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Digital Marketing

Fair Trade and Social Media: Watch & Learn 01 [@FairtradeUK]

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

The more producers’ organizations we meet on the road, the more we understand the importance of Social Media as a way to promote your fair trade business. Indeed, Social Media is a great way to engage with potential new customers, give more information about your social project and products, but it is also very useful to keep an eye on market trends and latest fashions.

Ronny giving a Social Media training @Alura Amara, Indonesia.

About half the fair trade organizations we visited in Asia were already active on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube, the other half seemed really enthusiastic about getting started. Fair Trade Connection is all about connecting fair trade producers with consumers so we quickly understood that in order to do so, we needed to train the non-initiated so that they too could leverage the potential of Social Media Marketing.

The “Watch & Learn” series is a collection of Social Media best practices in the fair trade industry that we gathered and analyzed for you.

This 1st post will be analyzing the videos of the amazing “Take a step for Fairtrade” campaign by the Fairtrade Foundation. The @FairtradeUK in the title of this post is their Twitter name, so go ahead and follow them if you want.

Let’s jump to the heart of this campaign and start with the presentation video:

1/ The Campaign presentation Video


What we liked:

  • Strong Corporate Identity: the Fairtrade Foundation really does a good job being consistant with the look and feel of their messages. One should establish a corporate document stating which typography and fonts, colors and shades, logotypes and declinaison logos your company will be using to comunicate. And most importantly stick to it!
  • Appropriate Music: the rythm of the video is given by the music. See how the text is synchronized with the music. Sync your visuals with the music to create greater impact on your viewers.
  • Proper use of Sound Effects: the additional sound effects helps the viewer relate to what he’s seeing. It also gives a more profesionnal touch. There are lot’s of free sound banks on the web like Freesound.org and Soundbible.com
  • Interactive Video: Notice how you are invited to click to find out more at the end of the video. If you click inside the YouTube video you’ll be redirected to the campaign main website with the step-o-meter where you can register your step and learn all the details. To learn how to create interactive videos, we strongly suggest you watch this episode of the ReelSEO’s Creator’s Tip.

What we liked less:

  • Too many calls to action: the first time we watched the video we didn’t quite understand what we were supposed to do? Was it to click on the website’s link at the end of the movie? Was it to take a step? To register my step online or with a postcard? Because there were too many calls to action we got confused and didn’t really know where to start. Calls to actions are great, if not necessary if you want to succeed with online video marketing, but let’s keep it simple. Choose one call to action only so that the viewer knows exactly what he has to do.
  • Not enough time to click: the invitation to click on the website’s link at the end of the video didn’t last long enough. Interactivity in YouTube videos is still something new for most viewers, so you have to be very clear about what they should do and leave them enough time to click on your link. A good lenght is about 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Non-Clickable links in video description: one of the great things about YouTube videos is that their Title/Description/Tags can be used as SEO tools. One should really leverage these info to boost his visibility in the search engines (Google or YouTube). The Fairtrade Foundation’s mistake was not to be able to make the links clickable in the video description as shown in this picture: An easy way to avoid that is to paste the entire URL. Had they type: http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/step (thus not dropping the http://) the link would have been clickable.

2/ The other videos




What we liked:

  • Viral: It’s funny, I want to share! The repetition of the engaging theme song coupled with the dance steps executed by celebrities really participated in creating funny videos that the viewers were probably eager to share with their friends. Hence the average 50.000 views on the 30 seconds videos.
  • Series effect: by repeating some elements (visual, song, steps) in every videos they succeeded in creating a series that people could follow. We have to admit that the song plays an important role in the success of this series. They did a great job choosing/creating it. To our knowledge it is the first time a fair trade organization publishes a series of online videos that has nothing to envy the Coca Cola’s and Apple’s of this world.
  • Fresh: this is not what we are used to with videos coming from the fair trade industry. The Fairtrade Foundation managed to do something different without surfing the usual wave of the farmers, the fairer price or the impact on the communities. All that is implied but not directly put in front of us (except for the campaign presentation video). Instead of hitting us one more time with the same ol’ message, they decided to entertain us. Very clever. Remember to stand in your audience’s shoes when you create content. Ask yourself: “What might they like?”

