WithIt, WIBN & WaterlooMIN

“I just want to write a quick note to say how amazing it is to work with Julia Rosien!! Her ideas and approach to business are always innovative and fresh and her experience and know-how are unparalleled. Those incredible qualities combined with her boundless energy, focus and drive make her a powerhouse!”
Libby Langdon, Principal of Libby Langdon Interiors

Case studies of connection, community & collaboration

Launching and growing organizations takes an awful lot of innovative thinking, bootstrapping and no small amount of chutzpa. For the organizations I’ve worked with, there’s months of backroom strategizing before the community comes together to pledge allegiance.

WithIt, WIBN and WaterlooMIN are just a few of the organizations SocialNorth has been privileged to serve. Highlighting these three as a group is significant as they’re all member-based organizations that rely heavily on volunteers, member participation and sponsors – WIBN is the only for-profit organization the group.

While each of these organizations serves very different communities, they all harnessed the power of social media to grow membership, amplify their messages and ultimately drive their bottom lines.

WithIt ~ Community

WithIt's powerful womenI have been honored to serve as president of WithIt in 2012 and as their chairman 2013/14. When I joined the organization, social wasn’t a significant part of their communication strategy. As a new member, I began watching for commonalities in struggles between members and sponsors. Each conversation led me toward solutions that social media offered – strengthening a geographically diverse organization struggling to survive in a face-to-face, male-dominated industry.

Non-renewal of new members was one of WithIt’s biggest challenges. While some members attend bi-annual tradeshows in the furniture industry, many never had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with their fellow members. WithIt’s online presence was weak at best, which led to many members feeling disconnected and questioning the value of membership.

To help us better connect members, we launched a social strategy that involved appointing a VP of social media to ensure continuity across the social media channels. Dana Helms, who accepted the three-year position, begin sharing information and connecting members across regions.  We then worked on branding in-person events that were easily translated online. By providing a steady flow of content before, during and after events, even members unable to attend felt part of the energy.

The bottom line result – In 2012 WithIt enjoyed a record number of new members in one year with a marked decrease in non-renewals. For more detailed information, please click over to: WithIt Wrap-Up 2012.

“Julia did an outstanding job of moving WithIt to the next level. She was organized, helpful and a delightful leader for the non-profit.”
Kelly Peterson, Group Advertising Director at Hearst Corporation

WaterlooMIN ~ Connection

The WaterlooMIN (Manufacturing Innovation Network) remains one of SocialNorth’s most intriguing clients because of the magnitude of their organization. The MIN’s story began during the economic crisis of 2009 in an effort to align and support struggling manufacturers in the Waterloo Region.

The network’s mandate was to unite local manufacturers and give them one site to source each other for parts instead of ordering from overseas. As well, the site was intended to serve as a touch-point for investors considering relocation in the region. Lastly, supporters of the networked hoped that manufacturers would use the site as a place to share ideas – a true thought leadership platform.

While the MIN provided a robust, information-rich site, marketers who wanted easy access to manufacturers were the biggest users. The manufacturers clung steadfastly to traditional tactics to find employees, source materials and share ideas.

SocialNorth led the redesign of the site, optimized for SEO and launched (and executed) the social strategy. Because encouraging manufacturers to join the conversation proved trickier than we anticipated, we also launched a YouTube Manufacturing Leadership series as well as a number of face-to-face events to help strengthen the bonds.

The bottom-line result – Through an increased online visibility, sponsorship increased through public, private and government channels. Read more about SocialNorth and our Manufacturing Innovation Case Study.

“We were listed on the WaterlooMIN site but it wasn’t until Julia joined the team that we were able to see the value of using the network. She welcomed our contributions in the form of blogs and videos, supported our social media efforts and helped us connect with companies and individuals who needed our services. Julia brought a fresh approach to manufacturing to the Region and helped many companies understand the true value of online marketing.”
Lisa McDonald, The Sign Depot

WIBN ~ Collaboration

Julia speaking at the Women In Biz NetworkWorking with other female entrepreneurs has always been a passion of mine and I’ve been blessed to call some very inspiring women friends and business partners. Leigh Mitchell, founder and president of WIBN, is smart as whip and packs more than her fair share of business acumen. She’s also incredibly cognizant that business is always personal and built WIBN on a healthy spirit of collaboration. I spoke at Leigh Mitchell’s first annual WIBN conference and when she asked me to join her plan the second event, it was an immediate yes.

The Women in Biz Network provides an astounding amount of value to members both online and with face-to-face events. Leigh engaged SocialNorth to help plan the conference with speaker outreach, content generation and to serve as emcee for the event. Leading up to the conference we also smoothed out WIBN’s social strategy, building an editorial calendar both onsite and in social media. We sculpted the editorial voice to better reflect the growing professional network and worked hand in hand with bloggers who wanted to contribute to the site.

The bottom-line result – The conference, which trended in Canada during the actual event, secured it’s foothold in Canadian marketplace as a profitable, sustainable network. Read how we helped move the needle at Women in Business.

“Julia’s efforts have contributed to significant increases in web site traffic and social media engagement. Julia is an absolute pleasure to work with – extremely customer service focused while providing visionary leadership.”
Leigh Mitchell, President Women in Biz Network

If you’re ready to begin building (or need help nurturing) an online community, we’d love to help. We offer personal attention with real solutions to clients across North America. Let’s start talking about your online marketing strategies and how SocialNorth can help.

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