Separating the strong from the weak

To me, a company that is doing social media well is one that is providing engaging content on a regular basis that also points either directly or indirectly to the products they are selling. I understand that businesses are only successful when they are able to sell their products, so I don’t have a problem when their social media posts link directly with their goods, but I find the best ones are the ones that do that in an interesting way.


Beau’s Brewery in Vankleek Hill, Ontario, is one that I find manages their social media content well. In particular, there was a campaign a couple years ago where they were working to raise money to support a female-led brewery in Rwanda. For the period of the campaign, they were selling merchandise and experiences that linked directly to that charity initiative, but also promoted and sold their own brand as well. Some of the products for sale included branded clothing (again, promoting their goods when people wear them) and experiences like a tour of the brewery and special brewery dinners, which would promote their primary product to potentially new individuals. While the goal was to raise the funds for the Rwandan brewery, they were also able to promote their brand, so a win-win in their books.

ingeniumIngenium is another company that promotes its brands well. Ingenium is a collection of museums in Ontario that are operated under one banner (Science and Tech museum, Space and Aviation museum, and Nature museum). I find that their most engaging posts are the ones that uncover deeper stories about some of the exhibits that are either on display or coming soon to one of the museums. They have strong writers on staff and the articles they produce are interesting enough in their own right, but also drive interest to visit the museums and see the artifacts on which the stories are based.


One organization that I think could do a better job in its social media is the BlackBerry Help twitter account. The only content that the account pushes out on a regular basis is a near-daily tweet that “they are there.” My presumption is that much of their traffic is handled through direct messages, however, there is no engagement with a regular BlackBerry user. The account could easily promote content around the latest product, tips and tricks with existing devices, handy features, and other useful tidbits that a device owner would find useful and drive engagement with the brand. Saying hello and/or goodbye on a daily basis does nothing to promote the brand or drive loyalty.

COM0015 Blog #2 💪 vs. 👎

The instructions say find 2 organizations that have a strong social media presence. That being said, I believe that the strongest presence is currently an individual brand, rather than a corporate one. It’s not a Kardashian, or a teenage pop star, it is our very own VanCityReynolds. 

Ryan Reynolds is the only celebrity I follow. Yes, in-part because he is Canadian, and sexy as hell, with the snarkiest sense of humour (just my type!), but also because his social media portrays a persona that seems genuine. From interviews to commercials, as with all “stars”, he promotes his movies, but in a manner that his personality has become his brand. His Twitter is as much parenting zingers as Deadpool. 

More recently he has transitioned from Hollywood elite to marketing entrepreneur, making him a case study worth paying attention to, carrying that forward into his new business ventures with Aviation Gin, and now MintMobile

Looking at his social media profiles, it is his businesses, not his movies that he lists and links to. While the page transparency of his Facebooks lists 6 in the US managing the page, it always sounds and feels authentically Ryan Reynolds. 

He has active social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. With millions of followers on each platform, what do you think of his style? 

For a corporate organization, I select the Calgary Telus Convention Centre. While it utilizes its social media to promote itself as a special event venue in downtown Calgary, it also promotes its people, events, partners, and the City of Calgary. It uses it’s social media not just to sell its services, but to promote its value for planners and visitors. One of my favourite stories this year was about the urban honey bees they set up on one their balconies. 

They utilize a branded hashtag #atthecentre and have features such as #TeamTuesday to introduce staff. They have 9 IG Story tabs, and are active on  LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. By active I don’t just mean they push posts, but rather they share stories of their community, respond to comments, and play an active role in their brand. 

On the flip side, a company that is lacking in its social media is Goodkey Show Services. Based out of Edmonton, they have a National Reach, but little to no social media. In their Google Search a LinkedIn profile comes up, but its last post was 1yr ago. Twitter and Instagram share their last post from April 1, while Facebook got a bonus post in June. Even the blog on their website has no 2019 posts.

I became aware of this lacking during an audit for Superior Show Service, a competing event services company I am contracted to handle social media for. As someone who does this for a similar company I see so many windows they have closed. They must be relying heavily on their existing clients because they certainly don’t seem worried about gaining the attention of potential future business. 

