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Category : Social Media Marketing

By George Smart

Case Study – Young’s Beers – 184 Years of Tasty Brewing

We recently concluded a paid social media campaign for Young’s Beers, one of our long-standing beer brands, to commemorate 184 years of tasty brewing. Young’s Beers had kindly decided to offer their punters the opportunity to redeem a free pint within any of the participating Young’s pubs and wanted to make the most of the opportunity by reaching out to other would-be members of the Young’s community. This was the first time that paid media activity of this kind had been used to boost the brand’s birthday celebrations, and we were excited to be given the opportunity to grow the community at a significantly increased rate when compared to regular organic growth.

Paid media campaigns conducted through Facebook allow for users to be targeted based on their interests as ascertained through their behaviour within the platform. This allowed us to structure and carry out a tightly targeted campaign, serving ads that both functioned as offer redemption mediums as well as page like accumulators to an audience we knew would want to hear what we had to say – have one on us! We targeted users who had displayed a proven interest in pub culture and real ale, with the goal of linking the online campaign directly to the pub culture, and drove ale fans of all ages into their local Young’s pub for the duration of the campaign.

The campaign was a great success, with the Young’s Facebook community nearly doubling in size in less than a week. We learned a lot about our new audience, and made some serious headway in connecting the brand to a younger generation of ale drinkers and pub goers.

Despite the campaign now being over I’d highly recommend any of the beers that Young’s has to offer. Starting in November, and for a limited time only, you can even get yourself a pint of the famed Christmas Ale!

By Brooklyn Doran

Collaborative Hustling for Musicians in the Social Media Age

The original version of this post was originally published on Sonicbids in 2014.
Brooklyn Doran is a digital executive at Tug Agency and a folk-musician based in Toronto, Ontario whose music is available worldwide via www.brooklyndoran.com

Let’s face it. We All know the hustle. Sometimes we find ourselves trying to market our music more than we actually have the opportunity to play it! If a tree falls in a forest, does it make a sound? If we shout into the Twitter void, does anyone see it if we don’t have followers?

Social Media is becoming one of the leading platforms for fans to engage with artists, and because of our ability to directly connect with fans and other artists, tools like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter have become important vehicles to launch emerging artists and be able to reach people beyond our immediate social networks.

With tools such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram becoming more and more integrated into the fabric of society, as musicians, we are able to use these tools to promote our music- not only locally, but also on a global scale- making it easier and easier to get our tracks listened to. We create a direct link into our lives as artists, to see what we are working on, and to be kept up to date on their touring, recorded work etc.

However, we are also in the age of “ME” in which News Feeds are saturated by bands all doing the same thing. “Come see my show!” “Look at my new video!” “Check us out on Bandcamp!” So… how do we make this work? How do we fight Facebook algorithms and trending hashtags to be seen by our intended audiences but while also not taking away from the work of our fellow artists?


What is that? It involves teaming up with other musicians and artists to not only promote your work but the work of others in the music community. The more creative you are in using these platforms, the more attention you will garner!

It’s simple. Band A shouts out Band B. Band B shouts out Band A. Both band A and B reach a larger market by hyping each other instead of just themselves.

Think about it! If we team together, all of our News Feeds will be filled with more love for bands and less “Look at me! Come to my show!” How refreshing is that?



Do you want more “Likes”, more download of your album, more views to your website, or more people coming out to your shows? You can definitely achieve ALL of these things through social media promotion and collaborative hustling, but identifying the one you want most, will help you think of the most creative ideas to achieve your goals.
Identify what artists are similar to you. Make sure the musicians and bands you have decided to work with have a similar ideology about music and the world. Once you start working with someone, you become associated with them- and therefore if they get into trouble, it reflects poorly on you.
People you’ve shared the stage with, people who’ve commented on your Soundcloud links, artists who’ve been reviewed alongside you on blogs. Try to extend your reach beyond your current social networks and find yourself with fans from all over the place, geographically!
Holding contests over Facebook, Instagram or Twitter- is an exceptional way to get organic “likes”. I know that most of us musicians are too poor to target paid likes through Facebook- and nowadays without “Boosting” your posts, it seems like some of your posts won’t even reach a fraction of your fanbase!

