Favorite Columbus Business

UPDATE 2 (6/28/13):

Voting Closed

Harvest Pizzeria nominated by Rebecca Monday is our big winner - with over 50% of the votes from our four finalists. Harvest Pizzeria will get a free photo shoot and Rebecca gets a free portrait session at the same time. We'll be in touch soon to schedule your shoot! 


Columbus, with your help we've determined the finalists for your Favorite Columbus Business. Now you get to determine the winner. We'll tally the votes next week and announce your favorite. The business with the most votes will receive a free photo shoot and the patron that nominated them will get a free portrait session at their favorite Columbus business.

Live Vote Now Below! 

@boldhive: Our finalists for Favorite Columbus Business. Which business and patron should get a free photo shoot? You pick the winner! Details: bhv.bz/17EOlfD

If you’re anything like the team at Bold Hive, you love spreading the word about your favorite local business. You probably also love winning amazing prizes.

What if we told you that you had the chance to spread the word about your favorite local business and get an amazing reward and help your favorite local business to receive an amazing gift as well? Because that’s just what we’re about to tell you.

This fun project blends our passion for local business with everything that the Bold Hive team does best: using design and technology to help businesses get energized and continue to thrive. 


How does this relate to your love for local businesses and cool rewards? Starting today, when you "share" our Favorite Columbus Business post on Facebook and leave a comment describing your favorite Columbus business, you might just get a portrait session at your favorite spot, courtesy of Bold Hive’s photographer! Even better, if your nominated business is selected, your favorite Columbus business will also receive a professional photo shoot with our photographer.

Prefer to play along via Twitter? Click the tweet button below to join in on the fun and tag your favorite Columbus business at the end of the tweet. If scheduling permits we may just pick more than one response to get the reward!

It’s just our own way of spreading the word about our love for all of the local businesses and brands and people like you who make Columbus such a great place to work and live. 

Facebook Updates Ads for Brands

fb ads.png

Facebook is rolling out a new way for their Exchange ads to reach users by allowing them to appear in people's desktop news feeds (and not just in the sidebar). What does this mean?

You've probably already seen sponsored and promoted posts in your news feed. But the new FBX ads aren't just your run-of-the-mill sponsored posts: their very appearance in your feed is based on your online browsing activity. As Tech Crunch describes it, the ad platform allows advertisers to direct their marketing based on “users’ online browsing habits, using a cookie based real-time bidding platform.” And now, instead of only appearing in the right side bar, FBX ads can appear in desktop news feeds: that is, the place where most Facebook users spend most of their time. (Note: these ads will not yet appear in mobile news feeds.)

In addition to the new placement of these ads, users can also like, share, and comment on the Exchange ads, just as they can on any other post appearing in their news feed. In my mind, there are pros and cons to the like and comment features of these ads. On the pro side, this feature gives Facebook users another way to interact with ads. So while many people might not click through to the landing page on the ad itself, that doesn't mean that they won't like or comment on a clever, funny, or inspiring FBX ad in their news feed. (And this is the kicker: a Facebook ad that's not clever, funny, or inspiring will likely ring hollow to people who come to the site for the very purpose of seeing what's clever, funny, and inspiring that day.)

In this respect, increased brand interaction will mean increased brand recognition. What's more, since the ads are already “custom-fit” to users based on their browsing habits, it might be more likely that users will pay attention to these ads when they see them in their news feeds.

On the other hand, this feature also means that brands will have to pay careful attention to exactly what's going on in those comments sections. As we all know, it doesn't take long for comments to go awry. Like any other social media activity, brands will want to monitor these ads to ensure that the comments aren't drowning out—or worse yet, damaging—the brand itself.

Beyond this specific feature, however, it seems that the new FBX ads can offer something even more enticing to brands and businesses: namely, a much better ROI than we've seen in previous iterations of Facebook ads. In fact, Ad Roll has reported a 16x return on their customers' investments when it comes to Exchange ads. With these FBX ads now given the green light to appear in the section of Facebook that sees the highest levels of activity, advertisers might soon see an even greater return.

At Bold Hive, we can help you determine if a FBX ad makes sense for your company and your brand. They just might be a way for you to reach the Facebook users who are a perfect fit for your product or services.

Twenty | One | Pilots Tickets: Columbus Brand Hunt

Who: Twenty | One | Pilots
What: SOLDOUT Hometown Show Ticket Giveaway!
When: Show is scheduled for Friday, April 26th  7:00pm
Where: Lifestyle Communities Pavilion - Columbus, OH
How: Be the winner of our Columbus Online Scavenger Hunt!

