About ryan

Four51's Director of Marketing. Canadian born. Cancer survivor. Foodie. Urban adventurer. Country boy.

What’s an OrderCloud?

Over the years, Four51’s various apps, CommerceTools and FanTools have been used to make it easy to connect everyone and everything in a way that instantly makes the goods and content necessary to operate a business available to order, access or download 24/7.

More than a decade after Four51′s inception, our world is driven by the convergence of multiple forms of media content and the demand for product and supply is higher than ever.

OrderCloud is the cloud-based, custom solution and site created for ordering, accessing and distributing all goods and content regardless of type 24/7: print, promotions, social media, video, audio, food supply, janitorial, office supplies, you get the idea. Everything and everyone connected,  in one place. The OrderCloud branding enables market-specific conversations to occur. If you have any questions, feel free to Contact Four51.



5 Reasons Franchise Social Media Strategy Needs To Be Local

Distributed marketing in a franchise system can benefit from a localized social media strategy. Here are 4 reasons a franchise should leverage a local versus a corporate strategy when approaching social media.Creating connectivity between franchise, franchisee and customers through social media creates powerful brand opportunities.

You can download the Local Social Media For Franchising e-book mentioned in the slideshow here.

6 Things Every Manufacturer Needs To Know About E-Commerce In 2013

2013 is, in many ways, the year of B2B e-commerce with Forrester predicting revenues to reach $559 Billion, that’s nearly 2x that of B2B e-commerce’s B2C counterparts.

For those in manufacturing that paints a huge opportunity. If you’re considering adding manufacturing e-commerce to your business this year, here’s a quick look at 6 things you need to know about e-commerce in 2013.

If you’re looking to network with others considering or already using e-commerce in their manufacturing business, join the networking group for manufacturing e-commerce on LinkedIn.


10 Tips To Maximize Reach Of Your Facebook Contest

This is a Guest post to the Four51 blog.

A simple Facebook contest can increase your fan base very rapidly and jump start your social media presence with minimal effort. This is a great way to get people to see your content constantly; they may not always be on your website or thinking about your brand, but when you post content to Facebook it will likely pop up in their News Feed.

There are several types of contests that you can run but one of the simplest contests is a “Like to Win” contest where the user has to like your page prior to entering, which is often referred to as a fan gate. This ensures that you are building your social presence with the contest. Yes, some users may unlike you after the contest period, but that’s okay.

There are several ways to go about contesting on Facebook, but here are ten tips to get the most out of running a contest:

1.) Be creative. Make the contest fun!

I recently ran a contest for the Minneapolis jewelry store that I work for and we bought a very rare pink diamond ring so we asked people to name it, the best name won a $500 gift certificate. There are so many types of contests you could run: photo competitions, sweepstakes, blog contests, and the list goes on. Have fun with it and your customers will have fun too.

2.) Give them something cool!

While setting up a contest you want to find a prize that is enticing, something that is going to make people sign up. It doesn’t have to be huge but the prize should be aligned with your company and desired by your client base.

3.) Let them know why they should like you on Facebook.

Don’t try and deceive them and pull the wool over their eyes—let them know that by entering in this contest that they must like your Facebook page. Tell them why it’s of benefit to them—do you post great tips, funny content, coupons, etc.? This will decrease the likelihood that they’ll unlike your page after the contest is over. In our latest contest I saw less than a 4% unlike rate.

4.) Promote the contest on your other social media platforms.

Not only do you want to have consistent branding with your marketing, this is a great way to ensure that your contest is known about. Tweet about it, post it to your G+ page and you can even pin it on your Pinterest boards, you never know how viral it could go.

5.) Use a photo and pin it to the top of your Facebook page.

With the visual age we’re in, we know that photos have increased engagement levels on social media sites, so use a photo to capture your audience’s attention. By pinning the photo to the top it makes it so that the post doesn’t creep down your Facebook timeline and that it is always at the top. Pins last seven days, so be sure to pin new content at least once a week.

6.) Cross promote on other company’s Facebook pages and websites.