Teaming up with artists for a contest is a great way to achieve likes organically, because what you are doing is creating a larger network of fans by pooling all of your online reach. It all results in more clicks, which means more views.

In order to make it as a musician, there are a lot of people and organizations that are eager to lend a hand to show you support. I’ve had web-series and theatre companies willing to use my music, session musicians and producers willing to record for free, and filmmakers and local businesses sponsoring my video. I am absolutely floored by the kindness of people!
If you are offering something special or unique to businesses, artists, filmmakers etc. they are more likely to shout you out, or help you out later. What is important is creating a partnership as opposed to just asking for favors. A partnership could involve you posting about that local business, fashion line etc. online and using their hashtags without there being any direct return from those posts. The name of the game is, be a nice person, and experience those people’s niceness back. I am an avid supporter of local business, and because I’ve bought their products in the past, and they’ve seen my face, they are more likely to donate time in their venues, clothing, jewelry etc. to my shows and videos because they feel comfortable and know that I will promote them back, use their logo etc.
I know that as a musician, I tend to surround myself with other musicians almost exclusively. However, the people who are really going to do something for you is non-musicians. People who rarely post about music or shows get more attention when they do, because they haven’t oversaturated people with invites, recommendations etc. Playing shows in non-traditional spaces, like office buildings, retail establishments etc. is a great way or organically target people who you might not necessarily find in the “music scene” or at all of the regular haunts you may be playing!

Offering discounts to Arts workers, childcare workers, volunteer firefighters,  etc. and creating a theme that supports these people and shouts out what they do makes these people feel great about themselves, and in turn they’ll be more receptive to your music. (Just make sure to pick a theme that gels well with your music).

Recently a good friend of mine held a “Twin Peaks” themed show that invited audience members to dress up “Twin Peaks” style and had a successful event because they pulled in not only their own fans, but fans of that show.
In the end, creating an online community for your work is pivotal for creating grassroots momentum around your work. You’ll feel good that you’re helping out others AND you’ll feel good because more people will be listening to your tunes. And isn’t that the point, after all?

By Naomi Young

All New Insta-Ads!

Tug is now able to advertise on Instagram! As the development uses the existing Facebook Business Manager to create, target, monitor and measure campaigns, it means that it is easier for small and large businesses to buy ads on the platform. So for us at Tug, this creates exciting opportunities to advertise our clients in a new way, on Instagram.

This expanded offering allows action-oriented formats and is currently limited to two objectives: click to website and mobile app installs. The ads will have a specific call to action button linking offsite.


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By David Brooks

The Day Reddit Went Dark

Being a keen redditor, I was shocked this morning when I logged into Reddit to check my daily subs and the majority were set to private. It turns out overnight a large number of subreddits have gone into meltdown following the release of a Reddit member of staff named Victoria Taylor. Victoria was officially known as the company’s head of communications, but she was also in charge of the popular Reddit culture of AMA’s (ask me anything). Part of Victoria’s every day job was to organise and effectively manage these AMA’s, with the release however there was noone left to manage or support the subreddits who regularly host AMA’s. This has understandably upset a large number of subreddit admins and has resulted in a good number effectively going offline by going into private mode. A number of the largest subreddits who have gone offline include /r/askreddit, /r/gaming, /r/pics and /r/science.

The first subreddit to go offline was /r/IAMA, an admin of the subreddit named karmanaut explained their reason for going offline:

The admins didn’t realize how much we rely on Victoria. Part of it is proof, of course: we know it’s legitimate when she’s sitting right there next to the person and can make them provide proof. We’ve had situations where agents or others have tried to do an AMA as their client, and Victoria shut that shit down immediately. We can’t do that anymore.

Part of it is also that Victoria is an essential lifeline of communication. When something goes wrong in an AMA, we can call and get it fixed immediately. Otherwise, we have to resort to desperately try messaging the person via Reddit…Part of it is also organization. The vast majority of scheduling requests go through her and she ensures that we have all of the standard information that we need ahead of time (date, time, proof, description, etc.) and makes it easier for the teams that set up AMAs on both ends. She ensures that things will go well and that the person understands what /r/IAMA is and what is expected of them. Without her filling this role, we will be utterly overwhelmed.

