Stick ’em up, your surrounded…by Social Media

Sure, a lot of it is my own doing, most of it is my own doing really.  I choose to surround myself with or utilize social media.  Much of it has been great, some of it has been detrimental (to my waistline), some has been very helpful and some just makes me shake my head in wonder.

I have two 20 somethings going to school in Ottawa and living at home.  They both have bus passes, so use the bus quite regularly.  Our house backs onto a park and we can see the closest OC Transpo stop out the back door.  Before they leave the house to jump on the bus any day they check their OC app.  That way, they rarely have to wait more than a couple of minutes for a bus.

Now, speaking of the park, and things that made me shake my head.  I walk my dog Chester through the park every day and evening.  Well, a couple of summers ago, the park seemed busier than usual and in a weird way.  It wasn’t kids playing soccer or baseball…they came into the park in one’s and two’s from multiple directions converging on a particular area, staring at their phones.  I was thinking, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, (great movie by the way, if you haven’t seen it), were these people possessed?  Yes and no, they were hunting for Pokemon.  You may recall, Pokemon Go of a couple years back.  Well, I had no idea at the time until and came home and was informed by my kids.  It was a weird experience to say the list, the first time it “Encountered” it.

Now, I enjoy a good scroll through Instagram fairly regularly.  Last summer pictures like this start popping up on my feed quite regularly.  Image result for chocolat favorisSo, needless to say, I happen to be in Orleans one sun shiny afternoon and one of those photos popped into my head.  A quick Google Maps search and next thing you know I’m getting my first giant ice cream cone, draped in a blanket of silky smooth chocolate heaven.  Thank goodness I don’t do a huge amount of business in Orleans, because I don’t think I have been since without a Chocolat Favoris stop.

Last year, my son and his girlfriend went on a trip to Iceland.  Back in the good old days, you would hope you would get a phone call every few days to keep you in the loop and let you know everyone was alive and well.  Not today.  My son wrote a daily Iceland trip blog and his girlfriend regularly posted on Facebook about their many adventures.  So, as a father and mother, we knew they were safe and sound and having fun.  And, we got to virtually take the trip with them through their descriptions and photos.  It was fun following along.

Anyway, sorry if this seems like a bit of rambling, but I was just looking out my window today and looked at someone standing at the bus stop, for quite some time (didn’t use the app) and someone else was wandering through the park.  It just made me think that we are truly surrounded by social media, if you want to be, and how completely intriguing it is and how it has changed the way we live our lives.

Anyone else have a social media experience that just made you go WOW!?  Good or bad?


Facebook – Social Media surrounds man in Barrhaven and shows him a new way of life!!


Twitter –   Stick ’em up, your surrounded…by Social Media!!

Can Social Media Change Our Collective Consiousness?

I, like many others, have seen the events of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneham Douglas High School in Florida last week unfold through our social media feeds.  It started with actual live streaming and instant photos of what was going on from students in the middle of it all.  Seeing and reading their account of what was happening, as it was happening, their feelings of fear, rage and concern for friends and family.  This particular tragedy, at this time, is different than others, in the fact that it involved mass amounts of teenagers with social media at their disposal, talking among themselves and their peers.  The narrative is now coming from teenagers, who are fed up with the status quo.  It is not coming from adults and being fed to us through mainstream media.

These teenagers, want to change the collective consciousness.  They are speaking out, like never before through their social media activities, calling out their government representatives, in hopes that this will be the time change will happen.

Yes, there have been other actions taken, by many others, but now, the message is coming from students across the country, organizing marches, school walk outs, everywhere.

As this article points out, this shooting, with these kids telling the story, are making America’s gun problem a “Global Conversation”.  Social media is making it so much easier for people across the globe to refute false claims and tell their own stories of shootings in their towns, cities and countries and how change can happen.  I had no idea, until this past week of a mass school shooting in Dunblane, Scotland and how the people and the government made change and have never seen such a thing again.

So, we can only hope that these are the people and this is the time that change does begin to happen.

Related image Can Social Media Change the Collective Consiousness of an entire country?


