We work with small businesses and community organizations from a wide variety of industries to help them build and grow their online communities in a customized and client-focused way.
Who we work with
Our clients span many industries and business categories. Our love of research, and the foundation of experience we have in a variety of industries, is just one of the reasons clients continue to trust us with their business.
Sports & Fitness
Real Estate & Mortgage Finance
Dance & Performing Arts
Plumbing & HVAC
Churches & Community Organizations
Education & Support Services
Residential & Commercial Construction
Whether it’s the development of a Social Media Marketing Strategy, or Full Management of paid campaigns and organic social calendars, our results speak for themselves.
Music Production Company
Shifting Audiences and Boosting Engagement
Canada’s largest producer of music tribute shows needed help building an online presence from the ground up to connect with their older demographic and start appealing to younger people. The Social Gourmet delivered with the full package: strategy, content, graphic design, community management, paid ads and more. During our work, we soon discovered that the production company had a much younger demographic than they thought. By accurately determining their customer’s demographic information, our team customized their social strategy accordingly. This contributed to the Facebook page experiencing an average monthly engagement of 5,163 with a top monthly engagement of 17,000! Read on to find out how we achieved these amazing results.
With a 30-year history in Canada, this large production company focused on running major music tribute shows in small towns from the Maritimes to British Columbia. This company had historically relied on print marketing to connect with their audience and promote shows for tributes to musical greats like Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton, and the Bee Gees. To book tickets, customers would have to call their local theatre.
While they were successful with print, in 2017 the company realized that they needed to build an online presence and offer more digitally savvy solutions for marketing and booking tickets. They knew that with social media they could maintain and grow their audience, but they didn’t have any knowledge about how to create or manage social media accounts or advertise online with paid ads. So, they reached out to The Social Gourmet to develop and execute a plan, and then fully manage the new online community for them.
The Social Gourmet provided a range of services to help the client build their online presence from scratch. This included:
- Creating a Facebook Business Page
- Building a Facebook presence using organic strategies
- Graphic design support
- Full community management
- Creating and running paid social media advertising for each event
- Creation of all written content and ads
We combined several strategies, from organic content to paid ads, to ensure our client achieved strong results. Over time, we built this production company a thriving online community that was extremely engaged. We started with five posts per week, but with the sheer volume of shows we amped up our efforts to eight posts per week. With our strategy we achieved great results. From late 2017 to mid-2020, through organic and paid strategies we saw:
- Average monthly reach of 59,000, and maximum of 171,400
- Average monthly impressions of 67,700 and maximum of 161,200
- Average monthly engagements of 5,163 and maximum of 17,000
Sometimes it’s the unexpected results that yield the most value for our clients. The company had believed that their audience was 65+. This demographic is active online, particularly on Facebook, which is why we focused our efforts on this channel. However, we soon realized that there was also a large portion of their audience that was much younger –closer to the 45-55 age range.
To capitalize on this realization, we switched up the strategy. Shows that appealed to this younger demographic needed to be marketed differently, using different language and unique calls to action. Younger boomers and Gen-X’ers also expected to book their tickets differently; online and through a link instead of calling a theatre. We showed the company how to connect with this younger audience, and therefore have a brighter future as a business.
Managing A Seasonal Business
Community management for a seasonal business is challenging for any company. Just when you get busy, your social media heats up and demands more and more of your time. This was especially true for this production company, which would see a surge in activity online as early spring arrived and events ramped up. The Social Gourmet’s social media community management services allowed staff at this production company to focus on keeping their events running. We answered all customer questions and comments. At the peak of the season, our team fielded 5,000 or more questions, inquiries, and comments per month. We learned the ins and outs of their business so we could provide valuable, substantive answers to the community. This freed up production company staff to focus on their jobs.
Graphic Design Collaboration
Collaborative graphic design was another great facet of this project. We coordinated branding, graphics, royalty-free images, and photographs of events. The client’s own graphic designer created assets for their print marketing campaign and provided photographs of the musicians. In order to keep advertisements and pages attractive, you can’t just place those print images online. So, we adjusted the graphics for online use and also created new graphics when needed.
Over time, we continued to adjust our strategy based on real results to be sure that this community continued to grow. We forged a long-term association between the company and the great experiences that their customers had. In the end, we brought this company from absolutely no online presence to having 3,000 online followers in an active, engaged community. The sheer volume of comments and questions in this community demonstrates just how powerful it is to share memories about music and the exciting events that this company puts on. The audience used this page as a place to connect with each other, share memories, and express excitement and anticipation over the shows. They also shared their own photos of events across Canada! From engagement to the size of the community, The Social Gourmet’s social media services became integral to this company’s success.
