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By Diane Bégin

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Summer Roadtripping with Facebook

On July 24, 2018, Facebook Canada held a #FBroadtrip session to outline what’s new and upcoming on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Incidentally, earlier this year, we asked Canadians what companies Facebook owns – to test whether news events would impact usage on it or other platforms.

What we found is that just over a quarter of Canadians know that Instagram is owned by Facebook and less than 1/5 know that Facebook also owns WhatsApp. (Facebook does not own any of the other companies listed in our survey, although some Canadians think they do.)

What companies does Facebook own?

Source: Google Consumer Survey by ruckus Digital April 14-18, 2018, sample = 1,000 Canadians

In that light, this piece highlights a few areas from this week’s Facebook session, as it relates to the Canadians’ expectations and equally importantly, as it relates to three key questions we’ve also been getting:

 

  1. Should our company reconsider being on Facebook?

If you’re there already and it makes sense for your audience, our opinion is no. When you’re looking at the numbers, the reality is Facebook-owned platforms still cater to the largest masses:

  • 24 million Canadians are on Facebook each month (larger than any social platform, 3x larger than Canada’s largest mainstream media outlet)
  • 14 million Canadians are on Instagram each month (larger than Snapchat)
  • 18 million Canadians use Facebook Messenger each month
  • Add +16% in audience reach when you add the Audience Network:
    • A larger external network using Facebook ads to display on third-party sites such as Maclean’s, CityNews, The Ottawa Sun, Breakfast Television, The Huffington Post, Slice, SportsNet and Driving.ca.

Facebook reiterated its commitment to making its platform “positive, safe and valuable” especially considering recent ‘delete Facebook’ initiatives and the flood of fake news.

While as communicators you may be getting similar pressure to rethink Facebook, Facebook’s commitment extends to these four areas:

  • Foster meaningful interactions |to give its audience more opportunity to connect with the people and passions they care about
  • Reduce the spread of false news | introduction of new policies to help tackle inauthentic activity
  • Be transparent and accountable | giving users more privacy controls
  • Equip for brand safety | providing more tools to help advertisers control where their ads are seen

 

  1. How are things changing for our audience?

We all know in today’s communications environments, consumers are in the driver’s seat. But one of the most important things that is changing for our audience is that they’re evolving themselves.

Because we live in a mobile world, we’re able to process info much faster than we used to. The MIT ‘In the Blink of an Eye Study’ showed that over a 13-year period we’ve gone from processing a thought in 0.30 seconds to

  • Processing a thought in 1/10 the time: 0.03 seconds
  • Processing an image in even less time: 0.013 seconds

Facebook reps added people “expect businesses to provide fast and frictionless mobile experiences” because

  • Consumers spend 1.7 seconds on average on with any given piece of content
  • 40% of people abandon a site if it doesn’t load after 4 seconds
  • 49% of people would purchase more on mobile if it was easier

Ultimately, our work needs to be better than these benchmarks to even resonate with our audiences.

 

  1. What should we care about with ‘what’s new’?

While Facebook has many new initiatives coming out across all its properties, the most exciting revolve around three areas:

  • Direct Response (DR) products “allow advertisers to get customers and potential customers to take action online, in-store and in mobile apps,” and will be expanded within Messaging apps including Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct and WhatsApp (in a non-intrusive way, including video)
  • Dynamic Ads for lead generation including contextual targeting of house listings, for example, which will show up in Facebook Marketplace because of an individual’s similar online searches (note: Facebook Marketplace is bigger than Craigslist in the US)
  • Video will also include dynamic insertion of most relevant creative based on an individual’s online activities, the ability to gather info (name, email, phone) for follow up, while vertical video’s prominence will continue to grow (thanks to the popularity of Instagram Stories – 40% of stories are video – with 100% full-screen experience)

BONUS: While there isn’t the ability to advertise (yet) on the recently launched IGTV (up to 1-hour long vertical video on Instagram), Chris Loves Julia was an example mentioned of users successfully launching on the channel. Be sure to check them out.

