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!!!”
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.
Sunday I woke up extremely hung-over. I have a strange relationship with such a state: I always feel that I need to have a productive day following a pizza infused late night endeavor. Sunday, I decided to get going with a long run.
Jogging at one pace has to be up there with the most boring things I’ve ever done. Does anyone actually enjoy it if it’s not sunny and no music? I would love to know what is going through the minds of marathon runners…. Are they having fun running?
It didn’t take long for boredom to set in Sunday as I made my way to the beach. I noticed everyone I ran by was frowning or looked angry. I couldn’t figure it out. It was gorgeous out and they were running along Spanish banks.
What’s the deal? I made it my mission to turn a few frowns into smiles; maybe inflict a little joy into the Sunday run. I started to smile at every jogger I ran past…
A few smiled back, some avoided eye contact, most looked at be dumbfounded with that sympathy gaze as though they were humoring someone’s awkward joke.
This is the first of a few posts on the relationship between social media and real life.
A question causing discussion is whether mobile social networking is sacrificing real-life relationships. The ‘mobilize everything’ trend is everywhere.
On days I ride the bus to work, I would say 70% of people are buried in their phones and/or have headphones in. I would guess that other 30% don’t have phones to begin with (this is a generalization).
Of course, I am as guilty as everyone else riding the chariot. I check news sites, emails and twitter; all with a podcast firing. I personally feel like this type of behavior can be acceptable in public settings if you are riding solo.
If this dips into more direct social settings, the slope gets slick. The extent to which we are foregoing face-to-face interaction for mobile companionship is a huge concern.
MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle makes a good argument (in her TEDxTalk) that we are sacrificing real life conversations by using social media. The way we interact online creates unrealistic and distorted perceptions social relationships.
I wanted to let people know about an online newspaper I started. I call it The Social Shaker Daily. Those who read my tweets may already be familiar. The Social Shaker is a collection of amazing articles I read on a daily basis. I felt like it was a good way to share the type of stuff I read while I eat breakfast or when I should be doing something productive. The paper puts everything into one page rather than tweeting and sharing links all day.
I setup The Social Shaker through http://paper.li/. This is a pretty cool site that lets you build and completely customize your own online newspaper. The site automatically collects the best trending articles from twitter every morning.
The content is largely pop culture, sports and social networking with some reality TV sprinkled in (because reality TV is amazing).
The Social Shaker is best served with a piping hot beverage. My hope is that people find it useful and entertaining compared to the boring mainstream newspapers out there.
I need your help!
Are people remotely interested in this sort of thing or is it a waste of time? If you have any suggestions or feedback for the type of articles you would like to read, please get in touch via comment and let me know.
Last week, I started interning at HootSuite. For those unfamiliar, HootSuite (Vancouver tech start up) is a social media management dashboard. It lets you use and manage all your social networks from one page.
How did I get the internship?
Seizing opportunity combined with some fortunate timing (luck) and help from some amazing people. Three weeks ago at the IMgroup Meetup, I got the chance to hear HootSuite’s VP of Community, DaveO speak about five unique days in their company’s history. Each day represented a defining event for their company. The stories resonated; I admired their transparent and unique outlook on everything from day to day business to crisis management. I was drawn to their gritty hustling culture.
I put myself out there. At the Meetup, everyone gets a 30 second elevator pitch style intro to the group. I broadcasted my aspirations for an internship. My announcement was met with smiles from the crowd that turned to laughter when Dave responded with: “you can’t spell internet without intern.”
I sent Dave a message the following day asking if he wanted to go for coffee. He obliged and we met later that week. I had no idea what to expect, but I received some great advice from a few friends and family. I wanted to cover my bases, so I printed off my dismal resume and cover letter just in case.
I made my way to the given address expecting a coffee shop. Instead, I got the HootSuite offices. Damn! I was fiending coffee as always, what a cruel trick. I walked in, stumbled through a stack of 15 bikes and a friendly dog. Dave was sitting where you would expect a receptionist to be.
We talked for a while. The word internship kept coming up, but I wasn’t positive he was offering it to me until the end when he made it clear. I was ecstatic.
Moral of the story
Social networks are driving hiring decisions everywhere. Be cognisant, but most importantly, be yourself! Deception is not sustainable. Why waste time convincing anyone you are something you are not? This applies not just to employment but to everything. In the words of Oscar Wilde, “Be yourself, everyone else is taken.
I am now taking names at HootSuite three days a week. I just have to figure out how school, sports and blogging fit in.
If anyone has some time management suggestions, I would love to hear them.
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?
