Media

4 Social Media Tips To Help Build Your Brand & Increase Revenue

As Seen in VendingMarketWatch.com’s – Micro Market News Update

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News travels fast and nowadays with the rise of social media, it travels even faster! What started as a platform to meet new people and stay connected with friends has now transformed into one of the largest marketing tools on the planet! Social Media isn’t just for sharing photos of your kids and pets or to complain about politics and current events. Social Media offers another way to connect with your customers, to build your brand and to recruit new talent, yet so many companies are still hesitant on using it or truly understanding its full potential. If you haven’t set up your company page yet, now is the time to do so and here are a few tips to help you succeed.

1. Strategy

Social Media Strategy-01You wouldn’t go into a sales meeting without a strategy would you? The same goes for your social channels.

• Determine who will be managing and monitoring your pages.

• Who is your target audience you want to reach?

• What platforms do you want to use? – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc.

• Establish goals for each social channel. Is it to grow your audience? Recruit new talent? Push out the latest news? Showcase your industry expertise? Push out promotions?

Jen Tonio, Marketing Manager for 365 Retail Markets says that she like to use Facebook to showcase 365’s culture and give a good behind-the-scenes look into what it’s like at 365. However, she doesn’t limit their posts to just culture.

“We also push out relevant company and industry news to keep our followers engaged and showcase our industry expertise.”

2. Consistency is Key

How often should you post?

As part of your strategy, you should determine the amount of times you plan to post to each channel. Believe it or not it really does matter.

Calendar SchedulePosting too often can lead to a loss of followers because it begins to feel like spam and not posting enough leads to a drop in engagement and followers begin to feel that your page doesn’t provide enough value for them to continue following you. Treat your social channels the same as any relationship you have, you don’t want to smother them but you don’t want to ignore them either. Find that happy medium.

“I like to keep Facebook posts to a minimum since most people tend to use Facebook as more of a personal channel,” Jen says. “I find it’s best to keep it at

3-4 times a week and only on rare occasions do we post multiple times in one day. Twitter is the opposite. I don’t like to set a limit to our Twitter posts especially during events. A Twitter post carries it’s strongest value in the first 15 minutes it is posted after that it get buried.” She recommends setting a goal of at least 3-4 posts a week.

3. Content is King

Blogging-01Don’t post just to post something. Content Marketing is all the rage and readers appreciate valuable content that they can benefit from. Refer back to your strategy and what the purpose is for each channel. A best practice is to create a content calendar and plan out the topics you want to post about for every month.

So, what should you post about?

Tips and answers to questions your customers may have, Event info, company news, company culture stories and etc. Utilize your blog by writing articles and stories to provide more content you can link to from your social posts.

“We plan out about 6 months worth of topics at a time and then create articles and blog posts around those topics,” Jen says. “We then push out the content through all of our social channels. We do not limit ourselves to these topics we also push out a variety of other content regarding our event presence, company culture and more.”

 

 

Posts with photos and videos receive more engagement than a post with just text. Want to grab someone’s attention? Post a photo. Have a lot to say but your not sure how to write an article or blog post about it? Record a video. It’s really simple and one of the golden rules we live by when posting to social media.

Social Media_VideoEvery social post we do on Facebook we include a photo,” says Jen, “If we are posting a link we make sure that a photo is included. If it isn’t then we upload our own.  For Twitter photos and videos are not mandatory for every post but we make sure to include them as often as possible.”

Follow us on our pages to see best practices in action.

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn  | Instagram

 

[VIDEO] Why is social media essential for your business? Watch the video below!

Also featured in this month’s newsletter…

3 Ways Social Media Can Bolster Revenue

As of last October 65 percent of adults in the U.S. use social networking sites, according to the Pew Research Center. With nearly two-thirds of American adults visiting social media websites, it seems like a natural place for businesses to reach their customers. However, that’s not always the case. In fact, a survey done earlier this year by Automatic Merchandiser magazine found that nearly half (45 percent) of vending and micro market operators surveyed did not use social media tools in their business…read the full article.

 

May iCASH Winners and Anniversaries

May_ICash_winners

April’s iCASH Winners, Chris, Robert, Joshua, Nicole and Mary have passed the mugs on to…

Innovation:  Laraine Peterson has demonstrated her great knowledge in our software system. And she is always the reliable one to work with.

Collaboration: Chad Young has been very collaborative during the PA-DSS project, QSA onsite visit and assisting in security questionnaires/ phone calls.

