HomePosts in MAKING A RUCKUS (Page 6)

Brands on Social – How Much Control Do You Have?

Being on social media has always carried an inherent risk for brands of losing control of the message. Now, you can`t afford to not be online, so how do you maintain an impact on the conversation?

Last week, a man created a fake Facebook account and posed as a Target customer service rep, responding to customer comments regarding new store policies. While the internet found some of them hilarious, the impact on Target’s brand, even when exposed, could have taken a significant amount of damage.

Social platforms have done a lot of work to accommodate brands, such as robust administration options and “official” page status. Global integration for international brands and local content allows you to segment your audiences and better monitor what’s going on.

Despite this, your community manager does not get to relax. As the Target example proves, “brand mis-identity” can still happen. While safety features make it easier to keep your brand authentic, not all users have the agency or the awareness to confirm this authenticity. Consider your typical Target shopper, how likely are they to be overly familiar with social network practices? To them the official account and the fake one could hold very little distinction (and for some it did).

While you can set up monitors and blocks about what fans post to your page, totally censoring fan posts is not the right move either. Fans can post both positive and negative messages on your page, often kick-starting a narrative in a different direction.

Same applies to #hashtags. In an ideal world they are something that helps you frame the conversation and easily track it. But like everything else about social, hashtags are organic and as they grow they get harder to control. Branded hashtags do not often perform well and ones that do not contain a brand name are too “malleable” by the general public.

What does this mean for your brand?

This is the million dollar question. How do you protect your brand identity online? Invest in analytics and monitoring. Be constantly aware of the conversations that are happening. No query is too small. Don’t make the mistake of only monitoring for brand mentions and branded hashtags. Make sure your query includes key words associated with your brands.

Quality and speed of response matters. If you take too long, the conversation becomes irrelevant. The best brands are able to respond to a mention or conversation within 24 to 48 hours.

Have a plan. The best brands and community managers have a clear understanding of response protocols, when to get involved, when to stay quiet and when to escalate the issue with the specialist within the company.

You will never control the narrative with 100% certainty online. You have to exist within it, not above it. Sometimes, the issue is beyond your control and you have to adjust your messaging accordingly. Sometimes, it’s better to not say anything at all. It’s up to a community manager to make that call.

on 03/09/2015

Can you still be successful on Facebook? Yes

Can you still be successful on Facebook? Yes

“What’s up with Facebook?”

I’m seeing this sentiment (or less G-rated versions of it) every day from colleagues, contemporaries and clients. Everyone’s scrambling to figure out why their organic reach and engagement fall off a cliff in the past month.


“What’s up with Facebook?”

I’m seeing this sentiment (or less G-rated versions of it) every day from colleagues, contemporaries and clients. Everyone’s scrambling to figure out why their organic reach and engagement fell off a cliff in the past month.

The answer – Facebook recently adapted their algorithm to adjust the content people are seeing in their newsfeed. The idea being that regular users get more quality content served to them. The affect for marketers – users see less branded content in the process.

If this algorithm sticks, this will reshape everything social marketers have been preaching and creates an entirely new recipe for success on Facebook.

Before, success meant: 

  • Post everyday (including weekends)
  • Keep it visual (lots of images)
  • Find your voice and stick with it
  • Keep things light, short and too point for the most visibility

Now the game has changed. And while it’s really early to point to any one way to be affective, it seems now like the recipe is more like: 

  • Pick 2, maybe 3 posts each week
  • Boost your posts with a dedicated ad spend 
  • Hope that post engagement turns into brand awareness and community growth.

Clearly things are shifting for a pay-to-play model, and how Facebook runs their platform (a free one) is completely up to them. It could even be argued marketers and brands were getting a free ride up until now and presented with this new model many smaller players are going to opt out of Facebook completely. The frustration I’m hearing from people is the almost secretive way this was rolled out. A little more transparency might have gone a long way.

What do you think? Are you seeing these same issues? If so, how are you adapting?

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 29/01/2014

10 golden rules of engagement

Clarke De Pastino of Ipsos SMX in Los Angeles began his talk at the May 22 Community Management Conference by trying to define engagement.


Clarke De Pastino of Ipsos SMX in Los Angeles began his talk at the May 22 Community Management Conference by trying to define engagement. 

What is engagement?