The other day I talked about the transition I am making from amateur athletics to a more career centered approach in social media. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about the cold reality of the application process.
The most important part of my self-education for a career in social media is an internship. While the idea of working for free is not something that I am particularly thrilled about, I am happy to do it in order to gain relevant experience and learn more about the field that I am passionate about and would eventually pursue a career in. That, and the fact that I have no formal education in marketing or social media and extremely limited applicable experience. Not exactly in a power position here.
Where does one find internship postings? Searches on Craigslist, Twitter and Monster gave me some decent leads as a starting point.
Next, I had to spruce up my resume. The fact that I had to scramble to even find it on my computer probably tells you the current state of said resume. The hectic training schedule associated with being an amateur athlete makes regular employment a bit tricky. While most of my friends went to school during the winter and worked in the summer, I took part-time classes at UBC year round in order to be able to balance school with the travel and training for Field Hockey. This is also part of the reason why I’ve only worked as a coach or in manual labour. Is that a cop-out? Nevertheless, I feel this is a common issue that many athletes face.
So with my resume freshly updated, it was time to start thinking about a cover letter. Much to my chagrin, my sister was kind enough to assure me that you need an entirely separate cover letter for each job you apply for. Cover letter’s are meant as an opportunity to make the ultimate creative pitch to an employer. AKA blow as much smoke as possible, but keep it to one page. Seems like a cocktail of corporate buzzword mumbo-jumbo with a dash of neuroticism is the recipe for success.
As a way to use my self-proclaimed social media prowess in order to write the best cover letter, I turned to Quora (awesome site) and Twitter. Quora is like the Google effect on steroids. You type a specific question and industry professionals answer. The Quora search gave me some great tips and info from supposed “experts”. Susan the ‘Career Counsellor’ got the highest rating from users for her spiel on cover letter secrets; she must be legit. Good enough for me. Armed with a template draft for a cover letter, I started applying for internships.
Then… I randomly found an awesome website through the UBC AMS Society. Apparently they have an internship coordinator for students… Who knew? I met with the coordinator and sent her my resume and a cover letter. She goes over your info and applies to internships on your behalf. Highly recommend this for students. Also recommend you follow @YouTern on twitter. They post internships to places all over North America daily.
Few moves made. Couple of developments in the works. The wheels are in motion as they say.
Any good resources for internships or writing cover letters? Holler.
The transition from a full time amateur athlete playing Field Hockey (guys do play field hockey) for Canada into a more career centered approach is tough!
As my never ending undergrad degree is finally coming to a close in April (victory lap… Van Wilder… all that), it’s frightening to think what my next move is and how I am going to make a living and find a career. I’ll be graduating with a “useless” Bachelor of Arts degree… Add me to the list of all my friends with these arts degrees that have no idea what to do next.
Social media could be my saviour. I’ve been Facebooking for a while. But other channels of social media have sparked my interest over the last year. Initially, I took a liking to twitter: saw a few friends on it and thought it would be fun to try.
I’m often reluctant to tweet things because it’s hard to convey your intentions; especially for those that may not know me very well. The nature of an audience reading one tailored message in black text is such that delivery, body language (wait you can’t see my smug smirk?) and the emotional valence of your message is lost. Having no immediate reply or validation for your tweet is somewhat daunting. Is this funny? Nope. Should I delete the tweet? Is Bill Simmons going to retweet me if say something funny? These are three questions that cross my mind daily. But… This is what makes it fun.
My interest in social media moved from twitter to just about everything else. My dabbling has extended to LinkedIn, Hootsuite this tumblr page and a few other random social media apps and sites. Judging by the reaction I got last weekend from a girl I told that I was on Pinterest, I’ve determined that I am just about the only guy in Vancouver using it.
How can social media promote or determine my career? Wouldn’t it be sweet if I could create an awesome website or app, market it and live the dream? Not very realistic given my current situation. I wouldn’t know where to start.
Social media marketing, building and developing a brand online is something that draws my curiosity. How do you declare yourself an expert in social media marketing? The lack of formal education out there makes it a bit tricky. Having reached out to a couple of people I see as experts in the field, it has become clear that real world experience sprinkled with self-education is the key.
I am now looking for an internship in social media marketing. I’ve started participating in several online webinars, listening to podcasts and reading e-books. I am making plans to go to Social Media Week -Toronto in February. I also started reading a great book on the subject by David Meerman Scott called ‘The NEW RULES of MARKETING & PR’. Looks like my undergrad classes are on the back burner for now.
Any tips or suggestions for my self-education? Lets hear it!