Social Good with Social Marketing

The busy and some might say “silly” season is upon us for all types of consumer-oriented businesses. Whether you sell branded sportswear, computers,cameras or e-books – now is the time when you make the most money and sales. Yes, with Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming up in the United States and with the countdowns to Christmas happening – people everywhere are looking for the “perfect” presents, deals and stocking stuffers.

So what does this have to do with social media and social media marketing? Every time a person opens their Facebook newsfeed page, they see ads running down the right side of the page. Promoted Tweets on Twitter are used to promote brands and businesses as well. Read any online newspaper or magazine, you’re going to see banner ads throughout the website.

Perhaps you have a Facebook page or Twitter account for you business. You’ve been using one or both of these social networks to engage with customers, promote your brands and products and keep consumers aware of what you’re doing. But now is the time when you need to make a big sales push and really get ahead. By using online ads on Facebook you can raise exposure for your brand and company.

But what you can also do is run a social media marketing campaign targeted around getting more Likes and Followers. At this time of the year, people along with buying gifts for family members and friends, also want to feel like they’re doing good. For some this means donating to the food bank, dropping some coins in the Salvation Army collection, or donating to a charity in someone’s name.

By linking a campaign around Likes, Follows and charitable giving – you can use social media networks to raise your profile and do some good as well. For example, you can run a campaign on your Facebook and Twitter campaign such as:

  • For every new Follow or Like, we’ll donate $1 to a charity of your choice.
  • For each new comment on our blog telling us why you like our product, we’ll donate $1 to the local Humane Society (for example).
  • Post a comment about us on Twitter and we’ll donate $1 to your local food bank.
  • For every ten new Likes on Facebook, we’ll donate a basket of food to your local Salvation Army.
As you can see, there are lots of easy and creative ways you can promote your website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter presence by also doing some good. Not only do you get increased exposure but you and those involved with your promotions end the day with a good feeling. Yes, this time of the year is about sales and moving product but it can also be about doing some good at the same time.
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Basics of Google+

We’ve had a few weeks here at Vinyl 21 to get our heads around Google+, so we thought it was time to give you the basics on the latest in social networking. If you’re already an expert with Google+ well, you’ll have to wait for our next blog post… But if you’re new to the Google game and are trying to figure out if Google+ is something you should care about or even bother with, then this is the blog post for you.


It is all about the circles. Google+ uses circles organize your contacts. You can choose to create any type of circle, for example: work colleagues, family members, hockey team members, and university friends. Really, how you group your contacts is completely up to you.  The idea is that the circles make it easier to see how your contacts interact and it makes it easier for you to share information amongst them.


If you use Google Reader or another RSS reader then you’re familiar with the premise of Sparks. With Sparks, the difference is content is automatically delivered to you. Rather than adding URLs to an RSS reader, Sparks collates content for your bases on your interests. A Spark page is created for each of your interests – so you could have Sparks on topics such as: technology, cooking, travel, etc – these are automagically populated with the latest articles, photos, video, etc.


This is really just another way for you to do video chats with your friends. Instead of the standard text-based chat used in Facebook, you can now use video chat in Google+. Cool – but sometimes your hair is messy or it is 2:00 and you’re still wearing your pyjamas – maybe using Hangouts doesn’t always make sense for you!


Feel like having a big online chat with everyone in your hockey team Circle? No problem, with Huddles you can chat with everyone in a selected Circle. This is good alternative to the emails that often fly around and can get confusing when trying to organize a group of people. Now, instead, just get everyone on Huddles and the decisions can be made a little more quickly…

Instant Upload

If you’re using an Android phone, your photos are instantly uploaded to Google+. That’s it.


This is how you access Google+. When you’re logged into Google, you’ll now see a transparent grey bar with a +You link – click this and you’re in Google+.


If you have an Android phone, you can access Google+ with the handy Google+ app. Once installed you have constant access to Google+ wherever you are! We understand Apps for iOS and other platforms are coming soon…natural Android users get this service first given it’s Google’s very own mobile platform.

Want In?

