Archive for “June, 2008”

Toronto Girl Geek Dinner Tonight!

TGGDTonight, Maggie and I are heading to Fionn MacCool’s to enjoy another Toronto Girl Geek Dinner (TGGD). We’re fortunate to have Jayne Hoogenberk, the online community manager for as the speaker. Here’s an excerpt I borrowed from the TGGD blog that tells us a little about Jayne:

“Jayne has migrated eHarlequin’s community 4 times. She has orchestrated and survived 5 upgrades and 2 platform changes with her hair and most of her membership intact. She spends her days directing her host moderators, chatting with her constituents and plotting the strategic vision for Harlequin’s online community. She is a passionate advocate for the adoption of online communities and discussion spaces, as well as the creative utilization of fur. Jayne lives in Oakville, ON with her two daughters, one large hairy yellow dog and a fluffy orange tabby cat.”

The 50 available spots have been filled for tonight’s dinner but visit the wiki to put your name on the waiting list and to check out who else is going.  Make sure you keep on top of the TGGD blog to find out about the next event so you don’t miss out! And if you have a Facebook account (is there anyone who doesn’t these days?) you can check out the TGGD Facebook Group.

I’m proud to say that tonight’s sponsor is Social Media Group but TGGD is looking for sponsors for the next event and any future ones. If you’re interested in supporting this great event, contact TGGD here.

Hope to see you tonight!

SMG is Hiring – again!

Okay, I know that Kevin posted about this a few weeks ago, but we now have a few more new positions that we need to fill. If your passion is social media and you’d like to turn it into your career, we want to hear from you! All positions are located in Dundas, Ontario (a mere 45 minutes from downtown Toronto). Please click on the links to download job description pdfs…

The Best Intermediate Project Manager in the World

Plus two junior positions:

Social Media Analyst – Influencers

Social Media Analyst – Measurement

Send your resumes to susanDOTcorreaATsocialmediagroupDOTca; only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. Thanks!

Live Streaming Video from BlogPotomac


I’m in Virginia, sharing the stage with some of the leading lights of social media at the very first BlogPotomac. I’ll be speaking about trends in social media marketing – and it’s an “unconference”, so no PowerPoint, no prepared speech – just a brief setup, and then throw the door open to the audience and (hope!) they ask questions. I’m really looking forward to it (I go on at about 10:30 EST this morning).

Thanks to the fine folks at Oovoo, for those of you who can’t make it – we have live streaming video.

Online Video provided by Ustream

Also speaking today: Lionel Menchaca, Dan Beyers, Kami Huyse, Frank Gruber, Katie Paine and Jeremy Pepper with a special appearance by Rohit Bhargava.

Special thanks to organizers/sponsors Geoff Livingston, Debbie Weill and Josh Hallett!

Here we grow again…

“You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube”, “You can’t put the genie back in the bottle”, “There’s no going back” or, my personal favourite, “The beer’s been poured, so now you have to drink it” are all metaphors for what companies are finding once they venture into the world of social media.

Our existing engagements and our new client lists are growing and we need to do the same to keep delivering the quality and innovation that we pride ourselves in. Our immediate need is for an Intermediate Project Manager at our Dundas, Ontario offices, but we’re always looking for talented people who have a deep passion for social media (there will be several more postings over the next few weeks).

So if you think you have what it takes to be a social media ninja, you can find out more about us here and drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.

Beyond the Price Wars

So, when Walmart and their competitors have squeezed every last ounce out of their suppliers and are to within small fractions of U.S. cents of each others’ pricing, where will they turn next for competitive advantage? There is a natural end to how low things can go, particularly with escalating fuel prices adding an unpredictable variable to manufacturing costs.

A question that will become increasingly pertinent over the next few years came to mind as I was working through a proposal we’re preparing for one of Canada’s largest retailers: If you’ve been putting all of your eggs into the low price basket, where to next?

How about – shockhorrorcustomer service?

The challenge, of course, is that customer service is expensive. Call centres and properly trained staff cost a lot of money, and ultimately they’re bandaids – people only call the 1-800 number when they are frustrated, annoyed or utterly confused and unable to find help elsewhere, meaning that the problems they have tend to require intensive and delicate solutions.

However, offering multiple alternate online channels, many of which help connect consumers with each other as well as product and service experts within your organization, is both less expensive and far more beneficial (just think of the intelligence gathered and goodwill spread. Can a call center or magazine ad deliver that?).

Once we move beyond the price wars (which is inevitable) it will be about the experience, and that doesn’t mean the colours you paint your retail location. Experience refers to how people feel when they deal with you, and if they feel like you are listening, like you want a relationship in order to make their experience more positive, you will do very well indeed.

Best of Luck, Collin!

It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Collin Douma, who has decided to take leave of SMG in order to pursue other opportunities, both personal and professional.

As a key member of SMG’s strategy team, Collin, formerly a Creative Director at MacLaren-McCann, was responsible for a number of key projects, including Digital Snippets, and worked closely with SMG staffers on-site at Ford WHQ in Dearborn, MI.

Continuing to offer our clients best-in-breed social media services, SMG has signed a well-known Canadian social media strategist to take over Collin’s role on an interim basis as we continue to expand our business. Details will be forthcoming shortly.

We of course expect to hear from Collin very soon (and hopefully good news – his wife is expecting a baby in July). He’s a brilliant guy and truly passionate about social media – the whole SMG team will miss his humour and insight.

Best of luck, Collin!