Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 months, you probably heard Canada is turning 150 this July 1st!

The Buzz

The Government of Canada (GoC) has been using #Canada150 as part of their social media marketing campaign. The GoC has created four logos that anyone can use, as long as they obtain permission. This year is a pretty big deal for Canada. They have provided free access to all of Canada’s National Parks and even built infrastructure like the Ottawa sign in the Byward Market. #Canada150 has opened up many opportunities for businesses across Canada to use the hashtag as their own marketing campaign. It allows businesses to collaborate and be part of the celebration.

Keep it Authentic

Businesses have been making themed products and running contests as part of their campaign. I think this a great opportunity to drive traffic and sales to any business, as long as their authentic. If you were a company that sold jeans, you probably wouldn’t put ‘Canada’ all over your product. But, if you are a company like Roots, you would definitely use Canada’s Birthday as part of your marketing campaign.

What kind of  #Canada150 are you?

How long is your business up and running? As you as old as  The Hudson’s Bay Company? Or are you a fairly new company? It is important to keep the same look and feel of your company if you are creating product or merchandise for Canada 150. A new company could use a more modern current approach, whereas an older company could use collectables or First Nations artwork. The Hudson’s Bay Company created a 58 piece collection of souvenirs that are Canada 150 themed. They are also raising funds for the Great Trail Project which connects 24,000 km of trails across the country! How will your company represent Canada’s 150th birthday? Will it be consistent with your brand?

What are others doing?

Tim Hortons has named themselves the Official Coffee of Ottawa 2017. Their coffee will be served to all of the volunteers and even provide financial support to Ottawa. It’s a win-win situation.


(image: http://www.smartcanuks.com)

Roots introduced their ‘Be Nice’ collection which is all Canada 150 inspired. It’s meant to celebrate 150 years of Canadians being nice.

(video: http://www.youtube.com)

Air Canada has launched a Canada 150 contest titled ‘See Canada’.  To enter the contest you have to post your best shots of Canada and use the #Canada150 and tag @aircanada. You can win 2 tickets to any Canadian destination and have your work showcased in their enRoute magazine.


(image: http://www.aircanada.com)

Any business has a chance to be part of this major celebration. It’s a great opportunity to engage with customers and connect using emotional marketing. Be creative! Canada is excited!

Twitter How will your business be part of #Canada150? http://bit.ly/2rPux5D

facebook What are you doing to be part #Canada150? What are others doing? Read to find out how you can get your business involved. http://bit.ly/2rPux5D








How do I use Hashtags for Business?

What is a hashtag?

Hashtags are words or phrases with a pound sign (#) in front of them. They are clickable links used to categorize content on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and Google+. Hashtags make your content more discoverable. For example, if I  were to post a picture of myself travelling, I could #travel or #wanderlust and anyone who clicked on that hashtag would be able to view my photo. Chris Messina, a social media expert, introduced hashtags to Twitter in 2007. Since then, hashtags have grown in popularity and is important to use in any social media strategy. In this blog post, I will discuss how you can use hashtags in business and why it’s so important to your strategy.


(image: http://www.businessinsider.com

Hashtags to Grow your Reach

As mentioned above, using generic hashtags such as #coffee, #marketing, #makeup can help you reach more customers.  Using a hashtag that is relevant to your product and target market is important. Don’t use hashtags just for the sake of using them, ensure they are relevant. When a user clicks a hashtag, they have an opportunity to see your post. For businesses, they can interact with other users who used this hashtag as well. By liking and commenting on other user’s post, this can entice the user to check out your profile.


Use your own Hashtag

You can create your own unique hashtag for a social media campaign or strategy. When you create your own hashtag, you are able to engage with your following and encourage them to participate in a discussion. For example, Coca-Cola used the hashtag #shareacoke for one of their campaigns. Coca-Cola’s marketing campaign included branding their cans with people whom you would share a coke with. They would encourage customers to take a photo and use the hashtag #shareacoke. Basically, Coca-Cola advertised for free by having customers take photos and share them.


