How Amazing Race Canada contestants use Twitter to promote their personal brand

When it comes to promoting your personal brand, it’s easy to get caught up in hectic, overly-complicated strategies.

We understand that you want to make a great impression, especially when it comes to promoting yourself on social media such as Twitter. That’s why we’ve boiled it down to three fundamental branding principles: engage, surprise, and delight!


If you take anything from this, remember that to be successful in social activities (both online and off), you need to engage people. Join discussions about topics in which you’re interested, ask questions of industry leaders, or even pose questions to your followers. People are more likely to engage with you if you engage with them.

Nat Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson from The Amazing Race Canada are a good example of a pair constantly and consistently engaging their fans by asking and answering questions:


Another way to use Twitter to promote your personal brand is to do something unexpected. Followers are more likely to take notice when they’re surprised or see something out-of-the-norm. Think outside the box for ways to increase positive attention associated with your personal brand.

Give your followers something unique and personal, something that lets them know more about you in an unexpected way.

Rex Harrington of The Amazing Race Canada does an excellent job of this by providing tiny peeks into his life, and his extensive dance career in this amazing “Throwback Thursday” (#TBT) post:


No one wants to feel their time is being wasted with boring updates, or that they’re not important. That’s why it’s important to make sure that everyone has a positive and enlightening experience with your brand.

Again with an Amazing Race Canada example, Natalie Spooner delighted one of her followers by wishing her a happy birthday. It’s a small gesture but one that can have a big impact, and encompasses all of the Engage, Surprise, and Delight principles.

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Amazing Race Canada (S2, E3): Spooner and Mikkelson score a hat trick, Hong Kong keeps fans entertained

Spoiler Alert!!!

For the first time in Amazing Race Canada history, the show left Canada in last night’s episode.

Contestants headed out to Hong Kong and because of the long-haul flight, teams were on an even playing field — except Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson, who had an “express pass”.

Amazing Race Canada


Social media interaction the day of the show was once again high. Though there was an eight-per-cent drop in activity from last week, compared to episode three from the previous year there was a 20-per-cent increase in activity.

This increase in activity this year can be explained by the increased social media interaction of contestants, sponsors, and the show itself.

Air Canada’s Win the World contest and interaction during the show generated a large amount of activity: Almost seven per cent of all tweets mentioned Air Canada.

Not only did hockey Olympians Spooner and Mikkelson win the leg of the race for the third time (referred to as a “hat-trick” by some hockey-savvy viewers), they also received the most attention on Twitter by being mentioned in 18.8 per cent of all tweets. The hat-trick was mentioned in 3.7 per cent of all tweets.

Obviously their celebrity status is a factor in their Twitter popularity, but they also genuinely engage with viewers by asking questions in reference to the show to solicit a response.

During the show they utilized their “express pass” to skip a challenge. So in the name of interactivity, the team posted a question to their fans:

Other contestants leveraging Twitter and other social media are also making an impact with fans: Rex Harrington & Bob Hope were mentioned in 8.4 per cent of all tweets, and Cormac Foster & Nicole Foster were mentioned in five per cent of all tweets.

Both host Jon Montgomery and the show have also done their parts on social media. Montgomery tweets during all episodes and the Amazing Race Canada tweets interesting facts about the destinations, which drives up fan interest.

In this week’s episode, Montgomery stated that Hong Kong is home to 300,000 Canadians. The Amazing Race Canada tweeted this fact, which resulted in more than 20 retweets or references to this.

CTV, the network of the Amazing Race Canada, also used the show to help promote Masterchef Canada with a guest appearance from Alvin Leung.

Both Alvin, CTV, and Masterchef Canada also made use of social media. In fact, 2.2 per cent of all tweets made reference to the guest appearance.

The likely big difference in social media activity during the show this week was the lack of a Canadian destination: Featuring Canadian destinations on the show seems to encourage local interaction from those who live within the destination itself.

This might account for the slight drop in activity from last week’s episode.

Last week, Tofino tourism groups were involved on social media during the show. This week, however, a promotional opportunity was lost by Hong Kong tourism and business groups.

The various Hong Kong tourism groups seemed unaware that show was in Hong Kong.

Even the Hong Kong-Canada Business Association, which has an active Twitter account, could have engaged during the show to drive up interest.

