COM0014— Blog #4: East Van Jam B2C Case Study

Image from

East Van Jam is a local Vancouver (BC) jam company which was launched in 2013 by Natalie Ferrari-Morton. She creates delicious low sugar jams, which can be bought online, in person or at local Vancouver retailers. I thought I’d take the time to analyze this company because 

  1. I love East Van Jam, the jams are so good and I always love sharing with others local products to support local businesses,
  2. East Van Jam does engage with its audience online. However I think that they could do more to take advantage of their social media platforms. This is what I’ll be exploring today. 

East Van Jam has a website where you can contact them on their “get in touch” page, you can also sign up for their newsletter to receive alerts on promotions, new products, recipes, announcements, etc. They also share recipes on their website and have an Instagram page.

Their Instagram, @eastvanjam, is lovely. Ferrari-Morton takes the time to showcase new products, other local businesses, local farmers, and shows where she procures her ingredients. I think one of the reasons East Van Jam is successful is because the company embodies the same values as its community; supporting local businesses, using sustainable and ethical work ethics and methods, recycling, and using organic in-season products. Additionally, @eastvanjam takes the time to reply to comments, demonstrating that they are listening to their audience and care about their customer feedback. 

Image from

I have noticed that due to the format of Instagram, the interactions between business and costumer remains positive and limited to likes (❤️). This is great for this platform and for the business. However, I think East Van Jam could engage in different ways with their customers such as

  • Expand their recipes pages on their website to a full blog, where they also share the recipes from their customers. They could ask customers to send their favourite recipes which uses East Van Jams through their newsletter and Instagram page. 
  • Actively engage with their Instagram audience by asking questions such as which in season flavour would they like to see next, or a poll on their favourite jam flavour.
  • There are many great features on Instagram, including stories and video sharing, East Van Jam could use these features to demonstrate how to bake/cook certain recipes, show small clips of working with other local businesses (such as farmers). 

I love East Van Jam because they offer a great product, and whenever I go to a local market where they have a station it is nice to interact with them in person. They are kind and knowledgable about their product. While their current social media approach is working, especially for a small local business, I believe that they could grow their online presence and as a result their company by putting into practice alternative engagement methods like the examples I gave above. 

COM0014 – Blog 4: Books and Nooks

On a recent walk in the park in Kanata, ON where I live, I noticed a sticker on a bench. In black letters on a simple white background, the sticker read, “Support a local business. Shop at Books and Nooks.” The catchy name stuck in my mind and I soon found myself googling it.

Books and Nooks is small, family-owned company selling books, accessories and knick-knacks online.

Screenshot from the Books and Nooks website.

Books and Nooks on social media

The company has a great-looking and easy-to-navigate website. The website tells the story of Books and Nooks and features on online store. It is also home to the company’s blog, MishMash, offering tips and insights around everything related to reading, home decor and fashion.

Books and Nooks has an active presence on Facebook and Instagram. The company is using these platforms to build relationships with its customer base and to drive traffic to its website. To achieve this, Books and Nooks posts images related to reading, motivational quotes, links to new blogs, and stories about the products it is selling.

Screenshot of an image on Books and Nooks Facebook page, encouraging customers to buy from local businesses.


The company also uses its social media presence to responds to questions and comments from customers. These interactions, however, appear to be scarce. Overall, Books and Nooks’ social media accounts do not seem to register much engagement.

Yet, the company’s interactions with customers that are visible on the platforms are timely and professional. Whoever runs these accounts responds to comments and questions in a courteous and helpful manner, thus helping to establish long-term relationships with customers.

I think that Books and Nooks has so far failed to capitalize on its social media presence. The company does publish content that some of its existing customer base may find interesting. However, its posts on both platforms generate few interactions and do not seem to help the company attract new customers.

Do you happen to know of any small, family-owned companies successfully using social media to promote their business? What makes these companies successful? Please let me know in the comments below.