What we liked the most:

  • Cross Media Campaign: the “Take a Step” campaign was really an example of a global campaign. The Fairtrade Foundation echoed the campaign using all the social media tools available. Be it their website, blog, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Flick’r, Tumblr or Google+ they were all thoroughly prepared to speak with one voice, giving the larger audience the same message: take a step for fairtrade. It takes a lot of efforts and coordination to create that kind of unity throughout so many different channels.

Now we need to figure out a way to get that song out of our heads!

Inside ThaiCraft’s Communication department

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

During one of our recent trips to Thailand we stopped by Bangkok and attended one of the well known ThaiCraft Fair Trade Fairs. These fairs are organized on a regular basis in the Sukhumvit area, a very dynamic commercial center in the Thai capital. There we met Peng and Mynt, two very professional young ladies in charge of ThaiCraft communication department. We ceased this opportunity to ask them a few question about their social media marketing.

Ronny (FTC): What kind of content do you post on Facebook and Twitter?

Mynt (ThaiCraft): Mostly it is about our activities and pictures from the fairs, to attract more people to the fairs. But we also use these new medias to spread the news about punctual actions or events. Like during the floods in 2011. We wanted to support our artisan members who were affected by the floods so we spread the news on Facebook and were able to provide them with food and blankets during these difficult times. Some areas were severely affected, to the point that the handicraft production had to stop which means that many people were left without an income. We decided to undertake these actions to support them.

Ronny (FTC): Does ThaiCraft also have a blog?

Peng (ThaiCraft): No, only our website. But we should have one. It’s in our future plans. We would like to either create a blog or develop our website to tell more about the artisans’ stories, we are working on it.

Ronny (FTC): How would you like to tell the stories of your producers?

Peng (ThaiCraft): We would like our product tags to tell the story. Maybe with a QR code system that the customers could scan at the fairs and directly get the information on the people who made the products.

Ronny (FTC): So the QR code would link to a web page or a video?

Peng (ThaiCraft): Yes maybe a web page, maybe a video.

Ronny (FTC): How does ThaiCraft communicate about the fairs?

Mynt (ThaiCraft): We have what we call the « Friendship System ». Our customer can register and become a member of that program. We then send them an e-newsletter before every fair we organize, keeping them informed of what will happen during the fair. Like the workshops they can attend.

We also communicate about the fairs on our Facebook page which is linked to our Twitter account.

In terms of content we like to speak about the workshops that people can attend during the fairs and we post a lot of photos related to the fairs.

Ronny (FTC): Can you tell us more about these workshops?

Mynt (ThaiCraft): We have themes, for the moment we focus on environmental issues and craft work. This year it is also our 20th anniversary. Mostly it is about how our artisans work, how they exploit their skills. The customers can engage with the artisans and watch them make the products but they also can join and take part in the production process.

In January our theme was « recycling » and we organized a workshop duringwhich people could bring their own second hand material and create original clocks from it.

Ronny (FTC): What else is being discussed in Thaicraft’s communication department?

Mynt (ThaiCraft): We are trying to make our websitemore interactive. We try to get people to interact with us. One of the strategies is to publish more pictures of our products. And also to link these pictures with the stories of the artisans so that people can understand how it is crafted, how it is made.

Ronny (FTC): How do you plan on doing this?

Peng (ThaiCraft): We have to reorganize the website and collect the information, the stories from the artisans. The plan is to update what we already have and make it more interesting.

Also we would like to have more videos, because we think that animated movies are much more interesting than pictures.

Ronny (FTC): Do you have someone in your team that could create these videos and bring the stories?

Peng (ThaiCraft): Not specifically but we need to think about it. Maybe you can give us some tips about making videos!

Why you MUST use social media for your business

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

Did you know that over 50% of the world population is under 30 years old? That YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world? or that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations when only 14% trust advertisements?

This is only 3 stats, I could go on for pages. The Internet is filled with social media statistics, all more impressive than the others. They are all pointing towards the same direction: social media is not an option for promoting your business, it is a MUST. For those of you not yet convinced of that, here is a selection of 3 videos showing facts and figures about the social media revolution.