Use connections that you’ve made to promote your contest through other companies. Not only will you reach more people, these are people you may not have reached otherwise. Be sure to return the favor when an opportunity presents itself.

7.) Use e-mail marketing to reach your current clients.

Yes, I said e-marketing and many marketers will disagree with me but e-mail isn’t dead yet. It is a great tool to reach your client base for a small fee, often producing a ROI higher than other marketing you’re doing.










8.) Make your contest visible on your Facebook page.

Make sure that your contest is easy to find on your fan page, you don’t want to drive people to Facebook and then have them dig for it. They’re not going to stay around long if it’s not obvious where it is.

9.) Don’t run your contest forever.

Keep the contest term short so that you keep your fans engaged. I’d say run it for 4-6 weeks and then announce a winner and prepare for your next contest.

10.) Stay involved! Stay interesting!

The worst thing you could do is run a contest, increase your fan count and then stop posting on Facebook. You want to have a solid social media strategy in place so that your fans are constantly interacting with your brand.

— This is a guest post contributed to the Four51 blog.

Jayme Pretzloff is the Online Marketing Director for Wixon Jewelers, the leading retailer of men’s watches in Minnesota. He is in charge of all digital marketing initiatives including his passions: SEO and social media marketing.

Interested in contributing? Contact us with your idea.

See You At The Show!: Learn about local social media marketing and b2b marketing at Explore Minneapolis

FanTools is excited to be sponsoring Social Media Explorer’s Explore Minneapolis conference this year. It’s sure to be an exciting time. Our Marketing Director, Ryan Ruud, will join Zena Weist, Kipp Bodnar and Sara Worsham on a panel discussing B2B marketing. Stop by and visit us at Booth 13 to chat about local social media for your enterprise or b2b social marketing ideas.

Why come? Here’s some reasons:

  • Jay Baer will unveil a brand new presentation called, “Youtility.” His talks are awesome. This will be no different
  • Friday afternoon I’ll have an intellectual sparring match with The Ad Contrarian, Bob Hoffman. He’s been mightily critical of social media marketing in the past. We’re going to arm wrestle a bit about it, which is sure to be fun.
  • You want measurement, analytics and research? Chuck Hemann, Nichole Kelly, Jeff Rohrs and Tom Webster are speaking.
  • You want smarts for your internal and strategic use of social and digital? Jennifer Kane, Tamsen McMahon, Jolina Pettice, Nick Westergaard and others have you covered.
  • You want mobile brilliance? Tim Hayden is there.
  • You want email marketing ideas? DJ Waldow will deliver.
  • You want brand-side expertise, not just consultants or agencies talking? Scott Gulbransen (H&R Block), Kevin Hunt (General Mills), Adam Kmiec (Campbell’s Soup), Greg Gerik (3M), Jamie Kennedy (O2 Media), Bridget Jewell (Mall of America) and more are all there.
  • Our awesome sponsors are buying you drinks Thursday evening with our Sponsor Cocktail Reception from 4:30-6.
  • You’ll be invited into our private Yammer community for ongoing learning, resources and networking.
  • It’s the place to be this week.

Amp up your social media marketing by empowering your local channel

Connect the dots between enterprise marketing, planning, strategy and content with your local business’ reach, relationships and trust. Is your social media strategy local? It should be, this ebook explains why. Start empowering your local channel.

Local Social Media Strategy For The Enterprise

Enterprise social media planners in branch-based organizations can take advantage of significant multipliers by going local in a comprehensive social approach.  There are three key phases achieve results. This paper will lay out the steps, techniques and rewards of adopting a local social business initiative.

McKinsey reports that, social media is the “only form of marketing that can touch consumers at each and every stage, from when they’re pondering brands and products right through the period after a purchase, as their experience influences the brands they prefer and their potential advocacy influences others.”  McKinsey’s research also shows that a direct social media recommendation from a peer generates engagement rates some 30 times higher than traditional online advertising does.

