COM0015 – Assignment 1 -Blog 4 – Out of the Box

Combining everything that we already knew about SOCIAL MEDIA with all the cases we’ve studied and all the best tools that are to be had: it feels like I’m only ever getting half-way to a solution.  Before starting this program, I thought I had a hunch about a few tools and programs out there in the real world of business meets social media… but.. wait a minute: ‘Things are changing… how will I ever keep up?’

LISTENING + LEARNING + STAYING IN ACTION  = keep to keeping up with trends and generating new ways of looking at the world through the lens of #SocialMediaMeetsBusiness.


So what do I hope to accomplish with social media?  Is it working? Well, I’m constantly learning new tricks.

From what I gather, I’m using platforms that are suited to my particular field and/or project(s.)  I’m learning from others about the varied style of communication using social media = the ins and outs of sharing your message.  What works for some people is worth a try but it might not quite work for me.  I guess it’s all a question of finding a style and sticking to it..

GOING MOBILE?  Here are a few tools that might come in handy…

I’m always looking for social media inspiration: taking free webinars and online courses.  I have found a whole bunch of useful information about how mobile apps come into play

Instagram can house short videos… Hilary Rushford, of Dean Street Society, hosted a webinar called: ‘Doubling Your Instagram Following.’

Distributing a free workbook, her program talked about free tools for editing and posting images on Instagram.

VSCO CAM = where you add a photo to your library and she talked us through using the editing tools.

@HilaryRushford also talked about the PERISCOPE App = live mobile video streaming; which works really well when you’re sharing content on a road trip, from various locations.

Another useful tool that I’ve grown to love is HOOTSUITE Suggestions...

Right from my iPhone, I am able to call up HOT TOPICS that I can easily share on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.

FYI>> It gives you THREE topics to search for and you can assign unlimited accounts… so make sure that you tweak the settings before posting on multiple accounts.  Be #strategic in what you post and where.  Double check your postings on each platform to catch anything that goes wrong.  If in doubt, delete and give it another try.  Skill takes practice.

Puzzled by PINNING?

PINTEREST is a social media platform that would appear to have limited application to business… but Melanie Duncan’s webinar gave me a whole bunch of information about optimizing this platform to steer traffic from PINS back to your company site.

> The type of material you PIN is part of the formula.  Inforgraphics are the most popular format (they spread like wild fire.)

Melanie also suggest the following tools:

PICMonkey =  Protecting your content with a watermark

Easily creating infographics =

Getting a Pinterest tab for your Facebook Page =

Pinterest stuff = Courtesy of Melanie Duncan (

> The BLOGEME poster thingy I built (featured image)  still lives on which I’ve embedded on my personal blog (backdoor access = click expand button on bottom corner)

5 reasons why you need a video marketing strategy


Effective social media marketers understand that engaging people on social media requires establishing some kind of connection with their audience. 

While social media connections can be made in a number of ways, there is one primary motive that underpins all human connections and is common to all social engagement.

The secret to connecting with people on social

To truly engage a customer through social media, a social media marketer needs to provide them with something of value.   This involves making a value proposition. 

Value propositions can take several forms.   Some of these can include:

– a financial value proposition (saving someone money).   

save money

– a practical value proposition (saving someone time).

save time

– an emotional value proposition (providing someone with a positive emotional experience).

make someone laugh

While there are literally an infinite number of value propositions that can be made, a social media marketer needs to determine how they are going to present this value proposition.  That’s where the importance of social video comes in.

The magnitude and increased value of social video

Social media influencer Gary Vaynerchuk doesn’t mince words when it comes to social video.

Screenshot 2016-04-18 15.13.33.jpg

Here is how Gary Vee puts it: 

The single most important strategy in content marketing today is video. Whether it’s video on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or Youtube, the content you need to be thinking about creating and marketing on social for your business is video. Period.”

He goes on to say, in no uncertain terms:

“No matter what you’re selling, no matter what your company does, if you don’t have a video marketing strategy for the biggest video platforms, you are going to lose. And in case you haven’t noticed, the platforms of distribution for video content online have shifted drastically over the last 18 months. Facebook is getting more daily minutes watched than YouTube, Snapchat’s daily views are now in the billions, and video on Twitter has taken listening and one to one branding to a whole new level.”

The recent meteoric rise of social video is evident in the staggering increase of videos being produced and watched every day. 

To make this point, recently Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg announced at the company’s third-quarter earnings call, that Facebook is generating 8 billion video views per day.   

According to data from Facebook:

The number of video posts per person has increased 75 % globally and 94 % in the U.S.

The amount of video from people and brands in the Facebook News Feed has increased 3.6 times year-over-year.

More than 50 % of people who visit Facebook in the U.S. every day watch at least one video.

According to a report by Cisco, by 2019, video will account for 80 % of global internet traffic.

Given the increased importance of video in the digital and social media landscapes, following are 5 reasons why social video is critical to a company’s marketing efforts.