Would you let your social media lapse like this, or would delete the accounts rather than appear uninterested?

graphic via The Method Blog

COM0015 Blog 2: Strong and Weak Organizations

Social media has gained a lot of popularity and many businesses have adapted it quickly. In order to be effective with social media, it is crucial that these accounts are managed properly. Now just reflect on yourself and see how many times you check your social media accounts? I won’t lie but I am on them often and as

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Photo by Pixabay on

soon as I have downtime, whether waiting in a line at grocery store or waiting for someone, mindlessly scrolling for updates.  

From my own experience, when it comes to a company that is doing well managing social media is Air Canada. Air Canada has strong presence on all social media channels and through these channels of communication they can engage with the audience and build trust. They do update their social media accounts constant and remind their audience about special news, events and promotions. According to news article on Calgary Herald, “The mean response time for Air Canada and WestJet were nine minutes, one second, and 10 minutes, 47 seconds i.e. 95% of time, Air Canada manages to issue responses to its audience under an hour. With the use of messaging and social media skyrocketing, combining them with travel’s time-sensitivity is making efficient response even more crucial. Issues with travel are often in the moment; therefore, a response must be in real time in order to serve the fast-paced demands of the traveler.”  

monochrome photography of people shaking hands

Photo by Savvas Stavrinos on

In order to build trust with your audience, it is imperative to response in real time and social media teams can provide both a seamless, yet fast service. Air Canada has social media team 24X7 available, which makes it easier for them to response to issues, compliments and complaints. 

On several occasions, I have been super impressed with response time of Air Canada where at times it has been faster to get hold of someone through social media account vs. being on hold over the phone for over 45 minutes. Once, I was at the Ottawa airport and was flying internationally on business class and the agent was not helpful and was not aware of perks of flying business class as that agent was relieving another agent while they were on break. However, I was frustrated that I had to tell her and due to frustration, I sent a Tweet to Air Canada. I got a response within three minutes, to which I was very impressed.  

When organizations are creating social media campaigns, it’s always advisable not to offend or crossing the line into being insensitive towards a wider audience. According to article on Globe and mail, in order to build trust with the audience and for a company who is doing well with social media, these are few things that organizations should do to excel in social media strategy:  

  • Listen well and often: In this era where there are ample tools available, it is easy for companies to monitor the conversations and respond in timely fashion.  
  • Reach out to individual: Whether it is a compliment or complaint, I believe a company should respond to every individual in a timely fashion.  
  • Provide regular updates: Company should provide regular updates to its audience and in case of a bigger issue an update with anticipated time-frame as when the issue will be resolved. No one likes to be in dark or play the waiting game.  
  • Keep the conversation going: It is important that every organization carries on the conversation. For example: If there was an issue, after the issue is resolved, the company should provide an update as to how the issue happened and what measures have been put into place so that it does not happen again. The audience will forgive the company and will trust that corrective actions have been taken as its best to be transparent with the audience.  

From my own experience and by following Air Canada’s all social media accounts, I think Air Canada is following all the above listed points and hence, they are doing well with their social media accounts.  

However, I believe that every organization is joining the band wagon of having presence on social media. Again, from my own personal experience, I believe that organizations that are not managing their social media account well are Milestones restaurant and Pier 1. Pier 1 store does not have a Canadian account as they manage one account for US and Canada. When I have tried to interact with them on social media, I have had no response and I un-followed them on social media. From the points, I have listed above neither of companies I mentioned are doing well with engaging with the audience.  



Social Media Strong..Social Media Weak

Social media can either be a blessing or a curse for a business or company. If used properly social media allows businesses and companies to gain attention of potential customers and to keep the attention of their regular customers.

Two organizations that have an impressive social media strategy are Netflix and Wayfair. Both are doing a phenomenal job!

Netflix has Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts. They are constantly posting updates to upcoming Netflix exclusive shows or new to Netflix movies. They are continually trying to engage their audience. Netflix is very well know for their witty comments or questions.

Their social media presence is very strong with over 61 million followers on Facebook, over 19 million followers on Instagram, and over 6 million followers on Twitter. I think Netflix is doing a great job on social media, as they are always building their followers count, and interacting with those followers. They are not shy to comment and interact with those followers and they are always publishing and posting new interesting content.