Accountability: Matthew Hudas is the guy! I know that if he gets a phone call he will see it through to the resolution, even if that means calling me after hours. He doesn’t take no for an answer and won’t take a yes unless he understands why. His success is a reflection of how accountable he truly is.

Service: Ken Sansom is great with customers and has a great, positive attitude, which is the key to great service!

Happiness: Roney Louka always passes by with a smile and says, “hi!”

May Anniversaries

May Anniversaries Group

From right to left: Kenneth Sansom, Vita Olynyk, Ryan Forster

Jaymz Clancy, Garry Oborn, David Price, Rebecca Sibole

Jaymz Clancy, Garry Oborn, David Price, Rebecca Sibole

1 Year

Ryan Forster

Garry Oborn

Vita Olynyk

Ken Sansom

2 Year

Jaymz Clancy

David Price

Rebecca Sibole

 

The Sweet Side Of Capitol Hill: A Day With MDVA

If you’re part of a small business, you’re likely aware that legislature can greatly influence the way you operate. The good news is that, as it turns out, small business can influence legislature right back.

The 365 team took Lansing by storm! MDVA Day at the Capitol 2016

The 365 team took Lansing by storm! Thanks to Eric Dell of NAMA for this snapshot (5/18/16). From left: Samantha Malott, Laura Robinson, Stefano Ferri, Chris Andrick & John Veit.

Just a few weeks ago, 365 Retail Markets was trekking up to Lansing for a little political influence of our own. We were making our way to join the Michigan Distributors & Vendors Association Day at the Capitol. MDVA is our industry’s state advocacy organization, working on our behalf to influence tax and regulatory legislature. 365 Sales Director, John Veit explains it well: “MDVA is an important and influential organization that represents small to large vending and food service operators and complimentary partners in the food and hospitality industry to our elected representatives and lawmakers, to ensure that we have a voice in Michigan.”

 

How do they accomplish this, you ask? They’ve got some tricks up their sleeve…

Okay not tricks, but techniques. MDVA Day at the Capitol is an annual event, where candy boxes are used to lure state representatives and senators to a networking luncheon with association members. With a group comprised entirely of food distributors and vendors, you know those boxes are chock-full of great treats!

It wasn’t all candy and handshakes though. Prior to hand-delivering luncheon invitations, our group was briefed on priority issues and bills in process that could impact our businesses. The hot topic of the day was MDVA’s support of SB 774, Senator Joe Hune’s bill to centralize the licensing and inspection of food and coffee vending machines under the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD). Presently, this is managed by the 45 local public health departments across the state, making cost and regulation inconsistent and difficult to follow. Passing this bill would provide a coherent, statewide licensing and inspection program, saving the industry thousands of dollars. In a trade primarily assembled of small businesses, it’s understandable how such legislature attracted substantial involvement. Senate Bill 774 is currently still in process, but MDVA has an impressive track record of legislative successes.

So, what should you take away from this?

Your small (or not-so-small) company can have an impact too!

Advocacy organizations such as MDVA exist to represent a broad spectrum of industries and political views, providing a mouthpiece for citizens affected by governmental action (aka all of us!).

 

 

MicroMarket Grand Openings – It’s a Party!

As Seen in VendingMarketWatch.com’s – Micro Market News Update

Congratulations! You are installing your first MicroMarket location. You made the leap to add MicroMarkets to you product offerings and presented a compelling case to your customers as to why they need MicroMarkets in their office. But your job isn’t done. Being a successful MicroMarket Operator goes beyond installing the kiosk and setting up the market – it’s not just one and done.

Pre-Opening/Soft Opening

Ask your future customers to complete a brief survey to gather demographic information, shopping preferences to get a “lay of the land.” Encourage informal tours of the market before the launch and then prepare for a Soft Opening. This is the dress rehearsal for the Grand Opening. Invite a small group into the market to test the product.

  • Does the flow of your market make sense?
  • Is your signage effective or confusing?
  • Is the system functioning properly?

These are all things to take note of and address BEFORE the Grand Opening to limit day-of mishaps. Added bonus: The word-of-mouth publicity you’ll get if the customers are impressed.

Grand Opening

Your Grand Opening is your official introduction to the site location’s customers and you want to make a great first impression that you can carry on throughout the relationship.

Here’s how you plan an awesome Grand Opening!

Make it a BIG deal! 

