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Tavanberg's monthly round-up of ideas
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Hey, friends!

Could August be any hotter? In Toronto we’re all like…

But we’ve been trying to chill out by cheering on #TeamCanada at the Rio Olympics from air-conditioned venues. And we’ve been thinking cool thoughts by working on holiday content for our clients. (Merry Christmas?) Stay tuned for that!

Of course, we’re on top of our summer reading, too. Scroll through these stories with a chilled beer in your hand:

Fewer, smarter tweets for the win
A year ago, The Economist staffers pumped out 15 different tweets for each article published, but an audit in March revealed that casting such a wide net resulted in next to nil in terms of reach and traffic. Today, each article gets between three and five tweets in a move to be leaner and meaner on Twitter. The pub is also shaking up its social media elsewhere, by putting more resources into Facebook and moving away from Tumblr and Pinterest. The team even has four social media writers who work on Line, a messaging app with a stronghold in Asia. (Digiday)

Rebranding for Rio
Feed your Olympic fever with the story behind the Canadian Olympic Committee’s “Ice In Our Veins” branding campaign for Rio. This year, the COC, the organization that supports athletes, is laser-focusing on mobile with an emphasis on gifs, Snapchat (Team-Canada) and Vines. “We give our campaign athletes imagery and backgrounds to use on their different platforms, and we engage with them online,” says Derek Kent, the COC chief marketing officer. (Canadian Business)

This retailer is using Snapchat as its own TV channel
Kit and Ace, a luxury retailer headquartered in Vancouver, is known for its softly cut garments made from technical (i.e., sportswear) fabric. It’s betting that people are using Snapchat (kitandace) as a replacement for TV but aren’t getting the satisfaction of regular, predictable programming. So the company is foraying into TV-style soft-marketing episodes that venture beyond behind-the-scenes snaps into the world of regularly scheduled videos: Truth or Dare on Tuesdays starring company execs, and WTF Wednesdays highlighting high jinks at the Vancouver head office. (Digiday)

What marketers can learn from governments
Interestingly, international governments are particularly innovative when it comes to influencing people's choices without using laws or regulations. Alberta Venture reports that governments from the U.K. to South Korea are using behavioural science to “nudge” citizens in a certain direction. That may sound a bit 1984, but these techniques can be as simple as labelling a garbage can “landfill” to encourage people to think twice about pitching recyclables in the wrong bin. Proof positive that the right language really does matter. (Alberta Venture)

How a baby changed a corporate social strategy
American supermarket giant Kroger got the wake-up call to take back control of its social media engagement (an agency had been outsourced to manage it) after a baby was born in one of its Georgia stores. No one from Kroger or the agency had noticed this touching human interest story… except Jorie Mark, the then brand-new in-house social media manager, who spotted the emergency birth story on her news alert and turned it into a viral hit. She has since spearheaded a turnaround in strategy to promote user-generated content and genuinely connect with consumers. Here are three takeaways plus a video link from her presentation. (Smartbrief)

Bonus!
It’s free, it’s easy and it’s (almost) ubiquitous. So should you use Facebook instead of a custom website? Kat recently examined the pros and cons of using a Facebook business page as a primary website if you’re a small business in a story for the Globe and Mail.

 

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