I have had the chance lately to look at two wonderful companies, both of which I am quite familiar with, having known them through friends or family for several years.
But this time I looked at them through a different lens, not just a company a friend started, or where a family member works; but from a social media managers’ viewpoint and local community perspective.
I was asked to define two companies as either strong or weak in relation to social media management, and I chose these.
I confess that in my case, I equate this task to having to label beloved siblings as either “smart or pretty”. Not something anyone really wants to do, but if you put my writing hand to the fire so to speak, I guess I can tell you “who the smarty in the room is“.
Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery is a wonderfully quirky company that brews delicious craft beer in Barrie, Ontario. They are small, creative and a terrific social media, if not local, following. They are not as small as one would think though, selling beer in 12 countries around the world, an impressive feat for any entrepreneurial operation.
I truly love their sense of fun, their “we don’t have a filter” sense of humor, and the creative approach to everything they do.
They are doing tremendously well for a company who is, and even they admit it, “flying by the seat of their pants”, if you will pardon the pun. Their social media posts are hilarious, their beer names outrageous (try their “NETHERWORLD or JUICY ASS” beers) ….and oh those beer label designs!
There social media posts to date garner 250+ likes typically and 12-15 comments each post. The original photography they use is stunning. They understand social media very well, from multiple platforms, to creative hashtags, Instagram stories, and have even begun to use Facebook LIVE etc.
The real testimony to Flying Monkeys’ success is that they have never paid for advertising, even admitting to me in a recent interview that they do not even have a marketing plan or budget; and yet, they have made it into every BEER & LCBO store in Ontario and have a social media following of 14K people, with terrific engagement.
I won’t go so far as to categorize their beer as either strong or weak, but I will say they are strong on social media. Well done FM.
“Release the flying monkeys” ….
I hate, even loathe to use the word weak when describing Fenix Event Management Company, because there is nothing weak about their story. Fenix is a corporate event planning company based out of Pickering Ontario.
Fenix, a play on the name of the mythical Phoenix bird that rises from the ashes, is a firey symbol of the tremendous determination and success of 3 key women; who literally found themselves suddenly out of a job at a previous event management company suddenly shutdown.
Within weeks they opened their own shop, managed to swing over most of the existing client relationships and projects from the previous firm; and created a company and, more importantly, and a place to call home for many out of work employees.
5 years later, as Fenix event management, they are thriving and providing amazing custom-tailored corporate incentive events and travel programs, around the world – for big automotive, big data firms, big pharmacy, and other industries.
And they are busy, maybe too busy to market or implement a Social Media strategy for their themselves.
They have relied on existing relationships and well-deserved referrals for their ongoing business so far. Currently, they do not operate on TWITTER or LINKEDIN, have only 1 post on INSTAGRAM, and their FACEBOOK page is lacking in current posts. Perhaps their lack of social media is by design, necessity, or even corporate choice.
But given the landscape of ever-changing politics around the world, what would seem like a looming global financial decline, and companies forever tightening their expenses to be more accountable to shareholders; one would think that eventually Fenix’s client base will need stoking or replenishing in the future. In this writers’ opinion, social media is their perfect answer.
Starting is easy, Fenix has creative staff, people who are very tech savvy; and getting setup on the major social media platforms is a simple first step. From there, they can begin posting content on a regular basis. Their leadership teams’ experience and expertise lend itself perfectly for blogging – as a thought leader on “big corporate event management, large group travel, insider travel hacks, creating the right theme for your incentive program, what can go wrong will go wrong with big events and how to fix it” type articles.
Social media will showcase Fenix to the world, new clients, industry professionals, even competitors; but I also believe their story should be told in traditional publications – entrepreneurial magazines, local papers, news articles, etc. as encouragement to others with the unsung Canadian success story that THEY really are – as corporate survivors, as women entrepreneurs, as a local business story, corporate incentive travel & tourism specialists, and so much more.
Whether it is fresh and whimsical; or full on business and corporate style, Fenix’s feathers, brand and evolution will one day make a fabulous social media story.
So, as asked by my school assignment, I will point out that beloved pretty girl in the corner and say that Fenix may be WEAK on social media but nobody can call her weak on anything else, and one day this Fenix will rise!
So, there you have it, I said it, but whether STRONG or WEAK, they both fly!
by Tracy Hogg
Pictures from UNSPLASH, Google & Instagram
December 11, 2018