Reddit or Victoria are yet to make an official comment but this is sure to have been a shock to the system!

By Brooklyn Doran

10 Things Every Blogger Needs To Start Getting Paid to Post

Here at Tug Agency, we outreach to a variety of bloggers/vloggers to increase brand awareness for our clients as well as to boost SEO and social media statistics. Blogs are an excellent tool, because they link potential customers directly with an experience or opinion about the product, attraction or brand. I know for myself that I’d be much more willing to buy a product based on a blogger’s review, than from just viewing an advertisement. Bloggers are often sponsored through free product or through paid postings to promote a product or host a contest from their sites. In exchange the company or brand often links to those blogs or reposts their content on social media- which in turn generates traffic back towards the blog. It’s a win-win situation for all- however, because of the volume of blogs out there, it is often harder for an emerging blogger to be seen by the agencies that provide free tickets, product etc. in exchange for a review.

Here are some tips that you can use to help optimize your blog so that you can start getting paid to post:

Social Media Followers

Most agencies that approach bloggers with product use a social listening tool to identify who to look into contacting. We usually begin by contacting bloggers & social influencers who have the highest follower counts across all platforms. Make sure you have a Facebook Page, Twitter, and Instagram to link back to your blog or YouTube channel. Connecting with other bloggers and using hashtags relevant to your content can help you gain more followers.

Regular Content

We want to see that you are posting regularly. This doesn’t mean that you need to be posting daily, or even weekly; but if we see that you haven’t posted in several months, we usually assume your account is inactive and take you off of our contact lists.

Contact Info

If you are interested in receiving tickets to exclusive events, products etc. it is important that your contact information is easily accessible. Instead of including a contact form on a separate page from your homepage, include your email address as text along the side bar of your homepage and within your posts. The less time an agency spends looking for your contact information, the greater the chance you will be contacted.

If you have a YouTube channel, make sure to include your contact information in the description bar of each video as well as in the “about” section of your channel.

Social Buttons

Make it easy for us to find all of your social media accounts in one place. That way all we have to do is click to see how active you are on each channel and how many followers you have. Including social buttons on your site can help do this, especially because the visuals are easier to find than a text link.

Buzzwords in Twitter Description

Social listening tools also help identify you via your Twitter description. If you are a beauty blogger include “beauty blogger” in your social media descriptions. Make sure to use keywords that reflect the content you are writing about. If you are a music blogger and want to be contacted by artists, management or PR teams, you must include the word “music” and “blogger” in your descriptions so that you are more easily searchable online.

High Quality Images

We live in a visual world, and clients now not only want to see text reviews, but they are interested in high quality images of their events, products etc. that they can use to further push their brand. If you end up taking an exceptional photograph, the brand may choose to use it in their marketing campaigns and link back to your site; driving additional traffic back to you.


Hosting contests or giveaways is an excellent way to drive more traffic to your site. If you are contacted to be sent items to be reviewed, it doesn’t hurt to ask if you could be send additional product to host a giveaway for your audience. At worst they’ll say “no” and at best they’ll applaud your for your initiative and keep you in mind when they have something else to send.

Shareable, Engaging Content

It is important for your content to be sharable. The ultimate goal for most clients is to increase brand awareness as much as possible, so asking questions and encouraging comments, likes and shares is ideal. Creating a conversation around your posting tells marketers that you are engaging and that working with you is positive. Campaign success is often measured through “impressions” meaning the amount of people who have seen your content. Engaging with the content is more valuable than just seeing it. Bloggers & social influencers who have the most engagement tend to be the ones who are paid to post.

Link-backs (Direct Links to The Products You’re Pushing)

When talking about a brand you’ve been contacted to review or post about, linking directly to the website of that brand or using their campaign hashtag makes your posts easier to track and measure for the companies you are working with. Because your post is easier to track, the teams will be more likely to retweet or share your content from the brand’s page.


