nothing feels forced. Mostly their advertising comes in the form of posting tantalizing pictures of their beverages that at least make ME crave whatever I see! Coupled with this, Starbucks offers special promotions to their loyal followers. It has helped them maintain a steady following, which I have seen increase over the past year.
After checking out their social media pages, I think Local needs a new social media strategy. Even though the new Ottawa eatery’s pages do have decent followings, they are not using them to their best potential. Posts on the restaurant’s social media pages are very inconsistent, with days and sometimes weeks in between posts. I do not find any of their social media presence very engaging either – the posts are rather generic, especially after compared to BarkBox and Starbucks. Local is only in its second year of business, and they face high competition from many other restaurant in the vicinity. By adopting a social media strategy, they can market themselves as the unique, trendy restaurant they are, get people excited to experience it for themselves, and choose them over their competitors.
To begin a very basic strategy, Local should focus on three key areas. First, they need to start by identifying their target audience. Who exactly are they trying to market their brand to? Next, they should ensure they are posting on all social media pages consistently. They need to create a plan on how often they want to post (daily, or every two days) and stick to it. Otherwise, their pages looks tired and worn out. Secondly, Local’s posts need to foster engagement. They need to create discussions, post contests, and come up with creative content (ideally relating to their products/services and maybe even to the local Ottawa area) to get people talking on their page and sharing it with others. Hopefully for the restaurant, they will see an increase in (engaged) social media followers and an increase/steady business flow.
This would just be the beginning for Local. And at the risk of rambling on for too much longer, I’ll end it here. If you’d like to hear my thoughts on the next steps for Local’s social media, let me know in the comments 🙂 I’d also love to hear about your favourite “strong” organizations. I’m always looking for new examples of what to do!