The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

We’ve all seen those commercials on social media and tv that makes you go, “aw, that’s so great,” but we’ve also seen ones that make you say, “you can’t be serious?” so that’s what we’ll dive into in this blog.

Some of my favourite content is always at Christmas. While that time of year can certainly be challenging, some companies try to push the true meaning of the holidays and that it isn’t always about buying stuff, but being with those you love or helping those who may be alone. WestJet is one of those companies.

Each year, they come out with a different “WestJet Christmas Miracle” from spur of the moment to giving to Fort MacMurray Strong when they were affected by the fires. The goal of this is to provide to those who need it most. From items they have on hand, airline tickets, donations and sponsors, they help families in need and various charities. 2020 was a horrendous year for so many, so while Christmas was different, they still gave. They posted on their social media platforms posting that this was indeed happening, and in came the donations. Aside from their Christmas content, they are incredibly active on their social media, even with the pandemic. They’re posting content from current deals, safety protocols and information about their travel insurance policies. While it may not seem like much, it’s getting people interacting with them, providing feedback.

Sticking with the Canadian theme, my next favourite company is Molson Canadian, and I don’t even drink beer!! I’ve always been a very proud and patriotic Canadian, so when I see their ads or posts on social media that are “Canadian-isms,” I almost get excited. They are big supporters of Canadian hockey and the Canadian Olympic team and will post numerous times a day that coordinates with whatever is going on at the time. They always seem to have the most incredible vintage pictures. For example, on their Facebook page, they posted a photo of Guy Carbonneau drinking beer out of the Stanley Cup after his team’s win in 1986, and while I’m a big hockey fan (just not his team at the time), that is something I did not know about! They also advertise their limited edition beers through their social media platforms as it gets more attention and is easier maintained. But without a doubt, I think my favourite thing they’ve done is their beer fridge campaigns. What started as a prank boosted their sales, completely changing their direction in marketing and even won them an award for outstanding effectiveness in business marketing.

If you haven’t heard of the beer fridge campaign, let me fill you in. In their original campaign, Molson brought a bright red beer fridge with a giant maple leaf on it and put it in various locations around Europe. Seems simple right? To open the refrigerator, you had to use a Canadian passport! The goal behind it is to make you proud of where you are from.

Now the one that made me swear someone was cutting onions nearby was the beer fridge that only opened when multiple languages were detected saying “I Am Canadian,” showing just how multicultural we are as a nation. As someone who is currently serving in the Canadian Armed Forces, I have served with people who have come from all over the world, but we all wear the same flag on our shoulders. It truly makes me proud to be Canadian. Check out the video here, and if your eyes start to sweat, I won’t judge you!`

Now that we’ve shown the good, sadly, we have to highlight the bad. It was a lot harder trying to find an organization that doesn’t have some social media presence, as it’s just the thing to have now. But I did ultimately find one; Marlboro Cigarettes. While I’m not a smoker, I didn’t think anything of it; however, they have chosen to avoid social media altogether. In 2014, the company was criticized for launching a campaign directed towards a younger audience and seeing how smoking isn’t the “cool” thing to do anymore, and people were displeased. Afterwards, they decided that there wasn’t enough of an upside to maintain social media. But, their parent company Philip Morris does have social media accounts that they use mainly to promote openings in the company or promote their charities.

So, with that I have to ask; if marketing in your industry is so regulated, is it worth having a social media prescense?

Blog #1. Tools & Sources

In the previous courses, I’ve learned that there is so much more in this world than just Facebook, Instagram, and Google. But, if I’m completely honest, I haven’t done much monitoring and listening outside of the lessons. However, I’ve spent a little time with it as my mom owns a small business in a small rural Alberta town, and since I manage her social media, I figure I should know what’s going outside of the likes on the content I create.

So with that, here are my go-to’s:

Google Trends:

My mom is in the hearing aid industry, usually directed at a more senior audience, but she has said that slowly but surely, her clients are getting younger. Whether it be military, law enforcement, or just someone who likes to listen to their music wango tango, everyone is looking for something different. With Google Trends, it allows me to see what people are searching for the most with hearing devices; Bluetooth capabilities, ear protection, cost etc. I can then take that information to my mom, and we can advertise as needed towards a new audience to meet the needs of a younger crowd.

