Archive

Archive for January, 2010

FCSI-The Americas Debuts New Magazine

January 20th, 2010

FCSI-The Americas Division launches its first issue of FCSI The Americas Quarterly, in mid February.  The brand new publication, produced for FCSI-The Americas Division by the Custom Publishing Division of Gill Ashton Publishing (Foodservice Equipment Reports) fulfills a two-fold mission:

  • To help FCSI-The Americas Division Design and MAS consultant members stay informed and on top of their game through education, and
  • To promote the value of consultant expertise to operator clients

FCSI The Americas Quarterly, mailing in February, May, August and November, reaches 4,000, including the full FCSI-The Americas Division membership, allied members and operator clients from the noncommercial and commercial sectors.  For more information, including the 2010 Editorial Calendar, go to www.fcsi.org, click on The Americas and look for FCSI The Americas Quarterly.  Editor Beth Lorenzini says content ideas are welcome for the publication’s many departments; you can reach her at zini2001@gmail.com.

Why Social Media?

January 20th, 2010

The recent social media boom has changed the way people seek and consume information in a huge way.  People of all ages are turning to Web-based resources – from Google to Facebook to YouTube to Twitter – to gather information relevant to virtually every aspect of their lives.  The Internet is also changing how people interact with each other and with the products and services they want and need.  It only makes sense that you get into the game.

To get started, here is a list of strategic reasons why you should include social media in your customer and audience outreach programs.  But don’t take our word for it; look around online and you will run into countless examples of each of the following as they pertain to your company and your industry.

  1. Social media is very measurable, even more so than some traditional media marketing.  So much so that it’s possible to adjust and improve upon your approach based on nearly real-time response rates.  And many interactions can be tracked all the way from initial touchpoint to close of a sale.  It doesn’t get any better than that.
  2. Social media is flexible and customizable.  Your brand can take on as many customer touchpoints as your company is able to manage effectively.  Social media is useful for multiple functions within an organization, not just marketing and PR.  Product managers, customer service, senior executives and junior staff can all play a strategic part.
  3. It’s possible to deploy many social media-based strategies for less money and better results than traditional approaches.
  4. Social media allows you to expand your customer base and establish deeper connections with your existing customers, increasing loyalty and building an army of brand ambassadors.  This is accomplished through the use of personality and storytelling in lieu of hard-selling and one-way information pushes.
  5. Your competition may already be using social media, shaping the industry discussion or possibly even telling your story for you – in a way you would not necessarily appreciate.
  6. Your employees are already using social media, maybe even on your behalf, without your oversight or knowledge.  It is possible to leverage their knowledge, their personal and professional networks and their savvy to increase your company’s reach in a positive way.
  7. Your customers are definitely online and many are actively using social media, searching for information and support.  They need someone to give it to them.  Add value to their search, and they become advocates, not just customers.

People prefer to interact with other people, rather than with faceless brands and companies.  True, a strong brand can offer the promise of certain human traits or aspirations, attributed to the brand by both advocates and critics.  But only a select few brands have been successful at establishing a s sustainable, personal connection with their audiences.  Social media makes this possible in ways other media forms only wish they could.  You just have to be ready to share your brand’s story in an engaging way and listen and respond to what people have to say about it.

Comet Branding LLC is a marketing, branding and public relations firm that helps companies and brands leverage both traditional and social media to better connect with their customers.  We offer customized strategic planning, training and implementation services to clients in wide variety of industries.  www.cometbranding.com