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?

See you at the Alphagraphics Show!

In only 6 days, Four51 will be heading to the Allegra Network Alphagraphics Joint Technology Expo.  For all who are going, take the time to stop by our booth #832 to find out about our all new Advanced Sales Program!

This FREE program will give you access to better equip prospecting/sales support and planning, marketing collateral, and more. We want all our customers to have the knowledge and expertise to use and sell CommerceTools effectively, which is why we are offering this program as a complimentary service to our customers.

We are also introducing our new FanTools Enterprise Solution.  This new edition specifically addresses the social media challenges of distributed businesses.

If you are looking for more information on either one of these new and exciting opportunities please stop by and see us at the Expo, booth #832, or visit us online by clicking here.

We hope to see you there!

Foursquare Specials

Our most recent FanTools update reaches one more social media platform, Foursquare.  For those who are unfamiliar, Foursquare is a location based social networking site, which allows users to check in to different venues using their mobile device.

For the venue, Foursquare allows them to recognize their customers and reward them for their loyalty.  FanTools users can now schedule and publish any of the available Foursquare specials listed below:

Mayor – available only to the mayor of the venue
Check-In – available to anyone, any time they check into you venue
Loyalty – activated only after repeat visits.
Newbie – for anyone, provided it is the first time they have checked into the venue.
Swarm – available when many people check in at once.
Friends – available when a group of people check into your venue together.
Flash – available to a limited number of people who check-in first.

Similar to the recently added Facebook Deals, or creating a flash deal, coupon, or group deal, Foursquare Specials are just as easy and intuitive in FanTools.  Below is a screen shot of what the form looks like inside of our app.

 

If your business hasn’t gotten started using Foursquare, it is easy to sign up and start rewarding customers when they check-in to your venue, just go here.  It is also a great place for you to learn more about Foursquare and its role in the social media world!

 

Post authored by: Jennifer Tongen

In The News: Four51′s Mark Johnson and A Committment To Preparing The Future

Originally published on the St. Olaf College News page.

Fifteen years ago two Oles created a summer internship program that aimed to connect St. Olaf College students with entrepreneurial alumni in the Twin Cities.

Brothers-in-law Mark Johnson’82 and Paul Estenson ’80 knew that these connections would be vital for students as they entered the professional world and would provide them with valuable work experience. They wanted to give students the opportunity to gain this career experience and networking savvy by interacting with alumni-owned or managed companies in the Twin Cities.

The Estenson Internship Program proved to be the perfect outlet, and over the years it has given more than 120 students a place to challenge themselves while gaining a significant advantage over their peers.

“We provided the students with a ‘laboratory’ to explore their entrepreneurial impulses through paid internships and also to meet and get to know a great group of established business people who share a passion for the college,” Johnson says.

St. Olaf alumni have made these experiences possible, sponsoring the internships and providing close to $1 million in summer earnings for students . . .

Read more on the St. Olaf College News website.

Facebook Timeline Tips and Tricks

The Facebook Timeline isn’t necessarily “new” anymore, but there is still life in sharing some of the latest ideas that I’ve seen socially savvy companies incorporate into their strategy.

But, before we get started, lets make sure to review Facebook’s regulations regarding Timeline cover photos and profile pictures.  Below is an abbreviated list from Social Media Examiner.

  • No promotions, coupons or advertisements
  • It shouldn’t be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright
  • No price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • No contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s About section
  • No references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • No calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Facebook draws a pretty clear line between what they consider appropriate or not.  At first glance it may look restricting, but it still leaves lots of room for creativity and messaging!  The cover photos have proved to be very strong statement pieces to grab attention, introduce products or ideas, and grow your fan base.  I’ve taken a few good examples of local Minneapolis brands and showcased below. Keep scrolling to see how these mavens are positioning their brand on Facebook.

A nice example of using their logo and company tag line while still showcasing their product line in an appetizing and clear manner.

Red Wing Shoes has an interesting photo showcasing their staple product, heavy duty work boots, with their use of photography.

The Minnesota Twins page caught my eye with their use of their website address in the top corner.  That is a forward way to encourage two way traffic, between their Facebook page and their website.

Surly, a local brewing company is using their cover photo to introduce and market a new brew.

There are many creative ways to display new products, company information and messages with the new Facebook Timeline profiles.  Make sure to get creative and utilize some of these eye-catching ideas for your brand!

FanTools now with Facebook Offers!

FanTools has developed coupons, flash deals, group deals, and information posts… and we are excited to announce we’ve now added Facebook Offers!

Facebook Offers is a simple mechanism for a business to give customers discounts on their page.  Fans can then share it, comment on it, and claim the deal.  Offer details are sent to a fan once its been claimed via email and can then be redeemed in the store.

