Category Archives: Careers

Social Media Matters: Tim Hortons scam wild on Facebook

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, Oct. 21, 2011
Metro section

Tim Hortons scam wild on Facebook

Canadians love their Tim Hortons coffee. We all know that. In fact, we’re crazy for the stuff. It’s part of our culture.

So, when a scam purporting to be offering “thousands” of $25 Tim Hortons gift cards starting spreading like wildfire last Saturday on Facebook, it didn’t take a Nobel-winning scientist to figure out that it wasn’t going to stop until someone did something about it.

In fact, Tim Hortons ended up issuing at least two messages to followers of its Facebook page telling people to stop spreading the fake links and rumour. They had nothing to do with the supposed “offer.”

Finally, after several hours of Facebook users constantly posting and reposting the links promising a chance at a gift card if they filled out a survey and/or wrote something nice about Tim Hortons, the scam went dead after likely getting killed by Facebook itself.

How can you tell a scam? It’s pretty easy. First of all, with more than 750 million users on Facebook, it’s highly unlikely that any popular company would offer gift cards. The resulting mayhem would just clog everyone’s newsfeed and end up annoying more people than not. It would be like Justin Bieber showing up at a 12-year-old girl’s birthday slumber party and no one noticing. Ain’t gonna happen.

Secondly, spelling mistakes in the ads or links are a giveaway. The name of the company is “Tim Hortons,” not “Tim Horton’s” or “Tim Horton.”

Also, check the link. There was a multitude of links being used in the scam that had nothing to do with Tim Hortons’ official site. They were clearly fake. The logo on one site I saw was blurry, too.

That would never happen on a real site. It would be 100-per-cent professional and look great. These looked cheesy.

Latest hoax round-up

Here’s a list of some recent hoaxes courtesy of one of my favourite sources, Hoax-Slayer.

– Brighton child abduction: A warning is circulating through social media channels – especially Facebook – about an attempted child abduction in Brighton, Ont. Someone in a black or dark blue Dodge van attempted lure a young student into the van using another 10-year-old child as a lure. The hoax caused so much grief that local police were forced to issue a news release stating that the claim was unsubstantiated.

– Facebook prayer request for baby found in bin: If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve likely seen the terrible photo of a hospitalized baby wearing a diaper and hooked up to monitors and various tubes. Covering the baby boy’s body are hundreds of terrible, red ant bites. Sadly, this was not actually a hoax, but it has a happy ending.

The baby – who has since been named Caleb Hope – was found in a dump in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on Saturday, Sept. 24. Police are investigating the baby’s cruel abandonment (obviously, he was left to die), but Caleb is reportedly doing well and is recovering. A permanent home is being sought.

Related careers

Medavie Blue Cross is looking for a digital communications lead to be based out of either Moncton or Dartmouth.

The deadline for applications is Monday, Oct. 24, so don’t delay if this interests you!

According to the role summary posted to the CareerBeacon employment search website, the job details are as follows: “Reporting to the Manager, Corporate Communications and Stakeholder Relations, the Digital Communications Lead will manage a small team of digital communications professionals and oversee the development and execution of an online brand strategy, including the corporate website, employee Intranet and social media.” For more specific details on the position, visit CareerBeacon.

This week’s featured YouTube channels

Each week, I feature three YouTube channels that you may want to check out. Because of the Tim Hortons scam issue on Facebook, I decided to feature coffee-related channels this week. Subscriber numbers and video view statistics are as of Oct. 21.

Tim Hortons (35 subscribers): I can’t believe one of Canada’s most iconic companies only has 33 subscribers on its YouTube channel! The channel features a large number of professionally produced testimonials from regular Tim Hortons customers as part of their “Tim’s Coffee Moments” and “The Great Coffee Conversation” series. For more information on Tim Hortons, visit their website. (Most popular video: Part 15 – Tim Hortons Great Coffee Conversation – 411 views.)

* Coffee Cup News (3,260 subscribers): Jason Coffee is a 31-year-old American coffee and coffee-related product reviewer with a companion website. If you’re looking to purchase a new coffee maker, he’s probably already reviewed it! Want to try a newfangled brand of coffee? Yup, he’s probably reviewed that, too! (Most popular video: Organo Gold – 9,884 views.) (200 subscribers): Nate Smith is a 37-year-old coffee lover who posts reviews of various coffees and related products. He’ll also show you how to make the best cup of coffee possible! You can also check out Nate’s website. (Most popular video: #1 The French Press Coffee Tips – 19,148 views.)

