Social Media

Molson Canadian does “Remarkable”

Hats off to Molson Canadian for their Beer Fridge campaign from 2013/14. Now this is an example of a “remarkable” (see previous post for explanation about “Heartbeats” and “Remarkables“).


Obsessed with social media…or just yourself?

As far as infographs go, this one is both enlightening and amusing. As a self-declared social media enthusiast, I struggle with its polarization (i.e. “people with high levels of narcissism or low levels of self-esteem spend more than an hour a day on Facebook”) but I can appreciate some of its analogies (i.e. “talking about ourselves activates the regions of the brain associated with the sense of satisfaction from food, money, or sex”).

At the end of the day, I still love infographs!

Psychology of Social Networking

Twitter in the classroom

I love coming across articles like this one recently published by The Vancouver Sun. And I am so encouraged to see the growing adoption of social media technologies in the classroom – and not just in post-secondary!

I have spent the past few months of my non-teaching time exploring new social/sharing platforms to better understand their user offerings and limitations. Twitter continues to rank high on my list of effective, prompt, and succinct tools for communicating with students in and out of the classroom.

But a new rising star is on the horizon and I have to give brownie points to GooglePlus: launched this past July, G+ has grown to over 20-million users (power-users for the most part – journalists ,marketers, tech junkies) and offers the best of Facebook and Twitter paired with capabilities more commonly seen in Skype and Foursquare. And the iPhone app is easy to navigate and has an excellent and speedy uploading feature.

So while I continue to encourage new and existing educators to explore the possibilities of Twitter, I would also like to see the adoption of G+ for collaboration, communication, and content creation. I for one am beyond eager to use this tool in my future courses and am thrilled to see so many of my Kwantlen (and one BCIT) students already on G+.

Cheers to all the power-users out there (isn’t it fun being an early adopter).  😉

Scott Stratten on Social Media ROI

Leave it to Scott, Mr. “UnMarketing”, to keep it real and deliver this critical message to the “old school business folks” who (still) spend hours upon hours questioning the ROI of social media.

In his latest blog post, Scott forces us all to examine the ROI of non-social media efforts that are supposed to bring business value.

Like meetings.

And more meetings.

Point taken.

Pinterest: the new kid on the block

If you haven’t heard about it yet, you will. And you will probably scratch your head and say, “Pin-ter-whaaaat?”, but that’s ok because it looks like Pinterest is here to stay so you have time to learn what it’s all about and catch up. Of course my advice is to go, check it out, play around, and figure it out. No workshop required.

Simple enough, right? If that hasn’t piqued your curiosity then let me tell you about the article I just read.

Forbes recently published this article about the rise of Pinterest and its role in the digital curation wave. A few stats from this article to entice you to read it and learn more about the #1 growing site:

  • From September to December 2011 the number of visitors (assuming unique) went up by 430%
  • Over 7 million users
  • “Pinterest drives more web traffic to other sites than Google +, LinkedIn, and YouTube…COMBINED”.

I love Pinterest. It is visually compelling, relevant, well-filtered, with sensible sharing features. Digital curation at its finest in my humble (user) opinion. I’ve seen rapid growth and adoption of Pinterest even within in my own social circles, and just recently met with some former students and discussed Pinterest’s role in helping with their Practicum project.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on Pinterest’s rapid growth and success and it’s impact on retailers…where do you see Pinterest having the most impact on business outcome?

A Day at the Art of Marketing

Yesterday I attended The Art of Marketing in downtown Vancouver. A one-day conference filled with 5 well-known marketing industry leaders and authors. Let’s be totally honest…I was really only there to see my real-life hero, Avinash Kaushik who I discovered a year ago while researching web analytics. Avinash writes an incredible blog called Occam’s Razor and I dare you to go there and not fall in love!

Back to the conference.

Ron Tite (@rontite) served as MC for the event and did a fantastic job warming up the audience (the Canucks jersey certainly didn’t hurt). Ron spoke about the “new” rules of marketing…or more accurately, the lack thereof. As marketers, we don’t necessary all play by the same rule book: unlikely hockey players for example. Some hit hard, some skate slow, and some stay on the bench. Ron’s analogies were effective and compelling and his ability to reach out and engage with the audience was outstanding.

A “Why To” not “How To” discussion about the Future of Marketing

Mitch Joel (@mitchjoel), author of “Six Pixels of Separation” was our first speaker and set a very, very, high bar. “Where is marketing going?”, asked Mitch. At the heart of this disruptive time is the core reality that consumers are leading the revolution, not marketers. Marketing is undergoing a major reboot – CTRL + ALT + DEL (Mac users: nevermind) – and the platforms serving us today require a completely different approach. What we should stop doing is trying to retro-fit the old methods. It’s time to move towards the new models of marketing which consumers are using, sharing, inventing, and demanding.