Kevin Behar and Diane Bégin are with APEX Public Relations and ruckus Digital. Need help with your social media approach? Drop us a line. 

Twitter launches #HereWeAre in Canada

Image from left: Jully Black, Leslie Berland, Huda Idrees, Antoinette Benoit, Emily Mills and Leanne Gibson.  

Earlier this spring, Twitter launched #HereWeAre to “stand with women around the world to make their voices heard and their presence known.”

Last Wednesday, June 13, as Mother Nature made her own presence known through an #ONstorm, women and men leaders (including our own Linda Andross, Ken Evans and me) congregated at Toronto’s Broadview Hotel to concurrently launch Canada’s #HereWeAre dialogue. (Incidentally, the storm trended as #1 on Twitter, followed by #HereWeAre.)

The conversation, led by Leslie Berland, global CMO of Twitter, included

The event was capped by a surprise visit from international recording artist Jully Black who offered marching orders through song.

Now it’s all our turns.

Need help finding your voice? Drop us a lineDiane Bégin is VP, social marketing & brand communications. Follow her @dibegin.

#HereWeAre Canada Twitter Moment

 

10 AI tools for communicators

Marketer, strategist and entrepreneur Ross Simmonds was the featured opening keynote at the Canadian Public Relations Society national conference in Charlottetown, PE May 27-29, 2018, to help answer the vital artificial intelligence (AI) question:

Will robots take over my job?

While robots such as Google Assistant can impersonate a human to make a hair appointment, the reality is that instead of replacing jobs outright, ‘artificial intelligence’ – or ‘augmented intelligence,’ as Simmonds prefers to say – will simply enhance the work we do.

So, no robots, will not replace you – but they can help to make you better.

To show how, Simmonds provided a list of current AI tools, to help make our jobs in communications easier.

  • Assistant | Get an AI assistant for your email
  • Clara Labs | Have interviews scheduled based on email discussions
  • Lumen 5 | Create a video from text in minutes
  • Captain Growth | Extract insights from your data
  • Press Hunt | Find a journalist who is talking about your topic
  • Articollo | Quick start writing an article
  • Persado | Determine language your audience cares about
  • Crystal | Get insights into personality/behaviour
  • Voila Norbert | Determine a likely email address for a contact (be aware of Canada Anti-Spam Legislation compliance however)
  • Dialpad Voice AI | Get real-time voice sentiment to know how a call is going

Need help making sense of how AI is impacting your business? Drop us a lineDiane Bégin is VP, social marketing & brand communications. Follow her @dibegin.

Intern Coordinator, Digital Content & Creative

Are you creative, driven, full of ideas? Are you curious and ready to use those ideas to tackle big business problems?

ruckus Digital is a fiercely independent Canadian digital marketing communications agency. We’re especially motivated by agile, creative and edgy thinking and work best when tackling the unconventional. We play hard and we work hard, which is why we were named IABC/Toronto boutique digital agency of the year!

We are looking for an Intern Coordinator, Content and Creative. Is that you?

This junior-level role will have you working with our Vice President, Creative and Design to ideate and develop groundbreaking creative ideas across a wide range of media such as social media platforms, video, digital ads, and more. As the Intern Coordinator, Content and Creative, you will be expected to take control of the development and production of your ideas from pen and paper to finished product, ensuring that the work meets a high standard of visuals and design. You will also be expected to work with our internal design team and vendors to oversee projects.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Participate in idea generation – fueled by insights and designed to drive clients’ business
  • Always on the lookout for opportunities to elevate work beyond the brief
  • Works closely with account team to understand the needs of the client and ensure work is on strategy and on budget
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously across a range of clients
  • Executes and manages projects from concepts through mockups to production all the way to delivery with a high level of craft
  • Builds rapport with developers, production houses and 3rd party vendors
  • Participates in new business meetings and pitch work
  • Collaborate with the overall team, beyond the creative department
  • Presents and justifies concepts, budgets, and timelines to teams who are not knowledgeable about design, print and digital
  • Draft short-form copy for visual content including, GIFs and animated and stop motion videos
  • Draft social copy and content calendars

