Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Business’


The social media obsession with large numbers of followers and fans is so 2010. It is clear more than even that as people, groups, companies, and brands all jump into the social media space, the issue of quality over quantity is more important that anything else. We had said this a while back in 2009, when Twitter was more fun and Facebook less brand-like.

Now that these two social media icons as well as a small number of other networks have grown in mainstream acceptance, just like a frothy latte, the time for the cream to rise to the top is critical. (Pardon the bad metaphor, it’s Saturday morning!).

So, the whole issue of engagement and enduring relationships is the goal EVERY social media profile should achieve. This maxim would also apply to brands more than ever. Social media is not, and never will be, a quick shot of whiskey at the bar, it is a long enjoyable meal, with several rounds of drinks at the beginning, a few appetizers, some killer first courses, don’t forget the dessert, and the mandatory after party!

The point is this: for any brand (or individual) to stand out in a growing and very crowded universe, you MUST take the extra few steps to establish a real and authentic presence online. This includes (wait for it): spending real time to WORK your profiles, meet real profiles, chat, be respectful, get to know your followers, and as my man Ted Rubin has been saying: FOSTER REAL RELATIONSHIPS ALWAYS. Sustain them. Nurture them. And guess what, everyone? That takes hard work.

Luckily for everyone, the social media giants are giving us free tools to achieve this. Don’t get us wrong: we know Facebook is king, and it looks like it will still be king for a while, but one of the biggest problems with it right now is that EVERYONE IS ON IT. When a local deli is on Facebook and the deli puts its Facebook page on its menu, you know that Facebook is a part of life. So now, users on Facebook  are inundated with Facebook Fan Pages. It has become a silly quest for numbers when it fact the ONLY STAT THAT MATTERS IS THIS ONE:

How many people are talking about you right now on Facebook?

That one little Facebook stat in a Facebook Fan Page is all that matters. If people aren’t talking about you, then you are just wasting your time. If at any moment of the day, you don’t have at least 5% talking about you organically, it is time to change your strategy.

Sure, even if you are a large Facebook Fan Page with large numbers, you can offset such a low engagement percentage, but wouldn’t anyone want to increase that percentage? Don’t you want to go from say 2.5% percent (which is a really low number in the grand scheme of things) to say, 5%? And wouldn’t you want to do it organically (not through PAID links and clicks and advertising)? That would be an 100% increase in your engagement.

We will take 20% engagement on a daily basis any time

When I formed Latino Rebels early last year with about 20 other social media influentials who understand what best practices are, we really worked hard to build relationships with our fans. Our Facebook presence was key to our company strategy.

We are happy to say that by BEING THE CONNECTOR and BUILDING SUSTAINABLE RELATIONSHIPS, our current Facebook engagement rate has ranged from 20% to 25% in the last four months. As we grow our Facebook presence, we build it slowly and organically, and it is actually incredibly fun to see how many of our Facebook fans now comment and more importantly, post on our Wall to share content that we eventually might cover for our main website.

UPDATE, January 18, 2011: And once in a while, we hit a blackjack. Latest stats from LR on FB:

That level of engagement takes hard work, it takes time, and most importantly, you cannot be lazy about it. Whenever someone comments on our Facebook posts, the Latino Rebels respond to those people. If there are long threads, we are part of that thread, encouraging people to comment, asking them questions and connecting in a truly authentic.

Because of this, LatinoRebels.com and the entire Latino Rebels social network have quickly become a destination point for a very desirable demographic. Our numbers are not only growing, but our fans are also engaging and opinionated! That is what community is all about. That is why we love social media, and if  brands don’t wake up and understand this, eventually people will tune out and just see their fake Facebook pages are forced, opportunistic, and not authentic at all.

Read Full Post »


So last week, Sports Illustrated opened up its cover selection process to social media, letting anyone in the world vote for the best picture of 2011. In the end, the fans chose Rutgers’ Eric LaGrand and his inspirational story. Granted, it was a good choice, but the explanation by SI’s Terry McDonell reveals that in the end, big brands don’t get social media, and you are left to wonder if they ever will.