This week’s Social Media Matters column (originally published May 20, 2011)

Social Media MattersSocial Media Matters
By Brian Cormier
Moncton Times & Transcript
Friday, May 20, 2011
Metro section

Lady Gaga first to reach milestone

Little did Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta know when she was a little girl in New York City that she would one day be the first celebrity to reach 10 million followers on Twitter. First of all, Twitter wasn’t even invented yet and the Internet was still a relatively new phenomenon and only being used by university folks, researchers and the geekiest of geeks.

Today, Stefani is known as the media-savvy Lady Gaga, one of the most popular singers in the world and a celebrity who is using social media much to her advantage. When she became the first person to surpass 10 million followers on Twitter a few days ago, she tweeted, “10 Million Monsters! I’m speechless, we did it! It’s an illness how I love you. Leaving London smiling.” (Lady Gaga calls her fans “monsters.”)

Canadian singer Justin Bieber is not far behind and only needs a few hundred thousand more followers to reach Lady Gaga’s level. Actor Ashton Kutcher, formerly the most popular person on Twitter, is now in seventh place.

Social media careers

Saint John-based communications agency Revolution Strategy is seeking a social media community manager for “all things social media and web-related.”

The duties outlined in the job posting include: 1) Be the eyes and ears of the brand as if your own reputation depended on it; 2) Mediate and engage in multiple conversations over various social media networks using the Radian6 platform; 3) Identify threats and opportunities to the brand you are managing; 4) Schedule, organize and publish content; 5) Create scheduled as well as ad hoc reports as needed; 6) Analyze campaigns and translate anecdotal or qualitative data into recommendations; 7) Engage in proactive community building activities.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the position, visit, click on the marketing / communications tab and refer to the “social media community manager” position manager position posted on May 13.

YouTube channels of note

Each week, I let you know about a few of my favourite YouTube channels. (Please note that some channels may contain adult themes and language.)

1) MattG ( is a 21-year-old YouTuber based in Ontario who posts comedic videos that often point fun at being Canadian. One of his more entertaining videos explained to Americans that Canadians can buy our milk in bags.

2) John Rettinger ( has an amazing channel for technology lovers out there. He posts frequently and specializes in product reviews and unboxing electronics.

3) CuteWinFail ( is a comedy channel that reviews three viral YouTube videos every week and asks viewers to vote for their favourite. It’s hosted by the very entertaining Toby Turner, a young guy who definitely has a future in the entertainment industry if he wants it. This is another family-friendly channel that the kids will love. Toby’s entertaining and sarcastic commentary will not be lost on mom and dad, either.

Congress hosts social media meet-up

As part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences being hosted at the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University this month, a social media meet-up will be held on Sunday, May 29, from 5-7 p.m. at the Harriet Irving Library, room 111, on the UNB campus in Fredericton.

While the event is open mainly to delegates, other social media leaders and enthusiasts in New Brunswick are welcome to attend. The invitation states: “This event is an opportunity for delegates who would normally engage only online to meet in real life. Join us for a short presentation and a chance to share your experiences and thoughts on blogging with researchers and community members.”

To RSVP or if you have any questions, please e-mail Milena Stanoeva at or call her at (613) 238-6112 ext. 356.

Atlantic Cancer Research Institute dives into social media

Recognizing that very little of the money donated for cancer research stays in Atlantic Canada, the Atlantic Cancer Research Institute (ACRI) recently launched a new and innovative social network that will bring families and individuals together to raise money for the Institute, thus allowing cancer research dollars to stay right here in the region. was launched last week. According to the news release, “The site is free to join and encourages families to share their stories, to set up inspirational causes, and to create lasting memorials for loved ones. Families are urged to connect with each other and draw other family members and friends into the site.”

Members and the public may pledge donations (as little as $0.25 per day) to various causes and memorials. “We have long been aware of the tremendous community of support that exists for our work but have lacked the means to directly tap into it and benefit from its empowerment in the cause to solve cancer,” said Françoise Roy, ACRI’s executive director.

All money raised through the website goes to ACRI’s research efforts.