Don’t wait any longer, get on the boat! If you don’t know where to start from, you could try this link.

My fair trade business is on Facebook, now what?

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

You’ve decided to get on the social media train and start a Facebook page for your business. Congratulations! You are probably wondering: “What am I going to say now?” This post is specifically written for fair trade producer’s organizations who are doing their first steps on Facebook. If that’s you, read on to discover 5 great ways to produce relevant content to feed your brand new page.

First you need to understand that the great majority of your fans (people who have liked your page) will only come to your page once. That is the one time they hit the “LIKE button”. It doesn’t mean they won’t continue to follow your stories and read your content, it’s just that they won’t come to your page to find it. Most of your fans will find your posts in their newsfeed.
It is thus important to create content on a regular basis to reach your fans via their newsfeed.

Keeping that in mind, what should you write about?

I’m tempted to answer that question by another question: “Who are your fans?” Understanding your audience is crucial to provide relevant content. As a fair trade producer’s organization your fan base will most likely consist of fair trade consumers or adherents from all over the world, Western distributors and fair trade/NGO activists. You could try to segment your audience into 2 or 3 different categories and roughly estimate the proportion each category represents. This would help you elaborate a ratio for your posts. Lets say 70% of your fans are fair trade consumers, 15% are distributors and the other 15% are NGO activists. A good posting strategy would be to write 3 posts that meet the consumers’ interests, 1 that meets the distributor’s interests and 1 you know the activists will relate to to keep everyone happy.
We understand that establishing such ratio’s isn’t easy, truly understanding your audience requires time and resources. If you have none of these, here is a list of topics you could talk about that would probably be appreciated by all of your fans:


1# Speak about the artisans or the farmers who produce what you sell.
Tell us about their everyday’s life, their children, their work. Post some pictures or videos of them along with a small description of who they are and what they do.

Let your audience know who’s made the products they’re buying.



2# Speak about your vision of fair trade
How is the movement perceived in your country? How do YOU perceive it? What do you think works well with the system and what would you change? What do you do to make things better?

3# Speak about the benefits of fair trade on your community
One of the major concerns of Western consumers when they buy fair trade products is to know where their money goes. Use your Facebook page to bring answers to their concerns. Explain what social investments have been made, how you decided to use the fair trade premium, … in other words what your company does to improve the livelihood of your community.

4# Speak about your organization
Of course you’ve already filled up all the basic information about your company in your page’s info tab … (if not, do it now). A good idea is to go one step further and give your fans more insights about your organization. Go ahead and create a photo album with pictures of your staff along with small job descriptions, share your organigram. Go even further and let several of your employees explain a typical day at work with a 2-minute-video. Tell us how it all started and what rough phases you went through. Describe how you see your company 5 years from now, what are the major challenges you’ll have to face?

5# Speak about your products
Remember a picture is worth a thousand words, post some quality pictures of your products along with product info and additional info on where consumers can buy these products. This is a great opportunity to tag or post a link to one of your partners/buyers. Make sure to get reciprocity though and ask for visibility on their wall in exchange.
Write some product reviews, ask your audience’s opinion on new product development with polls for example. Share some success stories, showcase your best sellers.

These are just some leads that you could follow to create relevant content for your page, I’m sure every one of you will come up with their own original way of communicating with their fans.

Please join the conversation and leave a comment about this post, tell us how you like to talk with your fans? Don’t forget to share the link to your Facebook page, I’d love to become a fan!

Developing your Fair Trade company’s Social Media Strategy

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

You hear about them every day, all your friends use them and you might even use them yourself… Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FlickR, YouTube, … Social media have become a part of our (virtual) lives. But what about your business?

Is it time to add social media to your marketing mix? If you think the answer is “Yes” then the next question is: “Where do I start? In this post I’m going to give you a few keys to develop your company’s social media strategy.

Deciding to dive into social media marketing is a bit like deciding to buy a new dog. When we buy a new puppy we’re all exited and we want to play with him but in reality bringing home that puppy is a big commitment and is time consuming. That is why before buying the puppy or jumping into social media to advertise your business, you should ask yourself if you have the ressources to handle it?

