On a + note

Using social media in the marketplace. #12: 2012

Posted in on a + note by Admin on April 30, 2012

Corporate Canada is integrating old and new marketing platforms using social media, and their efforts are helping public libraries across North America learn how to stand out in a very noisy new marketplace.


Social media is helping many libraries connect to individuals who traditionally have not viewed the public library as a viable search partner. For the public library, social media is a cost effective way to be seen and heard by a much wider audience than available through traditional marketing channels.  However, there is much to learn in this brave new world. I particularly am paying attention to what corporate Canada is doing with blogging to build product buzz.


For example:


  • Canadian Tire (CT) is using multiple forms of social media. They are investing heavily in their website and embracing bloggers that have the audience and connections to speak with authority about their products to a huge audience. More than 280,000 CT Facebook fans interact with CT experts and other consumers, making a powerful community of users.  They are using video testimonials to enrich the customers’ understanding of their products.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart is using editorial content on their website to engage discussions across different social channels and connecting users with common interests. Staying engaged with the customer builds consumer loyalty, and loyalty enhances the bottom line. It’s that simple!
  • Tim Horton’s, the Canadian coffee icon, has posted more than 10,000 customer stories in the last year in an effort to engage with their users, track trends, and encourage feedback. Unlike more traditional communication channels, the beauty of blogging and social media is that it is a two-way dialogue. We, in library land, need to learn how to mine this dialogue so we can better understand the new user. Oh, and it’s not too shabby to have Sid Crosby talking about our national obsession!
  • MAC Cosmetics’ website links their products to fashion and cosmetic product reviews by Elle, Glamour, and Marie Claire magazines and features live chat with cosmetic experts. There are no more powerful motivators than celeb endorsements or personalized service.
  • International cosmetic giant Clinique offers web users an Insider’s Club for customers who want more information and want to be more connected to the product line. When was the last time you posted a celebrity endorsement on the library’s website or shared some inside information with customers (perhaps a sneak peek at that new reading area or renovated back room)? If you are like me, it’s been a while.


These are just some of the amazing ways corporations are embracing social media and using it effectively to promote their products and to build brand recondition.


In library land, we have much to learn.


Have a great week!


Kitty Pope                                                                                           #12 May 2012



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