Wayfair has Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Youtube accounts. They as well are always posting about different products they sell, and put the item in a very eye appealing picture making you imagine how great it would look in your home. Wayfair’s social media presence is also very strong. By posting pictures and content multiple times a day, which keeps them at the top of your feed and relevant. On Facebook they have over 7 million followers, Twitter over 73 thousand followers, Instagram over 1 million followers, and over 800 thousand followers on Pinterest. I think Wayfair is doing a great job on social media, as they are always posting pictures and content to keep you thinking about their products and how great they would look in your home. Who doesn’t know…..”Wayfair you’ve got what I need!”

Weak is a very strong word to use when describing Apple. Who in the world has not heard of Apple products? But yet they have zero social media accounts. Imagine if Apple used social media for advertising? They are almost unstoppable now in their industry, just imagine if they used social media? I think if Apple used Facebook, Instagram or even Twitter or a combination of them all there would be no chance that any of their competitors would be able to stop them from dominating their industry. I think Apple should start with Facebook as it is super easy to use and you can reach a very large audience, from pre-teens to retirees.

It actually surprises me that businesses and companies would not use social media for advertising and marketing their brand. Where else are you able to post advertising for free?

Do you have a business? Do you use social media for advertising?

I sure do!!!

COMM015 – Blog Post #2  – Paris Opera and Nike Shine on social media


Image: Screenshot of Paris Opera Website

Because I love ballet and regularly follow the top companies in the world, I took a closer look at their social media and websites. The Paris Opera particularly stood out in the performing arts world.

I have also selected Nike, a reference in social media strategy, for its immense success on Instagram.

On the other hand, Freestyle Canada is missing out on social media opportunities.

1. Paris Opera playing up the video card

The Paris Opera underwent an overhaul of its digital strategy in 2016 to develop sales and gain more awareness in the public, both in France and abroad. What strikes me the most is its much heavier reliance on video, in line with the objective of reaching out to a broader audience, including the younger public.

Here are some highlights:

  • YouTube

The institution clearly stepped up its digital communication via video, leveraging a medium that is increasingly used by younger audiences, which had traditionally escaped the Paris Opera that until recently had been more focused on older wealthier dance and Opera aficionados. The YouTube channel proposes interviews with artists, previews of performances. But it added something I have not really seen at other comparable institutions: background information on some performances in the way of very short humoristic animations such as the “recipe” of Don Carlo. The channel has 48,300 subscribers.

op2Image: Screenshot of Paris Opera’s YouTube channel

  • Podcasts

Even better, the Paris Opera seized on the Podcast trend in a big way, partnering with French music radio station France Musique to create “Dance! Sing! 7 minutes at the Paris Opera,” which it describes as “original incursions into the season.”

  • The Third Scene

What is unique about the Paris Opera is that it is the only ballet and opera institution in the world to have two theaters: Palais Garnier and Opéra Bastille. The digital transformation leveraged this unique feature to add a “Third Scene”, with its own Facebook page. Every month, this digital stage offers a new creation from artists across different genres (fiction, performance, documentary), provided their creation is related to dance or music.

2. How Nike Just Does It on Instagram

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  • Following the audience and trends

Nike goes where its audience is and speaks their language. In a social media world increasingly dominated by imagery and videos, Nike seems to be stepping up efforts on Instagram (IG), and for good reasons: according to Sprout Social, 80% of IG users follow a brand. Users are right in Nike’s alley when it comes to demographics: while the brand generally targets the 15-40 age range, 72% of IG users are 13-17 years old and 64% are 18 to 29.

Image: Pixabay free stock

  • Speaking the audience’s language

Nike takes each post very seriously, judging by their quality. When looking at Nike’s IG, the pictures and videos are a mix of emotions, real-life situations and high performance experiences, all with one thing in common: inspiration and high quality. Not only does Nike meet its audience where it is, but it shows them pictures and videos of what they like, speaking their own language. Its approach is paying off: Nike’ main IG channel has 96.1 million followers, making it the brand with the most followers on IG.


Image: Screenshot of Nike’s Instagram

3. Freestyle Canada missing out on opportunities

Freestyle Canada is the country’s freestyle ski association governing all aspects of the sport, including its development, and would benefit from higher memberships and awareness.