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Redblacks bring football (and a win) back to the capital

The Ottawa Redblacks played their inaugural game Friday. There were a few stumbling blocks and some old rivalries were renewed, but the team was ultimately the star of the show as they won their home opener in a nail-biter.

We’ve tracked mentions of “Redblacks” over the past month or so, and last Friday the team was mentioned more than 11,000 times between 4 p.m. and midnight.


Twitter lit up just after 9 p.m. as the Redblacks’ quarterback, Henry Burris, led the team on a last-minute drive to set up a field goal to clinch the comeback victory.

The spike at the end of the game accounted for over ten per cent of all tweets during the period.

There were, however, a few hiccups in the first game at the brand new TD Place. This included issues with ATMs and the women’s washrooms, while some of the concession stands also ran out of beer:

The win seemed to smooth things over, though, and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group said they would work to fix the issues for future games.

The game also saw the revival of the north side-south side rivalry, which harkens back to the days of the Rough Riders.

Overall, fans seemed to have a great night and everyone (with a few exceptions) seems happy to finally have football back in the nation’s capital.

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Redblacks opener provides PR bonanza for Ottawa

The opening home game of the Ottawa Redblacks season hasn’t even begun, and already the city of Ottawa has received tremendous exposure on social media in the lead-up to the much-hyped event.

We’ll be running a more in-depth post on Monday, but in the meantime here are some fast facts on the exposure tonight’s event has already given the team and its city (in tweets from July 1 to today):

Total tweets about the Redblacks in July (as of 1:30 pm, Friday July 18): 15,836

Tweets from the above mentioning “Ottawa” or “Glebe”: 3,084

Total Twitter impressions of tweets mentioning Redblacks in July: 40,513,522

Top influencers by followers:










The top influencers include Toronto-based media outlets CP24, TSN and CTV.

Good luck to the Redblacks tonight in their opening home game, and to the many Glebe businesses in the area!

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The top Twitter influencers of #MozCon

MozCon kicked off in Seattle, Washington this Monday, bringing together thousands of marketing professionals and enthusiasts to indulge in a not-so-typical marketing conference.

With an assortment of activities, parties, and a dynamic lineup of guests to boot, MozCon was bound to bring in a lot of attention on Twitter.

We’ve been monitoring #MozCon since the beginning of the conference, and we have collected more than 19,000 tweets. We’ve then used our SaaS analysis software to determine who, and what, had the most influence on #MozCon.

We’ve sorted our findings into the following categories: Influence by number of tweets, influence by retweet ratio, and the top mentioned hashtags of the conference.

Top influencers by number of tweets:

Top influencers by retweet ratio (original tweets to retweets):

Most mentioned hashtags:

Most mentioned hashtags of MozCon

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Season 2, episode 2: Amazing Race Canada stronger than ever on Twitter

Spoiler Alert!!!

Last year, during the inaugural season of the Amazing Race Canada, there was a sizeable drop in social media activity after the first episode.


Olympians Meaghan Mikkelson and Natalie Spooner have captured the hearts of viewers of Amazing Race Canada.

This year, not so much. Though there was a drop in social engagement during last night’s second episode compared to the premiere, activity was up 34 per cent from last year’s second episode.

The show’s producers, sponsors, contestants, and fan base are definitely becoming more social media savvy, and that seems to be contributing to the success.

Here’s a synopsis of last night’s big winners on social:

Tofino: Nothing’s cooler than surfing, and many Canadians still don’t know that Tofino is the surfing capital of Canada. Based on consistency, it’s really the only place worth mentioning when compared to international surfing locales.

During the show, Tourism Tofino took to social media and let every know about it and were even retweeted by others watching the Amazing Race Canada. This was definitely a marketing coup for them: Tofino or Tofino-related activities got 12 per cent of all the mentions related to the show on Twitter.

Sponsors: This year’s sponsors and advertisers have also really stepped up year since last year. Product placement, such as in the case of the Chevy Volt, has really made a positive impact.

Chevy, like tourism groups, has taken to social media to make sure its presence is known.

But the biggest sponsor winner has to be Air Canada with almost 5% of all mentions, mostly fueled by the “Pit Stop” prize (a trip to Hong Kong) and its #ACWinTheWorld contest.