A good way to find out is to organize a meeting with your managing staff in order to elaborate a social media strategy.

1# Determine your final goal

Be it finding more distributors for your products then you will focus on developping relationships with your Western partners and distributors; be it promoting your products then you will focus on establishing a dialogue with your final consumers; be it finding inspiration for new product development then you’ll try to interact with creative people and communities.

Try to set specific objectives that can be measured and decide how much time and money you want to dedicate to social media.

2# Find your audience

There’s a vast literature about finding an audience, I’m not going to tackle this issue here, I’ll just summarize it in three action points:

  1. Make a list of keywords and phrases related to your business
  2. Make a list of social media sites where you think you can meet your audience (start with the most popular: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn and Blogs)
  3. Go to these social media sites and do some searching about your keywords

At this stage you should have a good idea of where your audience is and what media they use.

3# Study your audience

To be successful with social media marketing you’ll have to get rid of old habits like sending the same message to a large group of potential clients. Focus on finding the people who are already talking about your message and try to join the conversation. Try to spot the influencers and listen to what they are talking about.

4# Join the conversation and develop your network

The rule is to provide valuable content, bring something new and useful. The objective is to build relationships, create your network. Post comments on blogs and forums, answer questions on Yahoo! and LinkedIn, join groups related to your industry, “like” and comment on Facebook pages related to your business, share interesting links, join Twitter chats, … there are so many ways in which you can interact.

Try to always remember these basic principles:

  • Don’t speak if you have nothing to say
  • Find a voice and stick to it, that is the tone you use to reach your audience
  • Be regular at bringing content (once a day / 3 times a day / 5 times a day)
  • Don’t be a product pusher, leave the commercial aside for a moment. Socialize and become an influercer by bringing relevant and valuable content.

5# Build your company’s social media mix

Now that you are familiar with the different social media and you start to have a little influence in your niche market, it’s time to establish your own media. Choose the platforms that fits you most, or the ones where your audience is and create your presence. It could be a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a YouTube Channel, … or all of the above like in Shared Interest’s example.

If you opt for a variety of media, be sure to cross reference them. That is to set connections between all of them so that it is easy to click from one to the other. Once you are all set with creating your media, attract your network to it. Again, don’t be too pushy, lure them by creating interesting and relevant content.

6# Measure the results and adapt your strategy

This is not a game, remember? It is really important to measure your Return On Investment (ROI) in social media. Make sure you determine your key metrics when you set your objectives. I recommend picking three solid metrics to track (sales, number of new good contacts, new partnerships, brand visibility in major search engines, …). A good aproach is to work with a timeline: create and manage a timeline of every significant activity undertaken in social media by your company. Compare the evolution of your 3 key metrics using the same timeline. Don’t hesitate to adapt and improve your strategy if you don’t see any results. Only experimenting will you understand what works and what doesn’t.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day! Becoming good at social media takes time. Patience is the golden rule. So are you gonna fall for that new puppy?

Manage your online reputation

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

How can people find out about your business? How do potential clients know you even exists? How will these potential new clients find you? There’s a good chance the first thing they’ll do is google the name of your business. And then what?

This post will teach you 5 easy steps to build  and effectively manage your online reputation. After all, reputation is everything. When it comes to marketing, your reputation can either be your best friends or your worst enemy.

1/ Create relevant and valuable content

Use the media you prefer, it could be your website, your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube or LinkedIn. Every piece of content including properly tagged photos and videos will appear in search engines.

Don’t be a product pusher, think about your target audience. They don’t want to be hammered with disguised advertisement, they want to find interesting content about their centers of interests. If your target is a group of European fair trade distributors, try to create material that they could use if they decided to start a partnership with your business. It could be some beautifull pictures of workers doing handicrafts, or a blog about the everyday’s life of the artisans who work with you. Be creative and think about the interests/passions/needs of your target community as opposed to your own.

2/ Create a Google alert about yourself and join the conversation

Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic. To get started go to Google alert, and enter your search terms. I strongly recommand you set up a Google alert for your business, your name, or your competitors. You can even create an alert for any key phrases such as “looking for a fair trade coffee producer” or “fair trade wooden toys”.

