Posts Tagged ‘canada’

Did Canada Commit a Twitter Faux Pas?

canada-geography-tweet-russia.siCanada might have gained many followers with their recent tweet to Russia and its tongue in cheek nature, but did they do the right thing?

The tweet in question was a mocking jab at Russia equipped with a map  that outlined Russian territory and what was not Russian territory. The tweet was labelled as a geography lesson after Russian trooped crossed the ukraine border and later claimed they did so accidentally.

The tweet came from Canada’s official Twitter account, was posted by a delegate working out of Brussels and has been shared more than 10,000 times. 

Much of this stems from earlier events in March where Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula under much scrutiny and controversy.

Regardless of whether one respects Canada’s bold stance on the issue, and their forthright and direct communication on the subject, should they have done this?Twitter is many things to many people, brands and organizations. It can be a tool of diplomacy but might not be the best tool for antagonism.

While Canada’s Twitter account can be applauded on some level, could their message have been sent more professionally and earnestly? The answer is yes but clearly that was not their intention.

There’s no doubt they were trying to stoke the fires of an already explosive situation.

It would never be highly recommended for other nations to go down this route. Social media is a great tool to connect with citizens, less so to combat other nations or to mock them.

The reason being is that online actions have offline consequences. Canada opened itself to some kind of Twitter retaliation (not necessarily from Russia directly) and that’s unfortunate when the account should be devoted as a two-way communication pipeline to its citizens.

Diplomacy is an area of social media that is vital and proven. Canada has an exemplary record in social media, and let’s hope this was simply accidentally and not a reflection of  activity to come.

The Web Goes Social

Our use of the internet continues to evolve and social media dominance of our time online continues to grow.

According to a survey by GlobalWebIndex,Canadians devote 25% of their online time to social media sites — that’s 1.21 hours a day.

Overall, an estimated 17.7 million Canadians use social media sites at least monthly. News sites took second place with 13%  of Canadians’ online time or 0.63 hours a day. Online TV and radio took 11% and 9% respectively, while blogging and microblogging collectively consumed 15% of total time online.

Not surprisingly Facebook tops the list when it comes to social media consumption, capturing an impressive 93.9% of social media users.

But social media’s true power lies beyond the numbers: all other online pursuits included in this time-use survey can be tied into social media. Many of us get linked to news stories via sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

But these sites also allow conversations about crises, politics and celebrities as well as debates over the merits of the quality of the story itself.

The watching of TV, meanwhile, is seeing a rise online, while the live tweeting of popular TV events has become a new trend in watching the medium.

And what’s the biggest driver of blog readership? Social media posts.

Clearly, social media has attracted a growing number of eyeballs online. That growth has yet to peak as more social sites come onboard and capture the imagination of the public.

But truly, the medium’s real power lies in its ability to touch just about everything happening on the vast electronic expanse of the Web.

Black Friday

Of course we were going to look at Black Friday – the biggest shopping day in the United States and growing bigger in Canada.

Black Friday is this week, right after Thanksgiving and people are definitely talking about it. I took a look at the search term “Black Friday” and social activity over the last two weeks on MAP.

Black Friday Tweets

As you can see, there are 1.1 million mentions on Twitter with an average of 84,316 tweets per day and 3,515 tweets per hour.  That’s 58 tweets a minute if you want to do the math.

The gender breakdown shows that women are the ones doing most of the chatting about Black Friday shopping but what exactly are they talking about?

Black Friday BuzzGraph and WordCloud

Apart from the expected words such as “sale,” “coupon and “deals,” shoppers are being specific about where they’re going to shop. The two stores that come up in the BuzzGraph and WordCloud are Amazon and Walmart, which carries almost everything.

But what about Canada? There has been media coverage about how stores are staying open later to compete with Black Friday in the US  but is it reflected in social media? I did a search using “Black Friday” AND “Canada” and took a look at the last two weeks.

Canadian tweets about Black Friday

The answer is… not very much. There is growth day over day but not a lot of Twitter activity over the last two weeks. This is reflected overall in all social platforms.

Black Friday Social Media - Canada

Could it be because Canadians have Boxing Day sales that last an entire month? Or could it be because of one word?

Black Friday WordCloud - Canada

The word that pops up in the WordCloud is shipping. While deals can be found if you cross the border, shopping from within Canada can still cost you by time you add customs and shipping costs.

Will you be participating in Black Friday sales?


Mommy Bloggers: Passionate, Engaged and Nice

I’ve heard lots of stories and read plenty of stories about mommy bloggers. There is no doubt that you don’t want to get on the wrong side of mommy bloggers. Just ask the folks at Motrin, who faced the wrath of the mommy blogger after launching a new advertising campaign that didn’t go as intended.

Although I was quite familiar with mommy bloggers, I had never actually met one until last week when I moderated an industry event that brought bloggers together from across Canada.