This is what McDonell wrote in last week’s issue:

The idea that the editor should relinquish that call this week and ask fans to choose the cover came from Scott Novak, SI’s vice president of communications. Novak is editorial minded and brilliant at driving connections with readers through social-media platforms such as the SI Facebook page, where he proposed to invite visitors to vote for the best sports moment of the year, with the winner featured on the year-end cover. The argument against him was simple: As much as readers may second-guess the magazine’s cover choices, that’s where they want SI’s credibility and authority to start. And who said the voters would be readers in the first place? But the argument Novak, his team and a growing number of staffers made was that letting the public in on the selection process would strengthen the bond between the magazine and its readers and, further, allow SI to plug into a new two-way relationship with a wider landscape of sports fans.

Again, it was a noble effort, but McDonell’s words reveal a few misconceptions that brands still blindly follow when it comes to social media. This is why in the end SI missed the mark:
  • It’s all about control. There is still this assumption by media outlets that in order to succeed in the digital space, they must still control the message. And that is where the problem lies. Once you commit to social media, everyone becomes an equal, from the magazine to the readers to the people who tweet about the brand.
  • Social media credibility comes from actual engagement. It is just hard to believe that SI truly “gets it” now. The SI example, as much as its editors think it is “two-way conversation,” it is still SOCIAL MEDIA LITE. SI missed the opportunity to take their cover selection process and really make it 100% engaging. Sure, people voted and chose the cover, but SI’s team failed to make something out of it. They should have spent more time shouting out the people who voted, mention them, thank them for the votes on Twitter. THAT would have strengthened the relationship SI sought. Instead, SI was still the story, and not the voters. People will quickly see through that.
  • Where is the real engagement? True engagement is when both sides of the channel are highlighted. SI still thinks that it is better than the people who follow its accounts on Twitter and Facebook. Maybe if SI lightens up a bit and not feel so concerned about losing control, people would become even more loyal.

It is encouraging to see that McDonell has a Twitter account. But his profile on Twitter just has four tweets (although kudos for using an @ reply for one of those tweets, maybe there is hope?). And McDonell has only tweeted once this December, the month when he should have done more to prove that SI is becoming more social media savvy and friendlier. And before that, he tweeted once in October 2011, once in December 2010 and his first tweet was in October 2009. Knowing how smart the guys at SI are, I do believe they will understand that they must practice what they preach. I am rooting for you, Terry. Come dive into Twitter and enjoy it.

Trust me, I love SI. I think it is the best weekly magazine in the world. The writing is vastly superior and the photos are top-notch. However, if SI REALLY wants to dive deeply in the social media sphere, it should, for example, take the time to simply reply to people, their readers, the ones who buy their magazine every week (their current Twitter presence is the perfect example of how NOT to do it).

So maybe, if their editors are open to it, they should publish a Social Media edition of their magazine, where individuals who follow the brand choose and develop the brand for one week. Publish the tweets, shout out the opinions, and maybe even have some content creators publish some of their pieces. Now THAT would be cool. Let’s hope SI stops hiding behind the image of the BIG BRAND that thinks it is doing social media. It would actually be more fun for them and it would change the needle for them, especially in this age, where ANYONE can be a publisher now.

Read Full Post »


RELEASED TODAY

Whole Foods Market® opens its doors in Jamaica Plain

Store features include expansive bulk offerings, pizza oven and prepared foods

Jamaica Plain, Mass., (October 31, 2011) – Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM), the world’s leading natural and organic supermarket and America’s first national certified organic grocer, opened the doors of the newest location, in Jamaica Plain, today.

The store, which spans more than 13,700 square feet and employs 104 full and part time team members will offer the Jamaica Plain community access to the freshest and healthiest local, natural and organic products at an affordable price.

“We are so pleased to open our doors in Hyde Square. We have created a beautiful store that will be a great match for the Jamaica Plain community,” says Store Team Leader, Mike Walker. “It is particularly exciting for us to have the chance now to really show our neighbors what Whole Foods Market offers as responsible, active community partners.”

The new store, located at 413 Centre Street is the result of a complete renovation of the interior of the existing space. Modeled for energy efficiency, Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain boasts a number of green technologies, including LED lighting and state of the art refrigeration systems. The parking lot, which offers 68 spaces, also has an electric car charging station as well as racks for 15 bikes and a self-service bike repair station.