Granted, resources are not those of Nike. But even the website, to which social media platforms link back to is not up to date. In fact, it does not provide a link to IG, the second most active social media platform for the organization, while listing Google+, which no longer exists. Some other information, such as competition results, is not updated in a timely fashion.


Image: Screenshot of Freestyle Canada’s website

The organization is also literally absent from YouTube, with few posts and 211 subscribers, while most freestylers are the young demographics influencing the growing video trend on social media.

The organization could encourage the freestyle community to share videos as a way to get around the lack of resources or leverage influencers’ posts.

Overall, Freestyle Canada would benefit from a strategy that would help promote awareness of the sport on social media by better leveraging platforms’ automation capabilities, introducing an editorial calendar covering platforms where the audience is having its conversations, or broadening the types of stories to share, including more lifestyle stories.

What is the best social media strategy you have seen?


Social Media Trends/Listening

There are many social media listening and monitoring tools available these days. But my favourites are Hootsuite and Facebook.


We use Hootsuite at work. We like how you are able to manage and monitor all your different sites in on spot. I enjoy being able to schedule posts on multiple platforms at once, as it makes it much easier and more efficient for us. The fact that we are able to monitor and respond to comments and mentions on all our sites by using just one platform was one of the biggest selling features for us. The social media manager, the marketing manager and the owner also like all the different reports that can be generated, allowing them to monitor the success of the content that is being posted. The platform itself is very user friendly which is also very nice feature.


Facebook is my most favourite to use to monitor and listen to content because it is where we do the majority of our postings. The insights feature is extremely easy to use and to understand. It allows us to schedule posts, comment on all comments and mentions, well really all interactions with our business page. We are able to monitor all follows, likes and shares of all content we post, thus allowing to monitor our reach. It also allows us to know when new viewers are looking at our business page.

Of all the different sources of news and update sources , the ones that interest me the most are CNN and CTV news on Facebook. I find that both pages on Facebook post news very frequently, thus allowing me to stay up to date on all that is going on around my community and even the world. I like that CNN posts my worldly updates and they post approximately every 10 minutes and that CTV news posts my local news updates every hour. These sites allow me to stay involved with the outside world by being stuck behind a desk for 8 hours a day.

COMM0015 – Blog #1 – Maybe I should

Let’s be real honest here, I have not yet taken the habit of listening/monitoring social medias very seriously. Two reasons motivates this; 1 – At work there is a team dedicated to this and 2 – For my side business as a photographer, I am not currently looking for more work and can afford the luxury of choosing the assignments I want to take on, and, thanks to a permanent job within government, I am also fine with not having any.

Luckily for me, the photography industry is out there in almost every platforms and it remains fairly easy to stay on top of things by following my favorite photographers and gear manufacturer on Facebook and Instagram and still remain aware of what is going on in the industry, locally or internationally.

At work, my colleagues use the pro version of Hootsuite. I like how customizable, clean and precise it can be. It also allows them to work as a team to respond to comments and create engagement as well as schedule posts into the various platforms we use. Should I decide to become more serious I would probably use this system combined with various Google alerts

On Facebook, I get to see in a rawer version how other photographer use their creativity to market their services while I use Instagram to get inspired and monitor the trends in the techniques used by the photographers I follow.

While I prefer a more laid back approach, do not mistake this as a lack of interest or pure laziness on my end. I am very active on these two Social Medias and interact daily with my colleagues and friend in the industry.

Listening and monitoring social media

Listening and monitoring social media

My two favourite social media trend listening and monitoring tools are:

  • Google Alerts
  • Twitter (search function)


For social media trend listening and monitoring I like Google Alerts for a few reasons. The main reason is that I spend a lot of time on my email – so it’s handy that the Google Alerts are delivered to my mailbox through push notifications rather than my having to pull information from various sources on a daily basis. In addition, I like it because I can choose what keywords and businesses that I want to follow and the Alerts push only those specific compilations to my email.

I also like Twitter, because similar to email, I spend quite a bit of time on Twitter and I like the search function so that I can uncover why certain stories or keywords are trending. Often I don’t see where various trends start and only catch vague references so the search function, as well as the top trending subjects, are very helpful.

My two favourite sources of news and updates are:

  • CBC News via Twitter
  • Linked In app

For news, I use the news source of record for most Canadians – CBC. I have a journalism background and am pretty particular about the sources of my news since I understand the different types of “spin” that journalists and columnists put in their writing based on the newspaper or news media who pays their salary. The feeling of being able to trust the source of your information is very important in this day and age.

