All posts in “Social Media Research”

The Joy Of Discovery: A Good Starting Point in Planning Social Media Strategy

Ruth Bastedo is Director, Business Development at Social Media Group. Follow @rutbas

I come across a lot of business owners and marketers who are wondering how to tackle social media. I spoke last week to a group of women business owners at the Go for The Greens Business Development Conference at Walt Disney World last week, and next week I’m talking to a group of SME’s at The Financial Executives International Conference, “Leading Economic Growth” next week in Toronto. What I hear, is that while most companies instinctively know that they need to address social media in some way, it is still hard to know where to start.

In the immediate term, social media may or may not have an important impact on your business. It’s when you start looking at long term trends, and at the deep impact that social media is having on our fundamental communications infrastructure, that you start realizing that love it or hate it, you cannot ignore potential depth of social media on the way your clients and customers are going to live in the future, and interact with your business.

This is the place to start. Take the time to figure out how social media could potentially impact your clients and customers, as they connect and interact with your brand, products and services. How can you leverage this social interaction to move your business objectives forward?

We call this process “Discovery”. During our Discovery sessions with clients, we go through a number of exercises to look at this problem from a variety of perspectives- but one of the exercises I love the most, is called an “environmental scan”, where we go look at how the future could impact the client’s business, from a variety of different perspectives (demographic, technological, regulatory etc.). Discovery has become a key part of our planning process.

A 2012 comScore report, “Canada Digital Future in Focus” states “Social is quickly moving from a supporting role to a key pillar in monetizing digital.” It sounds like a platitude, until you start looking at the numbers.

According to the research in the report, Canadians on the whole spend an average 45 hours of time online a month, and lead the world in online engagement. Time spent on social networking has now surpassed the time spent on any other category of activity online. If you look at younger demographics, the 18-24 age range, you can see the strongest surge of time spent on social media quarter over quarter. Viewers under 35 also account for 57% of all videos viewed online. Smart phone penetration has reached 45 percent of the Canadian market.  If you’re not familiar with the report, I urge you to download it, and take a quick browse through.

The pace of change is wild. As a business owner or marketer, where do you start?

At the moment, according to a recent US based survey on “Social Software and Big Data Analytics in Business” by Mzinga, Teradata Aster, and The Center for Complexity in Business on how companies are using social media, 64% of companies are using it for marketing/brand experience, 47% for customer experience/service/support, 39% for employee collaboration and 27% for sales.

Those areas are likely baseline areas to get right first, and to use as a starting point to develop meaningful measures of success, that map to your business, and to your strategic business objectives.

In the same survey, 77% of companies said that they currently DO NOT measure the ROI of their social media programs, and 49% say they are not using social media to its full potential.

We are all only at the very beginning of all this. Engage in the “Joy of Discovery”, to make a sensible and manageable start to tackling long term planning, and determe what measures of success are going to be right for the future of your business. It’s a challenge for all organizations to determine what level of investment in social media is appropriate, but the question is no longer a “should I”, but is moving to a “how should I”.

Group Buying …..Still a Good Idea for Businesses?

Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

If you’re an avid group buyer, you are all too familiar with the lure of buying trips to those random vacation spots in the middle of winter as the deals role in on an early, gloomy Monday morning, or buying that dinner deal at 4pm in the afternoon when you could eat a sack of potatoes or better yet, that massage deal on Friday after a long work week and you just want to get pampered because you DESERVE IT!  These are the moments where I stare at my credit card as if it were a person and say to it, “Are you going to hurt me for buying this?” the answer is usually “most likely”…so I take a deep breath and let it slide…

So how is group buying working out lately?

