Each year on June 30th, the world comes together to acknowledge and celebrate the value of social media and how it’s impacted our lives for the better. Cities across the globe celebrate with concerts, events, panel discussions, tweetups and engaging activities that bring the community together as part of a larger discussion. Blab wanted to get involved on a larger scale this year so we’ll be facilitating a discussion about the history of social media on Twitter using the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 while also running a contest and giving away gift cards to four local business that are doing a fantastic job creating and growing their social presence. To enter our contest, click here. But don’t wait too long, it’s only open until midnight tonight!
Social Media Day is an important day of celebration for businesses of all sizes. The tools social platforms provide allow companies with 2 employees to compete on the same level as companies with 2000 employees and the medium in general does a great job of breaking down the barriers of traditional advertising, allowing interaction and engagement for all. As a small business, we know that it’s very important to promote and support other local businesses, especially when their digital presence helps push Windsor into the spotlight online. Regardless of size, industry or target market, the businesses chosen for our Social Media Giveaway have all demonstrated the importance of “finding your thing” online and working hard to do it better than anyone else. The following businesses that were selected for the giveaway each have a social strong-suit that’s worth highlighting and is something we can all learn from:
Cafe March 21st
A charming cafe in downtown Windsor that specializes in pour-over coffee, Cafe March 21st is bursting from the seams with personality. While small in size, the space is quirky, fun and completely unique and owner Henry does a fantastic job of transferring that personality online. The cafe’s social accounts are filled with fun photos, cool updates and customer-generated content that perfectly conveys the brand’s personality in the digital realm. Using social media as an extension of your brand while staying true to its personality can be a difficult task, but the crew at March 21st has nailed it!
Windsor Rock Gym
It can be difficult to generate excitement for a business before its even opened, but Windsor Rock Gym has done a fantastic job of getting the community involved with their launch months before it happens by creating a visual progress checklist and posting updates online as the project nears completion. Often times businesses will begin their social media journey months or years after opening their doors. Taking the plunge before they’ve even become operational would pose a serious challenge for most, but not Windsor Rock Gym! Thank you for setting a great example for other businesses and proving that social media success is about more than sales.
Carrots N’ Dates
In a city full of amazing restaurants, photography can not only help differentiate you, but it can set you far apart from the pack. Carrots N’ Dates, a cozy cafe specializing in wholesome, gluten free and 100% plant based food, has a habit of pumping out some seriously impressive food photography and we couldn’t help but notice. Since launching in 2012 they’ve done a fantastic job of using visuals to share the wholesome goodness they serve every day. Their Instagram photos are a sneak peak inside their well-crafted menu and give consumers a chance to better understand the amount of care and effort that goes into each dish they prepare.
Ask any marketing expert and they’ll tell you that 2016 is the year of live video and while it offers incredible opportunities and value, a lot of businesses are shying away from it because they aren’t sure how to incorporate it and execute it properly. Shop Eco, a popular eco-friendly boutique in Walkerville, has embraced it on multiple platforms and continues to add value for their growing community with product reviews, updates, sneak peaks etc. It’s refreshing to see a small business dive right in and embrace technology, especially when it can sometimes be a scary transition. If you haven’t had a chance to check out their videos yet, you can visit them on Facebook or Instagram and see the value they provide firsthand!
Blab will also be heading out to Bull n Barrel at 4:30 for the Social Media Day Afterparty so if you’re a fan of social media or you just want to meet some like-minded individuals, come out and have some fun. Want to join in on the conversation online? Use the hashtag #WESMDAY2016 and let’s get chatting!
❤️?? Happy Social Media Day ??❤️
Almost exactly one ago, the youth retention task force that Katie helped start received funding from Trillium to continue tackling the issue of youth retention in the region. After many months of planning, interviewing and organizing, Blab is proud to present the branding for the organization that will spearhead youth retention in the region for the next 16 months and hopefully beyond; YKNOT Windsor-Essex.
We spent weeks brainstorming, exploring different options and researching concepts with our intern Anna before we decided on the perfect fit for the organization. As young professionals with such strong personal ties to Windsor-Essex, we’re very excited to have been chosen to brand this initiative!
As part of the launch the team would like to ask what ties YOU to Windsor-Essex? For more information and to get involved, be sure to check out the website we created at www.yknotwe.ca. Stay in touch with them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more updates after the launch!
