Tweeting for a non-tweeter

At the beginning of the month the ruckus crew posed a challenge to one another: Use a social platform you don’t usually use. We all have our favourites and not so favourite social platforms. (My favourites are Snapchat and Instagram and not so favourite are Twitter and Facebook.)

So, for one week I tweeted multiple times per day. A couple of my colleagues were tweeting away with me – similarly they tend to stray to more visual platforms (read Instagram and Snap) on any given day.

To give you an idea of my usual social habits, it goes something like this: wake up and immediately scroll Instagram, watch a few Stories and then switch over to Snap and skim the Discover section for major news stories or a few laughs. Throughout the day I’ll head back to Instagram and Snap to check out what’s new and to keep in touch with friends. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter personally, only for work.

Most of my tweets over the week were making fun of myself or the platform (sorry Twitter), because I just couldn’t seem to get into it.

But, that all changed thanks to Pepsi’s giant ad blunder, here’s a recap in case you missed it. The Pepsi/Kendall Jenner debacle became the highlight of this experiment. Twitter was amazing for not only keeping all the articles, relevant trolls and tweets consolidated under one trending topic, but the commentary was entertaining as well as insightful. I found a ton of new accounts that I now follow – on Instagram – and catch up with daily. Man Repeller I’m looking at you!

After this little challenge I appreciate Twitter for its niche market in real-time trending topics/news, but once I find the accounts I’m looking for, I still head to Instagram or Snap to see what they’re up to.

I know Twitter is making the effort to claw back to relevancy for the masses; they plan to launch live video 24/7 and are trying to crack down on abuse on the platform. They also just announced their latest earning’s report that had a few bright spots too, including an increase in user growth.

The experiment was great as it pushed the team out of their social comfort zones.

Sarah Rogers is a digital account coordinator at ruckus digital. For more digital insights or to chat about your strategy, drop us a line.

Fort McMurray Wildfire: Social Media Response

Last month, Jordan Redshaw and Robin Smith from the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) made our third ruckus makers speakers series one to remember.

In May, the largest insured disaster in Canadian history struck. The RMWB, including the city of Fort McMurray, was hit by a wildfire. More than 90,000 individuals were evacuated from the city and were not able to return for a month.

Communication was essential in providing residents with accurate and timely information via social media so that residents remained safe.

See Twitter highlights here:



Clients are embracing more “open relationships” with their agencies

The notion might be scary, but open or shorter-term agency relationships are representing the new reality of current marketing environment. In-house marketers can really play the field until they find a partner they love, but they can also love other agencies in the meantime, said Matt Lewis, President of Momentum Canada.

So how can we cope and be prepared for this new reality?

On Tuesday, December 14th, the American Marketing Association – Toronto chapter hosted a panel on the agency landscape in 2017. The discussion was moderated by Andrew Grenville of Matchbox and the panel of industry executives included:

Each panelist presented how their agency or business is approaching these changes and the following insights stood out to us:

  • Execution is just as important as the big idea. It is exciting to present big innovative ideas to clients, but it’s important to ensure an excellent execution across the marketing funnel. Bring together your super team – even if it’s separate agency partners – to truly tackle a key problem for clients and make sure the big idea matches the execution needed to bring it to life.
  • The “bespoke” agency will win tomorrow. The borders between PR, advertising, digital marketing, media buying and shopper marketing agencies have been blurring for a while now. Recognizing that no two clients are identical, the agency (or inter-agency) team that can rise above these divisions and create unique, multi-channel solutions to market challenges are best poised to lead the race in 2017 and beyond.
  • Creative doesn’t just come from the creative department. Be open to listening to the innovative ideas from the people who work across the business. Creative and innovation needs to live across the whole customer experience. With the proliferation with social media and shifting consumer preferences, the customer experience today IS the brand.
  • Don’t be scared of data and automation. With the advancement of new technologies in media and research, agencies are being presented with opportunities to show true ROI to client and we should embrace them. Creative, technology, media and product need to work together to truly provide innovation and a solution for customers’ needs in order to win mind share.

For more insights from the night, check out the hashtag #AMAevents.

Katie Boland, @kathrynboland is a Digital Strategy Account Manager at ruckus digital @ruckusdigital where we embrace the idea of a bespoke agency and working with creative partners!


13 Tips for your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with more than 467 million registered users. In Canada there are 13+ million users (around a third of the population).

