Saturday, June 28, 2014

Growing business through organic social media

Note: This is a case study for my Social Media Strategist Certification class. The company listed is fictional, but the information on strategy and content is real.

Noren Communications is helping the Big Red Tomato Company that realize that their customers are increasingly online and looking for information on our company, recipes, and organic growing techniques. We are helping them start a blog as a way to reach out to customers and to address concerns and questions that arise from our customers. They are looking to use their blog as a way to start conversations and engage our customers in an online environment.

Our family-owned, organic grower and wholesaler produces large tomatoes that make for great cooking. Our customers each have their favorite recipes and we are going to share those and some of ours along the way.

Think of a large, BLT

made on thick, grilled sourdough bread with pepper bacon, our large, fresh organic tomatoes in thick slices and crisp, fresh lettuce.

Summer is a fantastic time for fresh produce, including our large, juicy, organic tomatoes. Chek with your local grocer for our signature organic tomatoes for your Caprese Salad. Here's a great recipe for this simple appetizer and side dish. The key is the dressing and, of course, the large, fresh tomatoes and creamy mozzerella.

Check out this great recipe Caprese Salad.

Do you have a great tomato recipe? Comment here or email us to share your recipe using our fresh, organic tomatoes.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Social Media and Community

One of the best ways to create loyalty among customers and prospects is through social media. There are several reasons for that.

1. It's available 24/7. People can find out all about your company, the good and the bad, any time of the day or night.
2. It can be anonymous. People can be hesitant to respond to online offers, but it may peak their interest enough to start researching your product online. Then maybe the next time they see your promotion, they will respond positively.
3. It creates a feeling of loyalty and community. You just have to look at all the brands on Facebook to see that people will show off their preferences to their friends and families by "liking" a company or brand. If you use your social media wisely by responding to customers who have issues and thanking those who praise your product, you can have the kind of relationship that lasts for years.
4. Social media is fast. People are quick to let everyone they know if they've had a bad experience and even quicker to post when they've had a great experience. Using your online tools to create the right experience for every customer, whether online or at your brick and mortar, has to keep up pace with social media in order to respond to your customers' needs.

All in all, when I hear a company say they will just assign the social media work to their associate or coordinator level staff, I just shake my head. Social media is the frontier and we're just scratching the surface. You need someone with management authority to monitor and work your social media outlets on a full time basis. If they're doing their job right, it is a full time job and should be given the same respect as other marketing functions.

That's it for now. Tune in soon for more marketing and public relations thoughts.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Taking care of your customers

I've been fascinated lately with QR and AR technology for marketing purposes (and collecting samples). But, I just read about a new app that help your business with customer service by letting customers interact directly with company reps (

Also, if the customer has turned on the option to receive messages, you would be able to push information about specials, recalls, public relations and even more!

Read the article and think about how you are interacting with your customers.

That's all for now.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Project--Retail Marketing

I am excited to announce that I've signed Mimama's Pizza in Tampa as a client. It is going to give me a great opportunity to learn more about the service industry.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Throwing spaghetti against the wall?

Something that I've been encountering lately are clients and other businesspeople who try anything and everything that is new in the hopes that it will bring in more business. That never works. The metaphor I like that describes that approach to marketing is "throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks."

Do you know if your customers even like spaghetti? The point here is that you need to know your clients and their business as well as they do. Who are the people who make the decisions about your product and service? What are your objectives?

An interesting story from a job I was in about ten years ago: we were looking at website redesign and what products to show and what features to have on the website in order to make things easier for our customers to order. Turns out, most of the actual buyers didn't have regular internet access, nor were they even at a computer most of the day. A website wasn't the best way to reach them.

Sit down, write a profile of your ideal buyer. Include as detailed a description as you can including industry, geography, size of company, title of the buyer, preferences gained through customer surveys or website statistics. Realize, too, that the industry your client knows they are in may not be the industry they are actually in. One example is a large manufacturer of pacemakers and other health devices. They know they are in the health care industry. You may think they are in the manufacturing industry.

The more you know about your buyers, the better you can communicate the value of your product or service.

Signing off for now. PJE

Friday, May 22, 2009

Your Company's Marketing Toolbox

Adding social networking to your marketing toolbox can bring you visibility and new connections with customers, but according to social media blogger, Michelle Tripp, “…at the end of the day, social media isn't magic. It's just a tool, a multi-functional, albeit bright red and shiny tool, waiting for a purpose. And without clear objectives and ultra-sharp strategy, using social media is like trying to cut a rope with those cute little Swiss Army® tweezers.” []

I met with a new client today, who wants to get started with social media, and I was reminded about Michelle’s analogy which is one of the best that I’ve come across. Because not only do you need to have a toolbox of marketing tactics to help your business grow, you need to have the right tools to use.

There are many marketing directors who get excited about a new technology or marketing tool then run full-throttle getting set up without thinking about whether or not it is the right tool for their customers.

How to find the right tools?
How do you know which tools are right for you? Look at your current customers as well as potential customers. It’s important to know as much about them as you can in order to connect with them in the best way possible.

Different generations use and respond differently to social media. Younger generations are more likely to be online and very web savvy, so your tactics should acknowledge that characteristic. Build your connections with them online.

Is social media a tool you should add to your toolbox? Do you have social media tools and want to expand their use?

How do you know when social media works?
Before you launch your new initiative, make sure to start with goals and benchmarks. For example, if you decide that your customers may respond to a coupon for free products, you may want to add the offer to an existing email newsletter distribution. The goal would be to direct them to your website to get the details and print it out.

Before you send the email, make sure to get a baseline of your website hits (analytics) so you can determine how many people visited your site in the month or quarter before the coupon offer. A best practice in this situation is also to create a specific web page with a unique URL link for that particular offer. That way, you know that your web hits for that page would start at zero.
Knowing where all your visitors go when they visit your site lets you see to which pages these new customers may be navigating. If you find that customers come for the coupon and click on other product pages, you can use that information for your next promotion. It can give you the opportunity to “see” what your customers are interested in outside of the coupon offered.

Be careful, too, that if you do work to get people coming back to your site that you are prepared in the case of an avalanche of visitors. A recent example of this was KFC’s introduction of their 2-piece grilled chicken meal. The free offer got the attention of Oprah, who posted the coupon to her website, creating a huge rush at local restaurants. This is a great example of how easily an influencer, such as Oprah, can initiate viral response.
That’s all for today…

Friday, April 24, 2009

Social Networks: Utilizing Leverage of your companies

I came across this great article from one of my Tweeps (Twitter People). It cites a study done by UC Berkely Haas School of Business Marketing Research which looked at the influence people have on their "friends" on social networking sites.

They found that people who have fewer contacts were actually MORE influential than those who had many contacts. The conclusion was that those with a few close contacts/friends were more influential because their ties were actually stronger and so carried more weight.

"For word-of-mouth or 'viral' marketing, companies would actually be better off trying to diffuse their product through those with a small number of strong ties, instead of those who appear popular, with many weak ties. This is interesting, considering many people (and companies) would assume that diffusion could be maximized by making a product successful with popular people. It turns out that the best strategy is to market to those with the closest friends."

It comes down to the old adage that marketers have been using--it's quality, not quantity, that counts. Work develop strong relationships with your core/target customers and focus your time and efforts on pleasing them. The Pareto Rule comes into use here: 80 percent of your revenues come from the top 20 percent of your customers. Keep those 20 percent happy and satisfied.

More on the study can be found here:

That's all for now. You can follow me on Twitter at: