Snapchat, snaptastic

Have you delved into the world of snapchat yet? Don’t let the little yellow ghost icon fool you, this powerful and popular app is what all the cool kids are doing.

Here are five snazzy things you can do with snapchat:

  1. The obvious one: take photos or videos that disappear within 10 seconds
  2. The unobvious one: take slow-mo videos that disappear in 20 seconds
  3. Chat live with friends online
  4. Share live video (a la FaceTime) with friends online
  5. Use unique face filters to change up your “snaps”

I use snapchat for many reasons, but it’s primarily a sharing tool for my friends and family. I love how it creates a unique window into the things happening right now, not only objectively but subjectively. People’s personalities can shine through anyway they want.

Snapchats show a sliver of a story in less time it takes to write your thoughts in a post or tweet.  A snap is worth many characters. 

Here are some recent examples of my snaps. (Oh, and you can download them before they send or you can screen grab them while they’re happening, so nothing is ever entirely erased or gone).

Playing with a face filter: 

Adding text to a photo, going for a run on a particularly warm day:  

And some movie fun at Hallloween:

Happy Snapping!

@mreiffensein on Snapchat.

Don’t duplicate your message on multiple social networks


I get this request a lot so I thought it fitting to talk about using multiple social media networks (that many feel are identical) in their brand strategy.  However identical (or fraternal) you find two or more networks, they indeed differ, and require unique and strategic thinking when approaching each.

Too often I am asked about supporting one initiative on Twitter and then doing the same type of support on Facebook.  While complementing your campaign on various social channels is important, mirroring them will only get you poorer results.

For instance, promoting a Twitter chat on Facebook isn’t going to get you more chat participants.  People go to Facebook to see photos of their friends and to find interesting pieces of content that they can engage with.  If Facebook drove people off of their platform, they’d never maintain their sustainable business model of capturing your hard-earned attention at an average of 20 minutes each session (globally).

There’s a reason Twitter is a more publicly accessible platform, with categorical sorting of information (hashtags), than Facebook is. It’s designed for it.  So what do marketers have to watch out for?

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4 Tips to Kick off Your Social Media Contest

So you want to run a contest on social media. The task isn’t as daunting as it seems, so kick it off with these 4 must-dos to achieve success.

Consider your objectives 

Who are you trying to get to enter your contest and what is the objective? Is your goal # of entries or is it awareness about a certain product/service? Establish KPIs from the get-go so you know why you’re running a contest.

Know your contest’s channel – channel: singular!

There’s no point creating awareness about a Twitter contest through a promoted Facebook post. Target your message to the appropriate channel and ensure the contest message feels native and authentic to your channel.

It’s also easier to run a contest on a single channel, from an entry collection process to general participation. Don’t dilute it by including more than one social channel. It you’re running a hashtag contest on Twitter, don’t also include a Pinterest entry mechanism. Determine the optimal place for participation (comment, UGC photo) and select your channel wisely.

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The Three Things Vogue’s 15 Coolest Neighbourhoods Can Teach Us About Creativity


Vogue released its list of the world’s 15 coolest hoods – proudly, Toronto’s West Queen West is on there – and each area seems to have many things in common with the next: cafés, trendy bars, galleries, and a general artsy nature. Bustling districts like financial hubs or laid back suburban blocks do not make the cut. Why? Because it’s all about creativity. Freedom of expression, individuality, uniqueness and a rebellion against the mundane are all commonalities. By allowing creativity to dominate, once-misfit or forgotten pockets are earning their stripes. And it’s a lesson we all should learn.

Creativity isn’t always original. Fifteen global neighbourhoods that do not share a common postal code, let alone 1,000km radius, overlap with so many traits. Why? Expression is about originality, but the art of that expression is not rare at all. The risk-takers share a common drive with other risk-takers – to be a risk-taker. Creativity is more about taking risks. Don’t worry much about what others are doing, too.

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The One Crucial Practice To Thought Leadership Your Organization Can No Longer Ignore


Successful organizations are teeming with talent; those whose perspectives and individualities are the reasons why there were hired in the first place. However, organizations are not devoting enough effort or attention to giving their employees the platform to express their thought leadership to the public and, in turn, the chance to even more positively reflect your business’s brand.

The Follow Through is a crucial piece to sustaining thought leadership in your organization. Allowing and encouraging your talented staff to reflect on their opinions or discuss recent experiences (at conferences, in boardrooms, at the water cooler) that have happened to them in business increases your platform of expertise. Not to mention highlighting the brilliant minds themselves and their introspection on news and trends.

Did you send Alice to a summit on technology and innovation? Habit-forming follow through behaviours such as producing an article or video blog post-experience are important to foster in your employees whose experiences yield thought provoking responses. And you’ll have proprietary useful content to share with your stakeholders.

Follow through by setting up a 360 degree practice that allows your talented staff to create their own retrospective pieces following any type of experience related to your business and sustain a successful thought leadership practice in your organization.

Updates From the Social Front

It’s the last day of March and we’ve made it through the three worst months of the year, in terms of weather, that is.  On the contrary, these past three months (yes, it’s been that long since I’ve written a post, sadly) have been chock full of exciting happenings.

For one, I started a new role and left my life in advertising to bitter-sweet results.  I love my new job and the path I’m on, yet it was hard to leave the family I’d been a part of at JWT.  C’est la vie!

My sister is planning a big trip to move to London and is leaving in one week, so the past few months have been full of prep, packing, visa applications and dinner discussions about life changes.

I’ve been helping various friends and new acquaintances with their social media and branding, which has me very excited.  I’ll definitely keep doing this as a passion project.

So that is it! I will write more now that spring is here and I have settled in to my new role.

Try This 2-Step Exercise in Discovery


A few summers ago I travelled with my mom to St. John’s, Newfoundland. It was for the CCAE (the Canadian Council for the Advancement of Education) Conference. While I spent many of the days wandering through the charming town and jogging the narrow pathways cutting across the cliff side, my mom attended the sessions and joined me in sampling the finest East Coast breweries in the evenings. A perfect vacay (imo).

On the final day, I was able to join in for the conference’s Keynote session withJessica Holmes, famously known for being a cast member on The Royal Canadian Air Farce on CBC. Not only is Jessica extremely talented and funny, she’s also a gifted speaker and had us all enthralled with her personal tales of success during the time she spoke.

There was one particular exercise she asked us to do that stood out most for me and that I still tell people to try to this day. I want to share it with you.

Start by writing down the names of the three people you care about most.
Next to each of their names, write down the one quality you love most about them.

Once you’ve done that, scroll down.


A little further…


Ok great… stop.

When the room had completed this task, Jessica began to explain the significance.

“Each of the characteristics that you love most in the people you care about is actually one of your top traits,” she said. She explained that what we love most in others is what we try to apply most in ourselves.

I looked at mine. The three traits that best explained me were: humour, sanity and kindness. Ha! Sanity is what I get from my mom.

Try this exercise. It’s fun and gives you some insight into self-perception – something you may not have gathered from other self-discovery exercises. I still use it to this day when people ask me to describe myself. As hard as it is to talk about what you are best at, this approach always seems to work.

Melanie Reiffenstein is a specialist in brand experience. Follow her on Twitter@MelanieReiff or leave a comment!

Photo: Death to the Stock Photo

Ademoiselle’s 2014 in Review

I cannot wait to blow this blog out of the water in 2015! Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more to come!

Happy New Year!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.