The Details:

What do I win?
The winner will receive a pair of tickets for the Sold-Out Twenty One Pilots show April 26th, 7:00pm. For some added fun, some great Columbus brands will be adding to the prize package throughout the hunt!

How do I enter the giveaway?
Use the tweet button below to signal that you're entering the contest - this is the only requirement to play along!

How do I win?
Be the first person to complete the word scramble.

How do I find the letters for the word scramble?
Follow Bold Hive on Twitter and play along with our online scavenger hunt by discovering the letters needed to complete the word scramble hidden on your favorite Columbus brands' websites! We’ll be releasing hints via twitter on where to find the letters on a regular basis. Once you think you know which Columbus brand a clue is pointing towards, you can search for letters hidden on their website or at a secret page on their website brandname.com/cbusbrandhunt!

How do I solve the word scramble?
When you think you know the answer to the word scramble, tweet @boldhive with #CBUSBrandHunt to make a guess.

How can I increase my chance of winning?
- When you discover a new clue, tell your friends on twitter. Tweet @boldhive along with the @name for the brand where you just found your clue and #CBUSBrandHunt. We might just DM you the next clue early before we publish a public tweet! Make sure to follow @boldhive so you can receive the early clue via DM.

-Like us on Facebook and you may just find a “fans only” clue revealed there during the contest as well!

 Art Courtesy  Tyler Wetta  Special clue credit: Font used by permission from  RAFwebdesigns

Art Courtesy Tyler Wetta
Special clue credit: Font used by permission from RAFwebdesigns


Nobody cares what your business does

Why does your business or organization exist?

If you’re able to answer this question succinctly and in a manner that your clients and prospects “believe” in, your chances of success are improved dramatically.

Before you continue any further in networking and in the promotion of your business you need to understand the principle behind this Ted Talk from Simon Sinek. He outlines the common thread that ties together the most successful companies and partnerships and what it is exactly that separates them from the fold.

 Photo credit startwithwhy.com

Photo credit startwithwhy.com

Many of the businesses we come in contact with these days are discouraged with the ever growing sense that they have become a commodity with their service offering. You need to rediscover what lead you to get involved in your business to begin with so that you can make believers out of your prospects and clients.

No one cares about what you do; they care more about “WHY” you do it. 

Here is a link to the talk on Ted: Simon Sinek - How great leaders inspire action
Follow Simon on Twitter @simonsinek


A Social Media Hat Tip: Columbus Businesses Who are Doing it Right

At Bold Hive we are passionate about Columbus businesses and brands. We're also especially excited when we see them making use of creative social media strategies: strategies that can make direct marketing and advertising look like child's play.

Every once in a while, we'd like to highlight some of the Columbus businesses that are “doing it right” when it comes to social media. And at the moment, these three companies are definitely doing it right in our eyes.

Jeni's Ice Creams on Instagram

Jeni's isn't just a Central Ohio favorite. With an acclaimed cookbook by founder Jeni Britton Bauer, appearances in large-scale publications, and some downright amazing ice cream, Jeni's is now known all over the country, if not all over the world.

And they've got a good thing going on Instagram.

The Jeni's team could do just fine posting pictures of ice cream scoops all day. Because who doesn't love a good picture of ice cream? Even the lactose intolerant could find some delight in a #nofilter photo of Jeni's cherry lambic sorbet.

Jeni's, however, thinks way outside the waffle cone-shaped box when it comes to their Instagram feed.

They post pictures of the stores that sell their ice cream. They post images from the Jeni's team travels—travels that include everywhere from Austin, TX during South by Southwest to the Nashville, TN Jeni's stores to book signings all over the country. They post behind-the-scenes photos showing how they make the meringues and the marshmallows and the macaroons that make their ice creams so famous (and so delicious).  And their 5000+ Instagram fans love it. Far beyond promoting the Jeni's brand, these images tell a cohesive story about the Jeni's brand.

This is social media at its best.

Pursuit Yourself on Twitter

Pursuit Yourself already has a pretty fabulous idea when it comes to their stores. Catering to college crowds, they make shopping for a (modern, non-outdated) suit affordable and accessible. With their main store is located right in the heart of The Ohio State University campus neighborhood, they are also known for using social media to reach out to the Buckeye proud.