Qualifications and Experience:

  • College or University degree in advertising or design
  • Related experience at an agency
  • Is knowledgeable in Adobe Creative Suite, especially Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign
  • Knowledge of video production, and animation a plus
  • Understanding of photography and illustration contracts and supervision of photo shoots
  • Able to multi-task and meet tight deadlines
  • Able to respond quickly and effectively to account team and client inquiries
  • Professionalism and tact

We want to meet great people who are interested in working in a start-up environment where culture matters and curiosity is valued. Send your resume to: info@ruckusdigital.ca

ACCOMMODATIONS: ruckus welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you require accommodation to participate in this recruitment, please contact info@ruckusdigital.ca.

Digital Intern Coordinator

ruckus Digital is a fiercely independent Canadian digital marketing communications agency. We’re especially motivated by agile, creative and edgy thinking and work best when tackling the unconventional. We play hard and we work hard, which is why we were named IABC/Toronto boutique digital agency of the year!

The Opportunity For You:

ruckus Digital is looking for a detail-oriented, hands-on Digital Intern Coordinator to join our team. This role will work directly with our Vice Presidents, to help build and actively cultivate online communities of consumers across multiple social media channels.

The ideal candidate must have a strong understanding of social media, the role digital plays, community building, analytics, and excellent writing skills. Additionally, the candidate should appreciate and consider the impact that technology, culture, business trends, brand, and user behaviours have on a business and its audiences.

Responsibilities:

  • Post social media content on appropriate channels according to provided marketing plans. Content may be posted on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat, YouTube, Google+, WordPress (or other CMS)
  • Assist with managing communities for several key brands including:
    • Answer consumer questions
    • Engage with consumer-provided content
  • Working with clients on questionable consumer interactions and media requests
  • Seek out influencers and actively engage consumers to inspire and motivate them to share information and talk about the brand
  • Participate in real time community conversations on behalf of the brand
  • Assist the strategy team in conducting research and analytics for key brands
  • Assist the strategy team in building PowerPoint presentations
  • Provide insights gained from community interactions with the internal Client Service team
  • Proactively identify opportunities for user-generated content
  • Be the gatekeeper for all content – ensuring all content is proofread, approved and applicable before posting
  • Stay up-to-date and socially relevant and actively provide the team with trends reports

Essential Skills:

  • Bachelors Degree in Public Relations, Marketing, Communications or other related fields
  • Some experience in community management
  • Understanding of social media tools and management systems preferred (listening tools and analytics platforms a plus such as Sprout Social, Simple Measured, Google Surveys etc.)
  • Understanding of the social media universe, including experience with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, WordPress, etc.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills (strong knowledge of PowerPoint, Word, and Excel is preferred)
  • Excel at research, and be able to identify threats and opportunities in social media content
  • Ability to multitask, manage multiple projects concurrently and balance changing and/or competing priorities
  • Detail oriented and ‘take ownership’ attitude with the ability to work in a team environment

We want to meet great people who are interested in working in a start-up environment where culture matters and curiosity is valued. Send your resume to: info@ruckusdigital.ca

ACCOMMODATIONS: ruckus welcomes and encourages applications from people with disabilities. Accommodations are available on request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. If you require accommodation to participate in this recruitment, please contact info@ruckusdigital.ca.

Should fake news be archived to be preserved for the future?

That question was tossed around at an October 16 event, hosted by the National Archives in the stunning new Globe and Mail Centre, called Unfiltered: the Fate of Facts in the Digital Age. (Also check out what Globe staff have said about the Centre’s views.)

The discussion was moderated by Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada and included

With respect to preserving fake news for the future, Beasley offered a compelling metaphor from silent film. Apparently 9 out of 10 movies from the silent film era (from 1895 to 1936) were not preserved because the content was considered ephemeral.

Is that the case however for fake news?

While panelists agreed it has always existed (just that US politics have placed much more emphasis on it as of late), they had varying opinions on what to do with fake news, and many questions didn’t have any easy answers.

