“A Picture is worth a thousand words AKA Adventures in Social Media Marketing!”



(Kodak Instamatic X-15, 1970)

I remember as a kid, my folks bought me one of these for my birthday. It was the latest in technology. The flash cube rotated and you got four flashes from it. Totally styling and real cheap, it was the perfect camera.

I would shoot a roll of film, get them printed and display my work.


(Horace Kepart, Hunter Library Special Collections)

I am sure you figured it out, this week’s lesson is “Instagram for Business!” (Alexander, 2016)

Instagram is a digital photo album and  quite amazing. The numbers are staggering; 500 million monthly active users, 95 million photos uploaded every DAY! And, 4.2 billion photo likes every 24 hours.  Yeah, perhaps there are some business opportunities here.

You and your business, have an opportunity to share rich media, high quality photos and video (60 seconds max) that show off your product, service or applications. There are so many things you can do.

Once again Keywords are important, because they are all searchable. This means write with purpose. Another way to find, or be found, is with hashtags. Instagram provides a page that lists the top hashtags, so go in and look for ones that match your business or product.

To setup you will need a business page on Facebook. In case you didn’t know, Facebook owns Instagram, and there is a fair bit of cross promotion. It is quite intuitive, but be sure and fill out everything on your profile, and start posting content.

Before you begin, the suggestion is to search companies you think might be doing a good job, and study what they do. Our instructor took us into Levis’ Instagram account and it looked fabulous. Great picture of people doing fun and exciting things, while wearing Levi’s.  It made me want to run out and buy a pair! Okay, maybe when it stops snowing.

When posting pictures, think outside of the box for some of them. Let’s use the example of a plumber. Images of a plumber aren’t always something you want to see.



But what about the end result? The plumbing crisis is over, and the family can once again enjoy clean, refreshing tap water.


(Tara Moore, Taxi, Getty Images, 2017)

A big part of Hired Gun’s (my company) work load is safety videos. I could post stills of safe work sites.


(Babchishin, 2015)

As you decide how you want to approach Instagram, the suggestion was to brainstorm content ideas. Make a list of products and services and then the different ways your product and services can be used. The example we saw was for Chobani Yogurt. What they did was not only present their yogurt, but also the different things you can create with their yogurt. They even went so far as to provide recipes.

An idea I really liked, was to ask your customers to post photos of themselves using your product. Talk about being able to engage.

You should create a schedule for posts and stick to it. If you decide to post every Tuesday and Thursday, then that is what you have to do. By doing this, you increase user engagement. Your followers know when to expect new content, and they will look for it. It will be easier for you to plan and also consider themes. TBT (throwback Thursday) is big, maybe inspirational Monday, creative Tuesday, What it’s only Wednesday, Thursday not sure I can make it, and weee Friday!  You may want to come up with your own.

Theme days have proven to increase user engagement. This is starting to sound like a lot of work, but not to worry; there is an app for that. It is called ScheduGram, and it allows you to schedule all your posts and carry them out without you. You can set it up in a couple of hours, once a week, easy breezy!

So you have a plan, you have a theme, you are ready for the next phase, the exciting one, the phase we have all been waiting for…UPLOAD!  Time to start posting pictures or video. I am, at best, a mediocre photographer, but Instagram has the tools to help you with that. I just downloaded an app they recommend called Layout. It helps group pics together in collages.

I have gone kind of nutty with it. It is fun.


(Ben Babchishin/Layout, 2017)

Whatever you do, there are tools to help maximize the impact. Once the photo is set, give it a caption and some context. The images above were taken while we filmed a music video for the woman on the right, Dale Ladouceur. You should tag the people in the shots, with the hope they will like, comment and/or share, which helps you reach more people. As comments come in, interact with people. It is all about Social Listening!”.

You can also upload video, but they have to be less than 60 seconds. I found another app that I really like called RIPL.  It allows you to edit together 8 stills of your choosing, add music and a sell banner that slides across. I would like to share what I created with you, but I am in the trial phase and can only upload to Facebook, twitter and Instagram. So I can’t put it into my blog until I upgrade from free to pay. There are so many apps out there, I really take my time before purchasing. If you are interested follow me on Instagram.


(RIPL/Ben Babchishin/Instagram, 2017)

You can modify easily, block inappropriate comments and add social media platforms and Hashtags.  Remember TopHashTags, it’s a good place to start.