Mitch makes an excellent point when he says that the “new consumer” is practically unrecognizable from just two years ago. Think about it: how have you changed in your demand for, and access of, timely relevant information. How quickly do you grab your mobile device to get immediate information on movies, or a product, or a meaningless piece of trivia nagging your brain? Consumers have changed nearly at the same pace as the app industry. And damn, that’s fast.

So what does Mitch call this new era of marketing? He refers to it as, “The Connected Consumer Strategy”, and I’ll say this now…it changes everything in the marketing communications ballgame. During this part of his presentation I sent out this tweet:

Screen shot of my tweet about Mitch Joel's book 6 Pixels of Separation

I wonder if anyone heard it? Hmm…

The Connected Consumer Strategy is all about the mobile user and optimizing:

  • the mobile experience
  • the digital experience

After all, the stats regarding the purchases of mobile devices vs non-mobile are clearly showing a strong trend towards digital mobility. And guess what? Brands aren’t leading the charge on social media or marketing. Consumers are. Mobile, digitally-tuned in, consumers. Are you ready for them?

Strategy & Creativity

William Taylor (@practicallyrad) opened with a powerful, thought-provoking question that we should all be asking ourselves:

Can you persuasively tell your audience why they should be your customer?

Yikes. The reality is, most front-line workers can’t. From retailers to bank tellers…marketers, sales, and customer service all struggle with answering this question in a succinct and meaningful way. What’s missing is an intimate understanding of a brand’s value proposition: moreover, a thorough understanding of the VALUES represented by the brand. It’s companies like Zappos and Fido who have redefined value propositions that are compelling and relevant (not to mention authentic) for their customers: imagine…an Internet company that actually provides a phone number and encourages you to call it, and then a human picks it up and talks to you (unscripted!!!). This is what Taylor calls “humanizing core capabilities”. It’s simple, it’s brilliant, and it’s so over-looked. It’s also a completely new look at customer service. People, pay attention here: customer service IS marketing. Do it right and you will be rewarded.

Taylor leaves us with another great concept that addresses leadership. He challenges us to think like a “solution finder” instead of a “problem solver”. Seriously, problems are not that unique. Come on Mr. and Mrs. CEO…your problems are being experienced and shared world-wide and have already been conquered. Find solutions; ask others, gain their input & insight, hell crowdsource this if you need to. But stop locking yourself and your ego in a boardroom and thinking this is all on you. This, Taylor says, is how today’s New Leaders think.

Web Revolution

It’s no secret that Avinash Kaushik (@avinash) was the main feature for me at this event. I’ve written several blog posts used for teaching and sharing knowledge about basic analytics, with all concepts borrowed from Avinash’s book, Web Analytics 2.0. What’s great about seeing him present is that he speaks like he writes; it’s all coming from the same bundle of funny, intense, passionate, energy. Avinash is a true natural and he knows how to bring the humanity (and humour) into analytics. This my friends is pure genius.

Consider an online video. Google’s, Parisian Love, for example:

How did this make you feel? Happy? Sentimental? Did it make you smile? And did you feel like sharing it? The statistics tell a story about this video:

Screen shot of Analytics of Google's video Parisian Love

But the fine print tells another one:

Screen shot of Parisian Love's Likes & dislikes

What Avinash wants us to understand is that sure there is data and there are lots and lots of stats out there, but we need to hone in on “metrics that matter”. Incremental metrics, not just the well-known ones (my God – do not say HITS or Page Views or else lightening will come find you), such as “Likes” and “Dislikes” tell a very important story. Look, it’s all about measuring the data that tells you you’ve made a connection with people. This is what Avinash is encouraging us to measure.

There are many other metrics that we should all be wrapping our heads around in the analytics world:

  1. Bounce rates (as in, “I came, I puked, I left”)
  2. Task Completion Rate
  3. Message Amplification (Retweets that tell us about engagement & velocity and show us the “ripple effect”)
  4. Conversation Rate (a measure of “shouting” vs “conversation”)
  5. Network Influence Size (measure of the “2nd level network; eg. followers of your followers. This gives us “True Reach”)

To be blunt, which Avinash is and this is why we love him, you want to be measuring outcomes that impact Social Value and Economic Value. One of the best lines of the day was when he explained that measuring incrementally is critical: by running controlled experiments you can “fail faster” (or #failfaster as he put it). Smart isn’t it? Find out which metrics matter, which ones impact your key outcomes, track the data to tell the story of your successes (or, failures).