Should social media platforms accept a larger responsibility in stopping fake news?

While Twitter founder Jack Dorsey continues to assert that it’s better to know what’s on the mind of say the leader the most powerful country in the free world, libraries such as Cornell University have taken on the responsibility to provide resources to the public (like this fake news infographic) to make it easier to spot it.

Do current mainstream media outlets have a role to play in qualifying what is fake and what isn’t?

At least one audience member brought up biases if mainstream media outlets became the authority in determining what is fake and what isn’t.

While tools like the Globe and Mail fake news quiz better equips consumers of media, other much larger scale initiatives such as The Trust Project (watch for a launch scheduled for next month) is a collective initiative involving mainstream media that could be criticized for its biases. It also includes digital and social media representation from Twitter, Facebook and Google.

What role does fiction play as fake news in political discourse? (e.g. parody, political cartoons)

An interesting question to which again the metaphor of film was applied by Beasley. There was a time when audience members in theatres would clear out when a train was racing towards them.

Because the medium was new, they didn’t understand that they weren’t in imminent danger. The point being, it takes time to understand the effects of anything.

Ditto with mainstream attention on fake news.

What do you think? Tell us your thoughts here or on Twitter. Diane Bégin is VP, Social Marketing and Brand Communications at APEX PR and ruckus Digital.

How to add a fresh twist to your social media content

Have any of your married friends or those in committed relationships ever asked to play with someone else’s dating apps (just because they were curious)?

According to a Google Consumer Survey ruckus Digital commissioned in spring 2017, about a quarter of Canadian millennials know someone who has. This insight gave us the perfect opportunity to get fresh (groceries, that is) with our Walmart millennial audience.

Dinnder was a 10 to 15-second social media video ad series (throughout spring/summer 2017 long weekends, including Victoria Day, Canada Day and the Civic Holiday), created to improve Walmart’s quality perception and spread awareness about its new 100% Canadian AAA Angus Beef.  Delicious cuts of beef were paired with attractive sides made with Walmart’s fresh produce.

How: By drawing a connection between a dating app and the brand, we piqued consumer interest in a brand new way – cutting through the long weekend clutter in both English and French Canada – as people were stocking up for their long weekend get-togethers.

The vertical video series (to align with the vertical orientation for swiping on popular dating apps) ran on Facebook and Snapchat. The series was among the top pieces of social content for Walmart in summer 2017.

As marketers, we constantly have to rethink how we reach consumers/audiences and stand out in the crowd. Take a look at our Dinnder videos and let us know what you think!


Need help with your paid social media strategy and targeting? Drop us a line.

Linda Andross secures IABC Canada’s highest honour: Master Communicator

On September 28, 2017, the International Association of Business Communicators Canada Regions (IABC Canada) named its 2017 recipients of the prestigious Master Communicator (MC) designation (one per region in each east and west).

The IABC Master Communicator designation is the Association’s highest honour in the country, and this year’s recipient in eastern Canada was APEX Public Relations / ruckus Digital managing partner Linda Andross, ABC.

“With 25+ years’ experience in public relations and fifteen of them at APEX, Linda’s role as Co-Managing Partner includes her being actively involved in each side of the business of APEX and ruckus – bringing her experience from the world of communications to the widely changing business of digital, social, content + kitchen sink. She oversees the effectiveness of APEX/ruckus’ many capabilities, enhancing client service and bolstering innovation to provide added value to their numerous blue-chip clients.”

Laurie Dawkins, ABC of Vancouver was the western Canadian recipient.

“Both Linda and Laurie are accomplished communication professionals who have made significant contributions to our profession in numerous ways throughout their careers,” said 2017 Master Communicator Selection Committee chair, Anna Willey, ABC, MC, IABC Fellow. “We are proud to honour them with this IABC Canada lifetime credential.”

The selection for both recipients was made by Master Communicators from across Canada.

More information on the awards program is available on the IABC Canada website

Walmart Canada brings you into the dorm with Facebook 360 photography

Excitement for virtual reality continues to explode and with Facebook 360 photos. Users can expand the canvas of their images to new dimensions. Facebook 360 provides the ability to create 3D, panoramic-like views of your environment, similar to how people experience 360 videos.