But, just because folks have a LinkedIn profile, doesn’t mean they’re using the platform effectively.

And, given that LinkedIn is 3 times more effective than Facebook or Twitter for generating leads, combined with Microsoft’s purchase of the platform this year (expect more integration with your day-to-day Microsoft software), it’s a good idea to revisit your presence there.

Below are a few tips that were shared in a webinar with client RSA Canada last week, to help maximize your LinkedIn presence:

  1. Get an appropriate headshot. LinkedIn is often your first impression to someone. Your photo does not have to be a professional shot, but ensure it looks professional (i.e. not your best vacation picture).
  1. Add a banner photo. This is prime real estate on your LinkedIn profile and an opportunity to stand out while giving individuals an opportunity to get to know you better.
  1. Generate a custom URL for your profile. LinkedIn automatically generates a URL for your profile, but take it a step further by customizing it to make it easier to remember. (i.e. www.linkedin.com/in/name)
  1. Customize your headline & add a summary. Consider what you’d like to convey in a succinct headline and summary so that someone can capture your professional profile at a glance.
  1. Make your experience more than just a résumé. Because LinkedIn has the ability to be so much more than a standard 2-page résumé, what else can you add? (e.g. awards, speaking engagements)
  1. Think about your keywords and search optimization. If someone did an online search today, would your expertise come up because of what you have on your profile? If not, add more detail.
  1. Give recommendations. By giving someone a recommendation on LinkedIn, chances are they’d be willing to reciprocate. Third party testimonials add to your credibility.
  1. Get more connections. Quality connections are key, so a good rule is to add someone only if you’ve met in person. It’s also important to regularly add individuals (e.g. bi-weekly) for a healthy network.
  1. Use the relationship tab. LinkedIn will track communications you’ve had on the platform with an individual, but when you add someone, write down how you met and alert yourself to follow up.
  1. Share original content. To have a more robust digital footprint consider sharing business updates, relevant articles and insights that position you as an expert and helps potential clients trust you.
  1. Create blog posts. The best types of content will start/change the conversation. Create a halo effect by piquing interest to see what else you can offer or provide inisights to a niche audience.
  1. Always stay current. Pop onto the platform a few times a week (i.e. phone app while on the go) to see what connections are talking about or if they’re in the news. Be sure to comment when appropriate.
  1. Engage with groups and companies. Whether through a company page or in discussion groups, post comments/insights a couple times per month to extend your digital reach.

Diane Bégin enjoys diving into strategy on social platforms like LinkedIn. Need social media training? Drop us a line.

3 Instagram Tips Confirmed by the Experts

Last night I headed to Brainstation Toronto – a tech education hub – for my first #InstaMeetTO.

The event brings together social enthusiasts from across the city, all equally eager to curate an amazing Insta feed. With a stacked panel of artists and brand managers, there was sure to be a ton of insights.

Content creator Dani Rey @daniirey moderated the panel of experts that included,

While a lot of great advice was given, from my perspective (as an account coordinator working on the social for several consumer brands), three important Instagram tidbits were confirmed.

Instagram content MUST be visually b-e-a-u-tiful.

Reusing content for multiple platforms is cost effective for a brand, but doesn’t always translate to an amazing feed and super engaged Insta-community. Brands need to be thoughtful (strategic!) in the content they post to Instagram. Product focused shots that work on Facebook might not necessarily get the same engagement in the world of Instagram.

Michelina made clear that Lululemon’s success on the platform (they have over 1.7 million followers on their global account) is thanks to their careful curation of (mostly) non-product shots. @lululemon features images that evoke the feel of their brand through places their audience would want to explore and experiences their audience would want to share.

Bigger isn’t always better.

Audience size is a KPI that most clients want to tackle (Grow our followers please!). However, there is something to be said about a smaller but highly engaged audience versus a massive following that cares little about your brand. Follower growth isn’t something that comes quickly either. But with a clear vision, great content and a little collaboration (with partners, brand ambassadors/influencers, etc.) the following will come.

Move over Snapchat (sort of).

Brands can (and should) leverage Instagram Stories. From behind the scenes shots, to event announcements, to giveaways, to those not so great (but still good) visuals, Instagram Stories offer a more flexible space to post content that doesn’t quite fit the feed. Audiences aren’t expecting perfection on Stories, so brands can have some fun while reaching a larger audience (don’t forget those people creeping around the Explore section).