You should also consider re-posting other people’s images, especially if you can add your own context to it. The easiest is to take a screen grab, but there are apps such as Insta Re-post for Instagram and Re-post for Instagram.  Make sure you credit the owner of the pic.

The analytics are easy to access and to the point. At the bottom of your post is a caption that states “View Insights.” You click on that and you see the number of likes, comments, impressions, reach, engagement and who has saved the image. It is an easy way to gauge success of each post.

Make sure you follow the Instagram Blog for business purposes. You will find case studies and tips for business using Instagram.  You can also buy ads that will place your posts on the walls of people that don’t follow you.  You can run campaigns on both Facebook and Instagram. You will have to use the Facebook Ad Manager and you need to have a Facebook Business Account. I will talk more of this in future blogs when we start delving into the world of Facebook.

Instagram will walk you through how to embed your posts on your website and add an Instagram badge.  And don’t forget to follow Instagram for business on Instagram. It is very visual and stimulating.

That’s it for now, got to run, I need to go out and get way more photos if I am ever going to keep up!

Next lesson is a big one, “Facebook for Business!”.

Till next week!





Alexander, A. (2016, 11 03). Instagram for Business. Retrieved 2017, from Lynda.com: http://www.lynda.com

Babchishin, B. (2015). Safety Hat. Fort McMurray.

Ben Babchishin/Layout. (2017). Music Video Collage.

Horace Kepart, Hunter Library Special Collections. (n.d.). Photo Album. Cullowhe, NC, USA.

Kodak Instamatic X-15. (1970).

Lamb, B. (n.d.). Plumbers buttcrack.

RIPL/Ben Babchishin/Instagram. (2017). Hireed Gun Promo.

Tara Moore, Taxi, Getty Images. (2017).












“link-age: the action of linking or the state of being linked,” AKA Adventures in Social Media Marketing!


(Babchishin, 2009)

Guess what this week’s topic was?  Yup, we explored LinkedIn. I have been on LinkedIn since 2009.  I’ve used  almost all social media platforms at one time or another,  I have just never used any of them well.

The actual title of this lesson is, “LinkedIn Profiles for Social Business Success!”(Verdonck, 2017)

I have known for a while, that LinkedIn is widely thought of as a B2B (Business to Business) platform. I have realized that this is probably the best social site for me and my business.

Things to remember when setting up your LinkedIn page are:

-Quantity of connections. It’s true, the more the merrier.

-Quality of connections. Unless the connection is directly related to what you do they might not be the right choice as a connection.

-Participation, you get what you put in. We have heard this before; Social Media Marketing is a two way conversation.

Alright, let’s build it. An interesting fact is that 90% of LinkedIn visitors only go to sites with a picture. This is a tough one for me, the pic needs to be professional and ooze authority. I get that, but I also need to represent my artistic side, it is how I define myself. So with that said, I need your help in deciding which photo I should use for my LinkedIn profile. Below are 3, let me know which one you think would work.

  1. Image may contain: 1 person, beard, eyeglasses and closeup


2.  Image may contain: 1 person, eyeglasses and beard

3. Image may contain: 1 person

Next up is the headline. It is important to remember that everything on your LinkedIn profile is searchable. So what does that mean? Yup, your right, you need to make sure you are using the right Keywords.  First up, you need to tell them who you are and what you do. Do some corporate branding or list accomplishments like perhaps you have written a book. And add something personal. Our instructor uses “Chocoholic” and he says “You will be surprised by how often that one starts a conversation.” (Verdonck, 2017)

So in a nutshell:

-Why you.

-Explain what you do.

-Share what you can do for them.

-Use something personal, perhaps thought provoking or a conversation starter. Soon as you have something in common with your connection, the relationship grows. I am still working on mine. For the personal element I thought of “Music Lover-I will judge you by what you listen to!”  Maybe that is a bit harsh?

It is important you fill out every aspect of the LinkedIn Profile. Where are you located, what industry are you in, how do they contact you; email, telephone, DM. Include social media info. Add awards, certifications, or any patents you have. Include projects and list the relevant members of these projects. Talk about any courses you might have taken, volunteer work and populate your sight with rich media. Perhaps you write an article, this gets you noticed. Include photos and video that further your story.  Remember if you share from someone else, make sure to add your own context.  Once you are in your profile the options are everywhere.