So now you’re hooked – but how do you get on Google+? Well, right now it is by invite only. If you want to get in on the latest in social networking and media, well – we can invite you. Post up in the comments and we’ll get you connected.

Our Take

We admit, when we first heard about Google+ our immediate reaction was, “Not yet another social media channel!” and we figured it was Google’s attempt to take precious advertising revenue away from Facebook. But, so far we like what we see. Will Google+ be good for business? Time will tell and we’ll be sure to keep you posted.


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The “Social” in Social Media

Remember that conversation you had just the other day with your good friend? Chances are you both talked about your lives, asked a few questions, and maybe even tried to figure out how to solve world hunger. But the key to this conversation was that you were interested in one another – what was happening in one another’s lives.
This basic philosophy of friendship – open and two-way communication is exactly what puts the “social” in social media. Yes, even on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr and Google+ you have to be friendly and social with your followers. You may have never “met” many of your followers but if managed correctly, your presence on these social media tools will help you develop a strong professional persona that people can relate to and like.
We’ve seen it all too often here at Vinyl 21 – a company gets a Twitter or Facebook account and all of the posts and Tweets are sales and product focused. There is no back-and-forth communication or even an interest in what the company’s followers on Twitter and fans on Facebook are interested in. Soon enough, this company loses traction and people stop following the Twitter account and visiting the Facebook page. It’s certainly not intentional on the company’s part, and it’s tough when you are in the business of selling product as all too often you get caught up on promoting the latest deal or the newest model that just arrived in the store. It’s hard to take the time to remember the social aspect of social media when you are communicating with your followers.

Kind of like what happens when you call up your aunt Margaret and all she wants to do is talk about herself. Pretty soon you have no interest in making that weekly phone call (even though your mom is laying the guilt on big time). There is nothing worse than seeing a company get a Twitter account and only posting about themselves.

To be effective on social media, companies must remember that the key to this very powerful marketing and advertising tool is the word “social”. Be outgoing. Engage your followers in conversations. Ask for feedback on your products and organization. Post useful Tweets about things that don’t have anything to do with your business but will be of interest to your followers. Get to know your followers – see who they follow and what they Tweet about. You really want to develop “friendships” with your followers – this way your company and product are remembered – but not because all you do is bombard them with sales-related Tweets. Same thing for Facebook – hold contests to get your fans involved, ask for photos of what people did on the weekend, respond to the comments people make on your Facebook page and show that you are interested in them.
Just like that first day of 9th grade when you were at a new school and didn’t know anyone – you likely pulled out your favourite jokes, showed off your skills on the basketball court and smiled at all the pretty girls (or boys) – all this to make friends and create relationships. Same deal with social media. Be friendly. Be sassy. Be engaging. Be funny. Most of all – be yourself.
In any relationship, people want to be appreciated. The same holds true for social media. As a business, you want to inform customers about your product, but you also want to engage your customers/ followers and appreciate their perspective. Remember the “social” element of your social media campaign and you’ll be surprised how many new friends and followers your company might meet along the way!
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Facebook for Business

In recent years, Facebook really has taken off. What started out as a way for university students to keep tabs on one another has grown into a worldwide social media platform. Growing from its roots of a photo-sharing and chat tool, Facebook is now one of the leading social media marketing tools available.

Yes, social media marketing tool. You may have a Facebook account and use it to stay-up-date with your friends, family, view photos, post photos and chat with others. But did you know that the majority of corporations, companies and businesses are on Facebook? More and more companies are realizing the power of this unique communication and community-building tool.

From companies such as Home Depot to Clif Bar to your local restaurant – they are all on Facebook. Some of these companies use Facebook to post videos, communicate store specials, to promote weekend events, and even to post coupons. While still other companies use Facebook to engage people in product feedback and to provide useful information about using their products better.

Build a Facebook profile and presence that works easily for you:
  • Build an online community of followers
  • Get your clientele involved in product and brand feedback
  • Post photos and videos of company and store events
  • Communicate store and company specials
  • Hold contests to increase traffic to your website


As you can see, what started out as way for university students to stay-in-touch has grown leaps and bounds. Facebook has become and will continue to be one of the best ways for you to get involved in social media. If you’re not sure how to get started, simply ask your teenager – chances are your kids know all of the ins and outs of Facebook! Before you know it you’ll have lots of “likes” and will find that your website is even busier than ever.

