Why Blog?

Blogging Relationship

Why is it important for companies to Blog?

There are many reasons why it is important for companies to Blog but here are my top six reasons:

  1. Converse with Customers
  2. Enhance Visibility and Credibility
  3. Build a Community
  4. Add a Human Touch to Your Company
  5. Educate Customers
  6. Improve Search Engine Ratings

According to a recent survey by HubSpot.com, a marketing software company, businesses are now in the minority if they don’t blog.  From 2009 to 2011 the percentage of businesses with a blog grew from 48% to 65%.

Effective blogging does require dedication and significant investment in time, as you need to be consistent with blogs, creative and engaging on content.   However, before starting businesses need to develop their goals and a plan.

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In this day and age of technology it is imperative that companies build relationships while increasing credibility so the consumers develop enough comfort and information to make the purchase.

Have you lost customers because you weren’t using social media tools?

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Eureka Social Media Analysis

I was recently introduced to Social Media tracking tools. I was surprised at the number of free and paid resources available, and what they are capable of doing.  I decided to use some of these tools by analyzing the company Eureka this week.

Eureka was founded in 1909, and was named after the exclamation of great discovery “Eureka” is Greek for “I found it”.  Eureka is an environmentally conscious company that prides itself on creating innovative products.

Eureka specializes in vacuums and steam vacuums, and they manufacture and distribute more than 130 different models under our four brands: Eureka, Electrolux, Sanitaire and Electrolux Central Vacuum Systems.

Two of the most popular competitors to Eureka are Shark and Bissell.  Bissell has the strongest Facebook and Twitter presence among the three, as you will see from the stats below which were possible from a terrific rating tool called Wildfire:

Twitter:
Bissell  – Followers –  6,521,  7d ∆0.18%,  1m ∆ 0.37%,  3m ∆ 2.71%
Eureka – Followers –  4,771,  7d ∆0.06%,  1m ∆ 0.55%,  3m ∆ 4.33%
Shark   – Followers –  1,944,  7d ∆0.21%,  1m ∆ 0.73%,  3m (down) 0.26%

Facebook:
Bissell  – Likes  – 201,995,  7d ∆.02%,  1m ∆ 5.46%,  3m ∆ 18.66%
Eureka – Likes –  20,679,  7d ∆0.17%,  1m ∆ 1.94%,  3m ∆ 71.11%
Shark  – Likes  –  22,680,  7d ∆0.4%,  1m ∆ 19.6%,  3m ∆ 30.58%

Eureka is definitely increasing in their presence on Facebook and Twitter sources.

I was also able to attain Eureka’s sociable rating from HowSociable as summed up below:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.00.44 PM

Another fantastic tracking tool is Boardreader, which monitors the forums to see what the consumers are saying about Eureka.  So for each posted comment I used a ranking system -1 for negative, 0 for neutral, +1 for positive.

1.  “I have a eureka 313A and I love it. There’s a review on Amazon that compares different steam mop and this one gets a great review and it’s not super expensive. I’ve had my mop for 5 years now and it’s still going strong. I had a shark before my eureka and it died a little over a year after I got it (and right out of warranty)” +1

2. “This is why I subscribe to Consumer Reports.

 Eureka Enviro Steamer 313A – 62 score
Oreck Steam-it Steam100
Bissell Steam Mop Deluxe 31N1
Shark Steam Pocket Mop S3501 – 54 score0

3. “I have a Eureka envirosteam that I love”. +1

4. “the eureka enviro hard surface cleaner get twice as hot as the shark so it lifts dirt better and easier. we dont have grout but it might be better for it. also you don’t have to pump it back n forth like the shark to get steam.” +1

5. “I use the vacuum on the “bare floor” setting (and/or an attachment) to sweep up the dust bunnies and junk, then I steam mop.  I used to Swiffer, but it did nothing and left things sticky, then I went to a mop and bucket and Murphy’s Oil Soap, but that’s a PITA, now I have a steam mop and I love it.  (I still plan to Murphy’s Oil Soap a couple times a year because it’s good for the wood, though.)  I have the Eureka Envriowhatchamacallit, one of the cheaper ones out there, and it works great.” +1

6. “My current favorite is a bagless Eureka Pet Expert I got on sale for $79 at Best Buy. That included a powered upholstery tool equivalent to a tool Dyson charges $99 for just that tool! Get out! Anyway this Eureka picks up major amount of dirt from seemingly nowhere. It’s like, holy crap, where is all this dirt coming from??!! I just vacuumed a week ago!” +1 

7. “The downside of bagless is emptying the dirt and cleaning ALL the filters. What a pain! Bagged is way more convenient.” –1 

8. “Even if the cheapie Eureka only lasts 2 years, I’m money ahead on a $500 Dyson that might last 5 years.” -1

9. “We bought an Eureka a month ago and love it” +1

10I love my Eureka Optima Lightweight! I have been unhappy with all the other vacuum cleaners I have ever had until I came upon Eureka Optima. I am on my second, and will buy another after this one is broke down. I have been so worried about it being discontinued; it seems like every time I like something they get rid of it at the stores. This vacuum is like having a full size vacuum in a little vacuum’s body. Please don’t ever get rid of this vacuum! I’m in LOVE!!!” +1

Overall the comments grade is +5. The common theme of most conversations is that most people love their Eureka product. Eureka has a great reputation and a quality product.  There is always room for improvement so Eureka would only benefit from increasing their online presence.  Bissell has definitely paved the road for something to achieve and exceed.