I took the opportunity to share a video I did for the Neurosurgery Kids Fund. It was a fund raiser, and I have doctors, nurses and sick kids doing a flash mob/Lip Sync. It was so endearing it opened everybody up to the cause. I am also proud to say, it was such a feel good piece it ended up on Ellen DeGeneres YouTube channel.



(Babchishin, Ben Babchishin)

Next are the final two elements, perhaps the most important parts of the LinkedIn profile. Our instructor asked “What is the element that people screw up, the most?” It’s the summary. You have 2000 characters and need to make them count. You start with your corporate plan and company overview. Be specific about what you do but leave out the details that will come in the experience segment. Explain what you want people to do and tell them what you don’t do.

I am struggling with this because I really like my summary and don’t want to change it. It is a problem with writers; we fall in love with our own words.




(Babchishin, 2009)

I know, I know, I will revise; it doesn’t reflect anything I have been talking about.  It has been  quite an eye opener; I have been on LinkedIn for a long time but hadn’t maximized its power. As I move forward in my social media journey, I will definitely come back and tell you all about what has worked for me and what hasn’t.

The other really crucial part of your profile is your resume.  Your resume should include one or two paragraphs about your company, explain what you do, and why people should get in touch with you. Share your responsibility and your achievements. Talk about your results. Remember Keywords.

We are winding down, but there are a few more things to mention. Everything is about you becoming an expert, a credible source that people want to connect with and who they trust. You might want to consider offering free tips. You can do this in an article. We talked about media rich content. Your articles could be about your area of expertise. Concentrate on your title, use specifics and be concise; you only have 300-500 words. If it is impressive, LinkedIn will share it. Oh and remember, be conversational.

Bert Verdonck the instructor really likes discussion groups; he calls them “the heat of engagement!” (Verdonck, 2017) They become opportunities to answer questions, and build connections.

I started this lesson just a few days ago, and I am surprised by the amount of tweaks I have done to my profile. I added classes, experience, projects, location, contact info and I am still working on my summary and resume.

As I have said before, it is always important to get feedback, so please let me know what you think of this week’s blog and comment on my LinkedIn profile. Feel free to connect.

Next up is “Instagram for Business.” I enjoy Instagram but don’t have a clue how to make it work.


Till next Week!




Babchishin, B. (n.d.). Ben Babchishin. Retrieved from Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/home/myvideos/page:1/sort:date/format:video

Babchishin, B. (2009). Ben Babchishin. Retrieved 2017, from LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-babchishin-dgc-27334815/

Verdonck, B. (2017, 01 30). Linkedin Profiles for Social Business success. Retrieved 10 26, 2017, from Lynda.com: https://www.lynda.com/LinkedIn-tutorials/LinkedIn-Profiles-Social-Business-Success/512777-2.html


The New Boob Tube AKA Adventures in Social Media Marketing.

The adventure continues. This week I was able to learn more about my favorite platform. YouTube is considered the second largest search engine online, next to Google. I have wasted many an hour on YouTube as one video leads to another.

“Top 5 Tips for your YouTube Channel!”  (Alexander, 2014)

Ultimately you create a YouTube channel for 3 purposes.

  • Share Content.
  • Build a Community.
  • Make Money.

I’ve had a YouTube channel for a long time. It is where all my digital video goes. I have described it as a portal to the work of Hired Gun Productions.


A lot of what was discussed I already knew, but there was a few good ideas. For example, it was suggested that you play around with keywords, using different descriptions on YouTube than on your website. I thought that was interesting. And I now know a lot about Keywords! I also found out about a new keyword tool, Wordstream. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also  important and YouTube is the only search engine that still recognizes metadata, so your tags are crucial for success.

Something I had never considered was linking common videos, so one leads into another. Then there is more opportunity for the viewer to continue watching and because of this, there is a better chance that they will return. Makes sense, so, I made a playlist for my “Father Time Series.” If you chose to watch, please note  the series contains adult themes and language.



Another suggestion is that you use an intro video. All I have is a demo. This will have to do right now till I can create something that describes who I am and what I do. Once again, be forewarned the demo contains adult themes and language.

(Babchishin, Ben Babchishin)

Finally, it was suggested that you subscribe to other YouTube channels, perhaps a competitor and watch for innovation. There is always something you can learn from others.