State of the Industry in Canada

There are a number of group buying sites. I personally subscribe to Groupon and TeamBuy; other popular sites are: Dealfind, WagJag and LivingSocial. Here are some interesting facts from GroupBuying Canada:

  • Canadians spent approximately $400 million through daily deals sites in 2011
  • Group buying in Canada has a current market size of $415 million
  • There are about 140 daily deal / group buying sites in Canada and over 40 aggregators (more than the US on per capita basis)
  • In any given city or province, there are different leading sites e.g ,Tuango completely dominates in Montreal and the province of Quebec
  • Over 50% of all group buying sites have been launched from Toronto
  • The majority of deals and sales are also from Toronto
  • Niche sites are not as popular in Canada in comparison to the US where niche sites for golf, pets, kids, food are popular

Source: Canadian Coupon Saver

Given that the industry is ripe with opportunity, is it all fair game for small businesses?

Pros

  • The model appears to work best for attracting new customers as many discount seekers purchase what they would normally not try because they are getting a good deal.
  • Creates an awareness and provides exposure for businesses, especially small and medium sized ones.
  • While customer loyalty is not promised, if customers get a good experience they are likely to provide repeat business and thanks to the Internet and social media, word of mouth recommendation is limitless.

Cons

  • Customers are spoiled for choice, there is a new deal every day and customers are likely to go with the best deal of the day, so customer retention might be somewhat of a pipe dream.
  • Some small businesses are not always prepared to deal with the influx of customers as a result of the deal; this could harm your brand’s image in the eyes of customers and negate any positive results you hoped to gain.

According to dealassessor.com, the list of questions below are useful for businesses who are considering using group buying sites as a marketing or selling strategy:

  1. What are your goals and objectives that make group buying sites a good strategy for your company?
  2. Can your business afford it?
  3. Can your company meet the expense of offering products or services at a discounted rate?
  4. Do  you have a high profit margin?
  5. Can you up-sell or cross-sell other products and services for potential profit?

Outside of Canada, the industry in general appears to be facing some challenges. Recently there have been articles surrounding consumer fatigue on daily deals, according to a New York Times article, when Groupon reported its second-quarter results this week, it said that active customers grew just 3 percent, a significant slowdown from previous quarter-to-quarter customer growth rates. While traffic to Groupon was higher at the beginning of 2012 than last year, it was down almost 10 percent in May and June from the same months in 2011, according to comScore.

Further, groupbuyingcanada, has been reporting a number of acquisitions in this space with Teambuy purchasing Fabfind and Wagjag and Tuango just announced the acquisition of the assets of DealoftheDay from the Yellow Pages. While other Daily Deal providers seem to be shrinking or selling and investment firms and groups want nothing to do with the Daily Deal business, it seems that for Tuango and Wagjag that is all great news. They, unlike others, are growing and on a buying spree.

What do you think about the future of group buying sites?

The Role of the Researcher in the Social Media Strategy Development Process

Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

As a research analyst, I often find that I hold the foundational pieces to what would help set the stage for solid strategy development. The information that I gather while conducting the background work to understand a client’s business, their needs, resources, target audience and goals is extremely valuable. This rich information makes it extremely necessary that a researcher be fully engaged in laying the foundational pieces of the strategy development process.

How does research set the foundation for a sound social media strategy?

  1. Understanding the client’s business and social media objectives (e.g., business activities, marketing activities, social media and marketing goals, how activities are being measured for success). This broad understanding will help filter into doing a deeper analysis into the following;
  2. Audience analysis – Understanding who is talking about the brand or who a brand is looking to engage with in the social-sphere, where they are participating in social, what is their current opinion of the brand or other brands where feasible and their social media usage patterns.
  3. Content Analysis – Evaluation of content somewhat overlaps with the audience analysis especially in respect to analysing what people are saying and the sentiment of their social conversations. However, in addition to the user generated information there is another piece of the content mix that is significantly valuable and that includes the resources and information that a brand has in its marketing communications, PR and advertising tool set – all the traditional marketing pieces that can be leveraged and optimised for social media use and engagement.
Sign Post

Source: Socialfulcrum.com

The three broad categories above feed into the development of the following:

  1. Content Strategy – Developing and executing a content strategy that resonates with the target audience
  2. Engagement Strategy – Developing and executing an engagement strategy that appeals and drives a response with the target audience
  3. Positioning Strategy – Having a clear understanding the target audience makes it easy for brands position themselves as the go to source in a specific niche / industry
  4. Listening Strategy – Brands can then tune their listening and customer / client service strategy so that they can effectively serve the needs of their customers / clients.
  5. Measurement – Identify metrics or key performance indicators that will help measure success.  If the objective is to gain awareness, then metrics such as increased engagement, social media mentions, Facebook likes and comments, Twitter followers, retweets (just to name a few) will be indicators. However, if selling is the main objective, click rates, social e-commerce, sales and conversion rates are suitable metrics.

How are you using research to build your brand’s social media strategy?

 

Crowdfunding is on Steroids thanks to Social Media

Wangari Kamande is a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

Have you ever had what you thought was a really awesome idea, business, hobby or otherwise that you would have loved to bring to life but the thought of raising the money to execute made you want to take a very long nap and just dream some more? Well, that does not have to be the case anymore.

Social media and the Internet have made it much easier for people to access financial resources, talent, customers and everything in between to move a great idea into reality. The backbone of this process is in Crowdfunding. Crowdfunding has been described the collective cooperation, attention and trust by people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the Internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations.

This idea is really not that new, communities have been pulling resources together for charity, to develop community projects such as schools or theatre for many years. In fact, growing up in Kenya I was raised to value the Harambee spirit which literally means “all pull together” in Swahili. This is a Kenyan tradition of community self-help events, e.g. fundraising for development activities and is also the official motto of Kenya and appears on our coat of arms. This was how the country was able to develop the community post-colonialism.

Today, there are quite a number of crowdfunding platforms in the non-profit sector there is Lendforpeace, Microplace, Kiva (my personal favourite) etc while in the for-profit sector there is Indiegogo, WeFund, Kickstarter just to name a few.

An image of the world map cross-referenced against number of crowdfunding platforms

Source: PleaseFund.Us

Here are few interesting facts on crowdfunding platforms:

  • According to Gartner research, in 2009 the estimated value of money generated from crowdfunding platforms was $1.6 billion. The forecasted value of the same is expected to be $6.2 billion in 2013.

According to an infographic commissioned by pleasefund.us:

  • The biggest crowdfunding platforms are located in the United States and the UK.
  • 49% of all sites that use crowdfunding are for creative purposes, not social or business for the most part.
  • One of the best crowdfunding success stories is the Nano Wrist Watch which received $942,578 for its Kickstarter Campaign, which is 6300% of the $15,000 they asked for.
  • 2011 has seen the highest number of crowdfunding platforms launched ever, with a whopping 67 sites compared to in 2007 when only 19 sites were launched.

In my opinion, there are three factors that have and will continue to stimulate the growth of crowdfunding platforms, this include:

1. High Speed Internet and Social Media

This has allowed for people from all over the world who have similar interests and passions to connect and build communities. In fact, while there are varying statistics on how much of funding comes through social media connections, crowdsourcing.org (the leading industry resource on crowdsourcing and crowdfunding has described social media as the cornerstone from which crowd funding is built on.

2. Online International Payments

The ability to make secure online payments with a credit card and even debit card means that money can travel across borders. People can now come together and support ideas, projects that would otherwise not be funded through traditional means e.g. bank loans or venture capital.

3. Macro- Economic Policies

In early April, the US president signed a law called the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS). In summary, this allows small companies to raise up to $1 million in equity on an annual basis through crowdfunding, without having to go through the rigorous disclosure process by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For anyone looking to get that dream idea up the pipe, spend time building your social network and community, build trust, provide relevance and engage consistently. Your dream idea could be a tweet away…literally.

An Update on the U.S. Digital Divide

Michelle McCudden is a Manager on the Client Strategy & Innovation team at Social Media Group.