2012 Upright Vacuum Satisfaction Study Results

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, California–(28 March 2012) – Miele is found to rank the highest in satisfying customers in the 2012 Upright Vacuum Satisfaction Study performed by J.D. Power and Associates.

J.D. Power and Associates surveyed owners of twelve different brands of vacuums and examined six key factors such as price, features, appearance, styling, warranty and ease of use.  This study was based on 5,700 upright vacuum cleaner owners who made their purchases within twelve months of the survey.

Miele ended up ranking the highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 809 on a 1, 000-point scale.  Dyson, Riccar and Shark vacuums followed up with a 794, 787 and 784 scores respectively.  The study also found that consumers spend between $85 and $550 for their vacuum.Miele Upright

Tips to consumers as they choose an upright vacuum:

  • Don’t base your purchase decision on price alone.  In the case of a vacuum you get what you pay for, so when you spend more initially it will cost you less in repairs later.
  • Focus on finding a vacuum that is going to provide consistent, strong suction.
  • Shop for a vacuum with accessories that meet your specific needs.

About J.D. Power and Associates
J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, web intelligence and customer satisfaction.

Contact Information
Contact: John Tews
Company: J.D. Power and Associates
Telephone: (805) 418-8103
Email: media.relations@jdpa.com

Follow us on Twitter: @JDPower

Natural Cleaning Products…It Is The Wave Of The Future

Did you know that chemical manufacturers do not have to disclose all of the ingredients on their labels, so as a consumer we are at a large disadvantage. Household products with labels that read ‘organic’, ‘non-toxic’, and ‘eco-safe’ are not regulated by the Food and Drug Association – this means anyone can use terms that are not necessarily true.  These products that we use in our homes enter our bodies by breathing the air, through our skin and the water we drink.

5 million household product poisonings reported and most of them Children!!!  

There is something wrong if the chemical manufacturers can continue not disclosing the ingredients of there products and it is effecting us like this.  Do you know someone who had been poisoned?

It is so important for everyone to adapt natural cleaning techniques, as mentioned in the Natural Cleaning Tips Article on the Wellness Mama website.  One technique that is also mentioned in this article is the use of the Microfiber clothes.  I believe the Microfiber is the wave of the future and let me tell you why.

Microfiber Technology

Have you ever tried using a Microfiber cloth or mop?  Did you notice a difference?

Things we can do to help conserve water while cleaning…

Below is the average Canadian household water usage:

Bathing / Showering 35%
Toilet 30%
Laundry 20%
Drinking / Cooking 10%
Cleaning 5%

Some interesting Canadian water statistics:

  • On average 14% of municipal piped water is lost in pipeline leaks.
  • In 2005, an estimated 42 km3 of water were withdrawn from the environment and used in household and economic activities in Canada.
  • Between 1972 and 1991, Canada’s water withdrawal increased from 24 billion cubic metres/year to over 45 billion cubic metres/year — a rise of over 80%. In the same period, population increased only 3%.
  • Canadian households use twice as much water as European ones and pay less than half as much for it.

A review on the “Top Ten Ways to Conserve Water at Home”:

  1. Install a low flow toilet or put a brick in the tank
  2. Install water-saving shower heads
  3. Install faucet aeratorsLeaking faucet
  4. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth
  5. Check faucets and pipes for leaks
  6. Only use your dishwasher when it is a full load
  7. Purchase a High Efficiency washer and only use when there is a full load
  8. Take shorter showers
  9. Keep a bucket in the shower while it is heating up and use that water for plants
  10. Wash veggies in a basin rather then under running water

Don’t forget the power of a rain barrel…with the amount it rains in Vancouver we could water our gardens for the entire Summer on what we collect in a rain barrel.

Rain Barrel

Because water is inexpensive and abundant we seem to take it for granted, so I believe that we must start paying more for water and embrace water conservation measures or risk the depletion of one of Canada’s most valuable resources.

Nothing bothers me more than driving down the street and seeing sprinklers on at 2:00pm in the afternoon during midsummer or someone hosing down their driveway.  Really????  Where are the meters?  I don’t think people understand the impact that these actions have on our environment.

What have you done that others will benefit from trying to conserve water? or tell me what you have seen other people do with water that bothers you.

Do you know what chemicals are in your cleaning products?

Cleaning Chemicals

We all get caught up in the commercials on TV and the print ads showing how great specific cleaning products are – how great they smell and how quick they can do the job, but did you know that you have eco friendly and effective methods in your home right now?