  • Excite your future customers with signs announcing the new market. Be sure to include prudent information such as the opening date and time. Then on the day of the opening, hold a ribbon cutting ceremony. Their breakroom has gotten a makeover, making it an entirely new experience for them. Play that up!

Promotions 

  • Run a BOGO special, discount items or hold a raffle for those who create their market accounts on the first day. One of the best things you can do when introducing people to a new product or concept is to give them a deal. Aren’t you more willing to try something new if you know it won’t cost a lot?

Product Tastings 

  • Hosting a tasting contributes to the festive atmosphere and introduces your customers to great products that they may not have tried on their own. Plus, people love free food!

A few things to remember:

  • Be sure to have at least one member of your staff present during the Grand Opening. This is not a time to be distant from your customers. Having a staff member there ensures that there is a knowledgeable person on-hand to help customers set up their account, properly explain what MicroMarkets are, etc.
  • Signage is very important! Everyone will not be able to make it to the Grand Opening. Consider placing wing cards on the kiosks detailing how to set up their market account and how to fund their account. Be sure to include your customer support information.

Now that you’ve successfully launched the market, remember that MicroMarkets are not a sprint – you have to be in it for the long haul. Plan promotions and events around holidays or major sporting events. Super Bowl party anyone? Also, quarterly customer satisfaction surveys will let your customers know that you are invested in their needs.

 

What is the formula for long-term MicroMarket success? Watch the video below!

Also featured in this month’s newsletter…

Fostering a Micro Market Partnership

When you’re opening your first few micro markets, it’s an easier task to give a lot of attention to each individual one. You can ensure that the customer is satisfied with the service and products being offered. You can spend more time reviewing what customers are buying and when…read the full article.

365 CEO Recognized as a Champion of the New Economy

2016 Champion of the New Economy

In case you missed the BIG news…

365 CEO, Joe Hessling has been recognized as a 2016 Champion of the New Economy by the Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan, in partnership with DBusiness Magazine and News/Talk 760 WJR. According to DBusiness Magazine, The Champions of the New Economy program’s goal is, “to inspire growth in our region” and recognize, “business leaders in metro Detroit who are committed to moving our economy forward.”

Joe was one of six business leaders selected this year.

Be sure to grab a copy of the May/June 2016 edition of DBusiness and find out how Joe combined his knowledge of the foodservice industry with his entrepreneurial spirit to build a company that is the global leader in its industry!

“One of the blessings of my life was to be exposed to people that really had an amazing work ethic, which is what Detroit is all about,” Joe says.

This year’s Champions will be recognized during the Champions Event on May 11th.

 

Master MicroMarkets with NAMA’s New Manual and Training Seminar

As Seen in VendingMarketWatch.com Micro Market News Update

365 MicroMarketsIn conjunction with the upcoming Vistar Phoenix tradeshow on May 11th at the Crown Plaza Hotel, NAMA is hosting a half-day learning program that will train Operators on how to master MicroMarkets. This program is tied in with the release of NAMA’s MicroMarket training manual entitled, Mastering Micro Markets: An Operations Manual for Increasing Profitability in Micro Markets. Written by Michael L. Kasavana, Ph.D., NCE5 NAMA Endowed Professor Emeritus, Jerry McVety, President of McVety and Associates, Emily L. Kasavana, MBA of K-Team, Inc., Mastering Micro Markets addresses the needs of Vending Operators breaking into the vastly different world of MicroMarkets.

Purchase Mastering Micro Markets

“There was a clear industry need for a better understanding of the differences between Vending and MicroMarket operations as well as the need to explain the MicroMarket business concept as a standalone entity,” said Dr. Kasavana, “Since a significant portion of NAMA members are involved in both of these refreshment service channels the management, control, and functionality of the MicroMarket retail merchandising platform warranted explanation.”

Industry leaders such as, 365 Retail Markets, Brad Bachtelle and Associates, Five Star Food Service, LightSpeed Automation and others add real-world insights to the publication. The manual covers a wide variety of topics, many of which expand upon topics we’ve covered on our blog.

“The book has several chapters that outline successful approaches to MicroMarket profitability,” said Dr. Kasavana, “The rapid growth of MicroMarkets brought operators into the channel that were either unprepared or unaware of the major operational differences in the management, pricing, product assortment, service quality, product promotions, security systems, digital signage, and payment systems to name a few areas of concentration.”

