Monthly Archives: February 2015

How NOT to do online marketing

There’s an iconic South African brand that I follow on Facebook. I follow them for a number of reasons: the brand represents so much in terms of comfort (food) and growing up in South Africa and they have an interactive and engaging Facebook page. And I follow a lot of different brands because I enjoy learning from them.

South African products

This particular brand held a Valentine’s Day competition where, if you answered a question they posed, whoever gave the best answer could win a branded item. The prize wasn’t massive – in fact, it was really small. But there were over 150 responses to their question! And I was one of them – in my personal capacity. I was disproportionately thrilled when I won one of the prizes! Who doesn’t like to be acknowledged and made a winner?

This brand did a brilliant job creating interest and engagement with their Valentine’s Day campaign. They used images, questions, fun facts, tips – they did everything right. They managed to get people talking and interacting (which increases their organic reach on Facebook). I’m sure this campaign spread from social media in to real life too, and had people talking about it. It was that good.

Connecting on social networks

Overall I was really impressed from a professional point of view, and from a personal point of view as a consumer. And then, they let me down. After drawing me in, engaging with me, making me feel special by replying to my post, and choosing my response as a winning answer, they managed to undo all the hard work they’d done. They broke my personal and professional heart.

They (the Digital Agency who manages their online platforms) sent me an email with an attachment that I was asked to complete with all my details including my Identity Number (I think this may be a legal requirement in terms of the Consumer Protection Act). What an effective way of throwing a wet cloth over my excitement! And then, the content of the actual email.

Disappointment

It was a long, generic letter that they clearly use to communicate with all their online-giveaway winners. But it was impersonal and, to be quite honest, I felt used. They’d worked really hard to get my attention on Facebook, get me engaging with them and then… that’s it. The relationship ended. And the very worst thing was that they addressed me as ‘Dear Lucky Winner’ – I didn’t even have a name! I just feel that after going to all that trouble to engage with people and create a connection, it’s such a waste not to use their names, especially as it would have been so easy just to refer to the post and see what our names are.

This incident can teach us much about online engagement, which was why I chose to blog about it. Digital communication is such a dynamic field. Despite the constant updates, changes, revisions, progressions and additions, there are some rules that should always be followed:

  • It’s called social media – so be social! Connect with people; ask questions; answer them
  • Don’t automate your responses. You can’t create a connection by digitising responses. If people go to the effort of talking to you, talk back to them!
  • If you have a social media account, keep it active. Don’t create a Facebook page or Twitter profile and leave it dormant – rather don’t have the page at all
  • Do create social media pages! (All you competitors have them.) This is probably the first place people will look to connect with you. And then respond to them.
  • Keep you content fresh and relevant. Don’t be scared to share information with potential customers. You’re not giving your intellectual property away for free – you’re investing in relationships

 

Not just 4 a kid

I’ve mentioned it before, a couple of times, because I feel so strongly about it: we moms have to stick together. But more than that, we have to support each other. I belong to quite a few mother’s groups on Facebook and I’m horrified to see how quick-to-judge some moms are. I think for the most part, we’re all just trying to do the best we can with what we have. Sometimes it turns out the way want; sometimes not so much. Having said that, I’m also fortunate to have some very supportive mom friends and wonderful women in my network. Which brings me to this post that I’m sharing with you. I’d like to tell you about Ally Cohen and http://www.4akid.co.za.

 

Ally and her gorgeous children

Ally and her gorgeous children

Ally is the mom of two gorgeous children, and founder of the 4 a Kid website. Ally has, since 2007, established sole agency and sole agreements with companies all over the world and sells a variety of child and baby safety products. Ally has won a number of awards and appeared on various television programmes and in numerous baby magazines. All this while still being a mom! You see – we can have it all!

Ally says her mission is to make sure child safety products are available and affordable to parents across the country because it’s every parents’ obligation to ensure the safety of their child. And I couldn’t agree more. Our little ones rely on us to make sure they’re looked after and that’s where Ally’s website can help us.

I could spend ages browsing this site – there are so many great products including strollers, clothing, pregnancy products, toys and educational activities. It took me a while, but I managed to find my top three favourite products.

 

Car seat strap

Car seat strap

I love the car seat strap clip that has clips on either side of it and attaches to each baby seat strap to stop you mini Houdini from escaping. This product appeals to me right now because, no sooner are we out the driveway than Holly has whipped her arms out from the straps of her chair.

Holly's hair

Holly’s hair after a nap!

 

The Knot Genie Detangle Brush is also great. Holly has such fine hair that gets super knotty at the blink of an eye. This detangler works a treat at getting the knots out without any tears.

Baby Cubes

Baby Cubes – for freezing baby food

 

And last, but not least, are these Baby Cubes. When my little girls first started on solids I would spend every Sunday afternoon making and mushing veggies for her meals for the coming week. It was always a struggle to find enough containers to freeze her portions in. These are great for that.

 

If you’re looking for a particular baby product or children’s product, safety or otherwise, pop on over to www.4akid.co and check out the wide range of products available.