Sarah Rogers is an account coordinator at ruckus, working on social for retail, alcohol and fashion clients. Follow her on Instagram.

Organic Content – Should you even bother?

We’re still strong believers in organic content being part of your marketing mix – here’s why.

It’s no surprise that reaching your fans on social channels is becoming almost impossible to do on an organic level, i.e. no paid promotion behind your social content. Social promotion and advertising has become a normal – even necessary – part of a brand’s social strategy.

But that’s not to say you have to give up on organic content all together. More and more we’re seeing people lament that their organic content serves no purpose and are asking whether they should even bother moving forward with un-paid content. While it can seem fruitless at times, here’s why we think organic content still has a strong place in your content mix.

  1. It’s a great way to test and learn. We often test which pieces of creative engage with fans and then use those insights to move forward with a paid strategy. It’s a simple and effective way to optimize your budget and get the most bang for your buck.
  2. Things can change on a dime. Generally social channels don’t warn people about the algorithm changes they make to their platforms. Anything could happen tomorrow and putting all your eggs in one basket can come back to haunt you. Having a steady mix of content positions you well for most eventualities.
  3. Organic is for the fans – and trust us, there are still lots of them out there. We approach paid vs owned with the mentality that paid is generally for the masses and organic is for the diehard fans – the ones who love your brand and talk you up to their friends. They care less about your ads than they do about an actual opportunity to engage with you.

    Which leads nicely into…

  4. Keeping things authentic. Remember when social marketing was new and fresh and everyone was cautioned to approach it with an authentic voice? Well that still rings true. Taking your TV ad or the creative from your latest flyer and turning it into social content is almost always going to fall flat (whether it’s paid or organic). Fans see through it and feel like you don’t really care and will respond in kind. Brand apathy is about the worst thing you could wish for.

Recently we had the opportunity to speak at a recent CNW Toronto event on this very topic, which they’ve summarized really well here. And here’s the presentation we delivered. What do you think – is organic still playing a part in your content mix?

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 23/10/2015

Should you promote that customer or influencer tweet?

As the industry and marketers lean into more word-of-mouth marketing, it’s important to understand the risks as well as the opportunities on leveraging social media testimonials for marketing.

As the industry and marketers lean into more word-of-mouth marketing, it’s important to understand the risks as well as the opportunities on leveraging social media testimonials for marketing. Yes – customers are already sharing their own experiences and opinions publicly, but when a brand elevates one of these experiences and puts a marketing budget behind it, it can open the brand and the customer up to further criticism.

Can it be done well? Yes, but it’s a delicate dance. Telus recently launched their Expect More campaign – which I think was well-packaged as it highlighted a few positive experiences while also admitting that they want to continue to improve. For our work on Polysporin, we’ve been highlighting customer reviews in posts and continue to drive our fans to leave their own reviews.

If you’re looking to promote a tweet from a customer or influencer, consider the following elements first:

Permission for use with context: Always ask for permission before posting and make sure the customer understands how you will be leveraging their post and the resulting impact. For example, Head and Shoulders promoted a tweet from a customer who had a great experience with their product – however she later denied they had permission; mostly because she didn’t understand that is was be shared to hundreds of people and that these people could directly engage with her about her experience.

Awareness of source: Customers are more likely to take action or trust a recommendation from someone they know, or think they know.Consider leveraging a tweet (with permission) from celebrities, television hosts or bloggers as they’re frequently sharing their opinions. For Polysporin’s #SavetheShoes campaign, we did this by whitelisting a tweet from Bell’s TV show “The Social”, to drive awareness of their new Blister Treatment product.

Experience claims: Ensure that the tweet or message that you’re promoting provides an attainable product experience for most customers. Many customers are skeptical of brands and ads, promoting unrealistic expectations.

All in all, different industries and verticals have a variety of audiences that will respond differently. Keeping your industry in mind along with these tips, and using your social media judgement, you’ll be able to share some great experiences with your fans.

Posted by
Katie Boland
on 02/07/2015

Financial services + social media

Financial services + social media

We take a look at how some financial institutions are achieving success through social media.

Hootsuite hosted an online session last week called Investing in Social: Wealth Management in the Social Era #finserve with Ben Cathers @bencathers from Hootsuite and Courtney Fischbach from global investment company @LeggMason.

The highlights included the challenges unique to financial services, a couple key social media stats for all businesses and a few more specific to wealth management, as well as an approach for social media activity.