CTV: CTV has done an amazing job this year, and has obviously learned from last year’s experience by adopting social media even more to create a complete experience for viewers and ensuring they’re fully engaged.

Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson: Not only did they win the most recent leg for the second time in a row, but social media still loves them. They received 18 per cent of all mentions.

Rex Harrington & Bob Hope: Rex and Bob are probably playing with viewers’ sympathies by bailing on two challenges. They only made it to the next leg because Shawn King dislocated his shoulder.

However, Rex has leveraged social media — even being somewhat contrite — which has helped get viewers on his side. Both Rex and Bob received 11 per cent of all mentions.

Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz: Finally, Mickey and Pete might be starting to win people over with their persona. They both are very strong characters (and are from our director of content‘s hometown, a fact he mentions whenever he can).

Posted in Amazing Race Canada, Industry – Travel and Tourism, Social Media | 1 Comment

Social Media Guide: Amazing Race Canada — Season 2

We love the Amazing Race Canada — Season 2, which is why we’ve created this handy social media guide to all of the handles, hashtags, Facebook accounts, and CTV pages associated with the show.

You’ll never miss an update from/about your favourite teams or contestants ever again!

General Info

Twitter: @amazingracecda
Facebook: TheAmazingRaceCanada
CTV: The Amazing Race Canada
Official Amazing Race Canada Hashtag: #RaceCDA

Host: Jon Montgomery

Twitter: @jonmonty
Facebook: Jon Montgomery
CTV: Jon Montgomery


Natalie Spooner & Meaghan Mikkelson

Relationship: Teammates
Twitter: @natspooner5, @Mikkelson12
Facebook: NatalieSpooner24, Mikkelson12
CTV: Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson

Alain Chanoine & Audrey Tousignant-Maurice

Relationship: Dating
Twitter: @AlainChanoine
Facebook: Audreytm
CTV: Alain Chanoine and Audrey Tousignant-Maurice

Rex Harrington & Bob Hope

Relationship: Engaged
Twitter: @rexharrington, @RexAndBob
Facebook: rex.harrington.35
CTV: Rex Harrington and Bob Hope

Cormac Foster & Nicole Foster

Relationship: Son and Mother
Twitter: @Cormact7, @FosterNiki911
Facebook: cormac.foster, niki.foster.718
CTV: Cormac Foster and Nicole Foster

Laura Takahashi & Jackie Skinner

Relationship: Married
Twitter: @laura_tak, @JackieSkinz
Facebook: laura.tak, jackie.skinner.121
CTV:Laura Takahashi and Jackie Skinner

Sukhi Atwal & Jinder Atwal

Relationship: Siblings
Twitter: @SukhiAtwal2, @jinderatwal
Facebook: sukhiatwal2, jinder.atwal (or HarjinderAtwal)
CTV: Sukhi Atwal and Jinder Atwal

Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz

Relationship: Best Friends
Twitter: @mickeyandpete
CTV: Mickey Henry and Pete Schmalz

Pierre Forget and Michel Forget

Relationship: Brothers
CTV: Pierre Forget and Michel Forget

Ryan Steele & Rob Goddard

Relationship: Co-workers
Twitter: @ryansteeleshow, @rgod2014
Facebook: ryansteeleshow, VIRGO2
CTV: Ryan Steele and Rob Goddard

Jen King & Shawn King

Relationship: Married
Twitter: @2ndNatureNut, @extremekinger
Facebook: JeandShawKingAmazingRaceCanada
CTV: Jen King and Shawn King

Shahla Kara & Nabeela Barday

Relationship: Best Friends
Twitter: @shahlakara
Facebook: shaklakara, nabeela.barday
CTV: Shahla Kara and Nabeela Barday

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‘Indonesia’s Obama’: Western media tunes into Jokowi

Indonesia just completed a presidential election. Surprisingly, the results are getting considerably more attention from Western media than you might expect.

That’s largely because of the winning candidate, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who has been hailed as Indonesia’s answer to President Obama (not least of all because they kind of look alike).

We monitored for mentions of “Joko Widodo” and “Jokowi” in online media over the past four weeks to see how much the Indonesian election and its very popular winner fared in Western outlets.

Of the four countries we tracked, Australia accounted for the bulk of coverage for most of the campaign — not entirely surprising given the proximity of Australia and Indonesia.