While I haven’t had the chance to use this very much as you have to pay for it, I love the ease of managing multiple accounts at once and scheduling different posts. As a mom to a nearly two-year-old version of me (send help), I don’t have a lot of free time, and the time I do have, truthfully, I don’t want to be posting things. I want to play around with this tool a bit more and pitch it to my mom for full access!!

Photo by Scott Webb on

Now for the juicy stuff. Where do I get the info?

I personally love It has all the stuff I’m curious about, from the essential things like the news to the most haunted spot in Canada or the top-rated flavour of cupcake. I love it all, and I find that MSN is like a one-stop-shop.

Next would have to Google News. I use Google for everything, from Chrome to Gmail, so the ability to open my internet and have access is super handy. I also like that it gives me various sources of news, easy to follow and read. It’s simple, no bells and whistles!!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

I’m a girl who likes to keep things simple, and I find that with all the tools and sources I’ve mentioned.

Personal Reflection & The Next Chapter

We learned that communication is vital through this course, whether it be digital through a social media platform, a blog or just by speaking. Are you trying to reach one person or many? What I didn’t realize is how storytelling has become somewhat of a lost art. We’ve become used to sharing things we see on Facebook, following influencers on Instagram, but not knowing who the person truly is.

My grandpa loved to tell stories around a fire, and it wasn’t until he died that I realized how special they were and what I wouldn’t give for one more day of his stories. Although it is a lost art to many, I think that it could make a comeback with what I’ve learned on this course! I didn’t understand how much of an impact a blog could be until having to write 7 of them throughout this course. Until this course, I never really paid attention to blogs, but anything with a bold title and, truthfully, a picture or two will keep my attention. However, if it seems to go on forever, I have difficulty staying focused and will lose interest. So we have to find that happy medium.

With what I’ve learned on this course, my mom and I are talking about starting a blog for her business with information on how to change a hearing aid battery yourself (many come in from a fair distance for help), to articles she posts in the local paper, we can mirror them on a digital platform. The options are endless, and now I have a better idea of reaching a larger audience while catering to the various ages of my mom’s clients.

I am certainly looking forward to the next course, to expand that knowledge and see where it take us!

What is your favourite customer story?

I have been in the military for 11.5 years. I have had some pretty remarkable experiences, joined the Naval Boarding Party, became a medical first responder and meeting the Queen while being a member of her Guard of Honour in 2010 for the Navy’s 100th centennial. And while that was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, there is one that trumps that.

I’m the last one in focus at the end

I grew up in Alberta, where there’s no ocean, so many people are unaware that Canada has a Navy, when in face we have a West Coast and East Coast fleet. While there is a Naval reserve unit (part-time), most Albertans are used to seeing members of the Army and Air Force. I’ve been asked on numerous occasions, “why did you join the Navy when Alberta has no oceans?” To answer this question is quite simple, I was in Sea Cadets, and truthfully it made the most sense at the time!

Conducting a Naval Boarding while at Sea

Flash forward to November 2016, and my husband and I are both posted from Victoria, BC, to Ottawa, ON. Home of the West Coast Fleet to home of National Defence Headquarters. It was a big move followed by a big year as we celebrated Canada turning 150 years old, so people from all over flooded to Ottawa to celebrate in our nation’s capital. While grabbing a coffee one day at work, in my uniform, I noticed an elderly man watching me, and I could tell he was trying to figure out what my uniform was. It happens all the time, so it was nothing new, but when he saw that I noticed him, he came over and asked and was surprised when I said Navy as he was used to seeing “the green” being near an army base. He mentioned that I was young to have joined and when we got talking, I mentioned being from Alberta, and he was thrilled.