As part of the Youth Retention Task Force, Blab Media is proud to announce that the task force has received a grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation for $105,500 that will be used to fund an 18-month pilot project that was designed to connect youth with job opportunities in Windsor-Essex. As part of this pilot project, the task force has also created a full time contract job that will provide one well-qualified young person with a valuable employment opportunity.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and Windsor West MPP Teresa Piruzza were on hand to announce the funding and meet the members of the task force.
The Windsor Star
By: Monica Wolfson
January 2nd 2013
The women behind startup Blab Media do a lot more than just talk.
St. Clair College graduates Katie Stokes, 24, and Jessica Apolloni, 26, have spent the past two years pushing area businesses into the digital age.
The women met while working at an insurance agency and urged their employer to explore accessing customers via social media. The women spent their lunch hours planning a social media company.
Months later, Stokes’s contract ended and she spent her days drafting a business plan and creating a website. They launched the company in October 2010 by sending white pumpkins painted blue, the company’s colours, to contacts at St. Clair College and in the media. Initially, Stokes worked full time while Apolloni kept her graphic design job for the first six months.
“It was scary, really, really scary,” Apolloni said about quitting her job to focus on Blab Media. “I was about to turn 25. If I don’t do this now, I’m never going to do it. I’ll have a family, a car, house, responsibilities. I needed to do this now while I could afford to take the risk.”
Blab Media gets many of its clients through referrals and from the networking. Surprisingly, it wasn’t until it moved into a bricks and mortar office that the client list tripled in one month. That could be one indication why it’s been challenging to get clients to think outside the box and do a cheap social media marketing campaign rather than a traditional approach.
At times creating a website and using Twitter and Facebook to promote a company can be more successful than leafing cars in a parking lot, Apolloni said.
Richie Keirouz hired Blab Media to help him launch RichBody, a personal training service that provides customers with diet, exercise and moral support. Stokes and Apolloni worked with him to design his website through which he has found most of his 18 clients.
“They’ve been great in helping me out,” he said. Stokes was especially good at providing website content that reflected his thoughts, Keirouz said.
Success has brought new surroundings. Blab Media recently moved into the Canada Building at 374 Ouellette Ave. There is room for expansion as the company grows.
While the women live with their parents, they bring in enough revenue to support themselves.
“There was never a time when we had no clients,” Stokes said. “Now we have the most clients at once that we’ve ever had.”
The biggest challenge they face is their youth.
“It’s hard for (potential clients) to accept because we are younger we know something they don’t,” Stokes said. “When we go to networking events, people ask if I’m a student. Business is still a boys club. It’s hard to break that barrier.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part of a series about those in their 20s and early 30s finding a place in the local workforce.
To see the original article click here
It’s official, we have a new office and we’re absolutely geeked about the space! We’ve been a bit secretive the past few weeks as we renovated the space, painted the walls, organized our things and adjusted to our new high-rise location but we’re finally ready to show the world! Our office hours are staying the same but our address is now 374 Ouellette Ave suite 609. Stop in and say hi!
The Windsor Star
By: Dave Hall
September 27th 2012
Blab Media, a local company specializing in social media and digital marketing, has moved into the Canada Building at 374 Ouellette Ave.
Established two years ago by Katie Stokes and Jessica Apolloni, the agency had previously worked out of office space at 131 Elliott St. W.
The move was prompted by a need for more space to expand as the business grows, Stokes said. “It’s also a more central location with more traffic along the street as well as within the building and we’re hoping that leads to more clients.”
To see the original article click here
It’s official Windsor-Essex, the Startup Windsor Scavenger Hunt has begun and I don’t think we could have asked for better weather to kick it off! If you’ve already registered you can start playing the game right away. Just visit the Startup Windsor website and log in to view the “Play The Game” page and see all the challenges. If you’ve yet to register, you can still do so here.
With 100 locations across Windsor-Essex, we’ve got a great mix of photo challenges that are sure to get everyone excited about exploring their city. It’s completely free to play and you have a chance to win some great prizes including cash, an Android tablet, local products, gift cards, festival tickets and much more.
We’ve already had a few photo submissions so it looks like the competition is going to be intense! Get out there and start snapping photos and earning points for your chance to win!
Happy Hunting Windsor-Essex!