Short and sweet this week, next week will be a bit more intense as we move through the inner workings of LinkedIn.

Till next week!



Alexander, A. (2014, 10 7). Top 5 tips for YouTube Channel. Retrieved 2017, from Lynda: http://www.lynda.com

Babchishin, B. (n.d.). Ben Babchishin. Retrieved October 20, 2017, from YouTube: https://youtu.be/6jjdWMcqu2g

Babchishin, B. (n.d.). Ben’s YouTube Channel. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBD4dNtuSF2x2YanK7DOkVw?view_as=subscriber

Babchishin, B. (2017, October 20). Hired Gun Productions is.. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada: Ripl.





What? Can you say that again? Sorry! I wasn’t listening. AKA Adventures in Social Media Marketing!

Sssh! Quiet! Can you hear that? The silence is deafening. The silence can also be detrimental to your business. Most businesses have a marketing plan that defines the demographic and creates marketing solutions.

When you approach the digital realm you have to make sure that your conventional blinders are off, otherwise you might not hear the noise and that could be damaging to sales and your company.

I keep referring back to one statement in “Groundswell,” that has been an epiphany for me. It is also in my opinion the most important reason for social listening, “your brand is what your customers say it is!”

(Bernoff, 2011)

Image result for mind blown cartoon


Social Listening is research, monitoring, and conversations with the media, influencers, customers, your employees and the competition.  It is a form of business intelligence.

One of the easiest ways to engage in social listening is twitter; you can search for all sorts of information, look for #hashtags #keywords #conversations, all relevant to your company. You may even want to check in with your competition.

Image result for spy wiretapping cartoon


You can also search hash tags, keywords, conversations, all types of things relating to your company and industry on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Interact with customers in a meaning full way. React to suggestions, ask for advice, don’t be afraid of mistakes, you can learn from mistakes. And know that if you take a customer’s concern and offer solutions, not only have you solved a problem, chances are you have gained a lifelong customer who will spread your word. You know “Word of Mouth on Steroids!”

(Maxwell, 2016)

It’s important to think outside of the box. Search out failures in your industry and find out what is considered a failure by your customers. Don’t forget to study the way they speak, their language becomes keywords and phrases which can then be applied to an “AdWords campaign” (https://wordpress.com/posts/benbabchishin.wordpress.com, 2017)

The different forms of searching you can do are endless. 93% of online activity starts with a search, so type in some of your keywords and see what auto suggestions appear in the pop down. Once you start looking for places to listen you will see them everywhere, make sure you take of advantage of this and engage in conversation with your customers.

Social listening can be made even easier with an APP. Google has “Google Trends” and there are things like “DUCKDUCKGO,” or TalkWalker.com, just Google social listening apps,



The best part, all this social listening can be handled through Hootsuite!

Social listening will be the start of my social media marketing plan. It seems so common sense. Find out what your customer wants and give it to them, what could be easier?  The only catch is that once you start, you can never stop. A bit like the Hotel California!



Some of you will get this reference, some not. If you don’t, you’re too young! It’s also a great segue to next week’s lesson, “Top 5 Tips for YouTube Channels.”

Till next week!




Bernoff, C. L. (2011). Groundswell. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Eagles, T. (n.d.). Chili World. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqPtz5qN7HM

Google. (n.d.). Google Trends. Retrieved from https://trends.google.com/trends/explore

Henry, d. M. Spies. ESL Resources.

https://wordpress.com/posts/benbabchishin.wordpress.com. (2017, October). Retrieved from https://wordpress.com/posts/benbabchishin.wordpress.com

LukeSkyz23. Mind Blown. DeviantArt.

Maxwell, M. (2016, August 8th). Lynda.com. Retrieved October 2017



Orwellian Ideas for the Digital Age, AKA Adventures in Social Media Marketing.


This week’s lesson was titled “Google AdWords Essentials!”  It was insightful, revealing and mind-blowing. It was also frightening. It is incredibly precise, and an extremely effective marketing tool for the digital age. (Batesole, 2015)

Google AdWords is Google’s online advertising platform and everything we learned was to maximize marketing efforts.

The term most common with AdWords, is “Pay per Click!” and it basically means if someone does a Google search, clicks on your ad, you pay for it. Simple concept, or is it?

Getting started is relatively easy; you just enter “Google AdWords” in Google.