Performing Arts Studio
Training for Social Success
Rising Star Performing Arts is a dance and performing arts academy that built a strong reputation over the 30 years they served their community. In 2018 they realized that to compete with new studios in the area they needed a better social media strategy. The Social Gourmet stepped in with comprehensive training, a thorough strategy, and the organizational tools that Rising Star’s team needed be more successful online (while spending less time on social media and more time in studio with students).
In six weeks, the dance studio was ready to go it alone, with the knowledge, strategy, and tools they needed to better their online marketing. What’s most important, though, is that they had the confidence to see their strategy through.
Rising Star Performing Arts opened in Waterdown, Ontario in 1987. Over time, the studio built a reputation for quality instruction and for having an amazing studio. In recent years, as the town grew, new dance studios opened up and began aggressive marketing campaigns. Rising Star Performing Arts began to compete with the new studios on social media but weren’t confident in their strategy and ended up spending too much time on ineffective daily social media efforts.
In fact, the owner, her daughter, and almost every teacher were involved in the studio’s social media. The result was an uncoordinated and time-consuming campaign with little focus or consistency. The studio took a step back and brought in The Social Gourmet to help them put a strategy in place, with the goal of having the studio run their own social media after four to six weeks of training. It was a natural choice, as Peggy Harnock, owner of The Social Gourmet, was previously a student of Rising Star Performing Arts and at one time, owned her own dance studio. As a result, Peggy knows this industry inside and out.
The Social Gourmet began with a Discovery Session, which closely examined all of the aspects of the studio’s current strategy. Next, a social media audit was conducted to discover what the studio was doing well, what they could improve on, and potential aspects of social media marketing that they were missing out on. After all, having a strategy informed by past results is the best way to move forward.
During the review, The Social Gourmet also took the time to develop a richer understanding of the studio’s goals for their social media outreach and their customer’s needs. During the team’s research we discovered:
• Optimal post times to engage with their audience on Facebook and Instagram
• A few dozen industry-related and location-specific hashtags for the posts
• Key value propositions such as the reputation and history of the studio
• Many other insights into audience likes and behaviour
Once the audit was completed, The Social Gourmet provided a strategic plan and on-site training to help the studio members learn how to execute the strategy by themselves and keep it going well into the future.
An Organized Social Strategy
During the social media audit process, it became clear that the people working at the studio had great ideas, but there were just too many people with admin privileges who were posting. Every time a dancer had a success, or a cute moment happened, a post was created and published immediately. They needed to organize the process so that their strategy and schedule could be more consistent and targeted.
The Social Gourmet suggested that the studio appoint two admis. The other staff would send their ideas and pictures to the admins, who could work the great ideas into a monthly content calendar, and then post them according to a schedule. We provided many tools designed to help the studio’s new social media admins stay organized and on-track. These included templated social calendars, spreadsheets, scheduling tools and time management tools. The studio’s staff embraced these resources and were more structured about how they planned their posts.
Taking the time to plan was important, so we encouraged the admins to establish a ritual. Every Friday they sat down to plan the next week’s specifics and the general strategy for the upcoming month. Every Sunday they scheduled posts for the upcoming week, so the posts were ready to execute without needing constant attention. Instead of thinking about social every day, they thought about it for a few hours a week, which saved time and achieved better results.
Making Use of In-House Resources
During the audit process, The Social Gourmet was reminded that this studio had an in-house photographer whose photos would dramatically improve the visual quality and overall engagement of their social media posts. The problem was that there was just so much photographic content available for them to choose from! During the on-site training, we taught the admins how they could better organize the photography, so it was easier to make the best choices to implement their photos.
Other Results: Confidence and Long-term Success
After the six-week period, the management team at Rising Star Performing Arts felt more confident about their social media strategy and were ready to handle it on their own. Implementing the strategy, knowledge and tools provided by The Social Gourmet resulted in an immediate uptick in social media engagement, allowing the studio to remain competitive amongst new studios in the area. But the long-term benefits were all about their confidence and ability to handle a social media strategy themselves, knowing they could reach back out to us if they ever need help.
“Thanks to Peggy, we have a clear vision for our business and a social media plan that will allow us to have a variety of information geared towards our present and future clients.”