What we know is that consumers today expect to be engaged by brands. That wasn’t the case say ten years ago.De Pastino said that 91 per cent of generation C (“C” stands for content for the YouTube generation born between March 12, 1988 and April 24, 1993) is engaging with brands online.

“Engagement” is also number eight on Mashable’s 30 overused buzzwords in digital marketing.

Engagement is actually really hard to define even though everyone is talking about it,” said De Pastino. Still, engagement is about the symbol of one’s commitment. It is the bedrock or foundation of how we communicate online.

De Pastino offered his 10 rules of online engagement:

1. Demonstrate and deliver value. That’s when we ask ourselves, “am I actually going to take time to do it? De Pastino said one example where the organization actually does this well is in the Condé Nast Style Society.

2. Build relationships. Organizations have to value individuals interested in their content and allow enough time to build a relationship with them.

In Welcome to the Human Era, John Marshall and Graham Ritchie describe it as a time when “customer insight yields more intimate relationships, which in turn accelerates insight. Across industries, we see this leading to higher profitability, deeper share-of-wallet relationships, and stronger market values.”

He said one important test is to ask questions you’re willing to answer. If you’re not willing to answer them, chances are others aren’t going to be either.

3. Be transparent. For this point, De Pastino used the example of Generation Benz asking the question “What’s your favourite vodka?” They were the title sponsor along with Skyy Vodka of the Sex in the City movie. And providing that context was key to their engagement.

4. Involve the brand. To do this De Pastino says to challenge executives to also participate. Get them to ask questions, provide answers and be willing to reply in the way that Richard Branson does through #askRichard.

5. Show impact. Reporting back the value of participation is also key to continue the momentum with engagement. One such example is My Starbucks Idea, which in 2012 turned 277 ideas into life.

6. Recognize and reward. De Pastino says it’s key to create a vested interest in the community to build engagement. One way is to make your community members famous in your community by recognizing their milestones or achievements.

7. Write engaging content. While this rule may seem obvious, De Pastino recognizes creating engaging content is actually a difficult job. He pointed to Oreo’s Twitter feed, Coca Cola’s Facebook, Dunkin Donuts’ Vine and Old Spice’s Instagram as examples.

8. Communicate regularly. De Pastino says it’s best to make it easy – make it stupid simple. 

9. Refresh the member base. No one should ever let their number of followers lull them into believing they’re doing ok. We should always in constant recruitment mode – every single day.

10. Moderate closely. De Pastino says there is nothing worse than not responding to a negative post. He says organizations have to reply and protect members from other members – that’s part of the responsibility of community management. He added UPS’s customer service Twitter account and the Nike Running Facebook page as organizations that do it well.

See the 10 golden rules of engagement slide deck below:

Need help with your organization’s engagement? We can help you make a ruckus

Also check out Make Your Own Engagement for more highlights from CM1.

Posted by
Diane Bégin
on 10/06/2014

7 ways Google Creative Lab invents the future

One in nine individuals at Google has a PhD. For Scarborough raised Robert Wong (he attended the same school as Mike Myers), chief creative officer at Google Creative Lab…the final FITC 2014 presenter found his niche within the tech giant by answering one simple question “What can a designer do?”

One in nine individuals at Google has a PhD. For Scarborough raised Robert Wong (he attended the same school as Mike Myers), chief creative officer at Google Creative Lab, that means the six years in his current job have been most humbling.

Still, the final FITC 2014 presenter found his niche within the tech giant by answering one simple question “What can a designer do?”

Turns out, the answer is not so humble – invent the future. And it all started with an Oral B charcoal grey medium toothbrush.

In art school in New York, Wong headed to a Duane Reade pharmacy to buy that exact toothbrush –the one he always bought. Problem was all that was available that day was pink.

He actually left the store by the time he thought to himself, why can’t I buy that pink toothbrush?

Wong described this experience as living in chains that stop us from living our full potential.

“It’s all about letting go of things the way they are right now,” says Wong.

Fast forward to his time at Google. When they began hiring designers, Google didn’t really have job descriptions for them. The designers had to invent their jobs, and so Google Creative Lab was born.

So how as designers do we invent the future? Wong says to look at the immediate and figure out how to “desuckify” things.  

Not all ideas are great ideas though.

One of the first to come out of Google Creative Lab was Gmail keyboard shortcut stickers. They were a good idea at first but the bad printing job meant that the copy wore off within seven days and they were impossible to remove because of their incredibly sticky glue.