No two Whole Foods Market stores are alike. Each store is designed to reflect the community it serves. Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain was designed to echo the vibrant culture of Hyde Square, while paying homage to the Googie style of architecture that makes the building so unique.

The products carried in Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain are also a reflection of the community. From locally produced to ethnically influenced selections, the shelves are stocked with affordably priced products that meet the company’s strict quality standards.

Along with the grocery, produce, meat, seafood, specialty, bakery and Whole Body departments, Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain offers an expanded bulk department featuring a wide selection of beans, grains, nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

For customers looking for convenience, Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain offers a great variety of prepared foods, including a large salad bar and hot bar, as well as a pizza oven and Panini station.

“Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain is unlike any of our other stores,” says Walker. “We are so excited for longtime Whole Foods Market shoppers and the folks who haven’t ever had the opportunity to shop with us before, to come see what we have created just for them!”

Jamaica Plain Store Information:

Whole Foods Market Jamaica Plain

Address: 413 Centre St. Jamaica Plain, MA

Phone: 617.553.5400

Hours of operation: 8:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. daily

 

 

Read Full Post »


In response to a last-ditch by a small group of community activists in Boston’s Jamaica Plain neighborhood, Whole Foods’ Northeast Region issued this statement to us this morning:

Whole Foods Market has a long history as responsible community partners, not only through our deeply rooted involvement with local programs and committees, but also through our extensive give-back programs.  We are committed to having a dedicated community market liaison at each store location whose job is to work with local community groups and non-profit organizations.  Since January, 2011, Whole Foods Market has donated or promised more than $36,000 in monetary and food donations to JP community groups, schools and non-profit organizations, and this is just the beginning of our efforts as we are open to supporting any 501c3 that supports the causes that are important to Jamaica Plain’s residents. The JPNC recently requested that Whole Foods Market create a fund for use by JP community groups, which is a request that has never been made to any other retailer joining JP. Creating a fund for a specific community is not how we do business, nor have we ever found it necessary given our history of community involvement. Our outlook at this time has not changed, and we are now focusing 100% of our energy on opening our new store in Jamaica Plain.

Read Full Post »


Even though it is already a done deal, anti-Whole Foods voices in Jamaica Plain —a small, yet vocal minority— issued a public statement today that makes some very unique demands of a private business. We have published it here:

Open Statement: Whole Foods Must Sign a Community Benefits Agreement with Jamaica Plain

The Whose Foods? Coalition is deeply disappointed in Whole Foods’ dismissal of the Good Neighbor Agreement put forward by the JP Neighborhood Council last Wednesday.  We were hopeful that a Good Neighbor Agreement would enable Whole Foods to benefit all of JP, the residents who want to shop there and the residents who cannot, those who would benefit from having their property values rise and those who would be pushed out by rent increases.

Whole Foods says it’s unwilling to enter into a Good Neighbor Agreement.  The Whose Foods? Coalition is unwilling to let Whole Foods walk into our neighborhood without a real commitment to keeping JP affordable and diverse.  Demanding that Whole Foods enter an agreement to counteract the negative effects of its opening is common sense.  It’s asking for a fair shake from a good neighbor who is willing to pull their own weight.

“Good Neighbor” or “Community Benefits” Agreements are not new, or crazy, or outlandish.  The Stop & Shop development in Jackson Square involved a Community Benefits Agreement, as did the IKEA in Somerville.  A Community Benefits Agreement is based on the principle that companies benefit substantially from the resources built by neighbors in a community. Companies, therefore, should share a part of the wealth they gain from the community.

Even 1% of the annual revenue from Whole Foods’ Jamaica Plain store would help prevent the displacement of our neighbors.  It would help organizers work towards better policies and against destructive rent-hikes.  It would help ensure that there are affordable housing options in our neighborhood.  It would help low-income people, many of whom are Latino or African American, be able to stay and enjoy the neighborhood that that is home — and that many people with longstanding roots have fought hard to improve, only to be threatened with displacement.

We demand this 1% for the funding of local anti-displacement organizing, especially in Hyde Square, and the creation and/or preservation of local affordable housing, annually for the duration of the store’s 20-year lease.  We demand a small slice of the pie that our neighborhood makes possible.  Being a good neighbor means mutuality.

