With Movember winding down, I’m stroking my glorious moustache and pondering Movembers role in the greater context of mens health awareness. The last two years skyrocketed Movember’s status into mainstream.
With that comes mainstream media exposure and thus, Movember business opportunities.
Brands had this popular global event to explore. It screamed opportunity for Movember related promotions. Local brand and businesses particularly had an easy chance to inject themselves into Movember through deals and promos.
I kept thinking to myself all month how easy it would be. I’m still shocked that i didn’t see any friendly or creative promos.
In short, slap a ‘Movember savings deal’ in your store, shop, or business.
Here’s a thought.
Say i’m strolling around downtown on a Saturday, and I happen upon a coffee shop offering ‘Movember Discounts.’ It could be as easy as X amount off your brew if you’re sporting a moustache.
Not only would I gladly welcome a discount for my mo’, I would be inclined to share this info. In short, I would blast this over Twitter, Facebook and other social networks… “Hey I just got a discount for having a moustache!!!”
Instagram launches web profiles… shocker right? Many saw this announcement was coming and felt it was long overdue. The design is obviously influenced by their parent Facebook, with a timeline-esque rotating collage of pics for the cover image.
Overall it’s easy on the eyes as it should be, but instagram for web bring huge implications for brand marketers, Facebook, and ultimately the Instagram community. Let’s take a peak.
What made Facebook so popular at the outset were the photos. One could creep on scandalous photos from anyone’s profile safely and anonymously. Facebook became the ultimate time-waster for procrastinating students and workers alike.
As time spent on Facebook declines, crowds are favoring more photo-driven sharing sites like Tumblr (20 billion monthly pageviews), Pinterest, and obviously Instagram. Instagram web-profiles gives everyone immediate access to wider audiences. People will favour Instagram’s photo-rich layout over Facebook’s ad-driven, event-invite laden shit-show.
This is an interesting situation for Facebook. They own Instagram, so any success Instagram gains on the web is great, but at what cost? Facebook’s no longer the go-to for perusing images. I see this eventually diverting web traffic away from Facebook.
There’s serious issues with brands promoting marketing campaigns in affiliation with tragedies or natural disasters.
Monday, American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, and others, sent email blasts to their East Coast customers announcing ‘Hurricane Sandy Sales.’ These are feeble attempts at latching onto trending news for monetary gain – these brands don’t get “it.”
The public at large took serious issue with these ballsy marketing tactics – taking to Twitter to voice disdain. Exploiting any tragedy for monetary gain is insensitive, ignorant and careless. People are dying, infrastructure is forever destroyed and millions are without power.
We’ve seen brands try these shenanigans before, perhaps you’ll remember Kenneth Cole’s backfired attempt at capitalizing on the Egyptian protests in February 2012. Their brand image took a huge hit, causing controversy, outrage, and a ton of angry tweeters.
I’ve been doing quite a bit of thinking about goal setting. I remember back in CAPP class, we had to go through these garbage goal setting exercises that made me cringe. What a waste of time.
If anything, that experience deterred me from wanting to set goals. To be honest, since then the only goals I’ve set are in sport. I guess because sport consumed most of my life.
It never crossed my mind to think about lifelong personal goals until recently. What do I want to do? How am I going to do that? These questions scare the shit out of me.
This is when I started to think big. I’ve come up with some lofty goals that I won’t share now… They are ‘need to know.’
What I will say is how I am going to get there. Creatively working my ass off and investing my time and resources on things I care about and can control.
I’ve developed an interest in building communities around a brand. Social media is an amazing tool in this process. About six months ago, I made the decision to master social media. What the hell does that mean? I’m not sure either.
Nonetheless, I got on my grind reading everything I could all day until my eyes wouldn’t stay open. See you later school. I had a burning motivation to learn and felt like it was only a matter of time.
Since KONY has fizzled out, Dollar Shave Club (DCS) has jumped into viral relevance. It starts with an unexpected tagline: Our Blades Are F***ing Great. Right away, we are caught off guard. At the time of writing, the DCS Youtube video has about 3 million views in six days.
Here are five reasons why Dollar Shave Club is killing it online:
At the end of the day, DSC is providing a useful service that is apparently in demand. People always run out of razors and they will always be used.
Since DSC is the hip new thing. The masses will flock at sharing with their networks that they just drank the DSC Kool-aid.
The cult like following which Dollar Shave Club received looks easy – it is important to remember that it’s not simply about posting on Youtube.
Creating a viral hit involves a ton of strategic help. To get initial eyeballs, there’s likely a ton of hustle in getting websites and blogs to publish the video.
Has anyone see a more creative use of a leaf blower?