Business Advocacy Group
Using Social to Grow an Organization Organically
In 2017, a small-town Chamber of Commerce realized that social media could be the right tool for them to meet several of their goals, including promoting their organization to younger business professionals, better cross-promotion of member businesses, and building a stronger online following.
However, as sometimes happens with such organizations, they were locked out of their Facebook Business Manager account. They called The Social Gourmet to solve this problem, build a social media strategy and professionally manage their social channel. Starting with a fresh perspective and strategy, The Social Gourmet helped this Chamber grow their organization and consistently reach 5,000 people per month.
Although well-established, this small-town Chamber knew that to continue to be successful they needed to attract a younger demographic. They also wanted to boost attendance at their events, help promote their member businesses to the community, increase membership, and more. The Chamber had a long list of internal goals but were uncertain how their social media fit in. Further, they had multiple stakeholders and making decisions was slow, which could stop them from capitalizing on social media trends. What’s more, none of the Chamber’s team members had the social-media savvy or the time to handle the organization’s Facebook account.
The Social Gourmet developed a brand-new strategy and built an ongoing social media calendar for the Chamber. Our team also completely managed the implementation of that strategy. We began with five posts per week, however quickly realized that more posts were needed to help the Chamber meet their goals and soon suggested doubling that number.
In order to support this new social media strategy, The Social Gourmet:
- Helped the Chamber regain access to their Facebook Business Manager account
- Cleaned up logos and executed other online branding improvements
- Designed and updated cover images
- Created graphics for posts about various Chamber events
- Implemented an application process for members who wanted to be promoted
- Took on all community management, including responding to questions and inquiries.
Growing Their Member Base
This new social media strategy and management helped the Chamber reach newer businesses in the area. During the time we managed their page, their growth far exceeded their initial expectations. They saw significant growth in their followers and in the number of members who attended their events, because people knew about the events through Facebook. With a younger and more engaged member base the Chamber was set up for future success. Here’s how we did it:
One of the Chamber’s biggest social media goals was to promote their member businesses. However, with several hundred members, that was a challenge. How could they highlight each member fairly? To make things more equitable The Social Gourmet assisted in developing an application process for posts on their Facebook page. This process required members to give enough notice, inform the Board of what they wanted to promote, and supply all the files they’d like to include. Once these requirements were met, a post was scheduled, and the member received confirmation of when their post would go live. By putting the onus on the members to apply for a promotional spot on the Facebook page, the Chamber had a more equitable, streamlined system in place to consistently promote members.
With ten posts a week, the Chamber was able to achieve two goals: promote their own events and help advertise their members. Now, they were providing a social media marketing service to their members, adding to the value of a Chamber membership, all without having any social media knowledge themselves.
The results of this strategy were overwhelmingly positive in several ways. The Chamber far exceeded initial growth expectations in new memberships and in social media engagement, and consistently achieved reach of 5,000 people per month. This growing community was also engaged in-person, with more people attending Chamber events, which added networking value to their members. With The Social Gourmet’s consistent, strategic and organized management of their Facebook page, the Chamber was able to meet their internal goals while revitalizing their community, which gave them a brighter future to look forward to.
It was a pleasure to work with Peggy and The Social Gourmet. They were a trusted partner for Creative Campbellville in creating and executing our social media strategy for several years. In every interaction Peggy was extremely professional, organized and creative. From contracts to invoicing, Peggy’s processes were customer-focused, and she was always respectful of my time.”
– Kimberley Fowler, Creative Campbellville
Peggy is knowledgeable, passionate, and a pleasure to work with. She is communicative, thoughtful and continuously brings integrity to her work. Her passion grew The Social Gourmet into a pillar of the community. I would highly recommend working with Peggy.”
– Katherine Yager, Pilot Solutions
“In just the first week of implementing the plan The Social Gourmet created for me, I saw my traffic grow. Very professional, knowledgeable, and available to answer any questions and offer up suppert and guidance.”
– Jeannie Skeggs, Include Me Developmental Services
“It’s a given that Peggy brings knowledge, expertise and experience to the social media marketing world; however, I believe her biggest selling points are her passion for creating community, supporting small business, and a genuine desire to help individuals and companies do and be their best.”
– Amy Mac Writes
“Peggy is a highly focused and disciplined leader who exudes excellence and professionalism in all her work. I have benefited greatly from her counsel and expertise.”
– Sean Reid, Arrowhead Coaching & Facilitation Solutions
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Located in Grimsby, Ontario. Servicing clients across Canada