Honesty is important. Many blogs post disclaimers stating that if they do not like a product they will not review it, or that they only post honest reviews. These disclaimers also state that they will write within the blog that they have been sent the product for free or have been paid. In some countries this is a requirement so please check with the regulations in your country before posting. Generally speaking though, your audience is smart. They will know if you are speaking positively about products that you might not like, and you will have less authority as a blogger if you lie in a review. Brands love to hear positive reviews and tend to post them on their own sites and social channels, but critiques of their product are also important for brand development and are very useful for these brands to hear about.

In conclusion, this is by no means a complete list. These are just some ideas that might help you leverage yourself and your content so that you are more visible to the companies who contact bloggers, vloggers and social influencers with product and paid postings.

By Jennifer Wood

Advertising on Mobile & Smart Wearables

Having acquired Instagram in 2012, an app that was once totally free of ads, Facebook has now revealed that it will be expanding its existing advertising offering on the photo-sharing site. Partner this with the ever-growing application of digitally enhanced or ‘smart’ wearables such as the Apple watch, and it’s clear that marketers will need to change their strategies with regards to mobile advertising and the way in which push notifications on devices are delivered to and used to connect with its users.


Essentially, brands need to get personal with their target audience. People are becoming less and less enthused by the consistent lack of tailored ads and notifications that are sent or appear on their device, which do not reflect their personal interests. Otherwise, users will continue to become bored and indifferent to irrelevant ads, notifications and the sheer amount of information that they receive within a digital world that is online 24/7. And ultimately as consumers, do we not have a right to be choosy? It’s arguable that positioning wearables as another advertising platform is not worth pursuing due to the lack of space brands will have to advertise, yet this is where push notifications come into play because they can, if implemented correctly, provide valuable information to consumers and still be a great method to grab people’s attention.

Social platforms are already looking at ways to ensure that ads are targeted to the correct audience. For example, Instagram has said that they will be working with their advertisers ‘to reach people on Instagram based on demographics and interests, as well as information businesses have about their own customers.’ They will also be introducing ‘direct response ads’ which include action buttons to allow viewers to buy, install or sign up to offers advertised within the app. The addition of these action buttons also allows for the user to interact with advertisers as they please. As to whether the expansion of ads on Instagram will have a negative effect on the app is hard to say, as long as advertisers stick to the foundations of how and why the Instagram audience, predominantly teens and young adults, use and love the app (as detailed here), whilst blending in with great aesthetic content that will appeal to them. A recent study by Facebook IQ has also revealed that ‘68% of Instagrammers ages 13–24 say they interact with brands regularly, be it by looking at photos, liking content, following a brand, visiting its website or engaging in some other way,’ further indicating that Instagram is a great platform for brands to interact with their audience.

It’s an exciting yet challenging time for Marketers who will need to re-think the way that that data is delivered to mobiles devices, as well as the differences in screen real estate, particularly for wearables. In particular, I’m excited to see how the advances in technology, such as the smart watch, will impact the digital advertising space and what this means for brands in the future.

By Brooklyn Doran

3 Emerging Canadian Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers to Watch


Recently at Tug Agency Canada, we launched a social outreach campaign for a major international beauty brand targeted at Canadian consumers. While approaching top-tier influencers is part of our approach, we also seek out influencers who deliver engaging content in interesting ways, those who post multiple times and those who have a direct communication through social media to their followers.
Getting brands featured on blogs is a very smart investment. By providing samples or a small fee, brands are able to create awareness surrounding their campaigns for very little cost and very high return. Beauty blogs, for example, have high authority in Google. This means that for product searches, consumers are likely to find blog reviews on the first couple of pages of results.


There are over 8,000 English language blogs dedicated to beauty globally in 2012. Blogs globally account for over 45% of all online beauty conversations and about 79% of consumers are spending 50% of their shopping time doing online research on the products before heading to the store to buy.
That being said, there are a LOT of bloggers that have tapped into these trends and identifying the right bloggers, the ones who will provide maximum engagement and who are doing something a little different from the rest of the online beauty & lifestyle community of bloggers.
Let’s take a look at some emerging Canadian influencers in the online beauty & lifestyle community and see what they’re doing that sets them apart from the crowd.

