Author Archives: evankalstad

Are Facebook Analytics “Creepy?


In a word, “yes.” Facebook Analytics are definitely creepy. 

A Facebook group can tell the age of the people that are visiting its site. These groups can tell not only what posts you comment on, but also the posts that you repost or even just the posts that you view. At a first glance, this would sound a little bit creepy to a facebook user. 

However, these analytics can be quite helpful to many of the involved parties. Once a Facebook group gets past the barrier of 30 “likes,” Facebook will start providing the group with free analytics. It calls these “Insights.” Facebook Insights tell the administrators more about the visitors to their pages than most facebook users would imagine. They can see reactions, audience reached, and audience demographics on a post by post basis. 

While some would argue that this is dipping into the realm of breaking personal privacy, I would argue that facebook does a relatively good job of what they call “anonymizing” the data. While “anonymizing” isn’t actually a word, facebook does do a good job of it, to the point where unless a customer “likes” a page, the group administrators cannot actually pick them out as an individual.

Also, these “insights” can do quite a bit to help improve facebook content at large. 

Facebook sees analytics as a good way for their customers to see how engaging different posts are and a tool that will help their customers hone their content to deliver more effective posts. In turn Facebook will benefit because with their feedback, groups start posting more interesting content. This free service is not just to help these groups, it is to improve their overall content and make Facebook more exciting.


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Canadians Finally Get Something Right!

If a Canadian tells you that he was “grabbing a double double at Timmy Ho’s and found a machine in the washroom that sold his favourite colour touque for only a loonie” you would likely be confused, eh? However, when you log onto Hootsuite (a Vancouver, BC–based social media management system) you will find an interface that is crystal clear. It also might be able to help your business.

McDonalds, Sony, Lamborghini, and 6 million other users are already taking advantage of Hootsuite. If it is so big, why haven’t you heard of it? Here’s why: Hootsuite isn’t a social network, it is a brand management system that helps companies manage their accounts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and a bunch of other social networks.

My favourite example of how this Canadian product can help my business is that it can time my posts and tweets. This means that I can have an employee work for 3 hours creating posts and then have them post automatically every 6 hours for the next 5 days. It also means that posting something after an event (like the beginning of St. Patrick’s Day or midnight on New Year’s Eve) no longer has to be done in real time. You can set a facebook post or a tweet to go off whenever you want!

Founded by CEO, Ryan Holmes (a Canadian), Hootsuite is a product that American’s are actually using (unlike Poutine, Coffee Crisps, and Katchup flavoured potato chips.) In addition to helpful tools like a “link-shortener” and custom analytics, Hootsuite’s main draw is that companies are able to distribute content and receive feedback from all of their social media outlets through one, simple dashboard. It doesn’t just save time, it enables companies to see a much clearer picture of what is going on in their social networks.

When you have a chance try out Hootsuite PRO. It offers a free 30 day trail and even if at the end of the trial you don’t think it is worth the $10 per month (USD) that they Canadians will charge you to use it, you get to keep all of the social networking content and feedback that you generated during these 30 days. Hootsuite also offers a free version with limited content and a vast “Enterprise” solution that 79 of the fortune 100 companies already use.

So next time someone tries to convince you that nothing good ever came from Canada, remember Hootsuite! This post dedicated to Pavlos Tomaras, a Canadian.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 2, Social Media Strategy for Companies

Getting high in Downtown Seattle? Legally? Since 2008?

Yes, as of December 6th, 2012 pot is now legal in Seattle. However, people have been getting high on 1st and Pike legally since 2008! With no prescription!

Where: Seattle Coffee Works
How: Off of their Coffee
Why: Seattle Coffee Works brews some of the most potent coffee in the world. The buzz off of their intensely-caffeinated brew surpasses even the high that potheads get off of certain vaporizers, zoom-tubes, and gravity bongs.

What is even more impressive than the caffeine content of their coffee is their online presence. That is saying a lot since their coffee is strong enough that it is beyond legal limits in certain countries. When I jumped online and bong (past tense of ‘to Bing’) “Seattle Local Coffee” I expected to see Starbucks pop up or at least Tully’s or Seattle’s Best. Not the case! Seattle Coffee Works comes up #1. Even when getting “Scroogled” on a simple search of “Seattle Coffee,” SCW comes up just after the Wikipedia article for coffee in Seattle.

What Seattle Coffee Works has done is developed an impressive online presence. They are on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, etc, etc, etc, they have an extremely active blog, an exciting, attractive website, and 339 more online outlets! Other coffee shops don’t do this. A typical coffee house, roaster, or slut-hut doesn’t even have their own facebook page. Many don’t even show up on Google maps. Seattle Coffee Works, on the other hand has capitalized in their absence and driven customers to their doors through free online advertising. Go check them out at or try binging them yourself.

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Filed under 2013 - Post 1