Everyone is #Pinning these days. By everyone I mean women. According to Google, women make up 82% of it’s daily visits. Talking to people over the last few weeks I’ve come to the following consensus: Pinterest is a cult, those already pinning are super active and engaged in the site. Then there is the lay person not on the kool-aid, who either hasn’t heard of it (where have you been?) or perceives Pinterest as a cesspool for wedding ideas and interior decor.
The gender divide was a bit confusing for me at first given that men are thought to be more responsive to visuals. Thinking back to the amount of pointless garbage in the form of pictures that girls (not all) post on Facebook, the light finally came to me.
The only thing I can come up with to explain the gender difference is what I call the ‘scapbook syndrome.’ Have you ever seen a guy with a scrapbook? Pinterest is the hip new way for women to construct their visual scrapbooks on an easy to use platform. The bulletin board style layout of Pinterest makes it pretty easy to amass a visual highlight package.
Not just for the Martha Stuart fan club
For the bad rep Pinterest gets with the male population, I find it useful and fun. The food section is great for ideas and recipes, the humour section is decent and the sports section is a complete free for all. If you like infographics, the tech section is great. Stay away from the fitness section; I’ve yet to come across a page littered with so much misinformed crap.
Pinterest is growing on a massive scale and is already firmly established in the social media landscape.
Want to get started? Check out this beginner guide.
Do you think Pinterest can become as popular as the social media giants?
Throughout social media week, I attended north of 20 events at places all over Toronto. I love exploring new cities; walking and street-caring made it pretty easy to get my bearings. Transiting from event to event allowed me to fully experience the city of Toronto in all its grandeur. After five days, I feel that I know the city pretty well. I learned a ton, what I want to touch on today is networking.
Through experimentation with “networking” over the last month or so, I am starting to figure it out. Practice makes progression (perfection is a fallacy). I’ve found through a lot of trial (and error) that I no longer have that same level of apprehension to approach people, whether it be an acquaintance or stranger. Social media week was the perfect medium to meet people. I met some awesome people in the process and even made a few friends.
See what works for me below.
Find a way in
The way to approach someone you seek to network with is to establish some common ground. This should be easy if they share a similar vocation or hobby. If time allows, I will quickly research via twitter. Profile and tweets are a good way to gauge personality but their pictures are even better. This literally takes one minute.
In my case, I have no problem approaching strangers at Social Media Week because we all share a common interest. I’ve found that people are very receptive to help, all you have to do is gather the courage to initiate.
What is your motive?
Something to ponder before you approach. What are you looking to get out of the conversation? For me, I am hoping to learn from my peers about how they got started in the social industry. What is there story? I honestly believe that everyone is unique and has an amazing story to share.
This is where Seth Rogen comes in. Once you have found some common ground to initiate a conversation, start picking their brain with relevant questions. Whether it is about where they work, what education they have or how they got started in the industry. If you are genuinely interested in talking to someone, these questions should come easily.
Share your story.
People love talking about themselves; it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy. Once a connection is established, don’t be afraid to tell your story. What are you doing currently? Where have you been and where are you going? Sharing a bit about yourself takes the engagement to another level.
Nothing to Lose!
I ask myself: what is the worst that could happen? We are hard-wired to develop relationships in order to build our proverbial tribe. Remember this. People are inherently friendly. A smile and eye contact go a long way.
Two way street
It is not all about you. Think how you can help them. Networking is about mutual understanding and benefit.
Upon watching this interview yesterday with Evan Greene, CMO of The Recording Academy, I was impressed with their outlook on keeping the Grammys relevant throughout the year. They are “social.” The Grammy team keep up to date with industry happenings and attend music events year round to keep their brand relevant. They achieve this by engaging with the industry community. Clearly these guys get it, or so I thought…
It is not about pushing promotions online and through other avenues solely for Grammy night. It is a mind-set of reaching out and interacting with the audience that you are juxtaposed to. The Grammy brand has done decent job conveying an interactive and friendly culture by means of their presence at other entertainment events. This is smart. When Grammy night approaches, it is not about a big ‘one and done’ advertising and marketing campaign. They have built a loyal community of evangelists that identify with their brand. The event promotes itself through its steadfast community via social media.
Tape delay on the Westcoast? Is this some kind of a sick joke?
Yet again, the Grammys will air on tape-delay for the west coast. Everyone from San Diego to beautiful Smithers gets the shaft. This made me angry and confused. After watching the interview yesterday, having admired the Grammy brass for their interactive approach to promoting their brand and their night; I am dumbfounded by this lip service. Peddling your brand as a social innovator and preaching the value of community in interviews then turning around and dropping a bomb like this on your community is fraudulent.
Grammys are clearly not social. The west coast audience will have a blast getting updates and gossip flooding through Facebook and Twitter while they twiddle their thumbs. The whole experience of sharing hilarious moments, awkward speeches, and embarrassing slip-ups with your friends is destroyed. People want to share mutual emotions together. It taps in to our need to belong and desire for affiliation.