Image result for adwords


The rest is quite intuitive. Just follow the steps.  AdWords consists of 5 tiers.

  • Account
  • Campaigns
  • Ad groups
  • Keywords
  • Ads

First you set your account, your domain. Then campaigns, you will have multiple campaigns. You make decisions at this stage, what you want to accomplish, how much you want to spend. At this point you need to have developed a plan consisting of 4 elements: the objective, the motivation, the effort and the Key Performance indicator or KPI.

You will also have multiple ad groups. This is how you find what is working and what isn’t.

Keywords are essential. When your customer needs something and they decide to Google it, you need to know the words they will use so you can incorporate that in your ad, and ensure your ad appears when your customer is in the right mindset.

It is suggested that the whole process will take 3 months to perfect. The 1st month is needed so you can examine the data and determine what worked, what didn’t and tweak from there. The 2nd month a little more of the same, the 3rd month, your AdWords marketing plan should be working at its peak. You need to go back regularly and check what is still working and what isn’t, because it is always changing. It’s important you understand your ROI, (return on investment), so that your expectations are appropriate.  ROI is so important there is an entire lesson dedicated to it later in the course.

Google does make it easy. If you know what you’re doing, you will have great results and if you don’t that’s okay as well, Google has a number of tools to help you with your campaign, Ad groups and Keywords.

Once you have gone through the process of setting up your account, you will notice you have created a dashboard. This is where all the information you need about your campaigns will be at your fingertips.

 Image result for AdWords


You are also going to want to link your Adware account to Google Analytics. By doing this, your data is as complete as it gets. It analyzes everything about your campaigns. The tool tab on your dashboard will help you set this up, as well as giving you access to other valuable aids.

Image result for adwords


There is a lot involved in creating your AdWords marketing plan. If you just don’t have the time, you can use AdWords Express, a tool that will do it all for you. Avoid this if you can, because you are the best at picking the right keywords.

Keywords are the language of your customer. You discover this by listening.  Our next class “Social Listening for Marketers,” will hopefully teach me how to do this. The example they used makes it clear. Someone is looking for another vehicle, and different keywords got a different amount of hits.

Pre-Owned Vehicles -1000 hits

Used Cars-6000 hits

It reinforces the need to use the conversational voice online. It also helps to be specific and you should organize by teams. The example they used is; don’t sell boots, but rather, sell safety boots, snow boots, and rain boots.  You need to give the product your selling context.

You should use the Keyword Planner. It is a workshop to help create a strong list of effective keywords. The detail in this process is so precise, I am not sure I will completely understand it until I start using AdWords myself.

There are 5 keyword options: Broad Match, Broad Match Modifier, Phrase Match, Exact Match and Negative Match.

With Broad Match you hit the most people, but they might not be a customer. You need to remember, every time the person clicks your ad, customer or not, you pay, thus Pay for Click!

Broad Match Modifiers allow you to better target your customer with specifics. Phrase match requires the search to use the exact order of your keywords. Exact match is self-explanatory and Negative Match can filter out irrelevant traffic. The tools available seem endless; the data is huge and again precise. Everything is designed for success.

When you get to the actual writing of the ad you are allowed 2 headlines, a web address, and a description, let them know what they will find on your website.

There are 6 good tips for creating ads:

  • Highlight your Unique Selling Position (USP); what makes you stand out from your competitors?
  • Have a call to action; they need to know what to do.
  • Use sale terms; today only, discounts, and 25% off.
  • Match ads to keywords.
  • Match ads to landing pages. If your ad talks about a 25% discount on hotel rooms, when your customer clicks on the link he should be on the page for the 25% discount, not the home page of your website.
  • Experiment with different ads using different keywords and phrases. Google will rotate them and then provide data on which one performed better.

There is so much to share in just one blog on that, I won’t even try. The only true way of learning all of this is by doing it. Because once you have done a campaign, you will appreciate how powerful a tool “Google AdWords,” is!

While watching the film for this lesson, I had a frightening observation, If Google, Facebook and YouTube got together they would own us! They may already?

On that bright note, I will leave you. Next week is another exciting lesson called “Social Listening for Marketers.”

Please feel free to leave your comments.



Adwords, G. (n.d.). Google AdWords. Retrieved from Google.

