Tag Archives: Business

Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn

Earlier last week news came out that former 100-metre world record holder Asafa Powell and Sherone Simpson (both also current sprinters) tested positive for banned stimulants at the Jamaican championships in June.

In the middle of the subsequent investigation is Toronto-resident Chris Xuereb. Apparently, Xuereb was hired to help the athletes recover from injuries. How Xuereb was able to even obtain access to these athletes is now under suspicion too. At least by some.

Why? Well, on Xuereb’s LinkedIn profile it states that he was a member of the 2004 Argo Grey Cup Champions. (Xuereb’s account seems to have been shut down.) According to an interview with the Toronto Star, spokesperson Eric Holmes stated, “We have no employment record for Chris Xuereb, and I can confirm he was never employed by the club.”

Which brings me to my pain point: Don’t get fooled by LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a great tool that allows people to network with other people based on their professional “resume”. However, one must do some extra “homework” before entering into any type of business/employment relationship with a person:

  1. While Endorsements seem to be the equivalent of the Like button, it is still important to see what people are recommending and how often they recommend an individual.
  2. Does their profile include any other contact information such as email, phone number, blog or other social media profiles? While not everyone needs to have a blog or Twitter account, there should be some other ways of connecting with an individual.
  3. Recommendations. Anyone worth their salt should have for than just a few recommendations. If your candidate has none: sirens should be blaring in your head.

These are just a few simple tips to help determine whether a person on LinkedIn is really who they say they are. How do you use LinkedIn?

thirdoceanTV: Social Wisdom with Laurie Dillon-Schalk

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to “interview” one of Canada’s top digital strategists and planners: Laurie Dillon-Schalk who is currently with DraftFCB’s Toronto office.  To be fair to Laurie, I think I learned more about the social/digital space during our conversation than the amount of awareness we might have generated for her and her work.

So, thank you Laurie for your time and your generosity. If you ever have a moment with her, don’t take her for granted.

The original post of our conversation (including notes) appeared on our social media agency website.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7l-SfiAzh0?rel=0&w=640&h=360]

my blogging adventure continues

For those of you who have been following me for the past few years or more you will know that a big part of my journey in social media and content marketing started when I was a contributor and Toronto Community Manager with Techvibes. It was a fun time in 2009/2010. I learned a lot and met a ton of great people.

Well, that journey continues with itbusiness.ca. for the past year, I have been sending contributions to Canada’s technology and business publication. Recently, I was formally invited to participate as a contributor. Some of you may have even seen me re-post some of my articles here.

The focus of my submissions to itbusiness.ca will be the business implications of social media. So if you have any questions that you have or larger themes you would like me to cover feel free to ask me on my Twitter account.

In the meantime, I’m still actively building thirdocean into Canada’s premier social media agency.

Top 5 Business Apps for the iPad

I haven’t used my iPad for too long. In fact, I’ve had it for under a year. When I first received it I didn’t think much of it. It had some cool apps but I was using it more for consuming entertainment than anything else. However, a business meeting I had a couple of months ago changed everything.

The person we went to see was impressed that we all had iPads at the meeting rather than mini sized laptops. Really? Impressed with iPads? Hey, he was in charge of the Canadian arm of a billion dollar brand. So who was I to argue. Since that meeting I have taken my iPad to every meeting. And in so doing, I’ve tried to use my iPad more and more for business.

Today, I present to you my 5 favourite business apps for the iPad. In no particular order:

Trello – We’ve been using this collaboration tool at our social media agency for the better part of a year now. Besides all the great features of the app, the iPad version comes with push notifications and multi-touch dragging.

Evernote – I’m sure everyone already knows about this app. Just in case you “forget”, go here.

LinkedIn – The go to app for staying connected to professionals in your network is available for you to use on the iPad.

HootSuite – I recently wrote about HootSuite. I’ve actually written a lot about HootSuite over the years so you know I’m a fan. Personally, HootSuite is my go to app for managing conversations for multiple brands across multiple social media platforms.

Dropbox – I’m not the biggest fan or user of Dropbox (I’m a heavy Google Apps user) but it has come in handy for me. It’s the best thing I’ve found to help me share presentations with clients and prospects.

What are your favourite iPad business apps?

the (in)complete list of coworking spaces in Canada: part two

As our social media agency was getting off the ground I wrote about coworking spaces in Canada. In fact I wrote that piece while “incubating” our Toronto-based startup in coffee shops in North Toronto. As we’ve grown we’ve spent most of our time in coworking spaces in Toronto. And thus, I think I understand the importance that these spaces play in the growth and development of Canada’s future businesses and business leaders.

The following is a my updated list of coworking spaces in Canada. It is, as the title suggest, an incomplete list. Please keep the list growing by adding locations in the comments section.

