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Friday, November 11, 2011

Being In The Moment With Your Audience on Facebook.

The people I work closest with are probably sick of me. Sick of me saying the same thing over and over again. Let me start by apologizing to all the super smart and creative people that I'm referring to.  Marketing (for me) is about one thing: making an emotional connection. The purer the better. Nothing better in my world than a gimmick-free connection between audience and brand. If an emotional connection can be made between people and a brand then the skys' the limit. Every other metric of success (if you need to measure) can be an afterthought once a 'that connecton' is made.

Here are 2 examples of us trying to make the emotional connection using Facebook:

First, let's talk about 'Being in the Moment'. You know when you are at an event and you see someone you know. You say hello, ask 'How are you doing?" but suddenly start looking over each other's shoulders and side-to-side looking for the next person to go say hello too. This really bugs me, but it happens. We have all been there.

Then sometimes you are in the moment .... Being in the moment with a person; listening to them, replying, making eye contact, appropriate body language. Such a better feeling.  

Brands can do this too.

I've learned from my experience as a Marketing Director is the radio business  for over a decade and now in this "new" industry of Social Media. If you can 'be in the moment' then you will have success.

Here are some examples (using the Toronto Maple Leafs). I've noticed what posts on Facebook really resonate with fans, based on the three metrics of likes, comments, and shares.

This was one of the most shared and liked posts on our Facebook Wall. It was totally inspired by an internal work email from a colleague  All I did was repost the words from "In Flanders Fields" (which was in this internal email) and shortly before 11am on Remembrance Day, I also added a recent video of  the Leafs Remembrance Game Pre Game Tribute. It was a really moving tribute and felt it was a nice compliment. I posted it. No sell. No "ask". Just trying to connect with what was happening in the moment on Remembrance Day.

Another example of being in the moment. The Leafs hosted the Bruins the other night and it was not pretty. A colleague of mine (Matt Iaboni) and I had a plan to experiment with video throughout the night. It was going well, but then the score got out of hand. (If you live in the sports world then you know, you live & die by wins & losses) We had a cool concept to try and live the game experience with fans through video they may not be able to see or get anywhere else (maybe I can explain this better in another post down the road, once I compile all of the examples)  We used our Youtube channel, a video service called Keek, and TwtVideo to try and tell a story. We also planned on using pictures throughout the night to help assist in the story telling.

Here's the example: When we post a score on Facebook that involves the team winning, then it usually gets shared, liked and commented on. When we post a score that involves the team losing, then it usually doesn't get shared. Instead of making that "text" post we posted this photo. It showed the final score on the scoreboard (sorry Leafs fans for bringing up bad memories) It also showed the venue was clearing out and the Zamboni driving by. The reason I'm sharing this with you in that I believe that since it was 'in the moment' for fans it was shared, regardless of the scoreline. Also the comments were significantly higher from the norm, and I can also assume that the photo sparked this dialogue.

These are just two recent examples of a brand, The Toronto Maple Leafs, trying to make an emotional connection with fans through Facebook.

What are some other brands (sports team or not) trying to make this connection?

Have you ever been "in the moment" with a brand on Facebook?

Thanks for reading.

Friday, August 26, 2011

5 Tips for Aspiring Social Media / Community Managers.

Image courtesy of
I worked in the radio business for over a decade. It was a blast. Now that I work in this "new" industry. This Social Media industry, many have commented to me, "It must be such a dramatic change"... "How is it that you went from a Marketing Director position to a Social Media Manager position?" ... "From radio to sports" and so on.  My answer is simple... nothing has changed. I pretty much have done the same thing my entire career. All I do is try and connect with people. The tools have changed over the years but the emotional connection that one has with music, sports, friends, will never change.

Enter the Social Media person.  

Sure, I'm not a huge fan of the term 'Social Media', but it looks like it's sticking around.

Here's are 5 tips for aspiring Social Media Managers / Community Managers:

1) Your job will be 24/7: No joke. Let's say (in the future) you manage a company Twitter account and a customer asks you a question; they deserve an answer right away, right? It will be up to you and the people you collaborate with to decide what is an acceptable timeline is to reply back. You'll decide this through brainstorming and penning your Social Media or Engagement Strategy. I might suggest that if you wait more than a day, then you missed an opportunity to connect. Customers, clients, fans, friends will expect a quick turnaround and that's just the world we live in. (I'll write a full post on this topic in the future) Just know that representing a company or brand is not really 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.  If you are looking for 9 to 5 with weekends off, then maybe this is not for you.

2) Your Background & Experience: I've noticed that 'experts' come from all sorts of backgrounds: PR, Communications, Marketing, Agency, etc. That's the good news. You can come from any stream of schooling and probably do very well. Take time to learn the craft. Learn from others. Find mentors and mentor others. This new Social Media Industry does not have any standards in place for self promoting (nor does any industry, i guess) So go ahead and call yourself an expert, but be warned; a phony will be sniffed out over time.

3) Network: They are events pretty much every night. This is not an open invitation to go drinking every night. Go with a plan. Look ahead to the guest list. Pick out some people you want to meet and go and meet them. Sure some events turn into a fun game of guess the avatar, but just don't be shy! Go to enough events and soon you will be the person people are trying to meet and network with. Networking events are great relationship starters, but remember; it's just the start. After the event, it's up to you to keep that relationship going.

