Timmins, Ontario is experiencing a cultural renaissance. Young entrepreneurs with lofty goals and a high tolerance for risk are spurring a revolution in this mid-sized mining town. The organization that served as the catalyst for this change – Radical Gardens. Radical Gardens (RG) is a multi-faceted company that is comprised of a Certified Organic farm, a LEAF certified farm to table restaurant, and an online market that distributes to the region.
Radical Gardens is an example of a small business start-up that employs social media as the backbone of their organization.The team is very active on social media and has a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. Radical Gardens CEO Brianna Humphrey uses social media to generate community buzz about her organization and uses three main types of metrics in her performance measurement: consumption, sharing, sales.
But first, how does RG even know what to measure? What is their social raison d’être?
Like any successful organization, RG has a series of business goals. They are internal organizational goals and external community goals. They include:
- Increase sales at the restaurant, especially on Saturdays
- Increase conversion rates on the newly re-launched online market
- Increase brand awareness in the community and surrounding region
- Change the way that people in Northeastern Ontario think about food and food production
- Increase customer engagement and create a conversation around important community issues relating to food, wellness, and arts and culture
Measuring these goals requires identifying some Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to measure success rates.
“I monitor our social media sites like a hawk” – Brianna Humphrey, RG Founder and CEO
Radical Key Performance Indicators:
- Sentiment monitoring: Brittany Berger argues that “it’s important to get as much context as possible around online mentions” and that it’s imperative to monitor not only how many times you are mentioned, but if the mention is positive or negative. Radical Gardens reviews hashtag use and tracks the conversations that mention #radicalgardens, #localfood, #timminsfood. This social listening provides a clear idea on popular perceptions of the business. This tactic also allows RG to respond to negativity in a timely fashion. Based on analysis of sentiment, RG has been able to tailor events and/or campaigns that their audience enjoys such as Dinner in White, and Bacon Fest (two local food events). As well, they’ve been able to replicate products that their key markets appreciate such as the Radical Gardens Shawarma.
- Monitoring URL and Click through rates: Radical Gardens website (currently undergoing renovations) works in conjunction with Google Analytics. The RG team regularly explores which social media sites their website traffic is coming from and can track click-through rates. Monitoring click through rates enables the RG team to evaluate which social media campaigns are yielding the most ROI.
- Analysis of Reach and Social Engagement: RG uses the built-in metrics for Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest. The information gained from these tools has provided the team with insights that have allowed them to maximize their social traffic. Demographic data, usage patterns, likes, shares, re-tweets, and other engagement data are used not only to establish optimal content but, as KPI’s to measure success.
Radical Gardens started off as a small-scale farm and quickly evolved into a thriving farm to table restaurant, an online market, and a fully functional farm that includes a 16 person CSA. RG doesn’t advertise on traditional media, but focuses soley on promoting their brand via social media. Their wacky, colorful, and mouth watering campaigns generate buzz in the community and drive traffic to their restaurant and online market. Brianna gets her company in front of the right eyeballs because of her carefully crafted approach to social media metric analysis. Her vigilance in tracking her social ROI, and consistently utilizing a variety of techniques to analyze both qualitative and quantitative data are what makes her company so successful on social media. That, and she serves up a mean shawarma!