Salay Consulting & Social Media Services

CleanTech & Renewable Energy Research, Social Media, Tech Trends

Welcome to Salay Consulting

Hello, and welcome to Salay Consulting & Social Media Services. I am very happy to get this business slowly off the ground. Like every good thing, it takes a while. We are living in some exciting times. Social media have changed how we communicate. We can connect with anyone in the world with the touch of a smart phone. Renewable energy and cleantech is moving at an advanced pace, and is making many utilities re think how they do business in order to meet millennial demands.

Salay Consulting offers many services, which cater towards the needs of the 21st century business world. Basic social media services, cleantech/renewable energy writing and analysis. I also offer consulting and speaking engagement on tech trends.

If you are wondering why I named this business Salay Consulting & Social Media Services, I decided to name it after the Michif word for sun, which is a Metis language. I wanted to honor my metis background, and figure I would do it this way.

I think year one will be a fun and challenging time. I look forward to meeting new contacts, building new ideas, while growing an exciting, new side business, which I hope to make it full-time in the future.


Adam Johnston

Owner, Salay Consulting & Social Media Services



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Slow and Steady Will Win the IoT Race

You know the saying, “It’s more of a marathon than a sprint.” That’s especially the case with the Internet of Things (IoT).

IoT is one of the hottest emerging technologies today which offers a lot of promise. From improving logistics to creating smart energy systems and cities, IoT may provide some solutions to some of the biggest social and economic challenges facing today’s society.

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Image Credit by geralt via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

However, just like any up and coming technologies which debut in the past, there is always some unexpected bugs. From the early days of the Internet, cell phones, to renewable energy. IoT is no different.

Take last fall. In October 2016, a distributed denial of service attack (DDoS) showcased the vulnerabilities of a connected world in the IoT age.

Botnet malware, played a role in these attacks. Many IoT-based devices were affected in this attack, as chaos ensued, and many top websites to faded to black temporarily.

Adjunct Senior Fellow on Cybersecurity David Fidler from the Council on Foreign Relations told The Guardian right after the attacks showed massive security holes currently seen in IoT on a large-scale by non-governmental groups.

“Imagine what a well-resourced state actor could do with insecure IOT devices,” Fidler added.

As cyber security risks remain a concern within the IoT space, failure to finish projects is also a challenge for IoT developers.

A recent Cisco study suggests 60% of IoT ideas fall flat at the beginning. They also pointed out 26% of all businesses surveyed had 100% success with their IoT projects.

While these recent events and studies give IoT a slight back eye, let’s keep in mind these are very early days within the IoT ecosystem.

It was only just 18 years ago in 1999, the phrase “IoT” was coined by Proctor & Gamble’s Kevin Ashton. That’s ten years after the invention of the World Wide Web (WWW) by Tim Berners-Lee. This was back when the WWW and Internet infrastructure was in its infancy and slowly maturing. Today’s Internet and WWW has far more capabilities compared to 1999 where there were only around 248 million global users. Now in 2017 its nearing 3.8 billion.

As author Jeremy Rifkin said in his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society, three Internet components (communications, energy, and logistics) are the backbone of IoT, which is helping to create a “third industrial revolution.” Significant ramifications will occur for many industries with their fortunes turned upside down. As we see new exciting opportunities, in smart homes, block chain, fintech, and 3D printing thanks to the IoT space.

Anywhere from 20 to 34 billion connected IoT devices are expected online by 2020. Total economic activity will reach worth $3.7 billion, according to McKinsey.

Security concerns have and always will remain a top concern amongst IT personal. It won’t get any easier with more devices flowing ubiquitously. But security experts are keen on learning to reduce security risks. Blockchain technology may provide some of the solutions required to limit security risks within the IoT ecosphere.

As for failures within IoT concepts, Cisco said 61% of participants have only started to realize the potential of what IoT technologies for their companies. Once people become more educated about not only what IoT is, but what it can do, then you will start to see more successes. You will start to see the cream of the crop rise within this industry. New and exciting out of the box opportunities will spring up, including in marketing, as businesses look to provide their customers with an ever-present connected experience.

The rise of the Internet had many trials and tribulations during its first marathon in transforming society in the 21st century. IoT will see the same thing as well as it overcomes the pressure to sprint to the finish line.

What do you think? What will it take companies to invest in IoT development, while cutting security concerns and possibilities of failure? Feel free to contact me at or on Twitter at @salayservices.





Promise and Potential Abounds within the Social Media/Internet of Things Nexus

The Internet of Things (IoT) offers a lot of promise for marketers within social media. With 34 to 50 billion devices online by 2020. IoT gives lots of new possibilities for social media managers to lick their chops into.

