What can we learn from Jell-O?

Last week, Margarita Ibbott posted her February editorial calendar on her blog, and it was a brilliant demonstration of how you can get blogging ideas out of everyday and special events. It reminded me of a post I wrote for From the Desk of Janet Barclay in 2011, and since it happens to be very timely, I’ve updated it a bit and am republishing it here today.

What can we learn from Jell-O?

When searching for topics for my blog, I often refer to ideas suggested in the Blogging Calendar from Blog Energizer, and recommend this wonderful resource to others as well. After downloading a copy, one of my clients said that she couldn’t wait to see how I might be inspired by Jell-O Week. Although I knew she was teasing, I couldn’t resist a challenge, especially when it comes to blogging, so here goes!

Did you know that people have been enjoying Jell-O since the late 1800s? It is, in fact, a “shining” example of a brand keeping up with the times. Over the years they’ve adapted to customer wants and needs by adding non-gelatin products to their line-up, introducing new flavors, discontinuing less popular ones, and catering to the demands of health-conscious consumers.

Are we doing that in our own businesses?

In terms of their marketing, they’ve also kept up with the times, going from magazines to radio to television. Despite recent revelations that Bill Cosby may not have lived up to the squeaky clean image we knew and loved, many of us have fond memories of the many commercials he appeared in.

Not surprisingly, Jell-O even has a great Facebook Page! Here are some of the things they do to encourage people to not only Like their Page but to become active participants in their online community:

  • Allow fans to post on the Page and, even more importantly, respond to their posts
  • Ask timely questions such as “What are you doing to keep your New Year’s Resolution?” and “The Big Game is better when you’re with family and friends! Who are you watching it with?”
  • Post recipes and money-saving coupons
  • Invite fans to submit photos of their Jell-O creations
  • Create photo albums showing their “Giggle Tours”
  • Upload videos of their latest commercials

Even their About Page is nice and light, like Jell-O itself. They could easily have included a lengthy paragraph describing their many products or the brand’s history, but they didn’t.

What other effective Facebook pages have you seen? What do you like about them? How might we incorporate some of these ideas into our own Facebook pages?

My challenge for you today:

  1. Download the latest Blogging Planner & Calendar.
  2. Choose a topic that doesn’t seem to have anything to do with your business.
  3. Be creative and find a way to use it on your blog.
  4. Come back here and post your link in the comments!

Original photo by Steven Depolo, used under a Creative Commons license

A former professional organizer, I’m now a web designer and DIY marketing facilitator. I love helping others succeed by sharing the knowledge and insight I’ve gained through marketing my own business for over 15 years. When I’m away from my desk, I enjoy reading, photography, watching movies, and cooking.

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Comments

  1. Janet,
    Brilliant inspiration! Just love how you took the seed idea, explored it and made it relevant to building a business and using social media effectively. Well done. Plus, I love the photo of the jello cubes. Reminds me of “The Great Jello Fight” I had with my cousin when I was a kid.

  2. Thanks, Linda! I had a lot of fun developing the idea and I’m glad you liked the results and that it brought back some childhood memories! I also remember fun times with my cousins, but no Jello was involved.

  3. What I always liked best about jello was how you could take a mouthful and then squish it forward between your teeth without letting it squirt right out of your mouth. Now, how can I compare that to my business of writing? 🙂

  4. Janet, you’ve outdone yourself this time! What this post *really* proves is just how creative and resourceful you truly are. Come to think of it, you are sorta like Jello; you’re very colorful, timeless, fun, and dependable. Clients like me know that despite all the hot trends and fads, no one is better at taking multiple tasks, with a variety of “ingredients” and wiggling, jiggling and sometimes giggling them into a beautiful, finished, “delicious” products. Organized Assistant is very much like Jello and if you don’t believe me, read these fun facts about Jello and see if you don’t agree.

    http://bit.ly/e7Ew9A

  5. …and THAT is why we are friends. Bloggers inspiring bloggers to write blog posts to then re-write blog posts to then read blog post. Honestly, I love blogging and when I can have the support of others it is GENIUS.

    Loved your post. You can make anything out of Jello!

  6. Wow, the idea of reaching outside of my field and writing a post on it is kind of scary.. and kind of exciting. Funny enough, my memories of Jello are mostly of being sick – my mother always gave it to me when I had an upset tummy:) I’ll think about this one, Janet!

  7. Hi Janet,
    What a great blog and a great list of comments!! So true, that we can learn from others successes. I love all the links on this page too and will check out as many as I can. Thanks so much for your inspiration 🙂

  8. I’m a little late to the party, but I love to find resources like this. Thanks, Janet for bringing it to my attention.

    As a fun add-on, my favorite Jello pastime is making Jello Jigglers and using cookie cutters to make different shapes. Whoever said you shouldn’t play with your food!

  9. Hi Janet,

    Downloaded your Blogger Planner and I love it! Just wanted to give you a heads up that confirmation email went to my spam folder. It looks like this is common with emails from Aweber these days.

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