The Whose Foods? Coalition also supports other demands that came out of JP’s Neighborhood Council’s months-long research on the corporation:

1) a living wage (at minimum) for all employees in JP

2) a published traffic study prior to opening

3) funding for youth programs, food assistance and local business assistance

Whole Foods told Boston.com that “Definitely a large percentage of the items are things Whole Foods already does.”  Where’s the concrete evidence of the corporation’s commitment to a living wage, its published traffic study, and funding for youth, food access, and local business?

More urgently, where’s evidence that Whole Foods is taking seriously the outcry over its impact on property values and displacement, its undeniable role in the negative aspects of urban gentrification, and demands for contributions toward housing accessibility in JP?  The corporation came secretly into Hyde Square, the “Latin Quarter”, of our neighborhood last winter, leased a grocery space that was a staple of Latino community. Refusing to offer meaningful contributions that will control the threat of displacement, it simply runs local ads in Spanish.  Whole Foods, face the issue of displacement, the issue of gentrification — enter a formal community benefits agreement and give 1%.

Whole Foods can absolutely afford to pay its fair share.  Whole Foods paid a corporate tax rate of under 10% last year, and generated a windfall profit for its shareholders.  It generated over 9 billion dollars last year via its 300+ stores (touting itself as the “world’s largest retailer of natural and organic foods.”).  The bottom line is this: Whole Foods makes additional profit by passing off the cost of their impact on neighborhoods. This impact includes losing money that would have circulated in local businesses; losing families who get pushed out by rent increases; and losing economic and cultural diversity.

Progressive-minded residents of Jamaica Plain, now is our time to represent, to act.  Start by calling Whole Foods Market’s regional headquarters, and encourage them to sign a meaningful agreement.  Call your elected officials; tell them to support an agreement between Whole Foods and Jamaica Plain.  Email the JP non-profits you support, recommending their solidarity.  And email the JP Neighborhood Council with support and encouragement for their efforts.

As progressives, as neighbors, and as a community we must demand loudly a binding agreement and 1% for affordable housing in our neighborhood.  We must demand a living wage, a public traffic study, and funding for youth, food access and local business.  A binding agreement can set an important national precedent for urban communities struggling to maintain affordability and diversity in the face of large corporations shifting their sights from suburbs to cities.  We must claim our power as a community, because the future of this story is in our hands.

The following people have added their names in support of this statement.  If you’d like, you can add your own name here: http://whosefoods.org/cba-today

Benjamin Day

Santiago Cárdenas

Brian Squadrille

Travis Reed Miller

Michelle Sedaca

Maia Laperle

Tiffany Dumont

Helen Matthews

Martha Rodriguez

akunna eneh

Ben Mauer

Aisha Shillingford

Terrence Wells

Stephanie Bird

Erin Dwyer

Robbie Samuels

Alison Brill

Giovanna Tapia

Monica Rey

Benjamin Rey

Andrew Murray

Marta Perrupato

Claire Passey

Matt Garber

Stephen Swift

Read Full Post »


Latinos in Social Media (LATISM), the gold standard of what a vibrant and thriving social media community should be, opened the nomination process for the BEST OF LATISM 2011.

The process is fairly simple. Click here, and nominate your favorites of 2011 in all the categories listed.

Also, will you be at LATISM 2011 in Chicago? We will and we can’t wait to see so many friends and family there!

NOMINATE THE BEST OF LATISM 2011 HERE!

Read Full Post »


Transitions. They happen all the time. Hell, I have gotten so used to transitions lately, I just roll with it now.

Today, I left Being Latino as a Contributor and Twitter Strategist. My reasons were simple ones: TIME. The TIME to focus on new exciting publishing and media ventures that quite frankly, have me excited and passionate again. Yes, yours truly, is going to be doing things (and getting an actual salary) that will blend my 20 years in the business world into one very “once in a lifetime” opportunity. I cannot fully disclose it yet, but I can say things: my next chapter in life will combine my experience in education, publishing, politics, journalism, social media, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, operations and business ownership. So TIME is limited, so I had to say goodbye to a great bunch of wonderful people.

So to all the gente in Being Latino, thanks so much for the love and inspiration. You guys rock and I wish you all the best in the world.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: