COM0015 – Post #2 – Strong and Weak Organizations

When I started thinking about companies with a strong social media presence, there were a few companies that came to mind – Tim Horton’s, McDonalds, Harvey’s, Red Bull and Oreo, to name a few. But two companies that stick out in my mind when I think of successful social media campaigns are Dove and Starbucks.

The key to any successful social media campaign is engagement and interaction between the consumer and the company. If the consumer is not engaging or the company is not responding to the customer, the point of the campaign is lost.

Starbucks has an active online presence with almost 38 million likes on Facebook, 181, 000 followers on Twitter (There are 6.88M followers in the US), and almost 67,000 followers on Instagram. They also have a YouTube channel with 46, 843 subscribers.

Starbucks is extremely well branded, and all of their social media platforms reflect the experience that Starbucks is trying to promote to their customers. I think they do a good job of evoking the senses, and creating the desire to go and enjoy a Starbucks beverage.

But most importantly, there is regular activity on their social media sites, to keep consumers engaged, and maintain two-way communication between Starbucks and the online user. They are on top of all comments; whether they are positive or negative, and responding to what their customers have to say.

Dove also has a very active online campaign, especially with their Campaign For Real Beauty. Dove has over 23.5M likes on Facebook, 134, 000 followers on Twitter, a YouTube channel with 960 followers, 17, 000 followers on Instagram, and 316 followers on Pinterest.

Their social media strategy is very comprehensive, utilizing all of the main platforms. And while some platforms are more successful than others, Dove does a good job of communicating their brand and message across all platforms, and keeping the consumer engaged.

The company that I feel would benefit from a social media strategy, is actually one that previously ran a campaign that comes to mind when I think of successful social media strategies. Unfortunately, once the campaign ended, so did their social media engagement.

The company I’m talking about is Lays. Lays has over 7M likes on Facebook, 287K followers on Twitter, 12K followers on Instagram, and 5,232 followers on their YouTube channel.

Lays Do Us A Flavour contest was brilliant for generating online engagement. People were asked to create new chip flavours, share their creations online and social media voted to determine the winner. People loved the idea, and the possibility that your creation could be the next big chip flavour, generated tons of activity on their social media sites, especially Facebook and Pinterest. But as soon as the contest was over…silence…on all platforms.

Lays was in a position to take advantage of the large number followers they had acquired, and maintain interest in the brand, but there hasn’t been any activity on their Facebook site since May 13th. Their Twitter site is a bit more consistent, and the last activity was October October 22, but that is still too much silence for a social media platform. But Facebook?? They have an audience of over 7M people just sitting there waiting!

I think Lays should maintain their existing platforms, especially Facebook and Twitter, but they need to re-engage their followers. I think they could benefit from a Pinterest account where they post recipe ideas i.e. chip dips, uses for lays chips, food pairing ideas etc. and link these to their Facebook and Twitter accounts so that people are reminded of the brand. And pictures, pictures always make people hungry!

The resources are there, but they need to be properly utilized.

COM0011 – Post #2 – Tim Hortons Did What?!

I recently read an article on CTV News titled: Calgary Home Quietly Turned Into Tim Hortons Overnight (

Though it may seem like old news now, this had to be one of the most interesting things I had read in a while. How would you feel if, overnight, one of your neighbours’ houses was “magically” transformed into a Tim Hortons? Granted, I am not a Tim Hortons’ superfan, but it is a Canadian thing (even if the company is not entirely Canadian).

Calgary Home Turned Tim Hortons

Calgary Home Turned Tim Hortons

Tim Horton’s goal when doing this was to draw attention to the fact that it has over 2,000 positions that it wants to fill. I say, that goal must have been reached, because this is all over the media, both traditional and social media. From an HR perspective, I think this is a fantastic way to attract new employees, and so much more appealing than your usual job fair. Not to mention, the free coffee and doughnuts.

When I first learned about this, I thought it would be a permanent structure. In fact, I remember telling my husband that it is a wonderful idea for people who want to work from home. Growing up, my uncle owned many restaurants with upper level apartments, and I always thought it was so convenient that he worked so close to home. Now that I know it is a temporary thing. I do think that is a shame, although it would be understandable if some of the neighbours felt disturbed by the amount of traffic it will bring into what should be a quiet suburban street.

They even decked the house out with Tim Hortons accessories: from blankets, to doughnut shaped soap, artwork, pillows, and even door mats. Honestly, some of these items look very nice. Just like some people like to deck their houses out with Coca Cola paraphernalia, I could see some of this stuff looking nice in my house.

I have to say, that amidst all the reactions to the Tim Hortons-Burger King merger, this was a pleasant, much more positive story about Tim Hortons. It was so clever of them to tweet out photos of the house using the hashtag #TimsNextDoor. In fact, #TimsNextDoor trended with an abundant amount of positive feedback from those involved, those lucky enough to experience it, and those, like me, who wished that it had happened to them. This truly was Social Media Marketing working very well; marketers found out where their audience was, literally lived among them, learned from them and listened to what they had to say. Now, it only makes sense that the marketing team at Tim Hortons will take what they learned from communicating first hand with their audience and apply it to future campaigns.

Tweet from a Tim Hortons' fan

Tweet from a Tim Hortons’ fan


Now, if only I can convince one of my neighbours to open up a “café” on my street…but maybe not too close…after all, I am supposed to be in a quiet suburban neighbourhood – without Neon signs shining through my bedroom window.