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NEW Phoenix ‘likes’ social media

Wednesday, November 13, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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More than 100 Network of Executive Women members explored social media best practices at the NEW Phoenix fall networking event, Nov. 8, 2013 at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Sharon Hart, vice president of information systems for PetSmart Inc.; Mary Tarczynski, chief shopper marketing officer for Collective Bias; Susan Mudd Powell, vice president of retail marketing execution at Safeway Inc.; and Karen Werner, writer, editor and media consultant for Musical Instrument Museum, offered new strategies for getting the most out of social media. Cathy Chess, founder and president of Apollo Coaching, moderated the discussion.

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PetSmart uses social media, in part, to build relationships with employees and candidates, Hart said, noting she is personally committed to "going paperless,” a move that has inspired others to move in that direction too.

At Safeway, shoppers find recipes, customer and store news and photos on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest and participate in the retailer’s Just for U personalized savings program through a mobile app. Powell personally uses social media to keep up with her grandchildren.

Social media platforms are used by the Musical Instrument Museum to engage visitors and encourage them to share their museum experiences.

"The museum reminds me of other brands I admire, such as Barefoot Wine and PopChips, who, like Millennials, are true digital natives, never having had to transition from ‘traditional media," Tarczynski noted after the event. "They built their brands by building relationships starting with employees and early customers and then radiating outward, facilitated by word-of-mouth at scale via social platforms."

For mainstream retail and consumer goods companies, the adoption of social media has been slower, she added. "But it is just as important to remain competitive in today’s landscape. Social media functions as a relationship facilitation and collaboration tool across all functions of an organization.”

NEW members came away with real-life tactics for leveraging social media.

"My favorite piece of advice was from Mary Tarczynski who said, ‘Google yourself. If you don’t like what you see, change it to support your personal brand.’ For example, find a blog to contribute to or write an article,” said Jessie Thomas of PetSmart Inc.

She also appreciated Hart’s insights on leadership versatility needing to include versatility in social media. "All generations don’t communicate the same way and to engage with the talent on your team you must be comfortable in new forms like social media,” Thomas said.

Organizations sending large delegations to the NEW Phoenix event included CVS Caremark Corp., Frito Lay North America, PetSmart Inc. and Safeway Inc.

Karen Werner of the Musical Instrument Museum, Mary Tarczynski
of Collective Bias, Sharon Hart of PetSmart Inc., Cathy Chess of
Apollo Coaching and Susan Mudd Powell of Safeway Inc. shared
social media and marketing strategies.

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