This morning the Startup Windsor website was launched and we are proud to announce that we, alongside Accent Media, iDream Interactive and WEtech Alliance, are inviting the community to participate in a city-wide scavenger hunt from May 14th-May20th that will have them snapping and submitting photos for a chance to win one of three top prizes!
If you want to play the game you can register online at www.startupwindsor.ca. It’s completely free and it’s a great way to become more familiar with your city! With over 100 locations across Windsor-Essex, there are a variety of challenges that will have participants using every ounce of creativity they can muster up. Points are awarded based on the difficulty of the challenge and participants have one week to complete as many they can to secure a top spot in the rankings.
Businesses of all kinds stepped up to support our initiative and everyone was so excited to see an activity like this taking shape in our community. Thanks to our generous sponsors we have three grand prizes worth a total of $1400! To see the full breakdown of prizes and sponsors please visit the Prizes page on our website.
So Windsor-Essex, are you ready to join the hunt?
The Startup Canada national tour is visiting Windsor in May and to celebrate, Blab Media, Accent Media and iDream Interactive are announcing a free citywide scavenger hunt with 100 businesses taking part across Windsor-‐Essex! The public is invited to sign up and take pictures to complete various challenges while earning points towards some seriously cool prizes.
“Startup Canada is a celebration of entrepreneurial spirit,” says Katie Stokes, co-‐ founder of Blab Media, “We really wanted to engage the community and help generate some awareness for local businesses in the process. It’s all about having fun and exploring your city.”
The hunt will take place May 14th-‐May 20th as a pre-‐curser to other Startup Canada tour events being organized by WEtech Alliance and The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator. The Startup team will be visiting Windsor May 22nd and 23rd and a variety of events have been planned to celebrate. The scavenger hunt was organized as a way to get the community involved in the cause.
“The businesses are really excited to be part of this scavenger hunt,” Says Toby Leftly, owner of Accent Media, “It’s three local tech companies coming together and donating their time and their expertise to support the community.”
The digital trio joined forces with the goal of creating the best experience possible for the event. Although the focus is on the businesses involved in the challenges, all three companies wanted to emphasize that they’ve come together to support each other so the community can reap the benefits.
“It’s been great working alongside Blab Media and Accent Media to create a fun and interactive event like this,” Says Jacob Duhaime, CEO of iDream Interactive, “We’re able to play off each others strengths and show other businesses that collaboration can be done and it can be successful.”
There is $1400 worth of prizes to be won for the top three participants with the highest points. You can register to play at www.startupwindsor.ca and you can also get more information by following @wejointhehunt on Twitter
Just a short while ago we were approached by WETech Alliance to participate in an exciting opportunity with Startup Canada, an entrepreneurial-led movement that is taking Canada by storm. Naturally we were excited to volunteer our time and services to a cause so close to home. We’ve always known that Windsor-Essex has some amazing businesses that are locally owned and operated. Some are new and innovative while others have stood the test of time celebrating over 15, 25 or 50 years of service in the area! Regardless of what they do or how long they’ve been doing it for, the fact of the matter is that entrepreneurs have a contagious spirit about them, one that defies convention and pushes the community forward. They challenge themselves on a daily basis and their passion and drive for all they do is unmatched. It’s for this reason that we, as fellow entrepreneurs, are honored to take part in Startup Canada and help Windsor-Essex celebrate something that most of us overlook on a daily basis; the businesses that make our city as unique and amazing as it is.
Regardless of what you do, where you work or where you live, we’re inviting you to celebrate with us this May. Check out the whole list of events below and be sure to clear your schedule, we’d love to see you there! Please visit Startup Canada and click on Windsor for a full list of activities/events.
More details about our secret “hunt” will be coming soon! Stay tuned to our blog, Facebook and Twitter for more information in the coming weeks. Visit Startup Windsor for more information on the hunt and all other Windsor events.
Join The Hunt to support your city and win some awesome
prizes! Registration begins May 1st online at Startup Windsor
Startup Canada Windsor Kickoff
University Of Windsor
Lunch With A Guru: Saul Colt
Caesars Windsor – The Vu Bar
Windsor Entrepreneur Spotlights
2:00pm-4:00pm (closed event)
Windsor Startup Canada Town Hall
Startup Canada Breakfast & Town Hall Recap
The House – Rino’s Kitchen
Entrepreneur Show & Tell
The Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator