Tag Archives: social media


Conscious Capitalism: Finding Your Higher Purpose

A special thank you to Tim Tucker, co-owner of Express Employment Professionals (www.expressbloomington.com) for the great following submission!

For some time now, businesses have been gaining a bad reputation. Ideas like capitalism, profits, wealth, and entrepreneurship once inspired and garnered praise, but now they are increasingly being vilified. There are many reasons for this, some justified and some not, and the reality is that some blame lies on both sides of this argument. But, as business owners, it is within your power to help change this image and show that at least your business has a conscience.

In the recently released book “Conscious Capitalism,” authors John Mackey of Whole Foods Market and professor Raj Sisodia “argue for the inherent good of both business and capitalism.” They propose that “entrepreneurs are the true heroes in a free-enterprise economy, driving progress in companies, society and the world.” To support this, they present four specific principles that companies should follow to not only communicate this reality to the world, but also grow their organization. The first principle to consider is to find your higher purpose.

Make a Difference:
Forbes defined the process of finding your company’s higher purpose as uncovering the difference it is trying to make in the world. This is something the most profitable and highest esteemed companies have in common – they all know their purpose. Disney exists to use our imaginations to bring happiness to millions. 3M is in the business of improving every company, every home, every life. The American Red Cross is daily enabling Americans to perform extraordinary acts in the face of emergencies. Do you know what your business purpose is?

Create Value:
Mackey and Sisodia believe that “business has a much broader positive impact on the world when it is based on a higher purpose that goes beyond generating profits and creating shareholder value.” Psychology has shown that it’s vital for individuals to find purpose and meaning in their lives. And it’s just as important to the business itself. Finding a higher purpose for your organization is all about creating value, an idea that is all too often confined to just marketing or advertising. Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, explains their stores “are our canvas upon which we can paint our deeper purpose of bringing whole foods and greater health to the world.”

Discover Your Business’ Purpose:
Defining the value that your company brings to the world is a step that some owners naturally do during the strategic planning part of the start-up process, but sometimes that purpose can get lost. For other business owners, this is something they never even consider. But it’s not too late. You can uncover your company’s ultimate purpose by asking and honestly answering some questions:

• “Why do we exist?”
• “Why do we need to exist?”
• “Why is the world better because we’re here?”
• “Would we be missed if we ceased to exist?”
• “What core values animate the enterprise and unite all of our stakeholders?”iStock_000011979035XSmall

As you uncover your business’ purpose, it’s important that you don’t negate growing your company or being profitable. Mackey and Sisodia believe that profitability is best achieved by not making it the primary goal of the business. After all, you can’t fulfill your higher purpose of fueling growth and progress within your community if you don’t generate profits. As a business owner, you have the unique opportunity to run an organization that serves a higher purpose and to change peoples’ lives for the better, which will ultimately prove that businesses have a conscience, too.


Proactive Crisis Management

You find out that a video has been uploaded to YouTube that refutes your product. What do you do next? Where do you start?

No matter how much effort you put into increasing your brand perception, incidents may occur that challenge your business’s product or service.

An example of such a media crisis occurred in 2004, when a BIC Pen brought the company, Kryptonite Locks, to its knees. A video of a BIC Pen breaking a Kryptonite lock went viral after its update to the site YouTube.  Kryptonite Locks didn’t respond publicly on social media networks until a week after the original YouTube post was published. A week equals eternity on social media. Thus, it isn’t surprising that critcis bombarded the company. Kryptonite Locks could’ve lessened the blow of the incident if it had a social media disaster plan in place, and acknowledged the situation sooner.

Nowadays, social media allows issues to become viral. So why wait until after a crisis occurs to take action?

Think proactively and plan for a crisis before the incident occurs.

The first step of instituting a disaster plan is ongoing monitoring and tracking of the sentiments of customers and stakeholders. Listening long before a situation escalates may help avert the crisis from even staring or spiraling out of control. If Kryptonite Locks monitored its social media network, the company could’ve acknowledged the negative sentiment and decreased the media attention.

Possible software and tools a business may want to utilize to monitore its social media platforms are: Klout, Peer Index, Alltop, Ad Age Power150, and Twitalyzer

Additionally, institute strategies for different channels that may cause the crisis. Anticipate situations that may occur, and know where the occurrence is covered in the company policy. Actions cause reactions, which in turn cause another action. Therefore, you must have a system in place to keep actions and reactions positive and moving toward a resolution.

When making a social media crisis plan:

  1. List all of the brand’s communication channels
  2. Pre-craft unique messages for each channel
  3. Then decide what messages are appropriate for certain situations and what channels would be better to use

Although planning for all possibilities may be taxing, it will prove worthwhile in the end. 

Adapted from “Social media and public relations: Eight new practices for the professional” by D Breakenridge


Social Media Do’s and Don’ts

As the 2012 Presidential election has come to an end, I find myself intrigued by the extent of social media both candidates churned out during their presidential campaigns.  ABC News stated that the 2012 Election, as a whole, was one of the most shared and commented-on events in social media history.

Via Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, both campaigns attempted to build personal relationships with voters to gain their support.  However, even a slight mistake on social media, and it might have not been easy for either candidate to make amends with their supporters.  Does that mean then that all businesses should stray away from social media due to the risks associated? NO! Social media is a great research tool and monitoring platform for businesses to utilize.

Whether you are just starting or already use social media these Do’s and Don’ts will help your business bypass common mistakes and effectively employ social media.


  1. Implement a plan before you start.
  2. Build a strong network and engage regularly with your network.
  3. Keep your messages relative to your business.
  4. Employ social networks that are relevant to your public.
  5. Respond to input quickly to show that their feedback is important.
  6. Identify negative comments and respond in a professional manner.
  7. Use hash-tags to focus your message to a certain target.
  8. Include visual content.
  9. Use monitoring tools to track your businesses’s buzz.


  1. Overuse the same responses.
  2. Bash competitors.
  3. Share political opinions.
  4. Use more than two hash-tags in a comment or tweet.
  5. Engage in social media if the benefit isn’t worth the cost.
  6. Rely on one application.
  7. Continually sell your product or service.
  8. Use generic marketing techniques.
  9. Forget to thank people when they promote your business on social media.

Adapted from, “Social Media Etiquette: 15 do’s and don’ts” by socialmediatoday.

New Year’s Resolutions in a Digital World

With the new year come New Year’s resolutions. People tell themselves that this will be the year they go to the gym three times a week, or this will be the year they stop smoking. As with many things in our world, resolutions have changed with the times, and now many of the resolutions I’ve been hearing about relate to the internet and social media. Whether it is a pledge to not check Facebook during work, or to learn how to use Twitter, the internet has altered what we place importance on and what we want to change about ourselves. This fad has rubbed off on me, and I too am making a resolution that I wish I could take credit for thinking of, but in fact WordPress proposed. I am going to do my best to write a new blog post at least once a week. Anyone else want to join me?

So what will I write about? For the most part, your guess is as good as mine. Since this is Chamber INsider, basically everything I write will be related to Bloomington, The Chamber, or a business issue. My goal is to give readers a peek into how things work here at The Chamber, what we are focusing on, and how what we do can help your business. When what’s going on in the office isn’t very exciting I’ll spice up the blog with some posts about great things going on in Bloomington, and occasionally I’ll discuss a new website or piece of technology that I think will have a profound effect on how people do business.

Want to join me in my weekly blogging? Have a suggestion for topics? Any questions about The Chamber that you always wanted to ask? Let me know in the comments below or e-mail me at drose@chamberbloomington.org and I’ll be happy to discuss anything and everything (within reason of course).

The Combine: Bringing Great Minds to Bloomington

When I opened up my Twitter feed one day and had a message from @TheCombineorg suggesting that I blog about them, I wasn’t sure how to react. I had no idea what The Combine was. So I tweeted them back, and asked for some details. They sent back their website, and as soon as I got through the front page I was impressed.  According to their website, “The Combine is a display of talent, entrepreneurship and innovation. It’s an event about tech, specifically the people, ideas and environments that drive technology.” Impressive right?

As I dug deeper I saw a talented roster of speakers and entertainment for the event, September 9-12. Some people, such as Sloane Berrent, I had never heard of, while others, such as Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, I recognized from one of my favorite movies, Wet Hot American Summer. Continue reading

Scott Wise

Social Media, Scotty Wise, and his Brewhouse

The following is a guest blog from Scott Wise, a Chamber member and owner of Scotty’s Brewhouse. All of the views and opinions expressed in this post are solely Scott Wise’s and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce. To submit a guest blog e-mail DeJohn Rose for more information.

Since opening the first Scotty’s Brewhouse in Muncie in 1996, I have experienced the highs and lows of the restaurant business.  After the initial success of Scotty’s, I opened a fine dining restaurant in 1998, where I lost nearly a million dollars in three years. Needless to say that was one of my low points, but I think I learned more from that failed venture than I’ve learned from any of my successes.  When we closed that restaurant down, we opened our Bloomington Scotty’s Brewhouse location in 2001. West Lafayette opened in 2004 and the northside Indianapolis (96th Street) location opened in 2007. We opened our downtown Indianapolis location (at Virginia & Pennsylvania Streets) in 2009. Scotty’s Lakehouse just opened this summer and we’ll be opening our Brewpub, Three Wise Men Brewing Company in Broad Ripple in late 2010. We also have a project we are planning to launch in 2011 in Fort Wayne.  We’re looking to locate in left field of Parkview Field, home of the Minor League Fort Wayne TinCaps.

A big part of our recent success and expansion, despite the down economy, can be attributed to our presence on social networking websites. A year and a half ago, when the economy crashed, we were looking for ways to cut costs without laying employees off. At the same time social media was really taking off, so we eliminated every single piece of outside advertising, no print, no radio, no other types of traditional media, and shifted our focus to e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. In the past, we would spend about $250,000 each year in football ads, newspaper, and radio during Christmas time to promote gift cards. We eliminated all of that.

I realized that without a marketing budget, my use of social media was the only way to get our message out. You can’t walk into a business and say, “If you spend $500 on this ad, I can promise you that you’ll generate X amount of dollars back”, that’s why marketers rely on impressions and views and all of those similar metrics. The reason that social media has been so successful and the reason I jumped on board was not just because I had to, but I felt that the world had already shifted over to social media. Recently I gave a talk to a young professionals group in Muncie about social media and I asked the attendees to raise their hand if they subscribed to the newspaper. Of the 50 people I was talking to, only 2 raised their hand. Then I asked them to raise their hands if they had a Facebook account. Every single person raised their hand. I said “You guys just made the point for me – I could leave right now and this would be a successful talk”. The world changes and you have to change along with it. Continue reading