This feature was launched last year, and has continued to be very popular with brands – over 70 million 360 photos have been shared on Facebook. In addition, people gaze 5x longer at video than at static content on Facebook and Instagram, so it is safe to assume the use of 360 photos will also establish a longer gaze and demand more attention than a fixed image.

Challenge

Students spend hours daily on digital channels and view advertising differently than their parents. They want to be in control of advertising and appreciate short and quick messages. With this in mind, Walmart looked to provide an inspirational digital execution to help students visualize a decked out dorm room with Walmart’s full assortment of home, technology and apparel products.

Solution

Using Facebook 360 posts, Walmart’s 2017 Back to Campus campaign allowed viewers to immerse themselves in four different dorm rooms. Instead of being a flat image, the 360 photos are much more inviting – drawing viewers into the scene and allowing them to feel the experience of being in a dorm and making sure their favourite desk will fit!

The posts were published as Facebook Collections (also a first time for Walmart Canada), which allowed users to go directly to Walmart.ca to purchase. Our ruckus Digital team was responsible for the campaign from start to finish including strategy, production, media buying and reporting/measurement.

Results

These Back to Campus 360 posts were the top performing posts within organic streams across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during summer 2017, producing an 18 per cent increase to organic reach and exceeded benchmarks for online conversions.

Need help with your social content strategy? Drop us a line.

Canadian cell phone emergency alert system coming soon

UPDATE – As of April 6, 2018, these emergency alerts are in effect

Would you want to receive a text message from authorities if your life may be in immediate danger?

From the 2012 Eaton Centre shooting in Toronto to the 2016 wildfires in Fort McMurray (incidentally the anniversary of the evacuation is this week), the ability to send a text message on the advanced wireless network could minimize chaos by sending accurate information to 97 per cent of the Canadian population instantly.

Well up until now in Canada you couldn’t receive those alerts. But, that’s about to change. On April 6, 2017, the CRTC “directed all wireless service providers to implement a wireless public alerting system on their LTE (long-term evolution) networks by April 2018.”

In an effort to catch up to other jurisdictions, the CRTC consulted last year about appetite for wireless service providers’ (WSP) participation in the National Public Alerting System for dangers to life and property. This would include “broadcast immediate alert messages” such as “imminent or unfolding dangers to life (including tornadoes, forest fires, industrial disasters, and tsunamis).”

The United States has had a system in place since 2012 – called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs), which was a WSPs voluntarily initiative led through a partnership between the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Such an alert was used in the most recent New York bombings.

Australia also has an emergency alert system, using location-based SMS.

This evolution is part of other emergency innovations the CRTC is building upon including launching an interactive map for emergency alerts from broadcast media and next generation 9-1-1 (i.e. maybe 9-1-1 texting).

Some are opposed to the idea but the major wireless service providers are in favour – at an estimated $25M cost. All submissions on the change were made public following the close of the consultation last year.

“We agree that Wireless Public Alerting (WPA) will be a significant benefit to Canadians and should be mandatory for all Wireless Service Providers (WSPs), including primary brands, extension brands, and resellers.” Bell Mobility submission

“TELUS fully supports the implementation of a national wireless public alerting system in Canada. TELUS maintains that “a full wireless emergency alerting system implemented across Canada must be effective, reliable and robust.” TELUS Communications Company submission

“Rogers is committed to the next chapter of Canadian National Public Alerting System (NPAS) through the rollout of Wireless Public Alerting.” Rogers Communications Canada Inc. submission

Considered a lifeline for many already, this change to our cell phones will likely pass without most of us realizing it – that is until its service is most valuable, at a time when we need it.

Diane Bégin is VP, brand communications & social marketing at ruckus Digital. Also learn about our experiences on the ground during the Fort McMurray wildfire (video) and a Storify recapping our third ruckus makers event also on the wildfire.

 

Need digital help? Drop us a line.