The Pretty Vain (Beauty & Style)

Especially when marketing to younger consumers, visuals are becoming more and more important in terms of engaging audience (and asking for that retweet, share or regram). Mix effortlessly cool style with impeccable photography and direct followers to your site through Instagram with some thoughtfully placed hashtags, and you’ve got yourself a blog that’s very lovely to consume.

The Cardinal Press (Lifestyle & Culture)


Emerging blogger, Nellwyn Lampert is doing a smart thing with her Toronto-focussed lifestyle and culture blog by not only engaging her readers with diverse and unique content, but by directing her readers to other notable writers through her series “Cardinal Points” and creating a Toronto-centric series called “What’s Up Toronto?” that shouts out local events her followers might be interested in attending. What this does is create an online community that is reciprocal- You shared my content on your blog, I’ll talk about you on mine.


Feeling Peckish? (Food & Lifestyle)

Feeling Peckish is an ingenious mashup that combines amazing, easy to prepare recipes inspired by the world of film. Julie Nolke is a food blogger/vlogger from Toronto whose videos are light-hearted and fun, and her food looks delicious! The combination of food and movies makes her accessible to more than just the online “foodie” community- opening her videos up to fans of film, comedy, food and more. She is more likely to have followers stumble onto her videos by searching for one of the films she features- and because of her cheery content, they’re more than likely to subscribe.

By Zoe Harrison

Responding to the earthquake in Nepal: Facebook shows us how it’s done

Social media is widely viewed as a means of lightweight entertainment or a casual way to connect with friends but last weekend it caught my eye for a different reason. After the terrible earthquake in Nepal, I’m sure many of you were left concerned for loved ones travelling the surrounding area and you may have received a notification letting you know that they’re safe. I did, and I thought to myself, ‘what a constructive way of utilising Facebook’s vast database’. It just shows, social media doesn’t have to be all shameless selfies and cute cat memes, good one Facebook!

So how does it work?

If it looks like you may be near a natural disaster, Facebook will ask if you’re safe. If you’re OK, all you have to do is tap the “I’m Safe” button to let friends and loved ones know right away. As I discovered, Facebook will let you know when friends say they’re safe. You can also check a list of friends who may be affected by the disaster. Such a simple mechanic that makes it so easy for people to let everyone know they’re safe with a click of a button.

Like all great ideas, this function came about organically. During the Japan earthquake and tsunami in 2011 Facebook noticed how reliant the affected became on social media and decided to develop an easier way for people to use the social channel to let their loved ones know they’re ok. They stated: “During that crisis, we saw how people used technology and social media to stay connected with those they cared about.”

You may also have noticed a “Donate Now” button appear at the top of your newsfeed. This function gives users the option to donate £10, £25, £50, £100 or a custom amount. They’ve also pledged to support relief efforts by donating a further $2 million on top of any money raised. All proceeds will go to International Medical Corps, which is operating mobile medical units to treat the critically wounded and dispense medicine.

In a recent blog post, Facebook stated: “By offering tools to help people donate to support those in the affected areas and check on loved ones, we’re hopeful that together we can promote safety and help urgent resources reach those who need them.”

So here’s to you Facebook! It’s a great to see a powerful, multinational company lead by example, so let’s all follow and help those who have been effected by this terrible disaster.

By Simon Jenkins

We are live… please don’t swear!

On Wednesday March 25th, I went along to #TwitterStrories at Camden’s Roundhouse. Formally Twitter4Brands, this (near enough) annual event is a celebration of the platform’s creativity, innovation and application. As we’ve come to expect with Twitter, the event is remarkably slick with a varied lineup of speakers from Twitter itself as well as brands and users all interspersed with short videos highlighting some amazing uses of the channel from across the world.

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Case Study – Young’s Beers – 184 Years of Tasty Brewing
Collaborative Hustling for Musicians in the Social Media Age
The Day Reddit Went Dark
10 Things Every Blogger Needs To Start Getting Paid to Post
3 Emerging Canadian Beauty & Lifestyle Bloggers to Watch
Responding to the earthquake in Nepal: Facebook shows us how it’s done
What a Twitter redesign tells us about their future
We are live… please don’t swear!