We’ve made this option available in FanTools, and we’ve made it even better!  It’s as simple as this:

  • In your FanTools account, create a Facebook Offer, just like you would a coupon post
  • Hit the preview button to see exactly what your Facebook fans will see your wall, similar to the one below:
  • Now that you have your Facebook Offer ready to go, you can decide when you want it posted on your wall, and how often.  Just set it to your social media marketing calendar and forget it!  The offer will post and you can sit back watch your bottom line rise while your fans share and redeem your offer!

We are excited to be able to bring this Facebook feature to the next level by allowing our customers to control what, when, and how often their Facebook Offers are posted!  Login to your FanTools account today to get started!  Don’t forget to schedule your Facebook Offers in advance by using your personal social media marketing calendar!

Web to Print: Kitting

Kitting in the CommerceTools word is an important tool, especially while selling.  Kitting is grouping several different products to create one product option.  Most people know about kitting, but if you haven’t gotten it setup, we can help you get started!  If you are familiar with kitting, but would like like to freshen up on what is available or need some questions answered, we can help you with that too!

Case Question:
Are kits/kitting supported in CommerceTools?  If so, can you briefly explain the kit functionality so I can tell if it will accommodate my customer’s needs?

G-Ray:
Kits can be great tool in the sales cycle or to spice up the product offering for existing clients on CommerceTools.  The kit functionality supports basic/static type scenarios as the end user is not able to modify the products or their quantity in the kit.  Adding the dynamic kit functionality is on the roadmap as a phase 2 of the overall kit project.

To find out more about subscribing to the kit performance option or to check it out on the CommerceTools Demo environment, drop us a line at info@four51.com or submit a case.

Ski-Dog:
Creating a kit on CommerceTools is very similar to creating a static product.  There are various differences like selecting which variable/static products to include as kit items, setting inventory to track at the kit and/or kit item level, and selecting if pricing will be displayed as an overall kit price or the sum of the kit items.  Click Here to read the Knowledgebase article creating kits.

Remember to subscribe to your favorite articles in the Knowledgebase to receive a notification when they get updated!!  Just click on “Subscribe” in the right navigation bar when viewing an article and enter in your email address.

Headphones:
The kit will appear as a single line item during the checkout process for an end user and in the emails.  When an order is received on the administrative interface, the kit items will be visible and can be sourced to the same or different suppliers.  **This is a great way to handle sourcing each aspect (embroidery, material, etc) of a job like a hat or shirt to different suppliers on CommerceTools.

In regards to kits in the Order Request XML document, the productType will be set to ‘Kit’, and there will be a new extrinsic element named ‘parentKitLineItemID’ that references the lineitemID of the line item containing the kit’s parent product.  Click Here to check out the Knowledgbase article on the Order Request XML document.

Four51 Web to Print: Product Pricing

This week’s post is all about product pricing.  Instead of creating many individual items, read on with Ski Dog and Headphones to figure out how to use variable specs and apply price mark-ups to any special items you may have.

Case Question:
I recently sold a new fulfillment program for corporate branded apparel and I am not sure how to configure my products.  I have shirts that come in four different colors and five different sizes. Each shirt has its own inventory and I need to charge more for the larger sizes.  Do I need to set each one up as an individual item or is there a way to create just one item for each style of shirt?  Four51 Variable Spec (tshirt)
Ski Dog:
Good news! You do not need to create individual products for each style of shirt.  Instead, you can create one item and use variable spec selections to have the user pick the color and size combination.  These options can either be displayed as dropdowns or radio buttons.   Also, when creating your spec values you can apply price mark-ups to the options that you need to charge more.

Headphones:
In addition, you may also set inventory levels for each color/size combination and you can display different images as the user makes their selections.  In order to this you will first need to generate variants based on the selection specs.  This is a simple process, all you need to do is determine which combinations you need to use and the application will create the variants for you.  Each variant will automatically be assigned a variant ID.  Once the variants are generated you will be able to: modify the variant ID, add an interop id, add an image specific to the variant, and set an inventory level for each variant.

FanTools Plan for your Business

We’ve made FanTools easier to user and even smarter at marketing your business on social media.

Next time you log into FanTools, you’ll notice the updated dashboard with the new Plan tab.  You can now create a social media marketing Plan to compliment your business’ objectives by choosing and modifying a Plan that is the perfect fit for you.

The Plan is designed to allow you to pick what kinds of social media activities you want, when you want them posted, and how often.  After browsing our Plan Library and finding the right plan for your business, just click “Add to my Current Plan”.

Dig around, and you’ll see how we’ve changed the look and feel and improved the navigation to make it even more easy to use.

Still haven’t gotten started?  That is okay!!  Get started today for FREE and you’ll be guided through a seamless setup process that only takes minutes!

Have any questions?  Please feel free to leave a comment.