VIDEO: Mayor Dean Fortin talking about social media

Does using social media eliminate the need for personal interactions?

I had a client ask me that the other day. He was curious to see if his involvement with social media meant that he did not have to deal with “real people” in person anymore.

That was a good question. My immediate response was to think of some creative way that would best illustrate my answer.

In a flash of creative inspiration I decided to create a video that would showcase how real people use social media. And I knew instantly the perfect person to be the star of the first video to answer my client’s question.

I believe that using social media most certainly expands the ways we interact with people and works to increase the value of those interactions.

Dean Fortin, Mayor of Victoria, BC, is a great example of just how that works. I believe this because I’ve been following his updates via Facebook  and Twitter and have seen how he does it.  In the video Dean talks about how his use of social media allows him to connect with the community and create engagement with real people one-on-one.


Here are some of the questions I ask Dean in the interview:

What inspired you to start using social media as Mayor?

How do you manage your duties as Mayor and your time for social media?

Do you have and social media advice for Victoria business owners?


Feel free to add your comments below. I look forward to hearing from you!



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About the Author

Terri DaviesI’m a down-to-earth, technically savvy, modern marketing inspired designer, educator, and coach. I’ve been working online for nearly 10 years now, and early on realized I had a knack for spotting the remarkable aspects of a person or business bringing that online. I truly love what I do, and I am happiest when I am working with my team, making beautiful things for heart-centred entrepreneurs (especially when I'm doing that from my mobile office in a tropical country).View all posts by Terri Davies →

  1. Ben Ziegler
    Ben Ziegler10-18-2011

    Nicely done Anthony. Good of you to sit down with our Mayor. And, very constructive questions.

    It is a challenge for high profile people (like a mayor ) to fully engage with social media. While Dean has a social media presence, and personally uses it (a good thing), to what extent is he engaging, having a conversation, the community? I guess that question applies to all SM users, too. Especially if the only conversation between the parties is online….

    • Anthony Sanna
      Anthony Sanna10-18-2011

      Thanks for your kudos Ben.
      One of the things Dean and I discussed about community engagement online is that it sometimes happens after the fact. He has a busy schedule, yet when people actually do see him in person, they sometimes refer to something they saw online. He is not unique to this; it happens to me too. I’d say that this type of engagement is hard to measure, yet valuable in building relationships.

  2. Tyrell Mara
    Tyrell Mara10-19-2011

    Hi Anthony,

    Great post! Thank you for sharing it with me (@TyrellMara) on Twitter! Mayor Dean Fortin hits many nails on the head and it is so great to see him leveraging this channel to engage with the community he is serving!

    One thing that really resonates with me about what Dean is saying (and universal to social media) is that it is not necessarily exclusively an advantage or disadvantage… Rather, it is a tool to allow people to somewhat transcend the boundaries of traditional communication and have real and authentic engagements, allowing the audience/community to get a better sense of who you really are. At the end of the day I believe that if all else is in line and in check, this translates to trust!

    Thanks again for the great post, Anthony!

    • Anthony Sanna
      Anthony Sanna10-19-2011

      Hi Tyrell,
      I had the opportunity to meet Dean in person a number of times prior to me asking for an interview. I can honestly say he is real and authentic offline. I believe that those who have social skills “in real life” are the ones who succeed in creating community online. In my experience, Dean is a great example of how “sociability” translates from offline to online via social media.

      I also see how other local politicians are working to create community through social media engagement. Frank Leonard does an excellent job of using social media to connect with people as mayor of Saanich.

      I’m inspired to connect with anyone who is real, local and community focused. I’m thrilled to see politicians who are “shaking hands and kissing babies” this way too.

      I appreciate your perspective Tyrell!

Sociability is a small business marketing, social media company with a focus on mobile web design and WordPress website design in Victoria, BC. We are also a social media consultancy with social media experts that are knowledgeable in Facebook for business marketing, Twitter for small business, and Linkedin for business. We have a team of website developers specializing in WordPress website design and responsive website design. If you’re looking to use WordPress as a website in your business, or integrate social media and modern marketing into your online presence, Terri Davies and her team at Sociability will take excellent care of you. We also provide social media courses for small business and non profits.