Dubbed “social media for machines” by analysts because of its machine to machine (m2m) learning capabilities, IoT will change the conversation on how we look at social media. It’s no longer just snapping selfies, liking, or sharing. Here is where social media advocates can capitalize on IoT.

Image Credit by geralt via Pixabay. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

Improving Customer Experiences: One way where social media can leverage IOT is through maximizing customer experiences. Uber and Spotify have teamed up where Uber users can use their Spotify premium account to personalize their rides. Uber CEO Travis Kalernick said Uber is delivering a unique experience by teaming up with Spotify by allowing passengers to customize their rides more.

The marriage of social media and IoT will also provide a better client experience with showing how much money customers can save on their utility bills. SolarCity’s MySolarCity mobile app allows customers to see how much they are saving by going solar while using their social media accounts to show off to their friends on how much they are saving by going solar while building a community.

Improving Data Management: Better management of data is without a doubt the most valuable lesson which social media managers need to understand and capitalize on IoT’s potential. Marketing Journal suggests IoT will provide multiple ways of communicating between machines, brands, and customers. This includes real-time observation on customer behavior, with customer resource management (CRM) tools, while social media marketers can use these tools to improve their products. For example, Google’s Nest smart thermostat, which allows for consumers to adjust their home temperature using wireless Internet, is the epitome of IoT devices. Nest analysts can then compare the data, which can help provide their customers on how to improve their energy, while at the same time enhance their products for future development.

Besides Nest, another scenario could be a Samsung smart fridge tells when a customer is running out of apples; the fridge would tell its customer to buy new ones. The data could provide both supermarkets and apple producers on what apples consumers stock their fridge with, and help assist grocery stores in catering to certain demographics.

The Melding of Industries: If there is one wild card, social media marketers need to take heart on the rise of IoT will shrink time, space among industries. In his 2014 book The Zero Marginal Cost Society: The Internet of Things, The Collaborative Commons, & The Eclipse of Capitalism, author Jeremy Rifkin said the merging of three Internets: Communications, Energy Internet, and Logistics Internet laid the foundation for IoT. Rifkin also argued in The Third Industrial Revolution, communications helped spearhead past industrial revolutions in human history. It’s important for social media managers to grasp this moment currently being played in front of us, and understand how communications, logistics, and energy, now more than ever are weaved through technologies fantastic bow. We have seen this through the World Wide Web, and social media’s infant stages, as consumers were becoming producers (re prosumers). We saw this initially with the media industry. We are now seeing this with both energy and finance. Mosiac was a great early example of utilizing social media renewable energy and crowdsource finance to produce affordable solar ownership for investors. Now with blockchain technologies on the way, this will make financial options more secure for crowd funding options, as consumers look to become both investors and users of their products.


If done correctly, IoT can open a bevy of opportunity for social media managers who are willing to find a bonanza of opportunities for forward thinking marketers within the insights of finance, communications, and technology nexus.


Analysis: REthinking 2017 Accelerating the Global Energy Transformation

Reports are key indicators of where modern trends are going. That’s especially true with developing industries like renewable energy. Report after report have only confirmed renewable energy is shaking up traditional energy markets.

The International Renewable Energy Association’s (IRENA) REthinking Energy: Accelerating the Global Energy Transformation confirms these trends. IRENA recently released their findings in energy and policy development.

According to the report, global solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity reached 219 gigawatts (GW) in 2015, more than five times the capacity in 2010 (40 GW). This trend is expected to continue with new global PV capacity in 2017 supposed to reach 79 GW, according to an IHS technology report. By 2030, solar PV capacity could account for 7% of total global power generation.

What’s been helpful for solar energies rise to the top has been sharp declines in prices. In many countries, solar prices have reached new lows, according to IRENA. Solar energy is now cheaper than fossil fuels in many nations. Solar PV prices have fallen by 80% since 2009, said IRENA.

Wind power is also strong. Currently according to the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), global capacity reached 432.33 GW in 2015, 63.48 GW more than from in 2014.

IRENA said wind turbines prices have fallen by one-third since 2009. Even without government support, onshore wind farms are cost competitive or less than gas-fired power plants, oil, or coal, according to IRENA.

Falling prices in both wind and solar have not only increased capacity but investment, as these two technologies captured a whopping 90% of 2015 global renewable energy investments.


Photo Credit via Pixabay by Steppinstars. Under Public Domain by the Creative Commons.

While the wind and solar power’s growing energy prowess is necessary, battery storage units, which can store both these technologies when needed during non-peak periods will play a critical role going forward. By 2020, IRENA expects this growing market to reach USD $14 billion, up from USD $2.2 billion in 2015. Falling lithium-ion battery costs, along with Tesla’s Powerwall are giving glimpses of its potential. By 2030, IRENA projects battery storage for electricity could reach 250 GW, nearly 250 times more than currently.