Batesole, B. (2015, June 20). Lynda.com. Retrieved 2017





Adventures in Social Media Marketing

Part 2:

This week’s lesson was extremely relevant to me, since I run a small company. The lecture was “Social Media Marketing for Small Business.” (Lynda.com, 2017)

If you are going to participate in Social Media, it is important to understand it. I’ve often thought social media seems quite basic and  one of the first things the lecturer said nailed it. “Social Media is Word of Mouth on Steroids!” (Lynda.com, 2017)

Social Media is a nuanced form of conversational marketing, a two way street where you find out what your customers need and work toward satisfying that need. Where you share content with your customers in the hope they share it with their connections, thus word of mouth on steroids. You tell someone, they will tell two people and they will tell two people and so on.

Social Media is all about the content and includes some powerful tools such as: blogs, photos, white papers, all sorts of expression including what I do, video.

Image may contain: 1 person

Social Media has new lingo such as the word content, key words and tags, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and mobile. You have to take the small screen into account. Did you know that a majority of social media is consumed on your smart phone? So whatever you do,  it better be compatible with the device you customer tends to use.

Most people are on at least one social network with many on multiple. When I started Hired Gun Productions I tended to stick to Facebook but I have since learned a better network for me is LinkedIn. I am also starting to have success with both Instagram and Twitter.

Facebook seems to be the most popular but the days of posting it and they will come, are over. Organic Posts don’t have the same reach and some paid promotion will be needed. Facebook, like twitter now offers live streaming. This is an exciting development but it is dangerous. You have to be prepared and don’t go off half cocked, because that can quickly backfire on you.

Instagram is also an interesting choice. I am just starting to utilize it. High quality images, posting at least once a day and making sure to reinforce your brand.

Twitter, as mentioned has live streaming and it also allows you to reach a large number of people. You have to remember within that large number is the haters.

LinkedIn is also being called “The Wall Street Journal of Social Media!” (Lynda.com, 2017)

Pinterest is good for lifestyle content and targets primarily women while Snapchat is where you go when you want to find the 35 and under demographic.

There is a movie that came out in the nineties called “Nell, starring Jodie Foster. She plays a hermit out in the woods who when discovered and reintroduced to society says “World Too Big!” (Apted, 1994)

This is how I am feeling, there are so many options and if you can’t afford to hire help, how do you manage it. Well, there is an answer, CMS, A Content Management System. I signed up for Hootsuite and am stilling trying to figure it out.

(Babchishin, 2017)

Hootsuite will allow me to access all my social media platforms at once. It is a good place for an editorial calendar, I can pre-plan posts that will just happen and a whole bunch of stuff I will be telling you about in future blogs.

These are some of the possibilities, and how you use them will be determined from your interaction with the Groundswell.

Groundswell the book, is required reading in this course and there are some incredible insights. One that jumped out at me and is in keeping with the idea of social listening is “Your brand is what your customers say it is!” (Bernoff, 2011)

This is a complete paradigm shift for me. Black is white, cats and dogs living together. I have always been protective of my brand, not sure how I feel about giving it up to my customers. I guess one foot at a time.

Social Media is starting to slowly make sense to me. There has been light bulb moments, mind blown realizations and so, so many ideas. But the real question is “How will we engage our customers, and how will engagement grow over time?” (Bernoff, “Groundswell”, 2011)

I have narrowed down my networks. I plan on utilizing LinkedIn, Facebook and a bit of Instagram. But before I do any of this I need to develop a strategy. This strategy needs to have goals and a way to measure the success of these goals. I plan on starting with social listening. I can study habits, start discussions and find out what my competitors are doing.  Once I know this I can develop a strategy and then start implementing.

I like creating content, I like sharing content and I like feedback on the content.

I just need to remember a few things, like social media is a two way conversation. I not only talk, but I have to listen, and act on what my customers are saying. And I need to come up with a code of conduct and set of rules on how my brand is presented. Right now I do all my own social media, but as the contracts start rolling in, I will probably have to hire someone to help out. It will be important for them to know how Hired Gun should be represented. I need to remember creativity and storytelling are essential and I have to remember the 1/3 rule of publishing content:

1/3 is content about my brand.

1/3 I sharing posts of others, making sure I add my own context to the share.

1/3 building relationships.

