Lack of Social Engagement Can Damage Your Brand Image and Your Profit

I would like to think that by now most people who work in the communication industry are aware of the value of social media. I would also like to think that most business owners, marketing managers, and directors have some sort of basic understanding for why they need to spend payroll dollars on a community manager.

But let’s be realistic. That type of knowledge is not common. It is also something really easy to ignore and miss.

So I narrow down my wishful thinking to hoping that community managers, especially for bigger brands, definitely know what they are doing. But even there, in the pull of the new found profession, people are still learning the ropes. Things go by unnoticed, forgotten, and never taken care of, leaving dissatisfied customers to pout in silence.

Most people who share their dissatisfaction, or satisfaction, with the brand don’t see a response. The rage has nowhere to go but stew on their Twitter feed to be seen by everyone, unresolved.

Entrepreneur magazine posted an article about a study titled “Brands Simply Aren’t Replying on Twitter.” The report stated that “54% of [socially active] companies send less than one @-reply per day.”

Now here’s why this is a problem:

Social media is a platform for building relationships and as it stands relationship is a two-way conversation. You can share relevant, useful information all day long but if you ignore engagement you automatically create a foundation for problems.

Social media is great for PR resolutions because you can address issues in real time. But if you don’t people will notice. If you don’t acknowledge people’s compliments or complaints you put yourself at risk of losing business. For example, three years ago I had purchased a rather expensive pair of shoes, people on the streets stopped to comment on the shoes. Within two weeks both heels broke in half while I was at a TIFF party. I shared my concern with the brand on Twitter but never got a response. I haven’t purchased a pair of shoes from them since, nor did anyone in my close social circle, in fact most of us are now anti-ambassadors for this particular brand. So think about this: a million is made up of ones, how many ones are you willing to lose by not responding to a tweet?

Social ROI is calculated through engagement and what is engagement if not people talking to your brand. The math is simple, if you respond you are likely to get more mentions, if you get more mentions you have higher engagement rates, more people see what a great brand you are (increased reach) and become interested in your product (raised awareness). A simpler math is this: by responding to an @-mention you are likely to get at least another mention, which already has a potential of doubling your engagement.

The important thing, however, is to not only respond to negative mentions and comments but positive too. If people voluntarily share their love for your product they deserve an acknowledgment – that is, after all, one of the easiest ways to gain brand ambassadors. The least you can do is say “Thanks!” You can fuel the conversation by simply responding and re-tweeting.

So look at your brand’s social feed, now look at the mentions. How many of those are left unresolved?


Originally published on Advertising Week Social Club here. 


Factors for successful crowdfunding campaign

Toronto’s CSI’s Catalyst hosts a series of workshops about Crowdfunding. Last night was  Crowdfunding 101 and as the title might suggest it the seminar covered the basics for setting up your funding campaign.

I think the biggest takeaway for most people was that Crowdfunding is a lot of work, you can’t just set up a campaign and watch it rain, you have to be prepared well enough to do it right in order to succeed. The most useful takeaway, however,  were these Four Factors of a Successful Campaign:

1. Quality of the idea & the pitch
2. Strong network
3. Enticing rewards
4. Marketing!

It might seem pretty obvious that these might be the important points but each one needs to be thought of and considered with care because the fight for potential investor’s attention get more and more challenging every day.

Fuel+ retail innovation

Let’s be honest, the healthy food trend is not going anywhere. While some people are not by choice stuck eating only greens and protein others choose an alternative food plan to increase their metabolism, loose weight, run faster, or sleep better, everyone has their own reason.

I have tried a similar meal plan but as someone who was born and raised in Eastern Europe there are things that I will not part with – bread and butter – but what I remember being the most challenging part about being gluten and dairy free is trying to figure out what it is you can actually eat. Frankly, not all labels are appropriately descriptive.

The other day I had the pleasure of checking out the menu at Fuel +, a health store that serves up all kinds of wonderful items and shakes that fall in lign with all kinds of dietary restrictions. One of my favourite things in the store, aside from a peanut butter fuel ball, is how they label their product. Everything in the store is clearly marked as whatever kind of special it is – gluten-free, dairy-free, local, organic and so on.

So there it is, retail innovation does not have to cost a fortune, a simple way to do it is making it easer to shop.




AWSC: How Many Mentions Are Too Many Mentions?


When you host a sponsored event with multiple partners everyone wants a piece of the glory. Generally a sponsorship package includes social media promotion and that’s totally fair, if you are going to give someone money you undoubtedly deserve a shout out. And so does everyone else who contributed the pie making.

But let’s look at the big picture, an average event has a minimum of 4 sponsors or partners, a standard tweet has 140 characters, so once we are done mentioning everyone who deserves a mention how much room would we have left to actually compose a message?

Most of the well organized events have some sort of cards or reminders with official hashtags and twitter handles of the people they want you to mention, which is all cool – I don’t have a problem thanking someone for an open bar on Twitter but there is a point at which it becomes plain confusing.


This one takes the cake for all of the ones I’ve seen in the last 6 months (and I’ve seen a lot). I guess where I’m going with this is:

People, pick your priorities!

I completely understand that everyone wants a spotlight but with that many handles there is no opportunity left to actually talk about the event.

The solution is simple; the main thing you should promote is your hashtag, then the main event Twitter handle. Everyone else gets the fine print.

If you are a sponsor of such an event making sure people know about it is as much your responsibility as it is the of the host so tell your followers which hashtag to follow.

Please stop the mention abuse.


Originally published on