British Columbia: SwitchCube in Abbotsford; HiVE in Vancouver; cowork penticton in Penticton; The Network Hub in Vancouver and New Westminster.

Alberta: unit b in Edmonton; CoworkYYC in Calgary; AcceleratorYYC in Calgary.

Prairies: The Two Twenty in Saskatoon; *Upcoming in 2013: New Media Manitoba.

Ontario: Foundery in Toronto; The Creative Space in Barrie; Camaraderie in Toronto; Coworking Space Toronto; Longbranch  Executive Centre in Toronto; ThreeFortyNine Coworking in Guelph; The Hackernest Coworking Shared Office in Toronto; *Currently closed: The Work Republic in Toronto; Colab in Toronto; kowork London; 3rd Rail Society in Stratford; Project RHINO in Toronto; 10Carden in Guelph; Centres for Social Innovation in Toronto; The Code Factory in Ottawa; treehaus in Kitchener; CoWorkative in Richmond Hill; Spark Box Studio in Picton; Bento Miso in Toronto; Beach Business Hub in Toronto; CO:WORK in Toronto; Locus Quo in Toronto; Network Orange in Toronto The YMC in Toronto.

Quebec: Abri.Co in Quebec City; Station C in Montreal; Ecto in Montreal; Exeko in Montreal; la banque in Montreal; Jelly in Quebec City; RPM Montreal; Notman House in Montreal; nexus montreal; Comunoloft in Montreal; 6cent1 in Montreal

Maritimes: Common Ground in St. John’s; The Hub in Halifax; Coworking Cape Breton; The Hub in Mahone Bay; Queen Street Commons in Charlottetown

Know of places I’ve missed? Please share in the comments section. Thanks!

itbusiness.ca: Vine is making the case for business use

As many of you know, I am  a partner with a social media agency in Toronto. I am also a regular contributor on social media with itbusiness.ca. The following article was first published last week. I hope you enjoy.


Earlier this year Twitter released the mobile video-sharing app, Vine. I also shared my early thoughts about Vine on my agency blog here.

As soon as it came out two very distinct camps started to form. The first camp argued that nothing of real value could be created in just six seconds (or less). These were probably the same people who argued that 140 characters was not long enough to tell any sort of meaningful story.

The second camp was mostly filled with creative types. These people didn’t see a 6 second limitation. Rather, they believed that Vine was just another platform where art could be created. They focused on the medium rather than the message.

And if you have spent any amount of time on Vine or even Vine aggregators such as Vinepeek then you now know that people’s creativity knows no bounds. One of the most popular personalities (and my personal favourite) on Vine is Adam Goldberg: six seconds of pure entertainment.

However, in my circle, most people are interested in whether or not there are any business uses for Vine. Of course there is. Two examples pop into my head.

The first is Wired Magazine. On a regular basis Wired Magazine publishes six second videos of visitors and promotions of upcoming stories and features they are working on.

The second is the Humane Society of New York. In February, the Humane Society placed a cat in an adopted home courtesy of a Vine video that was posted earlier in the month.

It is still early to properly quantify the business value of Vine but here are some tangible points:

  1. If you’re hiring, Vine is a great tool to showcase the type of culture your brand lives and breathes.
  2. For those in the publishing industry (books, magazines, digital, etc), Vine is a great way to offer a preview of what’s to come.
  3. Leave a call to action (visit our website or call our number) in your Vine. It can be in the comments or tag section. Or the call to action can be part of the video.
  4. Like all types of content, content best practices still applies with Vine: Publish on a regular basis, produce interesting and shareable content, and listen to your community as you continue to publish Vine videos.

There are plenty of examples of companies already using Vine. If you’ve come across a brand using Vine in an interesting and compelling way, please share with the rest of the community in the comments section.

HootSuite vs Buffer

Earlier this month I conducted a non-scientific analysis comparing two social media publication tools: HootSuite and Buffer. To set the stage here are some facts:

  • The social media agency that I am a partner of is a paying HootSuite client.
  • I use HootSuite (not just for business) to publish to a variety of platforms including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • I use HootSuite to publish in real time as well as push out scheduled messages.
  • I have used the free version of Buffer (sparingly) to send out scheduled tweets.

I scheduled 10 identical tweets on both platforms between the dates of Monday, March 4 2013 – Wednesday, March 6 2013.