There is no title for this presentation

No one made a stronger more memorable impact than the fourth speaker of the day, Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee). Author of “Crush It” and “The Thank You Economy”, Gary came out and hit us hard in the front, the back, the side, and on top with his profanity-based honest perspective of the (marketing) world we live in today. It’s a shame no one had an f-bomb meter running, I suspect we could have collected enough money to pay for drinks afterwards.

What I most enjoyed about Gary’s presentation was his fresh look at disintermediation. You just gotta be a nerd to love this stuff. Changing business models and distribution channels fascinate me and the role (new) technology plays in this context is something I could talk or read about for hours. The communication channels today are rewriting the rules and consumers have even more direct access to upward channel players than ever before. So what role are retailers playing? What value are they bringing to the consumer? You either are, or you aren’t…and if you aren’t, then game over.

Alas, a quote from Gary:

Sure, content is king. But context is queen and that b*tch runs the house.

Boom! There you go, that’s probably the cleanest quote I can provide from Gary’s presentation.

How to Create Enchantment

I hate this title almost as much as I hated this presentation. Yes, I know, strong words. Sorry folks, but this presentation delivered by Guy Kawasaki (@guykawasaki) was #NOTenchanting. I found it to be pretentious, demeaning, and at times, patronizing. It was both the content and the delivery of the content that offended and disappointed me. It read like a biz school student presentation – no wait – I’ve seen better in business school – so let me just say that it was completely off mark and anti-climactic after such a #winning day.  😉

A glimpse into my frustration:

My tweets during Guy Kawasaki's presentation

Guy put forth a numeric list of “to do’s” so we can all learn how to be enchanting. From ‘how to’ dress for our audience (yes, seriously) to ‘how to’ reciprocate with our neighbours in order to get something in return (gak), it was all straight from decades past. I’d like to try to find at least one nugget amongst the irrelevant story telling, name dropping, and ass kissing: Ah, here it is… “Tell a Story”. Ok, I get that. Storytelling has long been perceived as marketing’s long-lost and often forgotten younger step-sibling. The power of framing your values, your vision, your brand in the context of a story is practiced by many: Rick Hansen Foundation, Lululemon, 3M…they’ve all done it and done it well.


But the rest of the day was pure gold.

Technology is not the enemy. We are [summary]

Today was a great day. I attended Kwantlen’s Engaged Learning Symposium both as a learner and as a presenter. In the morning session I presented a 50-minute lecture entitled,”Face it: Technology is not the enemy, we are.” It was my “call” to all faculty to consider using more technology, and in particular social media, in the classroom instead of banning it all together. I delivered my lecture via Prezi and dissected the content into 3 “pillars”:

  • My Story – who I am and how I arrived at this point in my teaching career. Included a screen shot of my 2 worst reviews on (which were eye openers and impetus for change).
  • Technology vs Culture [Managing Change: Technology & Education] – we can’t talk about bringing radical new teaching styles into the classroom without acknowledging the need for change management. Understanding why people (eg. faculty) might resist change helps us recognize how to successfully deliver them into acceptance.
  • Technology in the Classroom: Marketing 3311 demonstrated use of social media – focusing on blogging (WordPress) and micro-blogging (Twitter) I discussed the role of social web tools and outcomes for both students & instructors.

I could have used another half hour, at least, to field questions at the end of the session, but alas…I may just have to offer a Part II session instead. The discussions were great though – and impressed me to see that the wheels were turning…couple of questions that came from faculty included:

1. “If I’m teaching 4 sections in one semester with 30 students in each, how am I supposed to read 120 blog posts each week. Isn’t using technology supposed to help create less work for the instructor instead of more?”

 – Yes; less work is one of the desired outcomes for faculty. So in this case, my suggestion is to have students “sign up” for a set number of blog posts throughout the term so that you are only reading and evaluating, say 5 per section, each week and then having the remaining 25 students in each section comment and engage in online discussions.

2. “How can I teach to a class of students who are surfing the web, Facebooking friends, watching YouTube videos, tweeting nonsense, etc. This is what happens when we allow hardware into the classroom and into the hands of students.”

– Yup, agree; this is what happens so let’s redirect their focus. Let’s keep students busy so if they are surfing the web they are…finding critical changes to Canadian Criminology Law and codes in the last 5 years; or if they are on Facebook they are…analyzing advertising strategies or finding examples of Metcalfe’s Law in action; or if they are watching YouTube videos they are…finding Google’s YouTube channel that delivers web analytics seminars; or if they are tweeting they are actively following hashtags for #sociology #orgbehaviour #Ghana #photosynthesis and finding thought leaders, bloggers, influencers, and important publications not found in textbooks.