Branch-based organizations are particularly well suited to capitalize on social media.  The question becomes, “how do we best implement social media?” If your organization has remote offices, dealers, franchise locations, or agents, you are considered a branch-based organization for the purpose of this paper.  We will refer to the branches as “local merchants.”  Branch-based organizations have decided to invest in local markets by placing people, products, inventory, services, and the brand closer to prospects and customers. Historically, local merchants have used word of mouth, advertising and PR to promote their businesses.  They were slow to embrace social media and did not know where or how to get started.  Many enterprises, eager to leverage the new social media capabilities, set up fan pages and begin to tally up “likes,” “check-ins” and “followers.”  Yet, the value of a corporate fan was extremely low.  Something was missing.

To answer this question, research firm Mainstay Salire recently conducted a study employing web crawlers and analytics to track and compare social media activities of corporate fans vs. local fans.  The study uncovered two interesting findings.  First, local fans had five times more reach than corporate fans.  Additionally, local fans were eight times more likely to engage with social media than corporate fans.  Combining the depth and breadth at the local level led them to conclude that a local fan was worth 40 times more than a corporate fan in value to the enterprise.







Planning A Localized Social Media Strategy

What can you expect in rolling out a localized social media strategy? Check out this free E-book on How To Roll Out a Localized Social Media Strategy and explore the phases in local/social media marketing.

Social Media Olympics | The event? Going Local.

It was inevitable. A social media topical blog themed in honor of the Olympics. Cheesy yes? Informative? Always.

It’s been over a year since Facebook’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions boldly announced that Facebook marketing success for business occurs with a localized marketing strategy. That strategy can be local on a lot of levels: store by store, region by region or country by country depending on the size of your organization.

It seems appropriate to check in with brands of all sizes to see how they’re doing with local social strategy and award their “Olympic Medals” in the category of “Local Social Marketing.” Believe me, social marketing can be a grueling “sport.”

Third Place

In third place, receiving the bronze medal, Ben & Jerry’s. Ben & Jerry’s has a country by country approach to their localization. What’s great about their approach is that the campaigns and overall strategy/policy remains the same from page to page dictated by corporate marketing.












However the added touch, is that the guts or content of some of their campaigns get a local flavor added to them, so the same campaign can be running in the U.S. and the U.K. but be speaking to the local audience. Ben & Jerry’s get’s the bronze medal for rolling out their strategy country by country, but knowing to keep things relatively consistent for branding purposes. Check out more on the Ben & Jerry’s strategy at Simply Zesty.

Second Place

In second place, receiving the silver medal, REI. REI is a brand that evokes strong emotions from it’s customers. As a co-op sporting goods and outfitting store, REI knew that people were loyal to their local stores and that REI needed to keep in contact with them at a more local level than one central corporate page. They rolled their strategy out to geographical regions. Along with internal store training, REI set up a winning local strategy with 53 individual regions being represented.

Further, they made it easy for consumers by creating a central hub to find your local region to connect with on social media. You can read more about their strategy at Smart Blog.

First Place

In first place, receiving the gold medal, Wal-Mart. There are a lot of reasons that Wal-Mart wins the gold in the Local Social category. First, Wal-Mart rolled out a truly local strategy, establishing thousands of Facebook pages, one for each of it’s brick and mortar stores. Wal-Mart was also one of the earliest adopters of localized social media marketing for the enterprise. In the AdAge article detailing the strategy and reasoning behind the local/social strategy, Wal-Mart CMO Stephen Quinn says social media is enabling Walmart to “go back to the future” by providing an authentic local customer experience, but at scale.

Business is local. Marketing is local. Is your social strategy local?

Regardless of how you decide to localize your social media efforts, whether by country, region or store, a growing number of brands and organizations are embracing local social strategy. As the Wal-Mart AdAge article points out, “Long before the digital age, all business was local and social. Customer engagement was paramount. Shopkeepers, barbers and Avon ladies alike intuitively knew that their ability to connect with customers would often determine whether a purchase would be made. They understood that building long-standing relationships with customers would result in repeat visits and loyalty.” Sounds like good argument for bring your enterprise social strategy to the local level to me.

How about you? Do you know of any global, national or regional brands/organizations that are rolling out and have rolled out a localized social media strategy?