Tape delay butchers the essence of audience engagement and conversation for the west coast. Real-time interaction is what people crave with social media; the Grammys are making a huge mistake. No doubt this will tarnish their rep with everyone from social thought leaders to casual fans. People like transparency, not deceit.
Rant over. Enjoy your evening.
Do people still care about the Grammys? Anyone else feel that this takes away from the experience?
The other day I shared some of the new age self-education options that are out there. This will be a primer on my trip to Toronto next week for Social Media Week.
Hilarious hipster video was put out by the organizers of Social Media Week.
Social Media Week is a global event that takes place in several host cities from February 13-17. It consists of dozens of presentations, speakers and conferences on all things pertaining to technology, communications and social media. After the great experience I had attending a couple of events at Social Media Week Vancouver in September, I figured what better excuse to skip a week of class than go to Social Media Week Toronto (SMWTO).
My primary concern with investing time and money into an event like this is the added value. I have no doubt the content will be great and I will learn some useful skills. The other part of the value in my opinion is the relationship building.
I plan on using my newfound networking prowess to meet some movers and build some connections. For those concerned about my past business card fiascos, worry not, they are in production as I type. No longer will this guy be answering business card inquiries with embarrassing excuses.
The budget is another huge concern. I am a student with no income. However, with careful planning and frugal spending, I can make it work. The major expenses are: the event itself, accommodation and transportation.
The majority of events at SWMTO are free, friends were gracious enough to let me crash on a pull-out bed in their apartment and my flights are booked on Aeroplan miles. So far so good. Aside from a $61 service charge which Aeroplan was nice enough to sneak in to my ticket transaction, I will not have spent a dime upon my arrival.
Food is another concern. I enjoy eating good high quality food. Most of the events at SMWTO provide “light snacks and refreshments” before and after the entertainment. Not sure what that means, but I plan on taking full advantage of any complementary food; getting appie happy as much as possible. Perhaps even schmooze my way to a few lunch or dinner meetings.
I look forward to the coming week in Toronto. Aside from SMWTO, I am excited to re-connect with some good friends.
No doubt there will be some great stories for the blog as I continue to experiment with networking.
If anyone is in Toronto next week, drop me a line so we can meetup!
The cool thing about self-education is that it is a matter of choice. Everything rests firmly on the shoulders of the individual. There are no barriers to entry, applications or GPA restrictions. Desire and drive are two key necessities for mastery through self-education. Intrinsic motivation is an extremely powerful cognitive process. That is why self-education is 100% what you make it.
I wrote a bit in the past about my self-education efforts to date. These range from simply reading books to attending seminars and conferences on social media. Recently I have been getting a bit more creative with my education. I want to talk a bit about two different approaches I’ve been using in the hopes that some of you will be inspired to try them out.
Online Twitter Conversations
Twitter or social media may not be your thing. Hear me out.
If you have ever come across someone spamming your twitter timeline with a bunch of annoying random answers to questions followed by the same stupid hashtag, they are likely deep into a twitter chat. A Twitter chat is an online conversation hosted by an individual or company where a group of tweeters share insight on a pre-selected topic. The chat is structured by the host who provides questions, moderates and progresses the conversation from one question to the next.
The host often recruits an expert on the topic as their co-host. Free professional advice!
The chats take advantage of the hashtag search feature on twitter, allowing the conversation to be organized and followed in a linear fashion. The beauty of these conversations is the versatility. How else can a community of passionate contributors from around the world be assembled for an intellectual conversation?
There are twitter chats on just about every subject. You just have to do some digging and research to find the date and time.
I realize that some may see this conversation medium as impersonal and retarded. You are mistaken. I’ve been doing a few of these twitter chats per week. The diverse audience provides insight that you would never find in a real time conversation anywhere else.
A meetup is a group meeting organized online through social media on a specific topic. Like twitter chats, there are meetup groups for everything. Two weeks ago, I came across a message about a meetup called Internet Masterminds. Internet Masterminds is a meetup about marketing, social media, career and social networking. They have a guest speaker every week.
I showed up to my first #IMgroup meetup having no idea what to expect. Slightly less nerves while signing in compared to my last networking event. However, the nerves came roaring back when I was asked to make a quick introduction to the group. I have high threshold for pain, no fear of spiders or competition, but public speaking scares me. Public speaking in front of a group of 75 strangers is petrifying. I thought back to my grade eight public speaking class. Strike a power pose and make eye contact.
Somehow I managed to tell my story without too much stuttering. What a miracle.
I’ve been to two meetups so far. The most practical information I have learned about social media have come from these meetups. If you’re looking to learn about or meet people in an industry, a meetup is a perfect way to kill two birds with one rock.
The only issue with my self-education is my real education. Midterm week makes blogging tough.
Have you attended a meetup or twitter chat? Any creative self-education secrets for me? Post a comment!