There were small bumps in American coverage, mostly driven by Associated Press stories — including one about a “Nazi-themed campaign” and another about smear campaigns against Jokowi.

It wasn’t until July 8, as the campaign was drawing to a close, that American media started to significantly pay attention to the election, and surpassed Australian media in daily mentions. You can also see corresponding spikes in Canadian and UK media.

By the end of election, American media accounted for 35 per cent of Jokowi mentions, while Australia accounted for just less than 23 per cent.


As mentions of Jokowi were picking up in Western media, comparisons with President Obama also picked up. You can see in the chart below that Obama and Jokowi were mentioned together in a little less than 1,000 articles on July 9.


In total, ten per cent of all articles mentioning Jokowi during the period also mentioned Obama. In the US, the rate was 14 per cent.


Of course, as you can see from the chart at the top, mentions of the Indonesian election dropped off just as quickly as they started, and even Australian media barely mentioned the winner on Sunday.

Posted in Industry – Government and Politics, News Analysis | Leave a comment

Calls for a LeBron James filter on Twitter escalate as NBA star re-signs in Cleveland

LeBron James, the NBA basketball player, has re-signed in Cleveland after leaving the Miami Heat.

Twitter mentions of LeBron, which were already running at north of 2 million per month, have doubled in the past hour as the social network reacts to the news.

Shockingly, however, it seems not everyone is thrilled with the prospect of being bombarded by tweets about LeBron James.

In fact, tongue-in-cheek posts mentioning the need for a “LeBron filter” on Twitter have skyrocketed within the past two hours.

Guess it’s true what they say: You can’t please all the people, all the time.

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Amazing Race Canada Season 2 premiere: Spooner, Mikkelson early fan favourites


Last year’s premiere of the Amazing Race Canada did very well on social media, with 5,940 tweets about the first show. This year’s premiere was still successful, but slightly down from last year at 4,438 tweets.

Season 2′s premiere does, however, rank as the third-highest tweeted episode ever behind last year’s finale and premiere. It’s safe to say the Amazing Race Canada has established a strong base of loyal fans.

Amazing Race Canada


Part of Amazing Race Canada’s success has to be attributed to the star power of Canadian celebrities. Last year Team Bodybreak, Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod, became fan favorites based on their brand as Canadian fitness icons.

This year, contestants Natalie Spooner and Meaghan Mikkelson — Olympic gold medalists for women’s hockey — are by far the fan favourites on Twitter. And of course, returning host and Olympic skeleton gold medalist Jon Montgomery is as popular as ever.

  • Natalie Spooner 1,043 mentions
  • Meaghan Mikkelson 871 mentions
  • Jon Montgomery 374 mentions

No other contestant was even close except for maybe Rex Harrington, ex-National ballet dancer and guest judge on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, with 136 mentions.

Spooner and Mikkelson (who won the first leg) also received support from NHLer Matt Duchene, Hockey Canada, the Canadian Olympic Team, and hockey teammates Genevieve Lacasse and Hayley Wickenheiser (although Wickenheiser couldn’t help make light of of Spooner’s air sickness during the show).

But as last year showed, fan favorites don’t just come just pre-packaged. They can be cultivated, such as Dave Schram and Jet Black during season 1.

Both Dave and Jet made the most of social media, engaging with viewers constantly. Combined with their natural TV presence, they challenged Team Bodybreak as fan favorites.

This year most contestants have Twitter handles, but some don’t (curiously) — and many of the contestants aren’t engaging during the show, which they should do to help promote their brand.

This year, however, corporate brands are leveraging social media during the show and are seeing positive results.

In the travel industry Tourism Jasper, Brewster Canada, and Travel Alberta each took advantage of the first leg beginning in Alberta, engaging with fans, being retweeted and engaging in positive interactions. Tourism Victoria did the same when the show landed there.

Air Canada also launched a contest using the hashtag #ACWinTheWorld, and they received nothing but positive tweets.

As for the contestants, those who don’t have a social media presence or who aren’t engaged in social media should probably reconsider. They can learn from those contestants who have a presence, and are engaging.

Who knows where it will lead?

The race is on, both on TV and in social media. Here’s how all the contestants fared on Twitter last night:

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