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Twitter for Business

What’s the deal with Twitter anyway? You’ve heard about it, maybe you’ve even seen it, but you still don’t really understand what Twitter can do for your business.

Consumers like us use Twitter to post tweets (140 character long messages) about companies, products, status updates – or anything really. There is no limit to what you can or can’t say on Twitter. So long as your Tweet is 140 characters or less, you can go wild.

Here are few basics to help you understand this social media and communication tool:
  • Messages must be 140 characters or less
  • You must have a free Twitter account to send Tweets or to receive Tweets
  • Twitter popularity is measured by the number of “followers” or subscribers you have
  • Other people with Twitter accounts will follow you and you can follow them
  • When you follow someone, you will see all of this person’s Tweets
  • People include hashtags to signify a trend or something popular. For example, right now during the Tour de France, the hashtag #TdF is used by people Tweeting about the race
So what can you use Twitter for:
  • You can use it to promote your company, brand or product
  • You can follow people you like or know and see what they are Tweeting about
  • Most major news organizations are on Twitter so you can follow the NYTimes or CBC Radio to stay up-to-date with the news
  • You can use it to find a job – many companies will post on Twitter about job openings and most hiring agencies post to Twitter
  • You can use it to stay up-to-date with latest sport scores, celebrity gossip and breaking news


Really, Twitter is what you make of it. You might choose to only follow media organizations, so your list of Twitter followers or Twitter feed will be solely focused on the news. Maybe you’re a runner, you can choose to follow your favorite running magazine and other runners – staying up-to-date on training, nutrition, and shoe trends. Or maybe you want to promote your business, so you write Tweets to alert people about your sales, new brands/products and trends in the business.

Just like surfing the Internet and compiling a list of Bookmarks or Favorites that are relevant to you – the same thing applies to Twitter. With one big difference – people who follow you can respond to your Tweets. This allows you to ask questions, for example, we might post the following on Twitter: “Anyone know how long the next stage of the Tour de France is? #TdF” –  and then people who follow me can respond and answer my question.

At its most basic – Twitter is a customizable communication tool. You can use it to send out whatever message you want and to receive whatever messages you want.

We’ve likely made this seem more confusing than it is! This is what happens when trying to explain something that is really very simple.

By the way, Twitter turns five years old this week…so #HappyBirthday Twitter!

To learn more about Twitter, visit the website and sign up for your own account. Looking forward to seeing your Tweets – let us know what your Twitter name is and we’ll follow you. (We’re on Twitter: @Vinyl21) Happy Tweeting!

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Social Media for Business

More and more people are turning to the Social Media and the Internet to get their news, television, learn about products/brands, research jobs, plan vacations, and obtain valuable information about products they are about to purchase. The world has gone digital and with this comes an opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes to tap into this market and reach out to consumers.

A social media plan will:
  • Maximize and grow brand/company awareness
  • Allow you to connect with new customers and obtain product feedback
  • Increase traffic to your website
  • Improve your Search Engine Optimization (your company/brand will appear close to the top of the search engine results list)
  • Provide awareness of who is visiting your website and why
  • Create a following of loyal customers


On top of this, a social media strategy really is “social”.  With blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other online tools you can build a community and relationships with your customers – enabling a feeling of involvement with your company and brand. Some of the most successful companies have discovered the power of the online “community” to raise awareness of their brands and products.

One of the best thing about a social media strategy is that everything is trackable – so you can see what is working, what needs to be adjusted, and see the real returns on your social media strategy.

A social media strategy lets you reach your target market and really find out what your customers like, don’t like and would like to see from your products. You really can’t beat instant feedback when it comes to strengthening your company and brand awareness.

Just like you used a search engine to find us, your customers will be able to easily find you with a quick search in Google or on Twitter and Facebook.

Have questions about social media or want to learn more about it? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to discuss an effective social media strategy with you today.

(Be sure to add our blog to your RSS reader to stay up-to-date. And make sure you follow us on Twitter.)

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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada