What Makes a Breakout App?

“TikTok” by Solen Feyissa is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

There’s a lot of tools that weren’t, or still aren’t used to their fullest potential. Whether it’s something not popular yet, or something that can be used for a different, or more expanded purpose to what it is currently used for.

I suppose then TikTok kind of came out of nowhere. A lot of apps were headed towards incorporating “Stories”, TikTok is basically only that. But that format on a level like that can be used for marketing by companies or individuals. With how many users are now on it, and the ease of just swiping to see these several second long videos related to anything you may like, the potential for growing a business on it has almost been fully realized, and could be the future.

“discord” by laboratoriolinux is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Always looking for the best trends, but on a personal level, one that I didn’t think I would use in a certain way for a kind social media would be Discord. Created to be used more for video games, my brother and I got a lot of family members to sign up for it, and now we have a server where everyone can talk, send pictures, and make video calls whenever, and it is being used every day by them I think it’s a much simpler version of something like Zoom or Skype for more casual usage now, but it’s not being marketed as such. 

In these trying times, the most important thing all people were able to do was to create a larger online community and presence that has made the gap between real life and online even smaller than it once was. The world is now smaller than ever, and the application of these tools to grow the sense of togetherness was the best thing to come out of that, and these are the tools we should be looking for.

Reflecting Upon a Story

“Books” by Jules Hawk is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

There are many ways to create an effective written piece. One of those ways is to have a compelling story. You can turn anything into a story. Storytelling in this way can almost be a skill, take an important, or even not so important event, and write it in the best way that you can so that people will be wanting to read it.

A digital story can be written just as a paperback one.

You could be inspiring, after grabbing people’s attention. Keep people interested and engaged with you or what you put out, and reward them with something they can remember and appreciate you for doing.

Website books next to laptop
“Website books next to laptop” by makemelocal is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Me personally, or people in general would want to tell stories in ways that really just do captivate the audience. Just make them really take out something after they finish reading it. Not everything has to be done in a dramatic way, but it does add something to a written creation, if you need that something extra to get it going.

Like I said, it could be a skill, being able to put that much information and display it in such a way that’s both interestingly told, and efficient. I learned a lot along the way and if I can apply a lot of what I now know to future endeavors, that will help me greatly.

My “Who am I?” Story

My name’s Tom Smith-Doiron. I’m someone who’s goal in life is to do something I enjoy for a living. Everything up to this point I’m at, is my story. I may not be part of anything yet, but this is how I got to at least here..

Growing up just outside Ottawa, I always liked hockey and played video games since the age of 3. That gave me my first love and appreciation for what I might want to do. Something related to either one of those, or even both.

Later on, playing video games, specifically hockey ones, I feel like I really learned a lot about the history of the sport from the historical aspects of the game and I had a lot of appreciation for it, and it more solidified what I wanted to do.

These things shaped me and my habits to be meticulous in these ways. Trying to be a little inspirational here, but if you really do have an interest in something, learning as much as you can about it is one of the best things you can do early on.

This can currently help me get to what I want to get and will help me help others later. I want to be involved in something hockey related in general, that’s my calling.

My future is ahead of me and I think things can go well for me if I branch myself out more and show what I know and love to be seen.

Collaboration is the key to growing your network

Dreamhack Network Racks
“Dreamhack Network Racks” by Tech CF is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

If you want to grow your network, your credibility, there are efficient ways to do so. Personally, I’d like to do as much as I can to get myself out there and show what I’m worth. There are going to be things that I’m going to have to do in order to fulfill this.

One of the big keys of growing yourself and your brand is to be a likeable person on social media. Follow a lot of people that are related to the field in which you are interested in, and just communicate and congratulate them on achievements. That gets you into the circle on a more personal level, and might give you some links to get to your goals.

“Twitter” by trekkyandy is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Engaging with any sort of social media post or cause is just getting yourself out there and those people to start to know who you are.

In person obviously right now is a tougher situation to get out there more, but as of right now you do still have a few options, in terms of doing more small-scale volunteering, and hanging out at certain places and getting to know the personnel.

For me, the next year will be interesting to see how it goes. I have my own goals I’d like to reach, and I want to do anything I can to help reach them. What I said is a good start to help me get to my ambitions. The more people you know, the more connections you gain.