But, that was the launching point for some even better thinking including seven ways Google Creative Lab invented its own future.

1. Exceed insanely high expectations.

In looking to their immediate environment the first thing Google Creative Lab came up with was letting people know about the stuff that already existed. That was showing the power of Google search in a video piece called Parisian Love.

How to Un-Suck your content

Hands up if you think social content has jumped the shark lately? Far too much emphasis on disposable, one-and-done tweets or posts or trying to salaciously jump on the “trend of the day.” Hands up if you think a lot of social content these days’ sucks?

Yeah so do we. So much so, we built an entire agency designed to help brands start to un-suck their content in a hurry. Enter: ruckus!

We built ruckus to work with brands to find and tell their story through rich, compelling and relevant social content – tracking the value of that content with deep social analytics. From the outset we challenged ourselves to push farther, to create a unique agency model and offering, and distinguish ourselves across the board from everyone else. To unsettle the status quo. To make a ruckus.

So we did.

We looked at what passed for compelling social content these days. We found lots of examples of people leaning into “real time” marketing and failing . We saw a lot of misguided brands relying on their tag lines or repurposing their ad creative in a tweet, again – without much luck.

Time and time again we found social tactics pulled from the same playbook. Relying on gimmicks and trends to interrupt people’s experience and force their way into the conversation.

So we threw out the playbook and made our own.

Our goal was straightforward: Evolve the way we tell stories for a digital age. The equation: Be visual, be timely and – overall – be captivating.

We’ve created a foundation around the essential elements for being successful in social conversations.

  1. Borrowing from our APEX PR heritage, we get people talking – having a conversation around your brand. We create a lasting and tangible story fans can immerse themselves in and craft along with you.
  2. Social is all about big, beautiful visuals to tell your story in a memorable and engaging way. So we’ve built an agency to create gorgeous visuals to accompany the narrative.
  3. We’re digital natives who quickly identify the right real-time opportunities to crank up the volume on your story and get people talking.

All of this comes together to form the evolution of story telling and ensure your story is heard clearly. A story that your fans will feel, live and experience with you.

We are ruckus and we’re here to un-suck your content.

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 03/10/2014

Crabbie’s Takes Beerfest By Storm

Crabbie’s is a much-loved brand in their native UK, and the brand was looking to build that same recognition and notoriety here in Canada. We saw their appearance at the 2014 Toronto Festival of Beers as the perfect opportunity to create a memorable experience that mixed both offline and online elements.

Over the three days of the festival, we created a full experience that combined product sampling and tasting, with an atmosphere and aesthetic that reflected the refreshing, adventurous spirit of the brand. However the highlight of the space was the interactive photo booth featuring Crabbie’s retro camper. Fans lined up to snap fun and creative pics with their friends and given an Instagram-style photos as keep-sakes.

The images also featured the Crabbie’s social channels and #CrabbiesTime hashtag, encouraging fans to follows us and share their pics – and share they did. Over the weekend we garnered:

  • 14,000 social impressions
  • 10% increase to our fanbase
  • 1,600 photos taken at the booth
  • 50+ fan-shared images from the 3-day event


Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 28/07/2014

WTR – What The ruckus on Snapchat

Wondering whether your brand should be on Snapchat? Wondering how to speak to that hard to reach Millennial audience? Here it is – the 5 minute download on Snapchat for brands!

Here it is – the first instalment of our new series – WTR (What The ruckus) where we look at a different social channel and help figure out if it’s right for your brand.

The first WTR focuses on Snapchat – controversial for a number of reasons (3 billion), but also the social network of choice for the much sought-after Millennial crowd.

So is Snapchat right for your brand? Where did it fall on the ruckus rating? Find out below.

Posted by
Gary Edgar
on 05/12/2014

WTR – what the ruckus on Vine

Did you ever wonder what the appeal of six-second video loops is? Who are pro-viners? This and more in our next installment of WTR (what the ruckus) on Vine.

Once again, ruckus digital brings you another installment of WTR (what the ruckus). For this one, we’re talking about Vine and how brands can benefit from strategic partnerships with the community. We break down how Vine got started, what exactly is the appeal of six-second video loops and what the introduction of Twitter video means to Vine’s future. As always, we have stats, examples and brand recommendations on whether or not Vine can help you achieve your business goals. 

Posted by
Serge Leshchuk
on 06/05/2015

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