It is always important that I am sharing the right kind of content. I need to ask myself is the content what my customers asked for? I need to speak in a human voice, I need to “solve a problem and surprise and delight my customer.  Hmmm, “Here is your safety video customer, I see you are delighted.” Delight might be too strong a word. (Lynda.com, 2017)

In closing I must remember the 3 P’s; I am a Publisher, Producer and Publicist.

Image may contain: one or more people, screen and indoor

This is what I learned this week. Next week, woohoo “Google Adwords Essentials!”

Because of the importance of social listening, I would like to hear your comments about this blog. What you like, what you don’t like and what would make it better for you?


Till next week!



Apted, M. (Director). (1994). “Nell” [Motion Picture].

Babchishin, B. (2017). Ben Babchishin. Retrieved from Hootsuite.

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). “Groundswell”. In C. L. Bernoff, Groundswell (p. 78). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Bernoff, C. L. (2011). “Groundswell”. In C. L. Bernoff, “Groundswell” (p. 71). Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Lynda.com (Director). (2017). “Social Media Marketing for Small Business” [Motion Picture].



Adventures in Social Media Marketing!

I have gone back to school. After over 30 years I am gracing the hallways of advanced learning. I am not really going to class, I do most of the course online, but you get the point. I am an old guy in a new land. It’s a fish out of water type of tale!

I’m in week three and from this point on I will be discussing what I learn in the form of a blog. This week’s lesson is “Learning to Write Marketing Copy.” (Lynda.com, 2017)

I was intrigued, I have been a copywriter for over 30 years and I was wondering if you can teach an old dog new tricks. As it happens you can, but I didn’t find a lot of new in this tutorial

Image result for copywriting cartoons

(Dubowski, 2017)

In the overview, they talked about the different types of copy, the different styles and mediums. Nothing earth shattering here, but solid information.

I had a bit of a chuckle when the instructor suggested, when writing go to a quiet office, shut off phones, do not allow distractions for 4-5 hours while you write. This fellow obviously hadn’t worked in a radio or television copy department. I imagined sauntering over to the creative director and saying “Yeah, I am writing this afternoon,  4 maybe 5 hours, I will be going to my quiet place,  please hold my calls!” It is a great idea in theory just not very realistic.

When I write I tend to not do it in front of my computer. I write while I drive, while working out, or even when I am sitting on the john. By the time I get to my computer, most of the copy is done in my head, or at least the structure of the piece.  This is what I think he meant when talking about creating a plan.

Image result for copywriting cartoons

(Shutterstock, 2017)

The good stuff was the rules; sentence lengths, paragraph lengths and the idea that every 3-4 paragraphs you should break it up with a headline or a photograph.

I have always believed that copywriting is actually rewriting. You sort of puke out the first draft and then the work begins. Your headline, your hook is a crucial element in copywriting and now with the web there are services that allow you to test the strength of your headline. Services like the Google Consumer Survey.

Image result for copywriting cartoons

(Luethi, 2017)

I would have liked the session to focus exclusively on Social Media Copywriting, but it wandered a bit into other forms. I suppose that is alright. Never hurts to have a refresher.

The last segment dealt with rewriting existing copy. The thing to remember when doing this is that you are acting as an editor and not the writer. You look for bloated copy, unnecessary words, striving to make the message concise, to the point, making sure the reader understands.

It helped me when they talk about a writing ratio:

70% is your basic, need to be in there copy. 20% is something just a bit different, a different style, a different idea. 10% is innovation. Try something new and different and if it works it can move up to larger parts of your writing ratio.


Social Media Copy is talking; it is a conversation and not just passive words on a page.My wife is an instructor at NAIT and she teaches copywriting for radio and television. She suggested I check out a blog called “The Belligerent Copywriter’s Guide!” Be warned it isn’t updated very often and it uses nasty language at times, but it is a really good read.

The one suggestion they had which I liked, was starting a word bank. This word bank consists of words and phrases that can be used with a specific client and can become a style guide.

When I look at everything I’ve learned this week I think the most relevant to me and my company Hired Gun Productions is using the active voice when writing. I like talking and now I can do it in my copy.

Next week the topic is Social Media Marketing for Small Business.









Dubowski, M. (n.d.). Good start, needs more Gibberish. Google.

Luethi, C. (2017). Headlines attract attention. Words by Cornelia .

Lynda.com. (2017). Learning to Write Marketing Copy. NAIT.

Shutterstock. (2017). Copywriting.