1. More social networks are rolling out native video, demonstrating its growing value.

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat all have their own video features. And then there are the platforms whose main function is social video sharing, such as Vine and YouTube. For live video there’s Periscope, Meerkat, and Facebook, which has updated its News Feed algorithm to favour live video.

2. Social video owns the all-important 18 to 33 year-old demographic.

Millennials are spending less time watching television (if they even still own one) and more time watching video on their mobile devices and laptops. It is estimated that by 2030, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the global workforce, making it hard to ignore video platforms that resonate well with this key audience.

3. Video is unique in its ability to connect with viewers.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many more words is a video worth?   There can be no denying that the combination of moving pictures and accompanying audio has the ability to move and engage people like nothing else.

4. Businesses are leveraging social video in increasing numbers.

A 2016 survey by the Web Marketing Video Council found that 61 percent of businesses are using video as a marketing tool. In the previous year, 66 percent of those businesses were not using video at all. It’s clear that companies are quickly recognizing the growing power of video.

5. Social media videos can deliver impressive Return on Investment (ROI).

72 percent of businesses who use video say it has increased website conversion rates.

In fact, a recent study showed some impressive statistics regarding video conversion rates.


The statistics clearly demonstrate that video is increasingly dominating the social media landscape.  Organizations would do well to increasingly harness and leverage video to provide added value to their stakeholders and customers.

For more information on the growing role of social video and tips on how to use video to expand your social reach, following are some links of interest:

The rise of video marketing on social and how it affects your business

Why Video is the Social Media Trend to Watch in 2016

A Guide to Social Video, and Where it Fits in Your Marketing Plan

I want to hear from you

* Have you ever participated in a live video broadcast using an app such as Facebook Live, Periscope or Meerkat?  If so, what was your experience like?

* Will the rise in video on social media impact the way you do social?  If so, in which way will you be changing your social media habits and practices?

I want to hear from you.  Please join me in the conversation.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

COM0015: Assignment 5 – Event Participation

Location, location, location!!

So many of the social media events that I truly wish to be at are usually hundreds of kilometers away. BlogHer, for example, is an exceptional gathering hosted in Toronto. Ottawa, however, has had the Ottawa Social Capital Conference which I had the pleasure of attending a few years ago, but, sadly, only ran for a few years.

When perusing online for some heavy-hitting-awesomeness that is hosted online, the price figure attached is mindboggling. I wasn’t sure what, or how, to continue.

I happened across the thought of when I’d hosted our Condo Corporation’s AGM at our local library to search through other workshops that might be available through their boardrooms. Success!!

Ass 5 image of link of workshop

And, best of all…if you have a library card? It’s FREE. J

This particular workshop was hosted by Lara Wellman, of Lara Wellman – Digital Marketing. I’d had the opportunity to meet her in one of my previous attendances at the Social Capital Conference and her speaking abilities resonate both with those people who are just beginning in social media, to those who have already established themselves and are looking for new techniques and/or tips to broaden their success online.

“I specialize in helping small businesses increase their visibility and grow their customer base using online tools. Through an array of services such as workshops, coaching and strategic planning, I make clients comfortable with social media and other web tools and teaches them how to optimize their use.”

Event WorkshopSome of the attendees were small business owners who were just starting out in the world of adding social media to their business tool kits. I was one of two bloggers and was able to relate how social media has assisted my health advocacy across multiple social media platforms. I was able to learn how to define the key messages of my blogging: two general and two personal. One such message I determined to be: “Choices empower you to be a better patient.” It was nice to get back to some of the most often overlooked basics. I was able to briefly network with a Nutritionist student and relate some of my experiences in the online health communities.


Lara’s validation of the manner in which I promote myself across various platforms was summed up in her statement, “Even if you want to reach an entire country, how to market to each [platform] will vary.” It made me refocus on the nature of language and storytelling to best relate to which audiences are using which media platforms.

One key idea that Lara presented was the benefit of email marketing. This may be something for me to look into in the future in order to provide more of the resource information that my followers seek, but enjoy the blog itself for its value of providing insight into the journey itself. Another idea for me to look into, which terrifies me to no end, is the opportunity to monetize my blog. Thus far, I’ve resisted simply because some of the major websites my blog is listed on will not accept monetized blogs. Something challenging to consider as I move it forward, for sure.

I would highly recommend looking into attending a workshop like this in the future. I think the availability and location adds a distinct ease of attendance. I certainly appreciate the time that Lara offered, free of charge, for those who need a little bit of focus and direction as to where to take their online, social media journey to success.

Have you had a successful experience at a local professional networking event?

COM 0014 – BLOG # 6 – Once Upon MY Time

What’s your favourite story?  Can you think of one… just one?  No.. me neither… except… it has a beginning, a middle and eventually ends, right?

Welcome to my never-ending story 🙂 Thanks for coming along for the ride.  Any story you have in mind yet?  Message me… I’m keen to hear and eager to learn what makes everybody tick.