As part of their role in documenting internet use, the Pew Internet & American Life project released a report last week on Digital Differences. Here are a few of the key findings from this research:

  • One in five American adults does not use the internet.
  • Among those who don’t, nearly half report that the main reason is that “they don’t think the internet is relevant to them.”
  • Adults living with disability are less likely than adults without a disability to go online.
  • These who are online are doing more.

Looking at the data, it’s clear that the digital divide is still alive and well for some groups. Traditionally, the digital divide has been thought of in terms of access–the gap between those who are have access to the infrastructure and tools associated with information and communication technology. However, the cause of the gap between the 80% of American adults using the internet and the 20% who aren’t is about much more than access; it’s about cultural use, ability, cost, time, and a host of other factors. In the Pew study, age, income, and education were all strongly associated with a lack of internet use, meaning that older Americans, and those with lower income and less education were significantly less likely to be online.

When asked why they did not go online, participants reported the following reasons:

Only 6% reported that a lack of access is the main reason they’re not online, challenging those who would continue to define the digital divide as being access-based, rather than influenced by cost, ability and demonstrated value associated with internet use.

For those who are online, they’re engaging in more and more activity – and building their skills in the process:

“While internet adoption has been more or less stable over the past few years, there has been significant growth in the activities internet users engage in once they are online. As a result, the gap in technical experience—and general understanding of the internet—between online adults and offline adults is increasing.”

So what does this all mean? Younger Americans, those with higher income, and those with more education are more likely to be online, and increasing their activity there. Those who aren’t online will continue to have decreased access to the information, socialization, and development of online skills, mirroring divisions in age, education and class groups that exist offline. But it’s not all bad news; more people are online than ever, and the gap is smaller than it was when Pew began the Internet & American Life project in 2000.

What do you think? How does this impact your thinking as someone active in the field?

3…..2…..1….We have liftoff of the new iPad.

This post by Wangari Kamande a Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

When traveling to the moon, you better ensure your aim is true at launch, or else you will miss it by a mile. The same is true when launching new products or marketing campaigns, you want to ensure that your product or message meets or exceeds customer expectations.

Now, thanks to social media, brands can have an “early warning detection system” that can alert them of any previously unidentified issues.

You can be certain that Apple, who largely eschews social media marketing, is paying attention to what people are saying online about the new iPad, launched on March 15th.   (The last thing Apple wants is another antenna-gate.)

As reported in the Financial Post’s Tech Desk (and featuring data from SMG’s Research & Insights) team, there was a lot of online discussion about the new iPad.  But a deeper, more focused search quickly uncovered some product challenges and customers who were unsure about whether their device was operating to standard. A small, but vocal group of consumers complained about a yellow tint to the screen, overheating, or the fact that the covers Apple made for the iPad 2 do not fit the new tablet.

For Apple, this represents a great opportunity to quickly diagnose issues and jumpstart remedial action, if necessary with the goal of ensuring consumers are getting the brand experience they were paying for.

Social Media Signals

The signals and value that come from listening represent a big opportunity for brands. One of my favorite quotes is from the Author Harvey Mackay, he says, “You learn when you listen. You earn when you listen—not just money, but respect.” Make the decision to listen today; it will serve your brand well.

The Evolution of Social Media Measurement

As a child growing up, I was often told that aside from reading and writing, the other skill that will come in handy in life was to being able to count. My mother specifically emphasized “count your money”, “count your change”, “make a record of what is in your piggy bank”, and so I emptied my piggy bank every so often to count all the ten Kenyan cents (no longer in circulation as they are of no value) to ensure that none of my siblings had helped themselves to my hard “earned” pennies – more like begged and collected from the floor / ground. All to say, I realized the value of counting early, and we humans like to count where it matters – how much money do / will I make? What will it cost? How many calories are in this meal? How many friends can I count on? What will be my return on investment? and so on. We are counting, consciously and subconsciously, trying to measure the value of our ‘investments’ whatever shape or form they take.