Personally, you’re your own brand

Everyone’s unique in their own way and can bring something worthwhile to the table. Even if you don’t think you are particularly good or interesting in a certain way, it doesn’t mean you aren’t. Sometimes I do feel like I’m nothing special, but my friends and family have always said really nice things about me and know what I can do.

What you are can be defined as your Personal Brand. What can you do? What do you know? For me, I feel like I am a very creative person who just can imagine something, and do it. I’ve always been a good visual artist, whether it’s drawing, painting, or even Photoshop. These things just come easy to me, and I know it doesn’t to a lot of people.

I’m always thinking outside the box. I like doing things my own perfect way. When I’m invested into anything like a hobby or competition, I have to do, and set up everything to be as optimal, and as practical as possible under whatever conditions I have to, in my own way. A unique way that not many other people would think to do.

Whatever I have an interest in, it’s almost like I have an encyclopedia of knowledge about it. I just love learning as much as I can about things I’m passionate about. If I don’t, then I just feel like I’m not enjoying it as much as I could be.

On top of all that, I’m easy to talk to and a funny guy. Or so I’ve been told.

I want to get the chance to apply some of these qualities in a way a lot more people can appreciate them. I think I can be pretty useful in putting myself to good work, and would enjoy doing it.

Stitching Up Good Customer Engagement

Online shopping is becoming increasingly more popular, and even a necessity at times. Most of these stores can be classified as B2C, Business to Consumer.

In our world of adding to cart, and having it delivered to your house within the week, it’s nice to also have easy communications with where you’re purchasing it from, whether it be updates on your items, or general information about products.

A good example of an online B2C company that I’ve personally interacted with and bought from, is the hockey jersey store CoolHockey. They would be considered a middle-man themselves, being directly supplied by the NHL’s production of fanwear, but the way they operate, they fall under Business to Consumer.

NHL Jerseys
“NHL Jerseys” by mastermaq is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

They always have any current NHL jersey that you’d want in stock, in every size, and offer custom stitching of name and number on all of them. Coupon codes and deals are always happening on the site, so you know you can always be getting a good deal.

Their interaction with the community is sublime as well, always replying to Twitter direct messages and emails swiftly and helpfully with answers to any questions you may have.

Hockey Jerseys
“Hockey Jerseys” by Ross Dunn is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

CoolHockey has nearly 30,000 Twitter followers and always communicates with their customers. Just Tweet them your arrived jersey and they will Retweet it for others to see. They are always Tweeting questions and for people’s thoughts on newly released jerseys, which really bumps up their engagement numbers.

They even do a ton of Twitter giveaways for jerseys, I’ve even personally won a giveaway they did sometime last year via a Twitch streamer. Free $250 jersey of the team and player of my choice! 

In terms of a smaller, more niche store, CoolHockey does a great job communicating with their customers, and brings a great service to boot.

Fun Brands>Boring Brands?

Wendy's Shopping Cart
“Wendy’s Shopping Cart” by Mark Turnauckas is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Having a large presence in social media is one of the many ways brands try to go out of their ways to reach as many people as possible.

A lot of them do this quite well, some not so much, and some not at all even. Some brands may even have followers just because of immediate brand recognition; they just get followed regardless of social content.

Pop Tart Nation
“Pop Tart Nation” by MTSOfan is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Nothing beats the likes of Wendy’s and Pop-Tarts when it comes to a fun, active social media strategy, especially their Twitter game. With their relatability, they spread around easily. Everyone’s eaten and heard of them before, but they just want to be everyone’s #1 choice.

They are on the fringe of being the go to for fast food and snacks, and are willing to take the chance to pursue this sort of connectivity with the internet to reach that goal.

Some fun examples of them include Wendy’s calling out McDonald’s for their infamous broken ice cream machines, and Pop-Tart’s judging of how people are eating their product.

Roger Center (4)
“Roger Center (4)” by larrywkoester is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Now, some brands do a poor job of showing off their stuff. A company I think can really benefit from expanding their socials and taking on a new approach are internet companies like Rogers.

They’re your standard corporate account, but I think more communication with users based on their experiences with them would be cool to see, and would expand their online followers, ways to help more users, and more general respect for the company a lot.

NHL Video Game’s True Target Audience

Xbox One Controller
“Xbox One Controller” by mastermaq is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

I will try to narrow down EA Sports’s NHL video game series audience, from what I know.