COM0014 Blog #4: Modern wisdom: Shop’s Facebook page reflects owner’s style

By Cindy Macdonald

A friend of mine is co-owner of holistic health business in Lindsay, Ancient Wisdom Holistics. She paired  her retail experience with her deep belief in alternative healing to launch a small shop which also offers some professional services and learning events.

As with most start-ups, there’s little money for marketing, so she and her partner are employing social media as best they can. They’ve chosen to have a presence on both Facebook and Instagram, which seems to be the appropriate choice for their target market and type of business.

This photo of the shop was used on both Facebook and Instagram.

On Facebook, @Ancient.Wisdom.444 has more than 500 followers. The owners post a few times a week and generally earn a few comments and 10 to 20 likes. The posts tend to be product photos or announcements of events. They are not optimally worded to encourage engagement from other users; this is an area which needs improvement. Spelling and grammar could also be improved. The owners also share inspirational and wellness-themed posts, very relevant to their market.

The Facebook posts have a very gentle, respectful tone. They invoke a sense of peace and wellbeing, and are very true to the personality of the owners. Consider this example, from this winter:

Good snowy morning everyone. Ancient Wisdom Holistics will be closed for the day do to the weather. Let’s stay off the roads and let the plow drivers get there job done easier 🎉😇 P.j’s hot tea and movies day! After we shovel out😜 Have a safe and great day. See you Friday

The owners have taken advantage of some other Facebook features that are beneficial for business marketing. The “About” section contains appropriate keywords for this market: “A large selection of Crystals, Minerals & Sage as well as Meditation classes. Psychic / Mediums. Reiki classes and privet Reiki session. Oracle & Tarot decks, Psychic lessons. Incense and a whole lot more!”

Also, the Messenger chat window opens when you visit the page and offers a list of standard queries as well as the opportunity to post your own question. This encourages visitor interaction.

Ancient Wisdom is also using Facebook events to promote classes, services and special events.

For their Facebook page, I would suggest a little more personalization and storytelling, with an emphasis on the owners. They should also network more with other similar businesses to boost each other’s marketing efforts.

The business’ Instagram presence (@ancientwisdom.444) is less developed than the Facebook page. Posts are generally a repeat of the visual/photo posts Facebook, with little text. It would benefit greatly from more verbiage and the use of hashtags such as those found in the Facebook “About” section: #crystals, #healing, #meditation, #psychic, #reiki.

It is evident that the two owners have made a start toward social media marketing. They are using the appropriate tools but need some training or guidance on how to better use these tools.

About me: After more than 25 years as an editor of trade publications, I’m now learning social media techniques. I’ll be writing about news, communication, social media and travel as I go through this career transition. Please join me on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn or my blog, and we’ll chat.

COM0014-Blog#4: Secret Ingredient for B2C Success

Many businesses have an online presence, but those that successfully engage with customers know the importance of utilizing social media to build these relationships.  Take M&M Food Market for example.  This Business-to-Consumer (B2C) company does an excellent job of promoting their products online, listening and interacting with its clientele, all while keeping that “Buy Now” button up front and centre.

The secret ingredient?

Food porn. Glistening BBQ-glazed spareribs, sizzling garlic-buttered shrimp, sinful chocolate eclairs, each with a mouth-watering product description and with one simple click you are at their order site.  In fact, the food looks so enticing, one cannot resist the urge to comment…and M&M Food Market is listening.

Is food sustainability important to you?  How do you think your homemade lemon bars would compare? M&M Food Market’s interaction with consumers online demonstrate that they truly empathize with people, and those relatively simple comments can go a long way in retaining and maintaining customer loyalty. 

It’s also important to know when to step into online conversations to answer questions or manage crisis before they escalate.  It’s always best to respond in a way to let the public know that you are indeed listening. 

“U got my business”

One of my favourite examples is from Instagram. M&M Meat Shops did an excellent job of ‘reading the mood’ of a customer by his negative comment. Their response was short but humorous.  The customer laughed. This interaction retained his loyalty.