And you know what? They were as passionate, enthusiastic and engaged as I imagined but also nice, excited and happy to share their experiences.

What I found fascinating about the three mommy bloggers that I spent the day with was how their path to becoming a blogger just happened as opposed to them having a master plan to establish themselves as high-profile bloggers.

Even more impressive is how popular Kathryn Lavallee and Jody Arsenault have become in a relatively short period of time. Both have been blogging for less than two years but have built up a large following on their blogs and on Twitter.

Their embrace of blogging reflects who their are (mothers), their interest in helping other people, a dedication to the job and how blogging has become a business.

Lavallee and Arsenault live in small towns in Saskatchewan and Manitoba respectively so blogging is also a way for them to create a network outside their communities and, as important, establish new relationships and attract new opportunities.

As a blogger, it is encouraging to meet people who are just as passionate and into blogging and the various benefits that it offers.




Are Canadian Youth Engaged in the Election?

With Canada into a federal election on May 2, there’s a growing focus on whether social media is playing a major role.

The major political parties have embraced Twitter, Facebook and YouTube but the key question is whether it’s doing anything to engage voters, particularly those under 30-years-old who appear bored and disinterested in politics and, as important, voting.

We won’t get a definitive take on the impact of social media until election day on May 2 but anecdotally the hype about the impact of social media is vastly overshadowing whether it will get more people to the polls.

To get an idea about whether younger people are using social media to talk about the election, we used MAP to take a look at the conversations about the election in Canada. We used a query that started on March 1 and focused on “Canada AND election”, and the leaders of the five major political parties: Stephen Harper (Conservatives), Michael Ignatieff (Liberals), Jack Layton (NDP), Elizabeth May (Green) and Gilles Duceppe (Bloc Quebecois). unearth some demographic information.

In particular, we wanted to see how much activity there was among younger people. In looking at blogs, MAP showed that while 38.9% of the conversations on blogs are happening within the 21-to-35-year-old demographic, people under the age of 20-years-old only accounted for 3.1% of all blog activity.

It suggests younger people are talking about the election, which is encouraging. The question is whether they’re going to vote.

Canadians Stoked About Social Media Too

As Canadians, we’re proud about who we are. We’re proud about hockey, surviving winter every year, and donuts (Canadians are the world’s biggest donut consumers per capita just in case you didn’t know.)

And, according to a new eMarketer report, we’re also really into social media, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to most Canadians given how many people use Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In 2010, eMarketer expects 15.1 million online users in Canada will have visited a social networking site at least once a month, an 11% increase from from 13.6 million in 2009. By 2014, 18.4 million Canadians are expected to visit social media, boosting penetration to 68% from 59%.

It’s no surprise Facebook is, by far, the most popular social media service with 9.6 million unique visitors a month but a surprising runner-up is Windows Live is 543,000 visitors, while Twitter is third with 344,000.

The traffic data, which comes from comScore, also lists a mysterious service called Skyrock within the top-10. Anyone heard of Skyrock or using it?

One of the things eMarketer’s report highlights is how little research has been done on the Canadian social market. Despite the fact we’re enthusiastic consumers of social media, there isn’t much quantitative or qualitative data about the usage and behaviour of social media consumers.

It may explain why many Canadians companies are just starting to explore social media, while their counterparts in the U.S. are all over it. To put it simple terms, there may be a lot of talk about social media in Canada but there isn’t nearly as much corporate walk.

It’s a puzzling situation because you would think that with so much activity among consumers, Canadian companies would be all over social media. But the reality is there isn’t nearly enough happening, and real success stories are few and far between.

Perhaps reports such as eMarketer’s will turn the tide. Once senior executives see evidence that social media is not a fad, maybe that will convince them to change their mindset.

Below, you’ll find two charts from eMarketer. The first shows social media penetration rates, which seem low given Canada’s has the eight-largest Facebook population in the world, the fourth largest Twitter population and the highest penetration (68%) for YouTube.

As well, it is puzzling to to DeviantArt and in the top-10 – neither one I would consider a social network.

Congrats, Canada and Our Olympians!

As a Canadian company, it has been a challenge to stay completely focused on work over the past couple of week while the Winter Olympics took place in Vancouver.

Probably more so than the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, Canadians were wildly enthusiastic about the Olympics, and Vancouver turned into a two-week party even for people who didn’t attend any Olympic events.

For Canadians, the Olympics concluded on an extraordinary high as Canada battled the United States for the gold medal in hockey. For three hours, most of Canada came a standstill until Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada in overtime.

The gold medal capped off an amazing performance by skating athletes, who won a record number of gold medals for a Winter Olympics. As important, the games was well-organized and Vancouver dominated the stage for all the right reasons for the past two weeks.

As far as the dominant conversations over the past two week, “medal” was the biggest point of discussions with “hockey” and “Canada” having the strongest associations.