The games are mostly played by men. I’ve only seen a couple women on social media who play it. The game still has not included Women’s teams like FIFA has.


They aren’t targeting anyone of a certain education, but they get money from people who aren’t the brightest when it comes to understanding the game or how to spend their money.

Marital Status

A large percentage of people that play this game are either teenagers, or married men in their 40s, from what I see.

Ethnic Backgrounds

Most of the people on this game, and in the hockey world in general are white. People have said it’s a long running culture issue in the sport.

Chicago Blackhawks Vs Detroit Red Wings
“Chicago Blackhawks Vs Detroit Red Wings” by Nicole Yeary is licensed under CC BY 2.0


I imagine they all live similar lives, some of which will be discussed more.

Income Class

As most companies do, they are targeting people that are wealthy. Their in-game content and packs are scummy to the average consumer, but to the “whales“, they have nothing better to do than to spend money on virtual hockey cards weekly. Goes for the children of those who are wealthy as well.


They love targeting followers. If one person gets a good player from a pack, you will see hundreds buy packs to try to one up them.


This is their hobby. Other than playing and watching real hockey, this is what they want them to do.

“Hockey” by paulaquiltgirl is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0


EA really hit the nail on the head to get the most money they can from this group of people. Good for them, but the rest of the people pay in another way, a worse product.

The gateway to the sport itself is money, all the equipment and travel costs for kids are expensive, and even with the programs, it’s still not as accessible as it could be.

Optimally Interacting and Communicating with an Audience

“Keyboard” by kewl is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Of course, when you’re creating content or writing something, you need to know what can line up best with what your audience wants, and reflect the way you lay out your information in line the way that’s best for them. Telling a story, the style in which you communicate, and interacting with an audience are all areas of great importance when it comes to having a stable relationship with who takes in what you put out. This is what I found out about all this.

Any posts that conveys a story in some way, should be engaging and easy to follow. Storytelling in this fashion should be done in an elegant and well-flowing style, but depending on who your audience is, it can change your approach to storytelling as well, say if your story is geared more towards younger readers than older ones.

Depending on who your audience is, it really does completely change what your approach to a lot of things should be. The style in which you communicate in general, doing it the most effective way for who’s listening in is one of the keys to having success in this field.

To encourage more of an interaction with your audience you need to first start making it seem worth it. Maybe a giveaway of some sort here and there for completing a survey, then the impressions and views will roll in. But, if your posts already have a lot of interaction, between the commenters, and even your own page with them, if you are genuinely attempting to engage with the audience to get their general thoughts on what you do, it is just a good scenario for the growth of it. 

What did YOU learn this week from this? Let me know!

Social Media Tools and Hockey News Sources to Score With

Orlov Celebrates His First NHL Goal #3
“Orlov Celebrates His First NHL Goal #3” by clydeorama is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

In order to succeed in, and have an effective and working social media page in any topic, you might have to choose the right social media trend listening or monitoring tools for you, and choosing the right sources for your information is important as well.

Two popular tools that are in use today to measure socials are Tweetdeck and SproutSocial, for Twitter.

Tweetdeck has stats for businesses, and your average user to see, and just lets you see more of what’s out there being said at once. It’s just an all around more advanced version of the app, that many people use for all sorts of reasons. Sprout Social too has a wide array of tools to help your business succeed in any way it can, also with a lot of information and Tweeting capabilities.

“Twitter” by chriscorneschi is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Whatever topic you may pic to write about, these tools can help you immensely, and it’s great for hockey when there’s breaking news coming from several sources, you can see them all at once easier, then if you are the one gathering the info in one place yourself, you can see how well you’re doing for yours page, or brand doing this.

For the news I’d want to see personally, and if my business was involved, or reports in that same thing, I think for example, two things for a hockey related account like this to source from would be the NHL Public Relations page (@PR_NHL), and a reputable hockey insider, such a Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC). Can’t get better than the official source in the league, and one of the best “trade breakers” in the biz to mainly look at.

If you’re wanting to run a hockey blog and Twitter page, these are all good places to start. I’ve seen a lot of successful pages and people that have been making good business, and it all starts with that sort of foundation to where you get your info.

I’m sure there’s other ways I could have laid this out as well, but this is the only thing that comes to mind.

Who are some people and pages of interest for what you’d like to create content for?