Mastering Micro Markets answers the question: Why MicroMarkets? And is perfect for all experience levels; it introduces new MicroMarket Operators to the industry and instructs current Operators on how to increase sales.

The Master Micro Markets Seminar during the Vistar Phoenix show will feature guest speakers that will cover the topics mentioned in the book. 365’s very own Marketing Manager, Jen Tonio and Training Specialist, Jim Versical are among the speakers. They will be leading seminars on marketing best practices as well as payment technologies and data analytics. The program is sure to be an enlightening experience for anyone looking to be a successful MicroMarket Operator and a perfect complement to the manual.

“There is probably nothing that has positively impacted the refreshment services channel more than the micro-market. It is a platform that meets the convenience needs of consumers while offering a wide variety of quality products, including fresh food items.”

– Mastering Micro Markets

Mastering Micro Markets: An Operations Manual for Increasing Profitability in Micro Markets is already available for purchase.

Price: NAMA Member Price: $195.00; Non-Member Price: $295.00

Purchase Master Micro Markets

Register for the Seminar

Are you still wondering why MicroMarkets are so great?

Watch this fun video and find out why we love our MicroMarket!

Also featured in this month’s newsletter…

How To Sell Micro Markets To Your Customer

April iCASH Winners and Anniversaries

April ICash_winners

March’s iCASH Winners, Ron, Richard, Garry, Lou and Rita have passed the mugs on to…

Innovation: Chris Cui is an obvious choice for the Innovation mug. In a short time, he was not only able to digest our projects easily, but he was also able to offer creative, innovative solutions for many perplexing objectives.

Collaboration: Robert Hering deserves the “C” mug for working with the QA team on the PA-DSS certification.

Accountability: Joshua Thomas’ work rate is top not, and he is always “accountable” for making sure the customers receive the best experience possible supporting the AirVend product.

Service: Nicole Rademaker does a lot of work for the Logistics group with no complaints and it is very appreciated!

Happiness: Mary Schuster is always smiling and cheerful. You’re someone’s reason to smile. You are making a difference Mary!

 

April Anniversaries

April Anniversaries

1 Year

Chad Hall

Matt Hammel

6 Years

Laraine Peterson

March iCASH Winners and Anniversaries

MarchICash_winners

 

February’s iCASH winners Aung, Jeff, Brittany, Madalyn and Brett have passed the mugs on to…

Innovation: Ron Nielson is open-minded and willing to learn new concepts. He’s a good coworker to work with and is reliable.

Collaboration: Richard Schulz has demonstrated that he is willing to take the initiative to engage those with whom he works and to balance diverse needs and opinions in order to formulate well-rounded approaches to improve the quality of software developed at 365 Retail Markets.

Accountability: Garry Oborn has been a great assistance with anything and everything AirVend. He quickly resolves issues and makes them his priority. Thank you for all your help!

Service: Lou Frontero has been a big help with regards to coordinating deliverables for MEET and NAMA. He’s always available to answer our questions or track down a rogue table cloth.  

Happiness: Rita Blaty is always a joy every day she works.  She has a smile on her face, even when she has technical issues.

March Anniversaries

Jeff Horstman, Chad Young, Jeff Pierson, Roney Louka

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March Anniversaries2

Brent Mouritsen, James Versical, Peter Bostwick, Aung Oo

 

1 Year

Roney Louka

Jeffrey Pierson

Brent Mouritsen

2 Years

Jeffrey Horstman

4 Years

Chad Young

James Versical

12 Years

Peter Bostwick 

13 Years

Aung Oo 

 

 

Learn About Theft Prevention During the NAMA OneShow

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Our very own Automatic Merchandiser Pro to Know recipient, Ryan McWhirter will be showcasing new 365 Loss Prevention technology and sharing details about how you can start reducing theft during his must-see NAMA Learning Lab


Thursday, April 14th from 3:30 – 4:00 p.m.

New Technology Is Taking On The Theft Threat

 

Read the full description

MicroMarkets can more than double your sales, yet theft is always a lingering concern. The threat of theft (or “shrink”) currently hovers at 2-5%, still greatly outweighed by the benefits of operating a MicroMarket. But what if that risk could be reduced even further? We will discuss the technological solutions developed by 365 Retail Markets to pinpoint and diminish opportunities for shrink. In addition to our existing comprehensive security features, 365 has recently devised the insightful Cancel Report feature! Join this Learning Lab to hear more about how 365 Retail Markets is creating new techniques for protecting our customers.