(image: http://www.talkingretail.com)

Hashtags for Analytics

In this week’s lessons, we discussed how you can use and measure conversations in social media. By using hashtags it is possible to track engagement. You can see how many people used a specific hashtag and what they are saying. It is like free analytics! Also, you are able to easily engage with users by retweeting, sharing, commenting, or liking their post. With Sprout Social analytics tool you can also see what hashtags are trending and commonly used.


(image: http://www.sproutsocial.com

For anyone new to social media, hashtagging can be intimidating and confusing. Hashtagging is here to stay and every business should include them in their social media strategy. How have you used hashtags to grow your business? Did it work? Comment below and let me know.


Social Media Campaign

facebook  How do you use hashtags? How can they benefit my business? Read my latest blog post to find out! http://bit.ly/2shWcA5

Twitter What are hashtags? How can you use them to gain more business? Find out here: http://bit.ly/2shWcA5 #marketing #whatarehashtags













Instagram Stories is Officially More Popular than Snapchat


My intention for this blog post was to discuss “Will Instagram stories take over Snapchat”. I very quickly came to realize, that Instagram Stories is OFFICIALLY more popular than Snapchat. Instagram Stories has quickly gained in popularity since its debut in August 2016. According to The Verge, there are 200 million people using Instagram stories daily while only 161 million are using Snapchat. Snapchat admitted to a 15% decrease in their 4th quarter of 2016. As an avid user of both platforms, I had no knowledge of the popularity growth of Instagram Stories. Let’s discuss both platforms and determine the advantages and disadvantages of each platform and why Snapchat is on the decline.


(image: blog.wolfmillionare.com) 

Instagram Stories Features

  • Send directly to followers
  • 24 hour lifespan
  • Geo-stickers and Hashtags
  • New ! Selfie Face Filters
  • Rewind/ Fast Forward/Slow Motion
  • Stickers/selfie stickers
  • Higher quality of video
  • Filters
  • Embedded links
  • Erase feature
  • Live Video
  • Hands-free video
  • 15 second video

Snapchat Features

  • 24-hour lifespan
  • Send directly to followers
  • Stickers
  • Geo-stickers
  • Bit-emoji
  • Selfie Face Filters
  • Fast Forward/Slow Motion
  • Subscriptions/ Feature
  • 10 second video

As you can you see, many of the features are the same. One competitive advantage that Snapchat had over Facebook was the ‘Face Filters’. Everyone loves the dog, flower crown, and face swap filter features on Snapchat!  Well, as of last month Instagram debuted pretty much the same feature on their platform. If you can’t beat them, join them!

Shown below is reality star Kendall Jenner using Snpachat’s classic ‘dog filter’.


(image: http://www.instyle.com)

Shown below is an example of the features used in Instagram Stories. Geotags, tags, hashtags, and stickers are used.


(image: blog.dashhudson.com )

So Why IS Instagram Stories more popular?

Instagram had a larger audience, to begin with. 400 million people use Instagram already, so the probability of people using Instagram Stories is greater. Users don’t have to download another app because everything that Snapchat has, is already on Instagram. Snapchat has even seen a decrease of 15% by ‘stars’ as a result of Instagram having a larger following.

The Demise of Vine

vine(image: http://www.techtimes.com)

What is Vine? Exactly. Jokes aside, Vine was a video sharing app designed for users to create short clips that could be linked together for a 6-second video. Twitter bought Vine for 30 million in October 2012.  Meanwhile, Snapchat was introduced with 10-second videos. There are a couple reasons why it failed. Advertisers were not interested in only 6 seconds of video time and quite frankly I don’t think the app was very easy to use.  Vine just couldn’t compete with Instagram and Snapchat.

The reason why I thought it was important to highlight Vine, is because we need to know… will Snapchat be the new Vine? Is Snapchat going to survive the decline? Will they introduce new features that will gain more users? How will they differentiate themselves?

