A Storify’d look at my #PSEWEB presentation

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Social Media Marketing – George Brown College

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social media marketing
social media marketing

This past winter I had the privilege to teach my first ever course at George Brown: Twitter Marketing. Well, it seems my students liked me enough that the powers that be at George Brown College have agreed to have me teach the Social Media Marketing courseWe’ll go through some social media history, take an in depth look at the popular tools of the day, and empower students to be able to create a social media strategy.

There’s still some space if you’re interested in registering. Classes start soon!


The dichotomy of social media

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Last week, Facebook Canada released data on how people and brands are using its platform and interacting with one another.  When we think of people using Facebook we tend to think that people are connecting to their friends and family. And most brands tend to use Facebook to market/sell their wares.

However, there are those people who use Facebook for motives that are not as simple. And the same goes for brands. How people use Facebook (and social media in general) is a topic for another blog post in the not too distant future.

Personally, I “follow” brands to learn. I want to learn how they talk to their audience. I want to learn how they market to potential customers. I want to learn what they say during times of crisis as well as when things are looking great.

Two brands I follow are The YMCA and Flight Centre. And for very different reasons. Flight Centre has a strong team here in Toronto led by the very capable Gregg Tilston. YMCA does an amazing job on social media. Their content is very engaging.  And, of course, they are accomplishing two very different things.

Today, their posts found themselves together, one on top of the other.

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And these two message could not be any more different. YMCA highlighted the fact that many people in Ontario face: how to make ends meet.  Flight Centre posted an aspirational message.

Two very different, yet effective, uses of social media.

#FollowFriday: Gregg Tilston – Taking Flight with Social Media

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One of the first people I started to look up to in my journey in this social media world was Gregg Tilston. I can’t remember what is was but he always been one of those people in the community that had time to give back.

Gregg is not only the social media lead for Flight Centre globally, but he is also active with Movember in Toronto. And if you’re a good guy, you might even be fortunate to share a beer, coffee or meal with him.

One of the reason’s I looked up to Greg in the first place was his understanding of the digital space and his constant thirst for knowledge. Here’s a conversation I had with Gregg. We discussed strategy, analytics, security, and of course, Klout.


HootSuite vs Buffer

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Earlier this month I conducted a non-scientific analysis comparing two social media publication tools: HootSuite and Buffer. To set the stage here are some facts:

  • The social media agency that I am a partner of is a paying HootSuite client.
  • I use HootSuite (not just for business) to publish to a variety of platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • I use HootSuite to publish in real time as well as push out scheduled messages.
  • I have used the free version of Buffer (sparingly) to send out scheduled tweets.

I scheduled 10 identical tweets on both platforms between the dates of Monday, March 4 2013 – Wednesday, March 6 2013.

HootSuite’s schedule engine heavily loaded the tweets on Monday. Buffer scheduled 4 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday. Here are the results:

  • 4 tweets from HootSuite had no clicks.
  • HootSuite’s analytics (unless I’m missing something) didn’t share how many RTs or mentions the tweets received.
  • The 10 tweets sent through HootSuite’s scheduled feature received a total of 33 clicks; the highest tweet received 14 clicks and was about Toronto’s Community Managers.
  • Every tweet sent through Buffer received at least 1 click.
  • The average tweet sent through Buffer received 6.5 clicks.
  • The most popular tweets each received 12 clicks (Toronto’s Community Managers, Co-working Spaces in Toronto, and an interview with Gregg Tilston of Flight Centre).
  • The Co-working tweet also received 1 RT and 1 mention.
  • In total, the tweets sent through Buffer received 2 RTs, 1 mention and 65 clicks


Use Buffer to send out more than 4 scheduled tweets at once. The platform will ensure they are spread out evenly. What will I do? I will continue to use HootSuite. Scheduling has benefits (as seen above) but I also place a high level of importance on engagement, monitoring, moderating and searching for conversations and topics. These are things that provide me with personal and business value.

What Does The New Facebook News Feed Mean To You? (an early look)

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Earlier today Facebook announced upcoming changes to their news feed:

We’ve completely rebuilt each story to be much more vibrant and colorful and highlight the content that your friends are sharing. Photos, news articles, maps and events all look brighter and more beautiful.

Users will also be able to further customize their news feed experience:

To make sure you’re seeing all the stories you want to see, we’re introducing several new feeds to explore in addition to the same News Feed you have today:

– All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing

– Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like

– Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to

– Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.

So what does this all mean for you?

Content reigns supreme.  

I know you’ve heard this story before. But now, more than ever, this is true. And for a couple of reasons too. 

  1. Photos. Facebook is going to have a news feed dedicated to photos. Your need to understand this if your personal page or brand page is looking to increase or maintain engagement. Sharing a link to a photo will not cut it anymore. You will now NEED to upload photos and share them this way. I also suggest using creative and compelling photos with a focus on great stories and superb quality.  Facebook will not change EdgeRank.  If your content is not shared, liked or commented on, you will find your content not being engaging. And if you’re a brand that means you’ll be spending more financial resources on ads than you should be.
  2. Engaging content. This includes content such as photos, videos, and even polls for instance. The only way to know what is engaging your friends or community is to read the numbers. What is your data saying? If you’re sharing content with friends, do your friends engage with your content or are you left wondering if anyone saw anything? If you manage a brand’s page take a look at your Facebook insights. What are they telling you? What types of content is being shared the most? Which content has high virality numbers?  

These are just a couple of reasons you need to pay attention to Facebook’s new news feed design. Over the next few days, more articles and thoughts are sure to be shared online and on social media. What are your thoughts on Facebook’s newly designed news feed? Share your comments.