It turns out he was from Edmonton, which is where I was born and that he was in town with his family, including his young granddaughter, for the celebrations. What happened next will forever be a cherished memory. He asked if his family could meet me, especially his granddaughter, who was no older than 4. I could tell she wasn’t sure what to think, so I figured I would get down to her level and to my surprise, she wanted to sit on my knee. We talked for a few minutes; I put my bowler (my hat) on her head and posed for a photo for her Granddad. When it was time to leave, I gave her the Navy lanyard off of my building pass and, of course, asked when she was older if she was going to join. But just as she was leaving, she turned around, thanked me and gave me the biggest hug, which meant more to me than she will ever know. Needless to say, my bosses had no issues giving me a new lanyard for my pass and a few Navy pins and coins for any tiny potential sailors in the future.

My last ship – HMCS Calgary

Small town size, big city knowledge.

At Maximum Hearing, we are that small-town clinic with big city quality service. Through decades of experience in the hearing field, we have created an environment that allows for dedicated and intimate service to our clients. Our team strives to make the client’s experience memorable and welcoming from the minute they walk in the door. You will walk through our doors and be greeted with a friendly greeting from a local member of the community. Community members are welcomed in our clinics at any time to ask their questions. One perk of visiting our clinics before receiving excellent service is the coffee is always hot.

When we moved away from working at large city clinics, one of our goals was to integrate and contribute to our new community. We did that by getting involved in the community board, provide donations to the local golf course, which was recovering from the loss of their clubhouse and sponsored a member of the RCMP musical ride. Before we arrived in the county, the service that was provided by a large competitor was few and far between, and sometimes the county would go months without a practitioner in the area. When we arrived, we gave the county an immediate response to a much-needed service. The demographic of the areas we provided service are wide-ranging from young families to multi-generational farms to retirees. Being independently owned and operated, the most significant review that we get is our ability to provide personalized care for every single one of our client’s needs.

B2C Case Study: LUSH Cosmetics

Lush Cosmetics is well known for its colourful bath bombs, shampoo bars, and yummy-smelling soaps. They are also known for being environmentally friendly with reusable pots, which you can return five and receive a free face mask, while they then send the pots back to their recycler to make new ones! They are incredibly passionate about fighting against animal testing and ensuring everything is 100% vegetarian. While I am not a vegetarian, I love their products for the scents and the all-natural products they use as I have sensitive skin, and I’ve never had an issue. I also now use their “Dream Cream” on my daughter, who is 17 months and suffers from mild eczema, and it leaves her skin so soft.

They have a significant following on social media, with their North American Instagram having 4.1 million followers and their Facebook page with 1.2 million likes. However, their U.K social media has diminished as they were quoted as saying, “We are tired of fighting with algorithms, and we do not want to pay to appear in your newsfeed.” Still, their North American channels will not be going anywhere. Their Instagram community is active not only from the company itself but with the hashtag #LushCosmetics.

They use their social media as a colourful way to promote their products by using fun images, writing facts about the company and their approach to improving the environment. They also advocate for numerous movements worldwide, such as #WorldWaterDay, which took place on March 22nd. They publically called out the current Federal Government for not upholding their promise to end all drinking water advisories for First Nations communities.

As someone who uses their products, I think they are doing what they set out to do by standing by their products and beliefs, and while I don’t get behind the political side of it as it isn’t my style, many do, and I can appreciate what they are trying to achieve. They are certainly active on their social media channels with at least one post a day, and after looking at multiple posts of theirs, they are being shared from their followers, which of course broadens their reach that much more.

Have you ever used Lush products? If so, did you like it?

Blog 3. Who’s your target?

When you think of the Highland Games, you probably think bagpipes and highland dancing, and you’re not wrong. However, what you might not know is there are a group of men and women in the field throwing rocks and logs as well! This part of the game is called the Heavy Events, and it’s one of those sports that while your watching, you ask, “how on Earth does one get into this?” The “heavies” are a mixture of strongman, track athlete and weightlifter, and while you have to be physically strong, you need to be a little crazy to put on a kilt and throw things. Where do I sign up?