COM0014 – Blog # 4 – SWISHY CHUGging SOCIAL MEDIA: The Ellen Degeneres Story

NOTE (appears on the Scribd publication) –> Original Swishy Chug photo from

Re: “What Social Media Lesson we can Learn from Ellen Degeneres” and “What Kind of Content Has the Potential to Go Viral?” (by Mirian Slozberg)

RE: The PRANK–> as only Rollingstone can put it (covered by a whole bunch of e-magazines)

Re: How JAMBA JUICE spun it


COM0014 — Blog # 3: TARGET = Practice

Understanding the Added Value of Social Media



Social media campaigns need to have clear goals and purposes.   One of the things I’ve come to be more curious about as I dig deeper into social media marketing, is how video, and other tools, should be aligned with value.

There is no doubt that there are some kick ass on-line ads that viewers watch, love, and go on to share or comment on.  Great!  But I think real success in campaigns is based on making sure that the tools and the platforms you are using work to bring exceptional value to consumers.  When there’s seamless integration of media, with a clear understanding of what you have to offer, then magic starts to happen.

Clever campaigns that haven’t figured out how social media allows a company to provide real value to consumers run the risk of falling flat.

For KLM, an international airline, it took an Icelandic volcano eruption to figure out how social media was going to up their value to consumer quotient.

It was the 14th of April when the ash from Eyjafjallajökull caused the largest closure of airports around the world since WWII.  10M passengers were stranded, some for up to 6 days. KLM passengers were desperately trying to get information from their airline, but couldn’t.  There were too many people calling in.

In response KLM set up their social media room figuring that they’d reach out to their customers on Facebook and Twitter.   Everyone got in the act from middle managers to agents and they worked around the clock to answer people’s questions.  The response from their customers was immediate and overwhelmingly positive.

KLM would go on to build a comprehensive social media strategy without ever losing sight of the fact that their secret sauce or value for their customers in social media was first and foremost great customer service.     (Sourced from “A Socially Devoted Case Study”,

While it wouldn’t have been possible to get video into the act in 2009 (today, might be a different story) future campaigns would feature video integrated with Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook–all with a message about customer service.

A 2011 campaign Live Reply had 500 KLM employee volunteers respond to social media queries with 1 minute personalized video replies that had employees hold letters up to respond.  See it here.

Another campaign had KLM social media managers researching their customers on-line and showing up in the airport to bring them personalized “gifts” that they could use on their trip.  See it here.

Understanding the unique added value social media brings to your marketing may take time, but it’s worth the effort.


Strong and Weak Organisations



Image from:

Wow. Amazing social media strategy. If the goal of social media is to connect, engage, and share, then GoPro has done it well. This company makes cameras used mostly to film action videos of rock-climbing, skiing, kayaking, off-roading, surfing, and mountain biking. Even roller-coastering.

If you ever want to do anything extreme, but are too chicken (like me), you need to check out GoPro’s website and social media network right now. The visual content is so fantastic you will feel like you experienced it yourself.

The company’s website showcases some of the best pictures and videos from its community. Not only is this a great way to honour its customers and show its appreciation for their business, but it’s a smart, direct way to demonstrate the quality of its product.

Its Facebook page has almost 9.5 million likes and also features photos and videos of the day that are submitted by customers.

Like its Facebook page and website, its YouTube account is jam-packed with video content. But it’s not all extreme sports. Check out this GoPro-shot video of a frozen kitten coming back from the brink.

GoPro’s Twitter account, with 1.5 millions followers, also showcases videos and pictures. The company tweets regularly and receives an impressive amount of likes and retweets.

As you could guess, its Pinterest and Instagram accounts are stacked with images taken with GoPros and, once again, the content is fantastic. With categories like “Puppy Love”, “Underwater World”, and “Thrill Seekers” there’s something for everyone.

Nice job, GoPro. I’m sold.


Black Squirrel Books and Café


Image from Facebook page

Black Squirrel is a charming used-book store in a downtown Ottawa neighbourhood. It’s has an urban-eclectic feel, is warm and friendly, and recently opened a café as part of the store.

It has loyal fans and is in a vibrant, pedestrian-heavy neighbourhood. But it has no social media strategy.

The store’s website is up and running, but the content is limited. As for social media networks, the store uses Facebook the most. It has 2,770 likes and posts at least every two days; sometimes a few times a day. It receives a fair amount of likes, comments, and shares.

There is a dead link to a Tumblr account on the homepage of their website.

It does not have a Pinterest or Instagram account, both of which would be great for a bookstore considering the fantastic visual content they could use (i.e. book covers, in-store events, other images related to bookstores). It does get a lot of mentions, though, and is tagged in many posts on both networks. Even more of a reason to start an account.

It also doesn’t have a Twitter account, which would be useful when trying to promote its in-store events, open-mic sessions, fundraisers, and book readings.

I think the Black Squirrel should use their Facebook activity as a starting off point for their social media strategy. It posts quite frequently and seems to have established a good relationship with customers through that network. It needs to expand their presence. Pinterest and Instagram are great opportunities to show off the visual aspects of the business. The store needs to use Twitter for promotions (any mentions on Twitter about the Black Squirrel were made by people who had in-store events).