The end of the (written) word as we know it?

As someone who prefers writing over speaking any day of the week, one Rosemary O’Connor quote has always resonated with me:


“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.”


If you feel the same way, then you may have a similar reaction to Facebook’s prediction that, in five years’ time, the written word will be out—at least when it comes to social media—and video will become the communication method of choice.


According to the social media giant, the number of text updates has already started to diminish, while video is on the rise. As someone who gets clunky in front of a camera—who trips over her words, can’t remember what she wanted to say, and says “like”, “um” and “uh” an embarrassingly inordinate amount of times in one sentence—I can’t imagine a day when I’d ever turn a camera on myself to announce a mundane update in my life.


That said, I understand the whole notion of “show, don’t tell”—and while it may be difficult to capture many of life’s personal, spontaneous moments on camera, I definitely see how businesses could start relying more on video when it comes to social media marketing.


What do you think? Could the written word eventually become extinct? What would that type of world even LOOK like?

4 ways to keep the content flowing

Blogs establish credibility, get your name out there and remain excellent search engine fodder. The only trouble? Finding a steady stream of content to publish.

Tweets, Facebook Posts and Headlines – Is There an Ideal Length?

According to a recent article in Fast Company Magazine, there are , in fact, optimal lengths for our various missives on social media networks.  The article also provide some backup research.

Here are the highlights:

•    Perfect tweet length was right around 100 characters, resulting in a spike of re-tweets
•    Facebook posts of 40 characters or less receive 86% higher engagement
•    Six word headlines increase the chances that the entire headline will be read (Yes, the research showed that our attention spans have decreased to the point where we not only scan the body of an article or post but the headline as well).

For more fun facts, read the full article here.  Once you do, let me if your own experience backs the research up and how you are addressing it in your own marketing campaigns.

OMG, is Social Media just a fad? Part I

September is on the calendar and school back in session.  While enjoying the sunshine by the lake, I still received a steady stream of questions about this crazy world of social media.   One of the more common ones – Is this thing here to stay? Is it worth investing marketing dollars in? Will it be a distant memory come next year or the year after?

My views are on the record but I think it is important highlight a number of points:

First, is social media marketing based on completely new principles?  No.  The fundamental principles of sales and marketing that have been with us since we started selling to each other still apply.  What social media does is provide us with a revolutionary set of tools to apply these principles with.  These tools deliver nuggets of timely relevant information – a perfect fit for the ADD society we currently live in.

Second, you don’t have to take my word for the impact social media and networks are having.  You need simply look around you.  What other companies in history have accomplished what Facebook, LinkedIn, or Groupon have in the same amount of time?  Many other companies over the years have also had a great impact, but none that fast.  This does not mean that these companies will be around forever but the speed at which users have adopted their services is nothing short of astounding.

I’ve heard it said in the past by business experts that really successful companies are great for a generation and then begin to fade or have less impact .  It is possible,  given the speed at which some social media/networking companies have grown, that they may also see their influence diminish faster.  Assuming that’s right, does that mean you should keep your company out of the social media world for the next few years and wait until it all shakes out?  Good luck with that.

Third, you can also take a look at recent studies from respected organizations to get a third party view of where the social media world is at.  In my next post I will give you some highlights of a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

In the meantime, for the latest on social media and Web marketing for corporations follow me on Twitter at  

Social influence – Do you have any? Does your company? Does your Boss?

While many of our  clients are starting to leverage the power of social media for their companies, some are further down the path then others.  The ultimate test for effective use of social media is whether it influences opinion, propels action and engages the intended  audience.  The question then becomes: can you measure social influence? The answer is yes and it’s called the Klout Score (, defined as the “measurement of your online influence.  The scores range from 1 to 100 with higher scores representing a wider and stronger sphere of influence. Klout uses over 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter to measure True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.  The final Klout Score is a representation of how successful a person is at engaging their audience and how big of an impact their messages have on people.”  When you go to, enter you organization’s name, your name,or your CEO’s name in the box provided and get your score.

Check out these “5 lessons from business leaders on social media marketing” –

Don’t spend another cent on your branding campaigns until you read this

Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Martin Goldfarb, co-author of the just published book, Affinity Beyond Branding.
Martin is perhaps best known as the official Liberal Party pollster from 1973-1992.  He also happens to be one of Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs and a leading expert in the study of human behaviour as it relates to the marketplace and society.

He has consulted to numerous corporations, including Ford Motor Company, DeBeers, and Four Seasons Hotels.

Once you listen to my chat with Martin, you will appreciate that this book and the experiences he shares are worth their weight in gold.  Listen to the podcast here

Get your copy of the book here.

If a blog falls in the forest does anybody hear?

With March break upon many of us, my mind is onto more metaphysical questions – thus the subject line.  What I am referring to here are metrics and measurement, a subject whose importance cannot be overemphasized.  One of my favourite business mentors taught me that “what you do not measure cannot be improved”.  It is a lesson that we constantly convey to our clients, as well as applying it internally.  When you consider that improving conversions from 2% to 3%, for example, can mean a 50% jump in revenue, you start to take it seriously. 

In the Web 1.0 world, there are numerous software measurement and metric packages that vary in sophistication and price.  The one you choose depends on your type of business and the metrics you look for.  In our business, and for clients, we use Google Analytics, as well as a serverbased package that acts as a check and balance, so to speak.  In my book, when considering data richness, ease of use, and price (free!), Google Analytics is unrivalled.

In the social media world, measurement and metric software is a fairly nascent space but it is developing rather quickly.  One option I have been testing and will deploy in a number of upcoming social media campaigns is Ubervu, which measures “conversation”, “reactions”, and a variety of other metrics in the social media universe.  Go to, input your company name in the “Search for Social Media Conversations” window, and click “Analyze”.

 At the end of the day, it’s the not the software you pick but the fact that you do it consistently and continuously adjust.  Remember: “you cannot improve that which you do not measure”.

Did Social Media Determine Fate of US Healthcare Reform?

By all appearances that is exactly what happened.  Scott Brown’s upset, come from behind, win in the Massachusetts Senate race now represents the 41st vote in the Senate, breaking the Democrats filibuster-proof majority in Washington.  In another word passage of President Obama’s healthcare reform legislation is now very much in doubt.

When you dig a little (which we did) you’ll find not only that a Canadian orchestrate the victory but he utilized social media tools to pull off what some referred to as one of the biggest political upset in recent memory.   Whether you support or oppose healthcare reform in the US, the lesson is that social media marketing, properly leveraged, can significantly affect the outcome of a political race or, for that matter, the success of you company

For a good article on this check today’s National Post here or go to –