My family tartans. McGregor (Red) & MacLeod (Yellow)

After researching and lame detective work, I found the answer to that very question; show up. While that might work for some people, I’m the type of person that likes to be as prepared as possible for something new. I reached out to the Canadian Scottish Athletic Federation (CSAF) through Facebook and asked the right questions, which led me to an overwhelming amount of support from previous and current heavy athletes and eventually my coach! What I have found out in talking to him is during games, people will come and ask the questions, and once you’re in the world of Highland Games, you see just how much exposure there really is. Especially YouTube. Videos from how to train in the gym, throwing, and footage from games worldwide to see the complete picture. I found out loads of information through hashtags on Instagram like #highlandgames and #heavyathlete, which led me to an athlete’s pages where I could contact them and ask those questions you can’t find on Google; what is it really like? Each time, they have been incredibly helpful with tips and tricks, products that help, what to spend the money on, where to save etc.

My coach George Chiappa

While the Highland Games aren’t as mainstream as hockey or football, it’s unique and with that comes a fantastic group of people. I wouldn’t say there is a specific targeted audience in mind for the games; I would say if I had to put a label on it, it would be targeted to anyone who likes great music, kind people, and to anyone who wants to be a part of something that most people ask “what is that?”

Have you ever attended a Highland Games event? If not, would you be interested?

Storytelling; everyone has a story to tell

We’ve all heard at some point in our life from grandparents or family friends how different life was before modern-day technology, and until 2018 I never truly appreciated it. My grandpa Murray was a cowboy through and through; being born in 1937 in a small town in rural Alberta, he grew up in a very different time. He always loved to joke and tell stories about the family, our heritage and even some of the trouble he caused when he was younger with my great aunts and uncles on the farm. His favourite thing to do was sit around a fire with friends and family and tell his stories to anyone who would listen. I was always right there, taking in every word.

When social media started to become popular, I mentioned to my grandpa that he should get Facebook, and in his true goofy self, he got up to grab a book and put his face in it, asking me, “now what?”. I can only imagine the content he would have posted. Although when I was younger, I didn’t have any stories to swap, however when I joined the Navy, that all changed. He loved to hear everything from our parades to watching dolphins swimming next to my ship while we were at sea. He never saw the ocean, so he always lived vicariously through me in that regard as I did with his farm stories. Sadly, he had dementia and became non-verbal in 2018 and passed that July, but his stories and the twinkle in his eye he got while telling them will always be remembered by anyone who knew him.

In the Navy, we have Christmas dinners for a week where we would invite Veterans to the base, allowing junior members to socialize with the Veterans. The goal is to sit at a table mixed with Veterans and active members. However, not everyone wants to, and that’s ok. But, a few of us took advantage and had one of the best times. So many of them would tell stories from “the good old days” to anyone who would listen, and while some of the war stories weren’t their happiest memories, it made them who they were.

One man, in particular, earned a special place in my heart, even to this day. He was a sailor in WWII, whose wife had sadly passed the year before, with no children living at the local Veteran’s home. He said they would all swap stories, but telling them to a fresh set of ears was always a bonus. We chatted until they kicked us out, where we ended up having a coffee at the shop on base for another hour. Fast forward a few days later, and he showed up at my office wanting to have another coffee date, and I was honoured. It became a weekly occurrence and something I looked forward to. Sadly he passed, but I still talk about him and his stories because of his impact on my life.

While I love social media and the digital world for sharing, I would much rather sit around the fire as my grandpa did.

Which method would you choose?

My Grandpa Murray and I. BMQ 2010

Blog #1: Rocky Mountain Adventure

Long before there was a global pandemic, we could travel freely without a care in the world. My last vacation was in February 2016 when my mom and I had a girl’s weekend in the beautiful Lake Louise, Alberta. I grew up about a short drive from the Rocky Mountains, but I still get a chill every time I visit due to how majestic they always seem to be. Even on a grey day, I’m always in awe. I was living in BC at the time, so I hopped on a flight to Calgary, and we started our weekend. Like any proper road trip, we grabbed breakfast, coffee and away we went to enjoy what was to be one of the most magical weekends I’ve experienced. Now, I’ve been to Lake Louise before when I was a kid and always thought, “I’d sure love to stay in the castle-looking hotel on the water,” and to my surprise, that’s precisely where we were staying! The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

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Our hotel from the lake.