Creating an alert to monitor your e-reputation is one thing, responding to polish it is the key. When you find content about yourself written by others, you can either appreciate it or find it unpleasant. In the first case, join the conversation and say thank you. Try to be specific about what you appreciated. In the other case, when you discover embarassing comments or content about your business, take your responsibilities and adress the concerns, dont ignore them. Always remain calm and polite, despite what others might have been said about you.

3/ Watch and listen everywhere

Google isn’t the only place you should look at when searching for information about yourself or your business. For example a lot is being said in the blogger’s community. Customers and distributors post reviews, share their impressions, and express themselves. Take a look at Google Blogsearch to find out what’s been said about you in the bloggosphere.

Conduct some searches in Twitter to receive real-time information.

Try Backtype that lets you track comments left on blogs and forums as well as on social sites. This will let you monitor individuals that expressed their feelings about you or your business.

Use Youtube to do some video search. Youtube is the second most visited website after Google and before Facebook. Search there for videos about you and the competition. Other video search engines include Google’s Video Search, Yahoo’s Video Search, Blinks and Vimeo.

4/ Be nice

I know this can be seen as an evidence, but we often forget this simple rule. Be nice and others will be nice to you. This can translate into many things in your online life. Write kinds comments on other’s blogs, Facebook, Youtube and other social media. Leave a comment with compliments when you read a post that you like. Also try to answer gently to other’s criticisms. Kill with kindness: don’t be too confrontational nor overly sensitive when answering critics.

5/ Build relationships with likeable people

We tend to become the company we keep, right?

That is why you need to find other people in your niche market who have influential blogs or a facebook page with lots of fans and try to get involved. A good way to break the ice with a given community is by bringing some interesting content (an interesting and relevant link for example). First listen, then react to what people are saying.

If you are an expert on a topic let’s say fair trade in Bolivia, then try to find an influential blog or website about fair trade and interact in a way that shows your expertise. You can also try to contact the administrator of the blog or facebook page to propose an article or an interview.

Start digging around. Use Alltop.com, Google Blogsearch and Twitter to start identifying media sources in your niche. Once you have spotted a few people who produce likeable content, start helping them by tweeting about them and sharing their content on Facebook. Leave thoughtful non-promotional comments on their posts. Be helpful as opposed to pushy. This isn’t just about taking. This is about giving value first.

Remember the goal of creating more content about you is to:

  • drive more traffic to your blog / facebook page / website or other social media
  • have more visibility in search engines because they’ll have more material they can index with your name
  • create associations with other trusted people online
  • reach a broader audience with your ideas

Why don’t you take a moment and google yourself or your company. Do you like what you see? What can you do about it? Give me your comments and feedbacks I’d be happy to read them.

3 apps you must have on your facebook page

By | Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing

There are thousands of applications out there and we know it is not easy to choose the right ones. In this post we handpicked the 3 apps that you must have to promote your fair trade business with your facebook page.

1/ Customize your landing tab

It has been demonstrated with an experiment that having a customized landing tab doubles your chances to convert people visiting your page for the first time into fans.

During the experiment, visitors were driven to a fan page with ads. Those ad-driven visitors converted to fans at a rate of approximately 47% WITH a landing tab. Then the landing tab has been turned off and it has been noticed that those same ad-driven visitors converted to fans at approximately 23%

Many people use Static FBML or Tabsite to customize their landing page. A good landing page must contain a “call to action” such as “hit the like button to follow us”. Be creative.

You can read those 2 well-made tutorials to learn more about customized landing tabs.

Here is an example of a good landing page: Oxfam GB

2/ Import your blog’s RSS feed

You want your fans to know when there is something new on your blog. Use the networkedblogs app to do that.

You  can also place the networked blogs widget on your blog it will display your fans’ profile photos on your blog.

3/ Link your YouTube channel to your page

Thanks to this app from Involver, you can integrate your YouTube channel to your page. It will let you choose which videos you want to display among other options. It is easy to use and doesn’t take users away from your fan page to view the videos.

See an example of YouTube integration on a facebook fan page here.