The same is especially true for companies; they are interested in understanding “What is in it for our brand / company?”  What is the value behind every dollar spent? So it’s rather natural that this question is asked of social media campaigns and executions.  So let’s take a look at the social media measurement journey for brands.

1. Counting the Number of Fans and Followers and Comments or Retweets

There were days not so long ago, when marketers would pop champagne after hitting their 1,000 fans or followers milestone, they added the ‘#winning’ to every post and settled in fan bliss world (I exaggerate). Really, the marketing teams in most companies were excited to see customers connecting with them but often wondered, what does this mean? What can be done with this? Where do we go from here?

2. Social Media Measurement Tools to measure overall brand mentions across platforms

Using proprietary tools such as Radian6, Sysomos, Netbase just to name a few, brands have been able to do what we call here at Social Media Group a conversation scan or a social media brand audit. Using the most appropriate social media tools, this requires a deep dive into not only volumes of mentions, but also social media types / platforms used, sentiment analysis, top influencers on social media channels, share of voice (if looking at your brand in comparison to key competitors) or even sub-categorizing data to cover key themes or topics and campaigns over an established period of time. This continues to be very useful, but companies are still wondering – so now what? Using these tools they know what, who and where conversations about their brand are taking place and hopefully leveraging this to find innovative ways to engage with their customers. However, the question is, How is this all impacting companies’ bottom line? In other words “Show me the money from my social media investment”.

3. Then came, “Wait a minute! How do we get our fans/followers on our website?”

So companies started to engage with users by providing links with answers to questions from fans, promoting products and services that would link back to their websites. This was and is still helpful for companies in analysing their web traffic using tools such as Google Analytics to evaluate where their traffic is coming from e.g., Facebook, Wikipedia – again, counting!

4. Integrating Social Media Measurement with CRM

According to a report by Michael A. Stelzner on the Social Media Marketing Industry (2011) one-third of all social media marketers want to know how to monitor and measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media and integrate their social media activities. This is what company executives have been fussing about; they want to understand the implication of social media investments in relation to sales, revenue and cost.  The term for integrating Social Media with CRM is Social CRM. In a nutshell, it involves managing your communications, building relationships with the online community and measuring the results that reflect the bottom line – leads and sales. Social Media Examiner has provided a robust list of metrics that will help marketers get their executive team on board with social media. Further, the social customer has provided 10 steps to integrate CRM and Social Media.

5 Categories of Social Media Measurement

Source: Full Frontal ROI

Every part of the social media measurement evolution journey has brought value to evaluating the impact of Social on Leads and Sales. Moreover, every measurement remains important but should not be represented on its own; they all fit together like a jig-saw puzzle and provide input necessary to expand and grow engagement and lead generation opportunities.

 

Dealing with the “Unfriend”, “Unfollow” & “Unlike” Factor

Wangari Kamande is Research Analyst at Social Media Group.

Lately, I have read status updates or heard friends say to me “I am going to ‘unfriend’ all these Facebook friends that I don’t really know or care about” or “I am tired of reading status updates that have no meaning or value for me.” This one was on one of my good friend’s status updates on Friday “…just spent the last 30 minutes “unfriend-ing” people from my Facebook & will continue doing so this weekend…I was getting tired of all the stupid status updates…The line had to be drawn somewhere :) .” This sentiment also holds true with “un-liking” brands.

According to a recent study by NM Incite, the top reason cited for friend-ing someone on Facebook is not surprising – it’s knowing them in real life (82%). The same applies for brands – people “like” Facebook pages of brands they are aware of. On the other hand, offensive comments are the main reason for unfriend-ing (55%). According to the study, here are a few things you might be doing that will leave you wondering if the apocalypse happened and captured all your social media connections: updating too often, updating less frequently, lack of originality, too many salesy posts, irrelevant, posting repetitive and boring content, just to name a few.