Example of customer retention interaction (Source: mmfoodmarket Instagram)

M&M Food Market have been in business for 40 years providing easy-to-prepare frozen foods, personalized customer service and convenient shopping environment.  As consumer buying routines are changing, so are M&M Food Markets with re-designed store layouts, updated packaging, no artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners and are also offering gluten-free options.

 Think you know M&M Food Market?  Think again.

Watch this video to find out how they are changing to fit your needs (Source: M&M Food Market)


COM0014 – Blog 4 – B2C Case Study

It is pretty much a given these days that large corporations have embraced using social media platforms to engage with their audiences. They also have entire departments that are tasked with running their social media campaigns, and are ready to interact with anyone at any time of day.  But what about small, local businesses.  Local businesses have it harder as they don’t have huge marketing budgets, and unless they are situated in an area with a lot of walk-by traffic, they need to find other ways to attract new business.  When talking about small businesses engaging their customers, I like to use my… or I should say my dogs’ vet clinic, the Newmarket Animal Hospital as an example.

There are a lot of veterinary clinics in Newmarket, Ontario… we’re crazy about our pets here.  The Newmarket Animal Hospital has taken to Facebook to engage with their audience.  They do a good job of posting fairly regularly with a good balance of posts about general pet care, and their services.  In February for pet dental health month they made posts about keeping your pet’s teeth clean, and had a promotion for discount oral health checkups.  This works well as their current clients can share these posts with their own networks and groups as word of mouth advertising.

During their regular business hours, they are very quick to respond to feedback, questions that arise from their posts, and feedback in the reviews section.  An incident occurred a while back where a dissatisfied customer left a very negative review; the person in charge of the social media account was quick to share their side of the story, without pointing fingers.  They even had other clients come to their defense because of their good reputation in the community.

For the most part, the Newmarket Animal Hospital does a decent job with the way they are using their chosen social media outlet; they respond quickly, in a sincere way that everyone appreciates.  They could however be posting a little more frequently, even if it is just picture of their clients… who doesn’t like seeing pictures of adorable pets?

COM0014-Blog #4: Reading Closer into Chapters, Indigo and Cole’s Social Media Strategy and Online Interaction

Chapters is every book lovers favourite store, mine included, and that’s why I’ve decided to put their approach on social media and online interaction to the test and see if they use it effectively.

To begin, if you look on their website: you’ll see that they are on all five of the major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube. For the purpose of this post we’re only going to be looking at the first four- Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

 Facebook and Twitter:

When it comes to Facebook and Twitter their interaction seems to mainly revolve around customers concerns, orders, returns and customer service queries. Which as we know both Facebook and Twitter can be used for greater conversations to be had and interaction to take place, so there they could improve and up their interaction.

Instagram and Pinterest:

Instagram and Pinterest on the other they seem to do well in using effectively and from what I’ve found it’s the most appealing to look through. This is because they’ve used Instagram’s story telling ability to not just sell books but the experience of reading by posting photos of people reading, cozy scenes of blankets, teas, soups and lots of books to promote that experience to readers.

Similarly, they used Pinterest to put together boards under specific categories like the Foodie that pairs pictures of some of the completed dishes along with their matching cookbooks working well to entice any intimidated cooks to come check out the book and give those recipes a try. Demonstrating how it’s board features can be used to prompt people’s interests and get them to exploring Chapter’s site.


Overall they seem to use most platforms well, in using social media but could do better with direct customer interaction.






COM0014 – Blog # 4 – SWISHY CHUGging SOCIAL MEDIA: The Ellen Degeneres Story

NOTE (appears on the Scribd publication) –> Original Swishy Chug photo from

Re: “What Social Media Lesson we can Learn from Ellen Degeneres” and “What Kind of Content Has the Potential to Go Viral?” (by Mirian Slozberg)

RE: The PRANK–> as only Rollingstone can put it (covered by a whole bunch of e-magazines)

Re: How JAMBA JUICE spun it