From a professional development perspective, I tend to use LinkedIn. Having a long and extensive work history means I am able to benefit from a varied group of contacts through that platform (which I tend to invariably access on my mobile device). It is incredibly useful to follow the career paths of people I admire and want to emulate, as well as to see upcoming job postings and opportunities.

My current role doesn’t have a social media element, so much of my use of social media is from these personal and professional networking standpoints.

COM0015 – Blog #1: How I Like To Monitor And Follow The News

1 – How I like monitoring

When it comes to monitoring, I have found Google Alerts to be very effective, along with Feedly, for RSS feeds.

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Images: Pixabay

After spending some time setting up alerts to ensure they will be relevant, once I start receiving them, I feel like an advisor is keeping me regularly informed about topics I want to follow.

Briefings on the go that save my time

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Image: Pixabay

I do not need to “chase” the content: it comes to me, even when I am on the go, sorted according to criteria I had carefully selected myself. As an individual or small business, I find these two tools very convenient for monitoring.

Google Alerts and the RSS feeds also allow me to save time. By having the information pushed to me by email or via screen notifications, I don’t have to spend as much time searching. As an individual, I feel I am able to keep on top of issues that matter to me most in a cost-effective way.

2 – My two best sources of news

I am particularly interested in economics and finance, both personally and professionally.

ws pixabay

Image: Pixabay


I like the Wall Street Journal’s application, including their podcasts and blogs. I trust their reporting and find it a reliable source of news. It is a must-have both personally and for my job.

I appreciate their notifications, especially when I wake up in the morning, allowing me to catch up with the most important developments in my field.

The downside is that it is limited to a single source of news.


pixabay twitter

Image: Pixabay

For a broader view of the news, I also use Twitter, since most politicians, economic think tanks, banks, corporations and influencers in the field I am interested in have a Twitter account, including the WSJ.

This allows me to have a good overview of news from various sources. When I see something interesting, I actually open the link that takes me to the appropriate website where I can spend more time reading the story.

The downside is that “fake” news or unchecked sources make their way, requiring more vigilance.

There are many other sources I like, but I would be curious to hear about yours.

Tools of the Social Trade

Com0015 Blog 1, Tools & Sources

Following trends and listening for industry related news is important to be able to share current, relevant information with our audience. 

The easiest first step to accomplish this is with Google Alerts. Simply type in the business or keywords to monitor, and google will send us notifications if they pop up. This gives us the opportunity to quickly receive, review,  and if warranted, share the news in a timely fashion with our audience. 

Another option is RSS feeds. Whether through programs such as Feedly, this allows up to coordinate our news, blogs and updates so that we can gather everything in a single location to share out with our audience, keeping our accounts current and relevant.

Other options can include Reddit and the HuffingtonPost

News sources such as Twitter may not always be fully accurate. Sites like Snopes let you fact check a story if it makes you raise, or furrow an eyebrow.

Photo Jensen Ackles via AllMediaNY

My Tools of Choice

For the last few years my go to tool has been Hootsuite. It not only allows me to schedule posts, but also allows for listening with hashtags, keywords and mentions on certain platforms.

For local content within the Industries I follow, I rely on LinkedIn. As a professional network, most news posts are shared by experts in their field, which I find is a trustworthy source.

Most recently I discovered SocialBee. Similar to Hootsuite it has scheduling and monitoring options, but it also has the option to post evergreen content, and has its own RSS feed so it can be very all in one. Now I just have to become more proficient with it so that I can take full advantage of its uses and transfer my accounts over. 

Social Bee Overview via YouTube

Have you found a new tool to share? What makes it worth taking a look at?


Jensen Ackles Photo (date unknown) from AllMediaNY from…10506.19920..22921…0.0..0.117.740.2j5……0….1..gws-wiz-img…….35i39j0i67j0j0i8i30j0i24.nawBeidi5O0&ved=0ahUKEwiO24WT19jlAhXMu54KHe0zCh0Q4dUDCAc&uact=5#imgrc=KPxigmXxNzIZvM:

Social Bee Video (July 29, 2019) from YouTube