Maker’s Mark Hears and Responds to its Disappointed Fans Online, and it Pays Off

Posted on February 27th, 2013 by admin Categories Social Media

The social media marketing world recently raised its virtual glass to Maker’s Mark.


When the whisky maker’s plan to reduce the alcohol content of their bourbon became public knowledge, an online outcry of their loyal fans ensued.  The response of Maker’s Mark aficionados, seen on Facebook, Twitter, and numerous blogs, had the potential to turn into a major marketing debacle.  With such prominent influencers as Time Magazine,, and Huffington Post reporting on the situation, an onslaught of negative publicity seemed likely for Maker’s Mark.


However, rather than resigning themselves to riding out the impending flood, the leaders of Maker’s Mark turned the tide. They embraced the same social platforms, which were delivering the harsh criticism, and used them to deliver an apology to the loyal fans of Maker’s Mark.  Along with the apology, the company used Facebook to deliver their decision to reverse their original plan and keep producing their bourbon as they always have.


Maker’s Mark’s fans have engaged with the company’s response enthusiastically.  As of this posting, the Facebook apology has been “Liked” by more than 27,000 people and shared by more than 8,000.  In addition, a large majority of the post’s 4,000+ comments express gratitude to Maker’s Mark for listening to their customers.


In an era of large, vocal fan bases regularly using social media platforms, a small mishap can quickly explode and cause unimagined damage to a brand.  However, the example of Maker’s Mark shows that these same social media tools can be used to regain the trust of disappointed fan bases in a sincere manner.


What success have you had in turning an upset customer into a satisfied customer with social media?  Share your experience in a comment below.


Social Media Marketing Tips From the Experts

Posted on February 20th, 2013 by admin Categories Social Media

Social Media Examiner recently gathered a list of social media marketing tips from 21 experts in the field.  Their list is extensive, and it sheds light on various aspects. However for your convenience, here are some of the highlights of post.


Focus on getting attention first- First and foremost, it’s about getting people to take that extra millisecond to lean in and listen to what you are saying. Focus on headline writing and visual storytelling to catch their ears and eyes.


Become the wikipedia of your industry- If you are a true go-to source for information about a certain topic readers will come back to you again and again for answers.  Who knows? They may even send their teacher an apple.


Ask your audience anything-  If you have a question about what might work for your business, ask your audience.  If you give them permission to speak, they will engage.


Listen first, listen often- When your audience engages in response to you, be ready to listen to everything they say. Keeping your “ears” is a great way to empower your business with information about what customers really  want.


Create Your Voice- It is essential to your company’s social media presence to have a voice that shares something of value in the social media community. Those who blog relevant and shareable content to their social media community will reap benefits.


Have you tried any of these social media tips?  Do you have a successful one of you own?  Share your experience with us in a comment below.


Get Personal: Tips for Your Next Email Marketing Campaign

Posted on February 13th, 2013 by admin Categories Email Marketing

An email marketing campaign can be a tricky situation. You want to keep you emails up to date and exciting, but you don’t want to drive your customers away with daily or lengthy emails. At The REFUGE Group, we’ve compiled some tips that will make your next campaign a snap!


On the Subject


Remember, the first thing people will see when they receive your email is the subject line. Anna Pitts from PR Daily suggests making your subject line truthful but with a bit of mystery so the customer will want to click on the email. Also keep in mind your subject should be about what you’re going to talk about in your email, not just want you think people will want to open. This guide from Email Experience Council suggests creating a subject line that has around 70 characters because it has been shown that subject lines with 70 or more characters had higher open rates.


To Whom It May Concern


Netline’s corporate blog suggests personalizing your email marketing campaigns for each customer. Even if it is something as simple as putting the person’s name in each email, that small action shows that you’re not just a computer spitting out emails. If it’s too much work to add in names, then follow DreamGrow’s advice and try greetings that are specific to your target market. For example, if you’re letting your customers know about a new dress style, you could use, “Calling all Fashionistas!”


Reader Friendly


Now let’s talk about the content. When creating your email, be brief. You want to get to the point of your email in the first few lines before your customers become disinterested. Also if you have any links to products, make sure you are directly linking to the product’s page. You don’t want to send someone on a wild goose chase that might make them think twice about buying your product.


We hope these tips will help your next email marketing campaign. For more helpful tips, check out this infographic about the best time to send emails. If you have a great tip for email marketing, make sure to leave it in a comment below!

Intern Spotlight: Mike Tauser

Posted on February 6th, 2013 by admin Categories Blog

All of us at the REFUGE Group are excited to bring you another Intern Spotlight. This week, we would like to introduce one of our newest interns, Mike Tauser.

Mike graduated from Marquette University with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. When asked why he chose to go there, his top answer was “the campus was a short bus trip from County Stadium, so [he] could still get [his] baseball fix without much difficulty.” As you can see, one of Mike’s greatest interests is baseball and he likes to spend his free time writing for his blog, Farmstros.

The strangest service Mike would like to market would be his friend’s company, which makes items for criminal justice agencies. Despite sales being based off bids, Mike thinks that developing a social media presence for the company would be very interesting. He thinks “a positive result of social media is that it makes it more obvious that getting into something that ‘no one’ else is into isn’t necessarily getting into something that no one else is into.”

When not updating the Farmstros’ blog, you can find Mike enjoying time with his family or reading a good book.