Blog Post #6

In my last assignment, I suggested Blendtec should orchestrate an online contest as a follow-up to the original and highly successful “Will It Blend?” campaign.  Recently I have come across a publication by Stikeman Elliott coming out a 2011 seminar called Advertising and Marketing in a Social Media World.  

There was a whole presentation about online contests and if I saw this publication I would have realized the dangers a lot more clearly.  The publication outlines a “social media contest gone wrong”.  Chevy had a “Design Your Own Tahoe” competition in 2006 that was crashed by environmentalists who talked about the environmental dangers of such a vehicle.

The publication suggested (among other things) that entrants should agree to at a minimum:

  • That the content submitted be original to him/her,
  • The content submitted is subject to review according to the submission requirements as outlined in Official Rules.

A company embarking on such an adventure would be wise to invest in legal counsel.


Blog #5

In a regular Tuesday Morning Commentary by Brent Barootes from the Partnership Group, Mr. Barootes quoted a factoid from Adobe’s The Social Intelligence Report.  Their research stated that the day to achieve the greatest amount of engagement on Facebook is Friday.

I am not surprised by this as Fridays are traditionally the most likely “goof-off day” where you celebrate the end of the work week and beginning of the weekend.  This is even more likely if you are a Millennial.  Although the article below doesn’t identify a specific weekday, it does make clear that Millennials treasure their work/life balance and are willing to take a day off if they feel they need it.  This is coupled with the fact that this age group (18 to 34) are the most active in social media.

But the best thing about fooling around – I mean engaging- on Facebook on a Friday is that you don’t have to actually take the day off do it.  You can just sit at your desk and engage like crazy.

The Report suggests that a Friday post is a must in your social media schedule.

Blog #4 – COM0011

Having participated with the almighty Facebook for a year now, I have a short and personal list of things that bother me in other people posts:

  • Constant, unrelenting upbeatness that not even a saint could maintain. It’s unrealistic and hard to take the “poster” seriously.  I like to see a range of emotion and topics but, obviously, restraining from abusive and outright silly behavior.

Facebook “friends” that do a good job of this are folksinger James Keelaghan and fundraiser Tony Elischer.  Their posts are personal but not cringe-worthy and they give professional insight into their worlds.

A “real” friend posts articles about important politicians and thoughts about matters of the spirit.

  • Politically awkward, strident and marginal comments – unless I decide that that’s my new brand!!

Introduction to Social Media – COM0011 Blog #3

Blog Post #3

What intrigued me about the government aspect of this course content is how the German government is going back to typewriters as the preferred way to communicate really the important missives. The internet is too risky, it would seem, for even The Big Guys and I think the government of the Federal Republic of Germany would qualify as coming under that description. If they’re worried I guess I should be.

While using typewriters has a romantic “Bletchley Park”, old-school appeal, the truth is that the world cannot go back. In the Cold War there was the “arms race” and now it seems there is an “information race”. Who has the best information and can they keep it under lock and key or at least out of a wiki?

Risk is something you must address personally to protect your brand but it’s all possible. There are always risks in anything you do and participation on the internet is no different but since it’s electronic, your misfires or unguarded rants can be the status up-date heard ‘round the world. While I do wonder about FB friends who consistently send cat jokes and videos, social media is a fabulous opportunity to expand your depth of understanding on a topic and participate in a discussion.

Participation is paramount to really get the most out social media. A respectful exchange of ideas and comments expands everybody’s understanding.

COM 001 Blog#2

I recently attended an Ottawa “Mayor’s Breakfast” with the fairly new President and CEO of Tim Hortons Inc., Marc Caira. In his address he laid out his history in the food business (old-school name brands like Nestle) and his view for the future of the iconic Tim Hortons brand. In it he relayed some interesting but not altogether surprising stats:

– 8 of 10 coffees served daily in Canada are from a Tim Hortons
– 42% of all daily Canadian restaurant traffic is at a TH
– 99% brand recognition in Canada

It really is big! But aside from a couple of technology mentions here and there, no clear ideas were put forward about integrating social media with the brand. This when the three main business focuses of the company are (in order) to grow the brand in Canada, win a sizable share of the US market and grow international sales in primarily the Gulf States.

In many ways, growing in Canada may be the biggest challenge as Canadians may be immune to their current marketing. Reaching new Canadian is the key. But with most of Canada’s immigration coming from, by far, China, Philippines and India – a tech-savvy market – no new social marketing ideas were mentioned. Please see this article on Canadian immigration.

But in a recent article in The Globe and Mail, big changes seem to be on the way including an “order app” to cut wait times.

I decided to compare the home pages of leading coffee purveyors.

On the Tim Hortons homepage, there is a lot of clutter but lots of opportunity to add your comments as well as a rolling Twitter feed.

In a considerably less cluttered websites, Starbucks and Bridgehead present opportunities for customer server to enhance the customer experience but the main focus is on the ethical sourcing of the coffee and tea.

So Timmy is learning and seems to be applying what it learns on social media. But we’ll see if their market share grows.

Building Community – Blog Number 1- COM0011

I finally joined the social media world through peer pressure last summer. Up until the spring of 2013, I felt I was totally at peace with my friendship universe: emailing away about my thoughts, forwarding pictures and attaching documents. Yes, I had a LinkedIn account but it was just there. I didn’t improved it, up-dated it or do anything much to reach out to similar colleagues.

Then a staff reunion was announced for the historic site I worked at for a summer job while in university – and it was announced THROUGH LINKEDIN, I must point out. It was scheduled for July, 2013, with all up-dates on the dreaded Facebook. Under my son’s watchful eyes, we set up my account with me expecting a tidal wave of, I’m not sure what, but I was a timid user. The reunion was the highlight of the year with it taking about a month for my throat to recover from screaming, “OH MY GOD!!” to about eighty people who I hadn’t seen in thirty years.

After the reunion I became a born-again FB devotee. I eagerly searched for people, places and things – but mainly people – as I didn’t want to lose track of ANYBODY. And then I started “liking” things I like: Margaret Atwood, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Joan Baez, Jane Austen. Then I starting liking my favorite TV programs and pages that reflect my interest in heritage: Lost Ottawa, Lost Vancouver and Lost Toronto, to mention a few.

But I’m only part of a trend. In the Pew Interest article (links below), 67% of all adults are on social media and are there to keep in touch with family, current friends and search out old friends. More women do this than men (73% verses 55%) however this would be even more likely if I was been the ages of 20 to 50. But the older you are the more likely you are the use social media to pursuit interests as well however it’s men that take the lead there.

Facebook is King. Of the adults who only use one social media platform, 84% say that Facebook the site of preference.

But as a reliable tool for social research, social media is all too new to be really useful. OPMnetwork (in link above) states that while social media is touted as a step ahead for public dialogue and a discourse of ideas because of its volume and easy of exchange, there are also issues of legitimacy, accessibility, source and privacy. All of this colours the quality of the online research.

With social media being so … social, it will take time for researchers to catch-up and thrill us all with their findings.