The study further indicates that men are more likely to use social media for careers/networking and dating while women use social media as a creative outlet, to get coupons/ promos or to give positive feedback.

 

Source: NM Incite

 

So, this begs the question, how do we manage the number of social media ‘break ups’? I use the word “manage” because, truth be told, not all people will stick with you – in fact, an interesting statistic I recall hearing on TV went something like “25% of the people you meet won´t like you and never will; 25% won´t like you, but could be persuaded to; 25% will like you, but could be persuaded not to; and 25% will like you and stand by you no matter what.” With that in mind, how can we create a positively magnetic relationship and level of engagement with the people we value in social channels?

Whether this is for your personal brand, a.k.a. “YOU”, or a company brand, the following thoughts run true and are useful in getting you plugged in with those in your sphere of interest.

1. Who is your social audience?

While your entire target audience might not be actively engaged in social media, identify what your sub-targets and potentials are and determine their demographics, the social media channels they use and their interests. This can be achieved through a combination of some secondary research and if you want to really get to the core of your audience’s interests in social, performing a conversation scan using social media listening tools will provide you with a good picture of what is going on within your sphere of interest. Well-armed with the “who” you are looking to connect with, you can move on to the next step.

2. What is your brand’s intended social experience?

Determine the purpose that each social media channel will serve in reaching your audience. Along with that comes the underlying values of the brand, your brand’s voice—remember, social media is for sharing and engaging with others. Determine if your brand will be funny, serious or provocative. Overall, the motivations behind your social presence will be evident soon enough. If they serve the interest of your audience you will have a loyal following.

3. Win with your execution

Now that you have your audience and your social experience down pat, the content needs to captivate and match your audience needs. There are many articles that have been written on creating effective content, including on this blog. Do your research and package your brand with interesting content that will set up your social community for success.  A conversation calendar that is reviewed through the lens of the two steps above will help you get organized and ensure that you’re consistent and focused in your communication.

Keep in mind the best listeners make the best conversationalists. If you are looking to create and maintain a growing, fresh community in social media, you need to establish a listening framework to monitor your audience  and hopefully draw insights that would feed back into your social media strategy execution.

 

Social Media Roundup for January 13

 

Kirsten McNeill is a Co-ordinator, Content and Community at Social Media Group.
Follow @kirstenmcne

Social Media Comments in Your Search Results

This week Google implemented “Search plus Your World,” a bit of a controversial change to its searches – it integrates Google+ comments into standard searches. Google+ members or those just signed into Google will be able do a regular search of the web as well as their own Google+ network – circles, photos, posts and more. Jack Menzel, product management director of search at Google explained this as, “search across information that is private and only shared to you, not just the public web.” For example if you searched “Nars,” you will be given their company website, product offering, company history, etc. and if anyone in your Google+ network had any thoughts on the brand, maybe loved their Winter palette, that post will also appear. In addition to these results, public profiles of those that aren’t in your circles will be recommended for you to follow that may be experts in the topic you are searching and you will conveniently be able to follow them right from the search results. But if you’re not into this, you can switch it off by selecting the world icon in the top right, as opposed to the person icon.

 

Among competitors, Twitter has been most verbal about their thoughts of this announcement, saying that further integrating Google+ into regular search results is “bad for people.” But Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt addressed this in an interview with reporter Danny Sullivan that it was Twitter’s choice to not continue integrating its data in Google searches by not renewing their agreement that gave the search engine access to public tweets. Check out the rest of the interview below:

What are your thoughts on having Google+, Twitter or any social media data showing up in your searches? Would their inclusion make your results better or would they just be unnecessary noise?

Mashable is running a Poll:

MySpace Making a Comeback?

comScore‘s latest social media report reveals some interesting data – MySpace is bigger than Tumblr and Google+! People are even spending more time on MySpace than they are on Google+.

