Social Media Week is a global event that was created to both celebrate and critically examine the impact of social media in today’s world. It’s no surprise that an event is held purely for social media, when so many people use it so frequently. In 2013, 14 million people checked their Facebook newsfeeds every day. On Twitter, 500 million Tweets are sent per day. Here at YouInc, we decided to kick off this year’s Social Media Week with a look at five Canadian entrepreneurs that have built their careers and fortunes on social media trends.
1. Keith Bilous, President & CEO of ICUC Moderation Services Inc.
Keith Bilous co-founded ICUC in Winnipeg in 2002 with the intention of moderating strictly mobile and web events. However, as the online and social media space grew, so did ICUC. Businesses have evolved to using multiple online platforms to reach their customers, and ICUC helps manage it all efficiently. They also moderate and monitor what is being posted about their clients’ brands. Customers use social media as a tool to talk, or complain, about brands, and ICUC keeps track of what’s being said online to help mitigate risk and form damage control strategies.
As more businesses and customers interact with each other through social media, Keith Bilous co-founded a company that helps businesses keep track of what they post, and what’s being said about them in return.
2. Julian Brass, Founder & CEO of Notable.ca
Julian Brass launched his website Notable.ca in 2008 not long after graduating with a bachelor of commerce from the University of Guelph. Notable’s popularity comes from Brass’s eye for content that engages his target audience: young professionals. He features and writes articles about events happening in bustling Canadian cities, fashion, business, relationships, and more. Perhaps most notable is his daily feature: “Today’s Most Notable Young Entrepreneur,” where a young entrepreneur is interviewed and featured on the site.
Brass’s success shows how relevant, shareable content can make a website flourish. The knowledge of his core audience has made Notable.ca a beacon of content and information for young professionals in Canada and all over the world.
3. Ryan Holmes, Founder & CEO of Hootsuite
Ryan Holmes went from experimenting with a battery-run computer as a child on his family’s farm in Vernon, B.C. to launching a multi-million dollar company in 2008. He founded HootSuite, a social media management tool for people and companies that use multiple social media platforms, several times a day.
Social media is an integral way for companies to interact with their audience, spread information, and share content – and there are various platforms to do this. Holmes filled a need that allows businesses, as well as individuals, to easily manage how, what, and when they post.
4. Tobias Lütke, CEO of Shopify
Current digital trends not only encourage communicating through social networks, but more and more people are now also using the internet as a way to buy, browse, and review products. Tobias Lütke originally launched an online snowboard retailer, only to find a lack of e-commerce software. He created Shopify, an e-commerce platform, as a solution to his own problem, and expanded the tool to provide other businesses a way to sell their merchandise online.
Shopify allows businesses to showcase their products online, and reach a much wider customer base than a brick-and-mortar store.
5. Erica Diamond, Founder of WomenOnTheFence.com
Erica Diamond is one of YouInc’s very own contributors and runs a successful blog of her own. After she sold her first company, she started her second project: WomenOnTheFence.com, a lifestyle blog for women. Diamond strives to empower and motivate women, and help them navigate parenting and business. She creates content that engages her audience, and she is a master of Tweeting it and sharing it with her readers.
Diamond has since become an author, speaker, and TV personality, and continues to use Twitter and social media as a means to promote her work.
With social media, people and businesses can communicate like never before and entrepreneurs are using it as a platform for their own success. Whether it’s launching a website, or creating a game changing product for the socially connected, entrepreneurs have a new field to explore and innovate.