Using technology and social media in the classroom requires a complete re-wiring of the educator’s brain: this experience allows us to take on a completely different role: a collaborator, moderator, and facilitator of the educational process. The scarier it feels the more liberating it will be. Allowing this role change opens up a great opportunity to learn, share, and grow, and not just for the students.

If your wheels are turning and you are pondering how to do this you have already made huge (mental) strides. Allow yourself now to tinker, explore, experiment, and sometimes…to fail. Students are both accepting and forgiving in my experience and also great teachers. That is, if you are willing to allow them to be.

Where would you like technology to take you?

Scott Stratten on UnMarketing

Today I attended the “UnMarketing” conference in Vancouver, with special guest Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing. Scott is a lively, energetic, authentic, and down to earth speaker. In a word, refreshing. He’s not presenting a load of marketing BS with a little “TM” after every concept or idea. He knows he’s not necessarily inventing new ideas about marketing; he’s just giving some of us a much needed wake up call about our etiquette (or lack thereof) and occasional moronic moves (ie. scheduling/automating tweets…apparently a hotly debated topic) as we attempt to master the art of online engagement.

I’d like to summarize a few key points from Scott which I hope make sense to those who were not in attendance. If not, hmm…maybe go grab his book?

[On Branding]

  • There’s no such thing as a neutral brand experience. You are either improving or harming your presence and reputation. Everything you do provides a brand experience.

[On Customer Service]

  • To be great about customer service you only have to be average because everyone else really sucks.

[On Blogging]…these were my favourite

  • Write for “awesome” not frequency.
  • There’s a difference between writing for awesome and writing for content.
  • Make it easier for people to share your posts [that is the whole point after all, isn’t it?]
  • Do the SEO after the awesome: SEO is highly price sensitive and competitive.
  • AdSense is pimping: blogs covered in ad’s is like pimping a page.
  • Popups are like a punch in the face: assault is NEVER a good sales tactic.
  • Kill the, “your comment is awaiting moderation” feature: it’s as though you are telling your audience that their engagement is awaiting your moderation.

[On Social Media]

  • Social media doesn’t fix anything. If you suck, you just suck harder on social media.
  • Social media doesn’t change the fact that relationships take time.
  • Awesome gets rewarded on Twitter and engagement gets rewarded on Facebook.

Flipping through UnMarketing during the break I came across a few lines about the future of websites. This caught my attention as I’ve had this nagging feeling lately that the purpose and presentation of websites is evolving into something completely different than the traditional e-commerce/glorified brochure models we’ve come to know and hate. Scott states that the future of websites is a blog-driven site, where fresh content (awesome content!) dominates the site, allowing for greater engagement with users. The old model of posting everything YOU know about YOUR BUSINESS is proving that it doesn’t hold users’ attention and it doesn’t meet their needs.

I’ve had this hunch for about 2 weeks now and was pleased to see it validated by someone who unlike me, has written a book! This is something I look forward to exploring more as I am a big believer in the blog-driven site.

Refreshing, enlightening, and inspiring…thanks Scott, for an educational and entertaining afternoon.

Reconciling “The Gossip Girl” model

A letter to Max Valiquette

Dear Max,

Although I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation at Get Contagious, I would like to request that you help me reconcile some concerns I have with openly embracing and celebrating what you so cleverly term, “The Gossip Girl model” (brilliant, btw). On the one hand, I agree completely that we need to “get over it” when it comes to accepting different standards in privacy, but on the other hand, and this is what I’m struggling with, how do we accept these new norms and live comfortably in a society where young men commit a heinous crime against an unsuspecting young woman, only to then post, share, and promote their criminal and cruel behaviour on Facebook, YouTube, etc?

It’s this event that has hampered my enthusiasm for a “new privacy”. It’s this event that has devastated me as a mother, a woman, and even as a marketer. I get, that we need to “get over it”, and for the most part I am. After all, I am an avid social-media user and enthusiast. But my spirit gets crushed when I hear of abuse that goes beyond using social media as another channel to conduct a little, “sibling torture”.

How do we reconcile these feelings?

Andrea Niosi

A Politicians strategy online, be interesting to become contagious. (via Ashley Megan’s Blog)

Ashley’s look at politics & social media policy. A good reminder for budding public administrators.

A Politicians strategy online, be interesting to become contagious. I’m thrilled to be attending the Contagious Conference in Vancouver this coming Friday.  In preparation, I’ve been catching up on Seth Godin’s blog. Seth Godin is quite the marketing celebrity, in fact, while he won’t actually be at the event, Contagious has been leaking ‘sneak tweets’ of a video interview with Seth they’ll show at the event.  This lead me his blog.  Considering Seth’s ‘fame’, his blog (possibly the  most popular in the world wri … Read More

via Ashley Megan’s Blog