In addition to their Instagram feed, they are absolutely “doing it right” on Twitter. Whether they're live-tweeting an OSU game or sharing photos of suits-done-right (and those sad folks who didn't go to Pursuit Yourself and have suits-done-wrong) or simply promoting the latest goings-on at their stores, one thing is clear: they're always social@PursuitYourself is not a one-way Twitter stream that constantly talks at you. They're talking with their followers, and it's clear that they pay attention to what they say.

And when social media is actually social, then that is social media at its best.

Mikey's Late Night Slice Does Good, Goes Viral

Mikey's Late Night Slice has had an active, dynamic Facebook page for a while. But things got a lot more active and dynamic back in January when a story about Mikey's went viral.

It all started when of their customers—Joel Diaz—shared one of his Mikey's experiences on Facebook. The short story goes something like this: Joel and his partner, Ethan, were waiting in line for some awesome pizza one evening when one of the other customers began harassing them and hurling homophobic slurs their way. The homophobia was terrible, but the other customers' responses weren't: nearly every single one of them spoke up against the homophobic guy. Better yet? When the guy didn't stop, the Mikey's employees leaned out the food truck window to let him know that they would not be serving someone who spewed so much hate.

The social media response to the story was overwhelming. The story itself appeared everywhere from Yahoo to the Huffington Post (where it was shared on Twitter over 17,000 times). Even “3.7 million likes and counting” George Takei himself shared the story with his followers.

And Mikey's just let the love roll their way, with fans from all over the world stopping by their Facebook page to congratulate Mikey's for standing up to hate. (They also stopped by to purchase some of the sweet shirts that Mikey's created to commemorate all the excitement over Diaz's story.) 

Barely three months later, Mikey's has a whopping 12,000+ followers of their own. Better yet, they have a positive viral story associated with their brand, all because they did good and someone thought that good was worth sharing.

Need we say it again? This too is social media at its best.

Of course these three brands aren't the only ones in CBUS doing things right when it comes to social media - We'll be showcasing some more in the future so be sure to share your favorite Columbus brands in the comments below!

Putting the “Social” in Social Media

Though many recent analyses suggest social media sites aren't always the best platforms for brands to directly advertise their products to social media users, this doesn't mean that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and so on are useless business tools.


In fact, it's quite the contrary: social media use can be an excellent tool for increasing your brand's visibility and amplifying your company's message.   You just need to remember to keep the “social” in social media.

What exactly does that mean?  Here are three tips to get you on track when it comes to social media:

Define yourself as a media resource
Think of your social media presence as its own source for media.  You don't want your followers to see you simply as a company megaphone: you want them to see you as a resource for tips, information, and even inspiration too.

Ask yourself: Who are your existing customers?  Where are you looking to expand your sales or your brand influence?  And then what you do want to share with themWhat might they want you to share with them?

You don't want to just
“talk about yourself”

Keep in mind that you don't want to just “talk about yourself” either!  Find news that is relevant to your customers.  Post images or photographs that your followers can't find anywhere else.  Even if what you share isn't all about you, you can still define you and your brand as a resource for whatever is interesting, pertinent, or newsworthy to your followers.

 Photo couresty jenny downing

Photo couresty jenny downing

Engage: listen and talk with, not at
Social media users are pretty savvy about recognizing when a brand's social media platforms are only a one-way street.  Most don't want to see you talking at them all day long.

Take some time to listen to the conversations that people are having.  What topics are they discussing on Twitter or Facebook?  What groups are people a part of on LinkedIn?  What are people sharing on Pinterest?  What are people doing in the images they share on Instagram?

After you've listened for a while, then you can start to engage with your followers and/or those you follow.  Retweet, favorite, or even respond to people on Twitter.  Share or comment others' posts on Facebook.  Participate in LinkedIn group discussions, re-pin on Pinterest, and like and comment on Instagram.

Finally, when you create your own content, make sure that it's something that others would want to listen to as well.  To reiterate, you want to position yourself as media resource for others.  The more social you are, and the more share-worthy content you create, the more you do to amplify your brand.


Think beyond audience: think community
This is what it means to be a media resource who listens to your followers and creates share-worthy content: instead of building an audience for your brand, you create a community around it.


For an audience can only listen passively to you.  Worse yet, they can “walk out” and unfollow you.  But a community engages and interacts with you.

And when it comes down to it, having customers—or even potential customers—who engage and interact with you on a regular basis might be more useful in the long run than any static ad on Facebook or Twitter could ever hope to be.