Every year they have an ice sculpting competition that shouldn’t be missed. However, if you are not a fan of crowds like my mom and I, wait a week or so and head to Lake Louise. The sculptures are still fresh, and it’s not nearly as busy, so you can get up close and see every detail! If ice sculptures aren’t your thing, you can always rent some skates and join a quick game of hockey that is always on the go, right on the lake with a killer view! Speaking of views, when you’re in the Rockies, you’re surrounded by such beauty it can be hard to describe, but when you stay in a resort in the middle of all that, you might be lucky enough to have a room with a view to admire the moment you wake up.

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The view from our room!

While every hotel has its pubs and generic dining, the Chateau Lake Louise has something a bit more. Walliser Stube. A swiss pub-style (although kid-friendly) fondue experience. I was never a fan of fondue until we ate here our second night. We started with the cheese fondue and were told by our waiter to try not to eat it all as it was so filling, followed by a main course of steak with the best potatoes I think I’ve ever had, but nothing prepared me for dessert. Toblerone chocolate fondue with fruit, marshmallows and banana bread for dipping. If you visit and your counting calories, give yourself a break for a night and try this place guilt-free.

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Dinner and dessert. We were so full.

Although our trip seemed hard to top so far, along came our final full day where we were going dog sledding. It had been a bucket list item of my mom’s and something I never thought I would do, let alone in the mountains, but we were on our way! We got up early, grabbed a coffee and headed down the mountain to a staging area with Kingmik Dog Sled Tours. We signed up for the Great Divide Tour, and although it is a bit costly, it was worth every penny. My biggest surprise was the size of the dogs! I had these big huskies in mind, but they were only roughly 40 lbs! We were assigned our guide, introduced to our team and learned all about how each dog has a specific spot, some of which due to personality conflicts! We got our safety briefing, and we were off. I can’t describe the feeling my mom, and I got while we were in the sled with any other word except magical. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced and something I can’t wait to share with my daughter one day.

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Our view from the sled
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one of the sled dogs “Copper” and Myself.

Have you ever been to the Rocky Mountains? If so, where did you go? Let me know xo.

Radicalization and how social media plays a role

Terrorism has taken advantage of the modern world’s ability to reach a larger audience than ever before. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and even Youtube are being used by extremist groups to directly recruit members, gain intelligence and spread hate speeches. ISIS has proved to be adept in using social media in a propaganda war. Governments are attempting to combat the rising threat by using the same platforms to track down possible leads. Terrorists are known to combine a number of platforms, each being used in their own specific way for their capabilities and intent of the person making the threat. 

A prime example of this are the groups Daesh and ISIL who will manipulate online space, influencing supporters to carry out violent acts that have been well thought out and executed. They have been known to use social media, websites, file sharing and encryption software to plan their attacks with limited attention from government agencies.

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After the September 11th attacks, it became increasingly hard for organizations to meet in person, so they looked to the internet as it provided an easy yet effective solution to this problem. The advantages of social media extend far beyond providing a simple and discrete way of communicating. With the rise of multiple platforms, it allows the ability to quickly reach a broad spectrum of audiences and gain followers at little to no cost. This quick spread of propaganda is a serious cause for concern because it can only take one person to see their message to carry out an attack anywhere in the world, causing carnage and fear. These people are known as “Lone Wolves”. 

John Maguire was born in Ontario and after his parents were divorced he moved in with his grandparents to finish high school; eventually changing his name to Abu Anwar al-Canadi and Yahya Maguire on his social media accounts. He eventually left for Syria in 2013 after purchasing a one way ticket to join ISIS. He suggested to fellow Canadians through his twitter and Facebook that any potential lone wolf terrorists should reach out to him through his social media.

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Young adults are by far the ideal audience for terrorist organizations because of how active they are on various social media platforms; allowing easier access to promote their propaganda rapidly around the world with just a click. A survey conducted in 2018, indicated that 85% of teens use YouTube, nearly 70% use Instagram and Snapchat, and 51% use Facebook, which makes it the optimal platform to reach young people due their extensive use. 

If you saw suspicious posts, would you know what to do? Would you report it?

Social Media plays a role with Radicals.

radicals and social media #radicaltweet #darksideofsm