Social Scanner: Social resolutions and predictions

January 09, 2014  |  Russ Martin  |  Comments

Three predictions and a resolution

First: a resolution. This year I’m going to react less on social media. I’m going to join fewer witch hunts targeting the racist / sexist / whatever-ist social media gaffes Reddit and Twitter are sure to rage against in 2014. Instead I’ll tell myself it’s OK not to have an opinion – or at least OK not to share every opinion I have online.

Rich, I know, coming from someone who spent 2013 reporting on every social media gaffe he could find (see: this), but I’m serious. In real life, I’m difficult to offend. I like comedy that toes the line of vulgarity and believe in free speech to a fault. On Twitter, however, I delight in spotting ill-conceived tweets from brands, celebrities and politicians and this year I want to stop pointing and laughing at jerks in dunce caps.

The social horde has created a PC dome under which we have to bubble wrap our words. We don’t want to be anything but PC, because we’ve seen what happens to the people who fall out of line. No doubt the people behind 2013′s dumbest, most offensive posts (the ousted Business Insider exec, the PR rep fired for an AIDS joke) are worthy of disapproval, but I wonder what our collective scorn is actually accomplishing.

If we want to fight racist, sexism and homophobia, shouldn’t we do more than retweet a snarky dismissal of a offensive post? Shouldn’t we be joining boards, volunteering and writing to MPs?

Maybe the other witch hunters are already doing those things. Or maybe I’ve read one too many New Year listicles and my brain has turned to mush. Either way, Marketing will continue to report on social gaffes by brands and marketers this year (there’s still plenty to learn from them), but I’m going to try to rant less about them on social media.

On Feb. 1, when you’ve cancelled your gym membership and started smoking again, feel free to find me on Twitter and tell me I am doing a very bad job.

Now on to the predictions from four Canadian social media experts.

Nominate a community manager for the #CMAD awards

Have an amazing community manager in your office? Give them a pat on the back an nominate them for the 2014 #CMAD awards. Community Manager Appreciation Day is partnering with a group of companies, including Hootsuite and Sprout Social on the awards, which include categories like “The Diplomat (handles all interactions with tact and grace)” and “LOLOLOLOLOL (funniest community manager).”

Take a look through the categories on the CMAD website and see if any fit a community manager you work with.

Are social media contests effective?

Just a week into 2014, Tim Hortons, Young Drivers of Canada and Staples had all launched social media contests in Canada. With so many marketers turning to the tactic, we asked three PR pros to weigh in the pros and cons of social contesting. Lauren Wasley, creative media and PR strategist at Energi PR, told us contesting can be very effective, but not on its own. To deliver a positive impact, Wasley said contesting has to be part of a larger campaign. Sarah Spence, SVP, partner and general manager, High Road Communications, added that contests can work well, but the type of contest that works online is constantly changing. A good way to ensure success? Set aside cash for paid media to gain traction.

Read the full story to get all of the tips.

The Numbers

The Pew Research Center crunched the numbers on consumers use of social networks and – no surprises – Facebook came out on top as the most popular social network. While Pew looked specifically at American consumers, the report sheds light on the traction each major social network has, which has a great affect on the Canadian market.


Online adults who use at least one social network


Online adults who use multiple social networks


Online adults who use Facebook, up from 67% in 2012


Online adults who use LinkedIn, the next most popular social network


Online adults who use Pinterest


Online adults who use Twitter, edging out Instagram by 1% to be the fourth most popular social network

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