Which platform do you prefer using? Comment below and let me know!


www. techtimes.com 





Social Media Campaign

Twitter I would tweet out to all my followers immediately after posting the blog and provide them with a direct link.

Which is more popular IG Stories or Snapchat?!  Find out here http://bit.ly/2rHy8Gn #igstories #snapchat #battle

facebook  Upon posting, I would post this a direct link to blog with the caption: ” Public Service Announcement: Instagram Stories IS Officially more Popular than Snapchat” Click to find out why! http://bit.ly/2rHy8Gn






COM0011: 7 Best Practices for Marketing on Instagram

This week in Introduction to Social Media, we learned about how to create and write for social platforms such as Blogs, Facebooks, and Twitter. Instagram being my personal favourite platform to use, I was curious about what makes a great Instagram post. Instagram is a photo-sharing social media network for personal and professional use. Instagram is an extremely effective tool for capturing audiences through the use of pictures; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Like facebook, Instagram can be used to share pictures of your everyday life, or for businesses to gain a following to ultimately sell a product or service. According to Business Instagram, there are 400 million users who use Instagram every day, and of those 400 million users, 80% of them follow a business. Here is what I believe to be the best practices for marketing on Instagram:

1. Posting Great Photos

Since Instagram is a photo sharing platform, taking great pictures is critical. With those statistics I shared above, it’s important for your image (or video!) to stand out. Using a professional camera, rather than your iphone will create a higher quality image. Creating an image that will captivate users, will ultimately lead them to either like, comment, tag their friends, follow you, or buy the product you’re selling.

2. Timing

Like Facebook and Twitter, choosing the right time to publish can increase your chances of people viewing your post. The goal is to publish your post when users are most active. According to CoSchedule, the best time to post is generally during off work hours. You can also use tools like HootSuite to schedule and automate your posts.


  (image: CoSchedule)

3. Theme

Creating a common theme will produce an attractive look and feel for your profile. Posting pictures using similar colours and the same ‘filter’ will make your profile look more appealing. Doing this will also keep your brand consistent. One of my favourite Instagram accounts is Lauren Conrad. Notice the similar colours and photos?

Lauren Conrad

4. Branding Your Profile

Like with any social media platform, making sure your profile is complete and aligned with your brand is crucial. Using your logo as your profile picture will allow users to find and recognize your business. Ensuring your website link is included in your profile will drive people to your site. You should also include a description of your product/service for people who don’t know your business. Many businesses will also create their own hashtag for a social media campaign and for people to use when sharing a picture of your product.

North Face

5. Hashtags and Geolocation

Within Instagram, you can search via Hashtag. Hashtags are words with a pound sign (i.e. #socialmedia). People use hashtags to search a specific topic or category. You can use hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. By using hashtags you can increase your reach and make your account more discoverable. Remember to use hashtags that relate to your product. As mentioned in tip #4, businesses also use their own hashtag to help brand and see the content users are sharing.
With Geotagging you can tag your location where the picture was taken. This is another way for people to discover your photos/videos. It will also allow users to geotag when they are at your place of business, resulting in more exposure.

6. Connecting With Your Followers

There are several ways you can communicate with your followers on Instagram. Doing this will create a trusted and reliable brand. Many businesses will reply to their comments when a question is asked. You can also like your follower’s comments. Many companies will do ‘shoutouts’ or ‘repost’ their fans photos. This will encourage followers to post pictures of your product. Personally, I love it when companies respond to a question or concern I have on Social Media. It saves me time trying to find the answer and it shows that they care enough to answer me directly.

7. Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights is a built-in tool used to help you analyze your followers and drive your strategy. Using this tool will allow you to gain insights about your follower’s activities and demographics. This is a powerful tool that can help you tweak your posts to cater to your followers, or show you areas that you can improve (ie. Posting at times your followers are online). Other companies such as Sprout offer a similar service.

instagram insights

(Image: http://www.fstoppers.com)

Instagram can assist in building your brand and engaging with your followers. Do you have anything to add to these top tips? Do you use Instagram? If so, why, and do you follow businesses or just your friends?


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