HootSuite’s schedule engine heavily loaded the tweets on Monday. Buffer scheduled 4 on Monday, 4 on Tuesday and 2 on Wednesday. Here are the results:

  • 4 tweets from HootSuite had no clicks.
  • HootSuite’s analytics (unless I’m missing something) didn’t share how many RTs or mentions the tweets received.
  • The 10 tweets sent through HootSuite’s scheduled feature received a total of 33 clicks; the highest tweet received 14 clicks and was about Toronto’s Community Managers.
  • Every tweet sent through Buffer received at least 1 click.
  • The average tweet sent through Buffer received 6.5 clicks.
  • The most popular tweets each received 12 clicks (Toronto’s Community Managers, Co-working Spaces in Toronto, and an interview with Gregg Tilston of Flight Centre).
  • The Co-working tweet also received 1 RT and 1 mention.
  • In total, the tweets sent through Buffer received 2 RTs, 1 mention and 65 clicks


Use Buffer to send out more than 4 scheduled tweets at once. The platform will ensure they are spread out evenly. What will I do? I will continue to use HootSuite. Scheduling has benefits (as seen above) but I also place a high level of importance on engagement, monitoring, moderating and searching for conversations and topics. These are things that provide me with personal and business value.

What Does The New Facebook News Feed Mean To You? (an early look)

Earlier today Facebook announced upcoming changes to their news feed:

We’ve completely rebuilt each story to be much more vibrant and colorful and highlight the content that your friends are sharing. Photos, news articles, maps and events all look brighter and more beautiful.

Users will also be able to further customize their news feed experience:

To make sure you’re seeing all the stories you want to see, we’re introducing several new feeds to explore in addition to the same News Feed you have today:

– All Friends – a feed that shows you everything your friends are sharing

– Photos – a feed with nothing but photos from your friends and the Pages you like

– Music – a feed with posts about the music you listen to

– Following – a feed with the latest news from the Pages you like and the people you follow.

So what does this all mean for you?

Content reigns supreme.  

I know you’ve heard this story before. But now, more than ever, this is true. And for a couple of reasons too. 

  1. Photos. Facebook is going to have a news feed dedicated to photos. Your need to understand this if your personal page or brand page is looking to increase or maintain engagement. Sharing a link to a photo will not cut it anymore. You will now NEED to upload photos and share them this way. I also suggest using creative and compelling photos with a focus on great stories and superb quality.  Facebook will not change EdgeRank.  If your content is not shared, liked or commented on, you will find your content not being engaging. And if you’re a brand that means you’ll be spending more financial resources on ads than you should be.
  2. Engaging content. This includes content such as photos, videos, and even polls for instance. The only way to know what is engaging your friends or community is to read the numbers. What is your data saying? If you’re sharing content with friends, do your friends engage with your content or are you left wondering if anyone saw anything? If you manage a brand’s page take a look at your Facebook insights. What are they telling you? What types of content is being shared the most? Which content has high virality numbers?  

These are just a couple of reasons you need to pay attention to Facebook’s new news feed design. Over the next few days, more articles and thoughts are sure to be shared online and on social media. What are your thoughts on Facebook’s newly designed news feed? Share your comments.


GROW now in Toronto – #GROWtalks

The team that produces the GROW Conference is bringing a piece of GROW right to Toronto. GROWtalks Toronto (http://www.growtalks.com/events/toronto/) is a conference built for startup teams and it will take place February 21st at Ryerson. There’s a great list of out of town and local speakers coming out for the one conference including Brant Cooper (Co-Author, Lean Entrepreneur), Laura Fitton (HubSpot), Dan Martell (Clarity), Kate Rutter (LUXr), Scott Kveton (Urban Airship), Danielle Morrill (Referly), and more.

It’s rare we get this many awesome out of town speakers at one venue and we’ve been told there will be opportunity to not only hear from these speakers, but also to ask them questions and to talk to them throughout the day.

Here’s a special $145 price for the full day event. Register here: http://growtalks-toronto-linkedin.eventbrite.com with discount code “linkedin”

thirdoceanTV – in conversation with Andrew Jenkins

The following interview with Andrew Jenkins first appeared on the thirdocean website. As many of you now know, thirdocean is a boutique social media and digital communications agency that I am partner with. I also have the privilege of being the host of program called thirdoceanTV.

Andrew Jenkins is an emerging technology strategist with Volterra Consulting. Over the last five years, social media strategy has become an increasingly larger part of the work that he does. His focus goes beyond social media campaigns to the “operationalization” of social media and the ongoing efforts required to turn an organization into a social enterprise.

In this full episode, Andrew chats with me about:

– How he shifted from ICT consulting to social media consulting
– What is a social enterprise and what does it mean to operationalize social media
– Why banks and other financial institutions are interested in social media
– How banks measure Return On Investment (ROI)
– Why Twitter as a utility has become important
– What innovations we can expect in 2013

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJx_1UrAX-0?rel=0]

Connect with Andrew Jenkins on his website at www.VolterraConsulting.com and on Twitter at @ajenkins.

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