5 top challenges for social business in finance

  1. Results: Linking social activity to business objectives
  • This has been a challenge that some firms have been able to overcome. ETF social content, for example, is something that has been rising for one of Hootsuite’s clients. They get 30-40 per cent more clicks than normal on this content and this has translated into a direct increase in ETF business.
  • Security: Compliance for pre-approval of outbound social marketing
    • For example, U.S. regulator (FINRA) requires pre-approval of content and considers any social posts advertising. Most financial services organizations post on social media 10-20 times more than they advertise. This creates a challenge unique to the industry.
  • Data: Taking social data and turning it into actionable data
    • How is your data shaping your five-year plan? Or is it?
  • Education: Regulated framework demands customized expertise and guidance
    • It is important to have subject matter experts on social media. They have to be well-versed in both the technical knowledge of the products but also understand how to communicate on social media, so that it’s not just about a hard sell.
  • Collaboration: Lack of alignment of online strategies across all departments
    • It’s important to not operate in silos. Departments must work together with integrated programs.

    Still with those challenges, the case for social media has never been greater.Businesses increasingly need social media

    • ¼ of all businesses will lose market position if they don’t adopt a social business (Gartner)
    • 20 per cent of businesses see more revenue and 60 per cent higher profit growth by adopting social media (McKinsey)

    Wealth management firms also have a great opportunity with social media

    • Nearly 70 per cent of affluent investors have reallocated investments based on info discovered on social media
    • 34 per cent of affluent investors are using social media for personal finance and investing
    • 40 per cent of financial advisors say that they have acquired new clients through Facebook, 25 per cent through LinkedIn and 21 per cent through Twitter
    • 41 per cent of high net worth individuals under age 40 cite social media as important for information, 36 per cent for engaging with wealth managers, and 34 per cent for executing transactions

    With that, it’s critical to allocate more resources into social media. Social media require 5 and 10 year plans, including budgeting for the human resources, education and the financial resources to bring it all together.

    That means that the following four areas need to be integrated into plans and acted upon.

    4 steps to social media success

    1. Social ROI: determinewhat will be measured to uncover insights from aggregated social data to determine how that is having an impact on your bottom line
    2. Internal collaboration: improve efficiency and collaboration across teams, departments and geographies
    3. Security and compliance: mitigate risk from internal and external threats by planning for them
    4. Monitor and engage: filter through the noise using custom streams and targeted searches through a social media monitoring tool (like Hootsuite) to offer regular reports and to become more responsive to the environment

    Additional resources

    Hootsuite University is offered as part of the Certificate in Digital Strategy & Communications Management at the University of Toronto where Diane Bégin teaches.

    Dispatches from Austin – Day 1

    We’re in Austin for SXSW Interactive – check out our learnings from Day 1 of the conference.

    Our SXSW experience kicked off with Interactive director Hugh Forrest giving his advice on how to get the most out of Southby. His tips – make a plan, be ready to abandon that plan and meet everyone you can. 

    Forrest was followed by the always-intense Gary Vanerchuk (@garyvee), whose colourful language and frantic pace amped up the crowd. Vanerchuk’s big tips for getting the most out of your conference experience: stop trying to sell yourself and add value to the conversation. Be human (amidst a flurry of F-bombs).


    Next on the agenda was a fascinating presentation titled Evil By Design by Chris Nodder (@uxgrump). The concept is simple, how can we use tactics and ploys that may on surface seem dishonest or deceptive to pull people in and get them to engage.


    Some of the examples he used were Waze’s crowd sourcing model – rewarding users with “points” for driving around and verifying their map data. And Volkswagen’s Speed Lottery – wherein speeders were punished with fines. The money collected was then dispersed to the non-speeders. Simple gamification scenarios that worked to great effect.

    We wrapped the day with a panel discussion with notable Youtuber’s and content creators Grace Helbig, Tyler Oakley and Ze Frank. Their discussion managed to be both hilarious and insightful as they talked around how they built their audience, how they managed audience expectations and even worked with brands on sponsored content.


    The big takeaways here were be true to yourself and create content you love (be on brand). And don’t focus your energy on building your following and instead, cater to your existing audience and give them content they care about.

    Check back tomorrow for a recap of Day 2 and follow along on Twitter @madearuckus

    Posted by
    Gary Edgar
    on 10/03/2014