Policy-wise, the move towards cleaner sources of energy is helping move nations in the right direction. Currently, 170 countries have created renewable energy targets, while 150 have a policy in place to boost renewable energy investments, IRENA said.

This strong support by countries overwhelmingly to transition to renewable energy has seen strong global investments this century. In 2004, this figure was USD $50 billion. In 2015, renewable energy investment reached a record USD $348 billion.

Emerging market countries including China and India have been serious players. China recently has said they are committed to spending USD $361 billion through 2020 on renewables. Meanwhile, accounting firm Ernst & Young’s 2016 report pointed to developing nations including Egypt, Mexico, and Chile are becoming hotspots for renewable energy investors compared to European markets.

There will be challenges, including the new US administration lead by Donald Trump who has vowed cut backs in renewable energy investments and may pull out of the Paris climate accord.

However, countries, including China are promising to pick up the slack and pull away in the cleantech race.

IRENA’s analysis of the cleantech market proves renewable energy on the global level, will only become more competitive and transform energy markets.

To read IRENA’s full report, view here.


Essential Tips on Live Social Media Video Etiquette

Live social media video is growing thanks to Periscope, and of course, Facebook Live.

According to the Social Media Marketing Industry Report, video use is on the increase. The report said 60% of marketers are currently using video, while 73% on using it more in the future.

Image Credit via Pixabay by JanBaby under Public Domain via Creative Commons

Meanwhile, half of the marketers intend on using live video platforms including Periscope and Facebook Live. Another 50% are eager to learn more on capitalizing on live video.

However, live video can wreak havoc on your brand if not used correctly.

According to Sports Illustrated, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown posted a Facebook Live video after they won 18-16 against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional playoffs. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was caught dissing their upcoming AFC final opponents the New England Patriots, as “A-holes.” Not only did Brown’s gaffe of finding Tomlin cursing about their opponents show disrespect ahead of this game, but it also broke other ideas of etiquette including, locker room banter which normally is off-limits.  Brown later apologized for his error.

Ultimately it was a public relations blunder for the Steelers. Because of Mr. Brown’s action this provides some lessons in live video etiquette.

Whether you are Mr. Brown or someone who is planning live broadcasts for their small business, here are some simple tips to ensure your event goes smoothly.

  1. No Acts of Debauchery.

This is a no-brainer. Yes, Facebook Live or Periscope is a great tool to show your brand off and create some great social buzz.

However, this does mean you should not go acting like a drunken sailor cursing up a storm or doing the funky chicken. Harm may occur to your brand. Marketers need to plan ahead of the event to ensure this potential gaffes and miscues don’t happen. A dress rehearsal, and providing updates to all participants before going live will reduce potential gaffes.

  1. No Racial or Sexual References.

Number two makes common sense. No is no when it comes to making indecent racial or sexual comments. I call this an automatic red card. Do not even dare to make comments or content of a racial or sexual nature. You will drop points with possible new customers (who WERE maybe) thinking about buying your product and likely lose current customers. So just leave sexually or racial ideas off the table and put them in the BFI garbage bin.

  1. Ensure Privacy, Confidentiality, and Copyright.

Confidentiality and privacy when looking at etiquette for producing live video content, is severely needs more scrutiny. With many stories of privacy breaches ranging from Shoppers Drug Mart and Target, marketers need to address this prior to filming.

When preparing your broadcast, ensure all confidential company information (i.e. financial statements, bank statements, business plans) are not laid out showing in a public area. Rather, find a private place to store confidential documents where they are not within proximity of the broadcast.

As well, make sure there is nothing that will infringe on any potential copyright issues (including images and yes, even music. Check out the Creative Commons in looking for pictures or music for use while limiting copyright concerns.  On a personal note, I was at a Winnipeg Jets game recently and did a brief Facebook Live broadcast of the pregame warmup. However, I could not post the video up for those who wanted to view it later. The reason: there was a song in the background that may have infringed on copyright. I did not post the video. This lesson shows the need in being diligent to guarantee no faux pas on security, privacy or copyright issues.

When following these types, you will minimize your risk of creating controversy, and severe headaches for your brand. So work hard, have fun and have a blast when making your next live video.



Twitter: A Powerful Customer Relationship Management Tool

Since its inception in 2006, Twitter, has been invaluable as a news feed. It’s a great social media network to check who is making breaking news, or who scored the latest touchdown in the NFL.

However, perhaps one underlying feature which sometimes gets lost in the social media shuffle, is how great Twitter is a customer service tool for companies to use in real-time.

Whether you are a big company or small organization, Twitter can help improve your customer relations without having to spend lots more money.