Image result for twitter logo Can Social Media Change the Collective Consiousness for the better?

Something here just went Viral!!

While I was falling into the rabbit hole of new trends in social media (get me a chatbot now)¹ I came across another article.  This article discussed various forms of traditional marketing techniques in the new world of social media.²  One of the ways to promote your brand to your target is to create something, you want to go Viral.  I’m thinking to myself, whaaaaaat?  That seems really risky, because, don’t most things go viral by accident, rather than planned.  Things go viral, because they are shocking, hilariously funny or so horrible, you can’t get it out of your head.  So, actually planning something like this seems to me that it could really back fire.

So then I start thinking about things I know of that went viral, were they planned or just an accident.  I’m sure Pepsi, was hoping their Kendall Jenner ad would go viral, and it did, for all the wrong reasons.

Or how about this Dollar Shave Club ad.  Which, for a major brand, seems like a really risky choice.  Why did it go viral?  It was definitely something never done before by any other razor brand.  It was irreverent, fun and said a lot about their company’s values.  Apparently, they know their target market very well.

Then I started thinking about the TV show, This Is Us, which my wife convinced me to watch, and now I’m hooked.  Prior to the Super Bowl, I could look at Facebook without seeing some kind of ad or post about the big reveal on the episode airing right after the Super Bowl.  “Spoiler Alert” Everyone already knew Jack was going to die, just not exactly how.  Well, all that social media advertising, posting by millions resulted in one of the highest ever viewed hours of television right after the Super Bowl.  27 Million viewers, I didn’t even know that many people still had cable.³  So, I would say that was a serious viral campaign, whether they meant it or not.

But, there is just as much risk, as seen by Pepsi and untold numbers of other companies where Viral is a bad place to be.  It takes a lot of space, time and money to recover from a Viral sensation for the wrong reason.

So, let me know what viral videos or pictures or stories you have seen, that wow you, surprise you or just make you shake your head in wonder.












Student given a bottle of water and promotes a global brand

Although I am not generally a huge follower of individual brands on social media, unless you count the likes of Gordon Ramsay or Gary Vaynerchuk as brands in themselves, I mostly follow individuals.  However I have always been intrigued with how brands promote themselves outside of the standard TV, radio, print and outdoor mediums.  Whether it be through unique packaging ( I have been know to purchase a product I knew nothing about or need, just because of a cool package), contests, sampling or interesting street campaigns to get their product in the hands of new customers. Such as Pepsi and the brilliant “Pepsi Challenge”.

For years, many large brands, such as the Coca-Cola’s and Pepsi’s of the world have done on campus sampling programs or given away product thru various events or campus promoters.  During the fall semester, I got up close and personal with a global brand promoting their product via Instagram.  My son, who is in his fourth year at Carleton University has fallen in love with photography and has become a very regular user of Instagram, posting on a weekly basis.  In the past year, he has built a good base of over 6000 followers.  That’s not hollywood star numbers or anything, but it seems to be enough to attract the attention of people in need of a good photographer. He has gotten a number of paid jobs, just from his Instagram feed.

So, during September of last year, he was contacted by Vitamin Water.  They were looking for influencers to promote the brand by taking pictures of the product in and around campus with or without students and posting to Instagram.  There was one student per campus who posting 3 photos per month from October thru December.  Those photos were to include various specific taglines and hashtags, such as “stay hydrated with my favourite flavour of @vitaminwatercanada, gotta stay focused #vitaminwatercanada, make sure you stay hydrated”.  What did they get out of it?  All the Vitamin Water they could drink, and pass out to friends, $50 a photo and experience working with a global brand.  What did Vitamin Water get out of it?  Their product seen by thousands of people in the specific target demo they want, at a fraction of the cost to buy advertising.  According to a Fast Company article from a few years ago, Vitamin Water (under the Coca-Cola brand) is a leader in the marketing of their product thru interaction on Instagram.

As social media continues to grow and evolve, there will be more and more opportunities for brands, both global and local to take advantage of these unique ways of reaching out to the customers, both old and new.

What interesting social media promotions have you seen lately?