 

Justin Timberlake, who partnered with Specific Media in June to purchase MySpace from News Corp, said “We’re ready to take television and entertainment to the next step by upgrading it to the social networking experience.” Is JT bringing MySpace back?

Sponsored Stories in the News Feed

Facebook launched Sponsored Stories in the News Feed this week but there are a number of controls around them to ensure that the user experience is respected. As promised, the ads are marked as “Featured” and they will only be showing up in the Ticker or Feed of user’s that have already liked the page. But these Sponsored Stories will also find a way to promote growth for a Page by highlighting fan activity, such as a Page Like or a Post Like. These ads will be shown to the friends of the person who did the action. ‘Page Like Story’ – ad will show to friends of people who liked your page, and ‘Page Post Like Story’ ad will show up when people like a specific Page post.

Facebook is slowly rolling these out to avoid user backlash and disrupting the user experience, so you will likely only see one Sponsored Story per day and they will not yet be appearing on mobile devices.

If you are a fan of Ben & Jerry’s Page, you likely saw this:

Listen to Music with your Friends – Even if you’re not with them!

Also announced this week from Facebook is a new feature called, ‘Listen With,’ enabling you to share the songs you are streaming via Spotify and Rdio. Users were already able to see what their friends were listening to but now they can listen together in a virtual environment and even sing along together. In the next few weeks you should start to see a music note in your chat sidebar and this will indicate who is listening to music. If you hover over their name you can hit “Listen with x,” which will play the song via the service your friend is using. When your friend changes the song, yours will change accordingly and more than one friend can listen in on the music so the entire group can chat about it together.

Facebook’s $100 Billion IPO

Facebook’s rumored April – June IPO is drawing nearer and its looking like it will be the biggest of any technology company in history (six times that of Google’s!) – its expected to be a $100 billion IPO! Accounting Degree Online has put together an Infographic breaking it down for us.

 

Trudeau v. Kent, That's What I Call Negative Sentiment

Last week was a swashbuckling affair in Canada’s House of Commons.  Justin Trudeau (son of Canada’s favourite statesman, Pierre Elliot Trudeau) called fellow Minister of Parliament Peter Kent a “piece of shit” during Question Period.  The comment sparked some heated and sometimes hilarious discussion in social media, with the majority of the online world siding with Trudeau as reported by the National Post.

The comment was a publicity boon for Trudeau.  Trudeau was mentioned over 1000 times on December 15th, two days after the incident.  Mentions of Kent, who was already a hot topic of discussion after pulling Canada out of Kyoto during the climate talks in Durban, declined slightly.

Social media sentiment for Trudeau was twice as likely to be positive than negative, versus Kent whose sentiment ratio was the complete opposite.  Trudeau’s name calling seemed to only enhance his appeal, presumably amongst some of his 102,044 followers on Twitter.   Trudeau’s comments helped him acquire 1,759 followers since Dec 13, whereas Kent has added only two, bringing him a total of 1,238.

Positive support for Trudeau sounded like   “I like Justin Trudeau even more” or “Suddenly I really like Justin Trudeau”.   Comments about  Trudeau’s facial hair wasn’t nearly as positive, with people remarking that it looks “scandalous” and “offensive” and “Justin Trudeau’s new pirate persona seems to have gotten the better of him today.” “Or Justin Trudeau is my favourite of the Three Musketeers.”

Kent sentiment was predominantly negative as people voiced their agreement with Trudeau’s point of view.  Almost 40% of Kent discussion had little to do with Trudeau’s remarks, instead focusing on the government’s decision to withdraw Canada from the Kyoto Protocol with comments like ““#kyoto had the best intentions but would have killed the CDN economy. Congrats to Peter Kent for finally putting the kybosh on it. #cdnpoli” or “Harper’s lackey Peter Kent’s performance in withdrawing from Kyoto is totally abysmal.Canada continues its downward spiral to insignificance.”