Image Credit by Pixelkult via Pixabay under the Creative Commons Public Domain

Why is Twitter a great tool for customer service departments to use? First off, companies can instantly meet consumer responses quickly to satisfy their needs. We often hear of stories when departments do not get back to customers right away when dealing with problems. Analysts recommend responding to complaints on social media within one hour, if possible.  Customer service can then acknowledge the concern, and take the time to research the problem. Let the power of Twitter come in now as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.

An initial exchange of dialogue occurs between the customer and the customer service department of the five W’s (who, what, where, when, and why) of the problem. Videos and photos show the customers concern. After the initial exchange, the customer service department should get enough information possible to take the situation offline, via Twitter’s direct message feature to resolve the problem. Twitter’s feed, allows for simple and fluid conversation between the customer and the organization.

One example which uses Twitter effectively in helping resolve customer concerns is Winnipeg Transit. Transit acknowledges on a daily basis when they are there to take concerns. They acknowledge the ridership in a decent amount of time, have a quick and fluid exchange of information on the concern. Then Transit requests further information by a direct message to get back to the rider to resolve their issue. A personal example of this was back in February 2016, while I was on a local Winnipeg Transit bus, I was live streaming, and an incident occurred between a driver and a passenger wanting to get on. Fortunately, the stream was hash tag with #Winnipeg, and #WinnipegTransit. Winnipeg Transit customer service tweeted me within a matter of moments, and I explained the situation. They then direct message me for more information. While I don’t know what happened with the aftermath, Winnipeg Transit’s rapid response to my video stream shows how effective Twitter is for responding to customer issues.

Besides using resolving concerns, Twitter is great in building customer loyalty. A shocking stat from post notes it companies 500% more to get new customers, compared to keeping its current base. Twitter can help reduce these costs by building a bridge with customer and brand.

One company which excels at using Twitter in maintaining customer loyalty is JetBlue, the sixth largest US airline, focused on low-cost. JetBlue has used Twitter to rapidly respond to customer inquiries and helping to put a smile on customer’s faces with a team who according to does not respond blindly to every tweet, to provide very valuable service to its customers. From May 2009 to August 2009 JetBlue’s Twitter account increased from 500,000 followers to 1 million, a dramatic increase in a very short span. It currently has over 2 million followers.

If you are a company, who is looking to provide value to its customer service and has not yet, Twitter is a great way to add value as a CRM tool for your business heading into 2017.

Social Media Trends To Watch For in 2017

Image Credit: LoboStudioHamburg – Public Domain via Creative Commons

With 2016 nearing the end, it’s time to look start looking ahead to 2017. With a new year coming up, it’s time to start looking out what trends people will be talking about in 2017:

  1. Continue Rise of Video: During the early days of social media, posts were composed of blogs, news articles, and photos, and recorded video. Today, video content is on the rise. Having video content is becoming a critical component of one’s social media campaign. Social Media Examiner’s 2016 Social Media Marketing Industry Report 73% of marketers were planning to increase their content in 2016.  With a smartphone, it’s very easy for someone to create high-quality video content on the cheap. With Facebook now adding Facebook Live for standard use, Plus Twitter’s Periscope, now marketers can create live content for their community to watch. It’s exciting especially for small businesses who are looking for an inexpensive marketing opportunity to build their niche brand.
  1. Expanding User Experiences: Expect next year social media companies to continue to tap new possibilities. This year saw some interesting developments when creating an exceptional social media customer experience. We saw Twitter start broadcasting live National Football League games within the US, showing exciting new opportunities to exploit social networks. In the world of social media where everything changes so rapidly, anything is possible as companies are in a dogfight to remain fresh. Increasing user experiences is one thing we will see in 2017.
  1. The Fork Between Social Commerce & The Sharing Economy: Next year will see further growth within this sphere. According to Wikipedia, social commerce was first coined in 2005. It’s not just about browsing for new shoes through Wal-Mart’s Facebook page but involves new ways of purchasing. Now tie that within the sharing economy. Airbnb, Uber, ring a bell? These two examples rely on the power of social networks and the sharing economy. Kickstarter, Mosaic, the list goes on and on of leveraging social media in developing the sharing economy. Expect 2017 to see unique innovations between social media and the sharing economy.
  1. Integration of Social Media and IoT: One trend I look forward to seeing how it grows is the marriage of social media and the Internet of Things (IoT), possibly creating of innovative new products. I covered IoT for Smart Biz magazine, where I discussed its potential. I have a feeling we are going to see some cool things come out. Smart Grids will utilize IoT, which will then use social media, allowing consumers to show how much money they have saved while being more energy-efficient. Your fridge will tell you to get more apples at the local store. These may seem wacky, but in this day and age, anything is possible. Social media marketers should embrace the oncoming IoT onslaught of “social media for machines” with new ideas and products to meet up with the future demand for connected devices.

These are a few of the trends to dominate the ever-changing world of social media technology in 2017. So sit down and enjoy the ride.


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