This is why I decided to digg an article that was posted on DiggHow to Clean Everything in Your Kitchen Using Stuff From Your Kitchen.   I found this article informative and interesting.  I knew that we could use household items to clean, but I had no idea as to how many.

Then when I found an article in “The Daily Green” called “7 Smart Uses for Vinegar” I submitted it to Digg.  Unfortunately it hasn’t been posted yet, but hopefully it will be found on the site shortly.

We often forget about what we have in our kitchen that is effective cleaning products and more environmentally friendly than most everything that you can purchase on any store self.  Having said that you will notice that your local grocery and drug stores are getting better…there are eco friendly choices.  But at a cost, why is it that eco friendly products are so much more expensive?

Did you know that Vinegar is effective at killing most mild, bacteria and germs due to it’s level of acidity.  It doesn’t just make your mouth pucker…it makes mold shrivel.

Vinegar can be used in:

  • Refrigerator
  • Oven
  • Garbage
  • Dishwasher
  • VinegarCoffee Maker
  • Glassware
  • Metal
  • Aluminum
  • Brass & Copper
  • Plus so much more

Vinegar can be considered a Super Product in your cupboard.

I have to say that while doing this blog I learned a lot about household cleaning products and how toxic the cleaners that we use at home are.  Did you know that toxic products are found in your cleaning products?  

“More than 56 per cent of all nonylphenols used in Canada are found in cleaning products, notably in toilet cleaners and certain liquid laundry soap”

“Another highly toxic product is 2-butoxyethanol, used in some popular spray cleaners, which has been linked to low sperm counts in men, and learning disorders in children.”

Some of the worst offenders are:

  • Phosphorus is usually found in common laundry detergents
  • Ammonia found in multipurpose household cleaners
  • Nitrogen found in glass and surface cleaning products

Just think when you clean with these products they end up rinsed down the drains.  Do you know where this goes? The correct answer is into our waste treatment plants, and if it isn’t caught it will continue it’s travels into our waterways.  The above named chemicals will cause excessive plant growth, which will clog the waterways and in turn crowd out animal life.

TOXIC

Also consider this…Over 100 chemicals commonly found in homes have been linked to allergies, birth defects, cancer, psychological abnormalities, skin reactions, headaches, depression, joint pain, chronic fatigue, chest pains, dizziness, loss of sleep, asthma. . .the list goes on.  Housewives have a 55% higher risk of getting cancer than do women working outside the home. This most likely has to do with the products they use on a daily basis. Nervous disorders and respiratory problems have also been linked to hazardous substances in the home.

Green Earth

I always thought that having a lemon scent after I cleaned was the most rewarding smell ever…but after my research I now feel that there is no smell to green clean.

There is an alternative to using toxic or non-green products, will you do your part for your household and your environment???  Will you join me in a commitment to Green Cleaning?

What household chemicals do you use?

Green Question Mark

The Importance of Transparency

imagesTransparency is the best policy!

When I was first asked to create a blog post on why being transparent is important to organizations in social media, my first thought was “how do I relate that with my cleaning guide?”.   Then I realized that transparency is one of the most important things in relation to all social media in order to build strong relationships in every business and to ensure that your audience keeps coming back.

Then I learned something new when I was researching this topic – in the blog post Savvy Panda …it states ”Don’t Only Post Business” – as mentioned in the blog “It’s really easy as a business owner or marketer to only get wrapped up in posting business related content. However, it’s critical when trying to open up transparency and develop that relationship to post about non-business related items. It’s been recommended that a mix of 85% business, 15% personal be used in all content you post (blogs, emails, social media, etc).”  So not only is this blog important for me to inform my audience that this blog will be 100% transparent, but it opens up an opportunity for me to share my personal thoughts on this topic with you as well.

To build relationships it is imperative to be genuine, to show that you have a personality and that your followers are important to you on more than just a business level.  It is important to share some of yourself or your business on a more social side.  I am sure you are more interested in topics or shows when you know it is a true story, you can relate with it or if the post provokes a feeling from you.

Screen Shot 2013-08-29 at 10.06.16

Social media is about establishing and maintaining relationships, as well as encouraging a conversation or a discussion.  What a better way to do this then being accountable?

But remember that transparency isn’t always black and white…there can be grey involved.  For some companies transparency means full disclosure and for others there is more to consider.  Some companies hire agents to create, build and maintain the social media on their behalf…so when you communicate with this company you are actually talking to an agency and not the company. How does that make you feel?

I know that this is not business related but I often wonder if there should be appropriate limits to transparency.  As I view my social media pages, I have to ask myself why do people use social media as their personal diary for everyone to read.  Is it because they feel safe?  Or do they really think that they are sitting at a specific location downtown is that important for everyone to know?  I feel that posts like this can overwhelm the followers and people will un-engage.  Please make sure your posts are engaging and relative.

Transparency