4) Your job (to find a job) is 24/7. Looks just like point 1, right? Think about everything you do and say. That blurry line between life/work balance is, well, blurry. Think about the successful career ahead of you and put together your plan. Your plan to grow, learn and be the best at what you do. Does this plan include ripping a major retailer online? What if they are hiring a Social Media Manger a month later? Would you apply? Yikes. Your words and actions are being documented (by you) and may live forever online. It's a scary thought, but learn to embrace it and you will have no trouble at all. Like the guy (who shall remain nameless) who rips the Toronto Maple Leafs and Leafs TV every single chance he gets. I mean, totally rips them - swear words all all. Imagine my surprise when he asks me to follow him one day so he can send me a DM. That DM was asking for a job helping me in the Social realm for the Leafs. It was a real challenge to take that seriously.

5) Be Yourself. I don't think I can elaborate on this.

Hope you enjoyed this post. I would like to know what you think either by leaving comments or connecting with me elsewhere. Like one of those networking events where I'll be drinking my face off wearing a tie around my head.

Thanks for reading.
 Publish Post

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Toronto FC Home Opener Experience on Mar 26, 2011

Just tried to capture the Game Day Experience at a Toronto FC Match.
Hope you like the vid.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Super Awesome Leafs Ticket Giveaway & My Twitter Name Change!

To thank you for all your support and to celebrate my recent Twitter name change - I'm now a real person!! My handle is @JonSinden instead of @BigThinkerJon - (Thanks Twitter!) I'm giving away a pair of tickets to tonight's Leafs/Caps game.

Here's how you can enter:

1) Cut and Paste the tweet below and post it on Twitter:

Hey @JonSinden (nice new twitter handle) Please enter me to win a pair of tickets to @MapleLeafs vs #Capitals game tonight!

I only have one pair to giveaway. I will make a random draw around 4:30pm-ish today.

I'll contact the winner via a Tweet!

Thanks for all your online and in-person support!
More giveaways to come!
Go Leafs Go!!


Photo: Getty Images

Saturday, March 26, 2011

#One4One Ticket Giveaway

The One4One Event on Monday, March 28th is going to be epic. Over 80 Toronto athletes in one room at Real Sports Bar & Grill. This event supports the MLSE Team Up Foundation. Team Up's mission is: to improve the lives of youth by building facilities, giving to sustainable programs and empowering youth through sports and recreation

Here's how you can enter to win a pair of tickets:

1) Cut and Paste the tweet below and post it on Twitter:

Hey @BigThinkerJon. I want to go to #One4One on March 28 to support @TeamUpFndn - Please enter me to win a pair of #One4One tickets.

And, if you feel so inclined, you can also share the links to the event and info on how to get tickets. (all that info is below) Feel free to share it!

From all the tweets posted between now and Sunday at 11:59 pm, I will randomly pick a winner. I'll tweet the winner on Monday morning and meet you there on Monday night.

There can only be one winner (plus guest) in this contest, so, if you really want to go to One4One, please contact Eleanor McDonald at 416-815-5428 or email her:

More info: Team Up Website

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Toronto FC Presser on Jan 26, 2011 with Jonathan

Behind The Scenes at Toronto FC.

Just before the team heads off to Turkey, I grabbed some footage for you all to see. Check out Dwayne DeRosario answering the tough questions, Nana Attakora and I checking out Head Coach Aron Winter's fancy shoes, and some clips of writers and producers offering their .02 on the event.

Hope you like the video.

If you want to see anything specific from the Leafs/Raptors/TorontoFC worlds, just let me know and I'll grab a video!

Cheers for watching!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Toronto Maple Leafs visit The Hospital For Sick Children

For 50 years straight, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been visiting The Hospital for Sick Children.

I'm so blessed to have been a part of it this year.

I tried to capture some footage of the event that you would not see on traditional TV, along with some discussions with players. I really tried to keep it tasteful.

In this video, I speak with Luke Schenn, Colby Armstrong, John Mitchell and Tim Brent.

I really appreciate you watching this. Any suggestion for future videos are more than welcome.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Behind the Scenes at Toronto FC Management Team Presser with Jonathan

I'm always trying to figure out ways to show people some behind the scenes stuff at Toronto FC. Armed with my camera and little-to-no talent, I just started filming at the recent Toronto FC Press Conference. Above is the finished product. Hope you like it.

Just trying to do my part in building the relationship between fans and the team.

If you ever have a suggestion, or wanna see something, just let me know.

Find me on Twitter

Talk to you soon.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Habitat for Humanity Polar Bear Dip 2011 with @JonSinden

How did you ring in the New Year? I always wanted to jump in the cold waters of Lake Ontario , and, on Jan 1st, I got my chance.

I had a blast at the Habitat For Humanity Polar Bear Dip. Yes, the water was cold, but the people, staff and volunteers were amazing and it was an amazing day! A bunch of money was raised for HFHT which will build one house for one family.

Thanks for watching this video. As always, your comments and support are much appreciated.

Thank you to those who took the time to sponsor me with an online donation. Couldn't have done it without you!

I'd love to hear about some things you want to do in 2011...